March 04, 2011
SWAN TALES Vol #3 March 2011
This month's issue of "Swan Tales" is being written and sent from Jost van Dyke BVI a couple of days after the end of the Club Swan BVI Rendezvous. We are very happy to announce that the rift between Club Swan and the SOA (Swan Owners of America) has been mended. The SOA was originally created out of neglect and frustration from Swan Europe. When the American Club Swan Regatta was cancelled after the 2007 event the SOA stepped in and ran a very successful event in Newport organized by past president Bob Scribner. (The next American Event is this summer at the end of July). For several years the BVI Regatta was almost ignored by Europe and Keith Yeoman of Nautors Swan USA East stepped in to fill the void. As early as last year's event, Club Swan did a good job of getting the word out and twenty Swans participated last year with half coming from Europe and the other half the traditional American participants. This was a vast improvement in numbers from previous years that had as little as seven boats. However last year, Club Swan withdrew participation a few weeks before the event and Keith had to step up to the plate and organize the event with family "volunteers" to pull off a successful rendezvous. Even the Swan Flags were on loan. This year could not have been better with over twenty-five Swans sailing in at least part of the event, and several team members came over from Europe to help Keith run a great event. All three SOA Board members were at the event. Hank Schmitt aboard Avocation, David Fraizer from Clover III and Steve Devoe running the race committee along with Clem Napolitano aboard their classic 1964 Mathews, "Nettie", named after Clem's mother. Inga Leask, from Fastrack UK and Ettore Mattiello from Swan Italy in Florence were on hand all week to lend support and help organize the event. Luca Lucheschi attended the first day to speak with the Swan Board and let them know that Swan now wants to work with all the sub-Swan member organizations. We look forward to working with Club Swan in support of our events, just as we have always promoted any Club Swan Event in the past. They even promised to try and attend our American Swan Rendezvous in July. This 9th edition of the BVI Swan Rendezvous was hosted, as in past years, by the Bitter End Resort. North Sound, Virgin Gorda. This has to be one of the most perfect settings to host a sailing event. As testament, the new Yacht Club Costa Smeralda BVI Club hosted their first Mega Yacht Regatta the same week as our event. There was a casual race each day as the fleet visited Norman Island, Sidney's Peace and Love, Marina Cay and raced back to the Bitter End where boats prepared for the serious race on Saturday. The Around Virgin Gorda Race was won by Clevelander Swan 82, Naia Swan 53 in 2nd and Swan 78 Valkerie in 3rd. Besides the races, there was an hors d'oeuvre contest on Marina Cay and a Boules contest played nightly around cocktails on the beach at each venue. At Norman Island Dick and Jane Tracy from Pantaenius Insurance hosted a Bushwacker party. Pantaenius has been a long time sponsor of the SOA and get a big thank you. The meals were great with a lobster feast at "Sidney's Peace and Love", a wine tasting party and dinner poolside at the Bitter End and finished with a Seafood buffet at the Almond walk for the prize giving. For the 3rd year in a row your own SOA donated the Swan Elegance Award to the best maintained boat in the eyes of your SOA inspection committee. New Swan owner Twanette Tharp and skipper Tony Bessinger aboard the Swan 62 Glisse won the SOA Trophy this year. Besides the Elegance Award and the race awards the other big prize for the boat showing the most spirit (and having the most fun) this past week, went to the crew of Godot from Norway, owned by Paul Fevang, sailing one of the four new Swan 66's in this year's fleet. We know many of you can not make the Caribbean Event in the BVI, but this summer you can join us for the American version being organized by your own Swan Owners Association. We have invited any European Swan owners visiting the US to attend and Club Swan will help get the word out to everyone. We know several of the boats in this year's BVI Regatta plan to attend. Invitations will be mailed next month to American Swan Owners about this year's event. Please let us know if you have moved or know of any new Swan owners who may not be on our list. There will also be a check-off-sheet to let us know if you want to reserve a berth aboard a Sport Fishing boat to go deep sea fishing out of Montauk, or if you wish to play a round of golf with other Swan owners. We are encouraging Swan owners to invite their children and grandchildren to the summer event. The Montauk Yacht Club is offering a 25% discount for rooms if you want to have a shore side base the two nights in Montauk and if enough younger children are attending we plan to offer a special afternoon of fun and games for them on Thursday afternoon. We know most of you are aware of the dates for this summer's Swan Rendezvous. When the invitations and sign up sheets arrive in a few weeks, please let us know what you would like to do and how many family and crew you will have. If you can not join us for the entire week you can start with us in Montauk NY to get you to Newport for the start of the NYYC Cruise, or you can join us in Newport Saturday and Sunday for the Around the Island Race and final party at JBY. Caribbean Regattas - Many Swans participated in the Heineken regatta this past month with several boats doing well. Selene, Swan 80 won CSA Class 1 with Swan 82 Nikata 2nd. Other podium finishes were the Swan 77 La Forza del Destino and 2nd place in Class 4 went to our own Jack Desmond and Affinity. The BVI Regatta is planning a "Swan Start" and division for Swan owners to race against each other and once again this year Avocation and crew will be in Antigua for Sailing Week defending their "Best Crewed" and "Best Swan" finish from last years event. BVI Swan Regatta 2012 - If you would like to try and plan a year in the Caribbean next year and join the BVI Swan Rendezvous next year you can think about joining the NARC Rally (North American Rally to the Caribbean) in the Fall to help get you there. We can help get you free crew that will pay their own way to and from the boat. We also have been running a program since 1998 in which we can deliver your boat to and from the Caribbean for FREE. Just contact me to learn how. The NARC Rally is free and participants in the Rally get 10% off their dockage at the Simpson Bay Marina for a week, a month, or the entire season. Next month's Swan Tales Issue will be sent from the states and invitations to this summer's event will arrive shortly after.