© Dmitry Rybolovlev, owner and helmsman (right) and Fernando Echavarri, Olympic champion and tactician (left), Skorpidi yacht.
The Marina di Scarlino in Baia Scarlino on Italy's Tuscan seaboard played host to this year's Nautor Swan One Design World Championship, which took place between October 13 and 17, much to the pleasure of sailing enthusiasts. The sport was hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions, and saw this year's schedule reduced to just two events, both held in Scarlino.
This being the final event of the year, the 15 teams lining up were naturally eager to get a good showing but stormy weather threw a wrench in their plans. In the ClubSwan 50 category, only four out of the 11 races planned were able to go through, with the crown going this year to Marcus Brennecke's German yacht Hatari. Interestingly enough, the Hatari managed to land the top spot without actually winning any of the four races. Dmitry Rybolovlev's team on Skorpidi yacht (2019 world champion, Russia) won races one and three, while Stefan Heidenreich's Onegroup (2018 world champion, Germany) claimed races two and four. On aggregate, this played in Hatari's favour, whose ninth-place finish in the fourth race, two second place finishes and a fourth gave Brennecke's team enough points to take home the title.
"We are very happy," explained Hatari owner Marcus Brennecke. "We had lots of fun and showed great crew work - as a team and as individuals. It is a very competitive class with nice people and a good spirit."
"We are happy with the result but a bit disappointed because we couldn't sail the last two days, in light conditions which is our strongest point", commented Skorpidi (RUS) tactician and Olympic gold medallist Fernando Echavarri.
"It is a fantastic class," added Onegroup tactician Jochen Schümann, who has been with the ClubSwan 50 since its beginnings in 2016. "The owners have really committed to it and soon we can expect 20 plus boats on the start line."
The Russian team was the only one to break German dominance in the final World Championship standings, and Rybolovlev's team is expected to bring home the silver in the final standings for 2020.
ClubSwan 50 Final Standings:
1. Hatari (Ger) 17 points
2. Niramo (Ger) 19 pts
3. Skorpidi (Rus) 20 pts
4. Earlybird (Ger) 20 pts
5. Onegroup (Ger) 23 pts
The Swan 45 race saw Motions claiming the world title for the very first time, followed by fellow Dutch team K-Force, which won race two and finished two points behind the leaders. Lennard van Oeveren, the owner of Motions, gushed after the race "This is fantastic. We have been building for years and gradually improving our level. We don't sail with a lot of professionals so it is real Corinthian sailing."
ClubSwan 45 Final Standings:
1. Motions (Ned) 5ps
2. K-Force (Ned) 7pts
3. Ange Transparent (Sui) 10pts
© ClubSwan 45 runners-up K-Force (L) and winner Motions (R).
Similarly, in the Swan 36 category, Andrea Lacorte's Cetilar-Vitamina (Italy) dominated the competition, winning three out of the four races, claiming the World Championship title. "It was a nice week, we did well," reflected Lacorte, who previously competed in the ClubSwan 50 class. "We are looking forward to having more boats join with many strong teams entering soon."
ClubSwan 36 Final Standings:
1. Cetilar-Vitamina (Ita) 5 points
2. Sease (Ita) 12 pts
3. Goddess (Ger) 15 pts