Rolex Fastnet Race - Plis Play wins Swan Challenge Trophy
Wed, 21 Aug 2013
A total of fourteen Swan yachts graced the Rolex Fastnet Race last week with Swan 80 Plis Play being the first Swan to cross the finish line in Plymouth, winning the coveted Swan North European Challenge Trophy.
The biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club is the world’s largest offshore yacht race; with 347 boats from 20 nations participating this year, setting a new record for entry numbers. Racing began on Sunday, 11th August from Cowes, Isle of Wight.
After three days of racing, the Spanish Swan 80 Plis Play was the first Swan to complete the 611 nautical mile offshore race to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock off Southwest Ireland; completing the challenging course in an elapsed time of three days 21 minutes. Plis Play took second place overall in IRC Z Class and won the Swan North European Challenge Trophy.
The Swan Challenge Trophy is part of the Swan Challenge Series 2013, which consists of three further events and trophies; the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Transatlantic Challenges.
Oscar Ibanez, skipper onboard Plis Play thoroughly enjoyed the race: 'The boat performed very well, the speed and performance of the Swan were fabulous and we didn’t have any problems. Everything worked perfectly which is so important in this type of race; this guaranteed reliability only comes from a Swan. Highlights include the start on the Solent and the upwind to the Needles, and the close reaching from Fastnet to Scilly islands. The boat was very fast in these conditions with 20 to 22 knots of wind. Rounding the Fastnet Rock was very exciting also.
We came over to race in the Rolex Fastnet Race as it is one of the most important offshore yacht races in the world, all sailors dream of taking part, Plis Play is starting to take part in some of the most remarkable races. We celebrated with a perfect onboard dinner with the all crew onboard with fantastic food and good Spanish wine and ham. This is the Swan philosophy, a great performance boat that can achieve good results in the races but you can also relax onboard with all the home comforts and facilities.'
After handicap and a corrected time of three days 23 hours and 35 minutes, the best placed Swan at the event was Swan 411 R Best Buddies (GER); they were presented with the Whirlwind Trophy at the final prize giving on Saturday, 17th August.
Susann Eggers of Best Buddies is delighted with their results; 'Best Buddies performed tremendously well, running at an average of nearly 7.8 knots the whole time. She was enjoying the race after her first Rolex Fastnet Race experience in 1979. The highlight of the race was definitely the six hours downwind run from the rock to the Scillies, with 20 knots of wind in the middle of the night in that heavy fog that we had. To celebrate our really unexpected success we ordered lots of Pimms and celebrated with the trophy on the lawn with the whole crew, and then we all went to have a gorgeous dinner together. The next plans are sailing the boat to Monaco, then to Mallorca this year and entering some races in the med, for instance the Rolex Swan Cup, the Middle Sea Race and perhaps Les Voiles de Saint Tropez.'
Best Buddies are not the only boat with cause for celebration, as 84 year old Ken Newman completed his 28th Rolex Fastnet Race this year onboard Swan 46 Marinero, chartered by Ken for the fifth time for this race. Ken Newman selected the Nautor’s built Swan yacht due to his personal admiration of Nautor’s Swan quality, believing that Swan are good strong boats which you can take out to sea in in all conditions.
The Gazprom Swan 60 Class fleet were also competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race for the first time, with Swan 60 Petite Flamme taking first place in the Class. The Swan 60s will now head to Germany ready for the final event on their 2013 circuit, the Nord Stream Race.