Why is the ClubSwan 50 especially suitable for the new Nord Stream Race?
"The CS50 is a strict one-design class, which means all yachts are 100 per cent equal – including the rigs and sails. Basically, the CS50 is comparable in sailing characteristics to smaller boats like the J/70. The only difference: they are significantly larger and of course more demanding in terms of the handling. The overall weight is 8,150kg instead of 800kg and the gennaker 235qm instead of 43qm. You need to put a lot of power through the winches when you’re trimming the CS50’s sails."
What is special about the ClubSwan 50, and what do the teams have to look out for in the 1,000 mile race from Kiel to Saint Petersburg?
"We assume that the clubs will have at least two to three professionals on board who have experience with boats of this size. The boats are extremely agile and sail nice and quickly thanks to the 3.50m long and 3,450kg keel, even at higher wind speeds. It’s going to be a challenge to drive the boat day and night at its full potential and at optimum trim for the duration of the race legs.”
How will the teams cope with handling the larger ClubSwan 50, seeing as the winners of the national leagues are experienced mostly in racing the much smaller J/70?
"I think it is important that the teams give themselves an opportunity to prepare well. In Kiel, both training days and inshore races are planned so that at least a short preparation period is possible. In addition to the training and becoming familiar with the powerful loads, it’s important that each team has two to three experienced, match-fit pros as well as a professional navigator who knows the Baltic Sea. With a 3.50m draft and an average of 10 knots of speed, navigating safely through the Swedish and Finnish archipelagos is a real challenge."
What happens to the five CS50s after the Nord Stream Race?
"The NSR is a real win for the future of the class. It helps us to achieve one of our early goals for the class, which is to establish a CS50 series in Northern Europe. The NSR is a perfect format, which we will develop together with the organizers. In 2017 all CS50 owners have committed themselves to participating in the Nations Trophy in mid-October (11th - 14th October) in Palma de Mallorca. Based on what the owners of Saint Petersburg Yacht Club have told me, all the boats will go directly to the Mediterranean after the NSR."
What other plans do you have as class president for the ClubSwan 50 Class?
"Our vision is to establish the ClubSwan50 with a strict owner-driver rule and as a strict one-design class with an innovative and attractive regatta format at the top sailing events in collaboration with the best yacht clubs worldwide – starting with the 2017 CS50 Series in the Mediterranean. The modern design of Argentinean naval architect Juan Kouyoumdjian and the legendary Swan DNA have ensured that 20 boats have already been sold in the first year of the class. The CS50’s distinctive look and attractive price along with a well-structured regatta program are bringing in many new owners as well as experienced sailors of larger yachts back to the concept of one-design offshore racing. The CS50 World Championship will take place every year, alternating between the Rolex Swan Cup (2018, ...) and the Nations Trophy (2017, 2019, ...) – a new team competition with nation competing against nation."
More information about the ClubSwan 50 here.
Photo: Thomas Eibenberger