Intense fleet racing plus two star-led match races

PBO was lucky enough to join the winning team at

the inaugural Gazprom Swan 60 World Championships.

Vladimir Liubomirov helming his Swan 60 Bronenosec

(RUS) won the event with a race to spare after achieving six solid firsts

across 12 races. 

PBO News Editor Laura Kitching joined the crew of

mainly Italian and Russian sailors, plus English tactician Adrian Stead and

Vladimir’s daughter Polina, aboard Bronenosec last Wednesday, amid glorious

sunshine and light winds off Cowes, the Isle of Wight.

The professional team managed to combine

cheerfulness with calm instructions despite the intensely tactical racing of

the 60ft luxurious yachts – a far cry from their original Swan 36 predecessor.

One crew member was sent up the mast moments before

the start of the first race to see which direction the breeze was strongest –

and this attention to detail paid off with a race win.

The team claimed second place in the last fleet

race of the day, which was enough to maintain their overall lead going into the

final few days of racing.

Valery Golubev, deputy chairman of the Gazprom

Management Committee, dockside yesterday on the final day of racing, said: ‘Personally, I was delighted for Vladimir

Liubomirov and his team onboard Bronenosec, the 2013 Gazprom Swan 60 World

Champions won with style and professionalism, two attributes we share closely

with the team and with Nautor’s Swan.’

He added: ‘We

are proud to have been part of the foundation of the Gazprom Swan 60 Class and

the inaugural Gazprom Swan 60 World Championship.

‘It has been a pleasure to watch the Swans racing

this week and enjoy the atmosphere that the owners and crew create.’

Two more titles claimed

Meanwhile the Swan 45 World Champion title went to

Philippe Mortgat and Patrick Van Heurck’s entry Samantag, (BEL) and British

owner Chris Frost racing with his daughter on their Swan 36 Finola became the

new European Champions with a record win in all races.

Enrico Chieffi, managing director, Oy Nautor Ab,

said: ‘It has been an amazing week here in Cowes, not only do we have two new

World Champions and an European Champion, the event has brought ClubSwan

members closer together enjoying their Swans with friends and family. 

‘The weather has been outstanding for us all and

the Royal Yacht Squadron Race Committee has ensured quality racing throughout

the week.

‘The buzz at the ClubSwan Regatta Village has

spread throughout the classes with fun social events appealing to all. 

‘I am very much looking forward to the next edition

of the Gazprom Swan European Regatta in 2015.’

The World Champions will be presented with Asprey crafted

trophies at the ClubSwan prize giving held at the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Star-studded match racing

Among the highlights of PBO’s day on Cowes was seeing double

Olympic gold medalist Shirley Robertson at the helm of the Swan 60 Tsaar Peter,

compete in two match races against Russian Olympian Ekaterina

Skudina on Bronenosec.

Robertson achieved two race wins on home waters.

Pictures show: The Swan 60 Bronenosec; Olympian Shirley Robertson at the helm of Tsaar Peter; a Bronenosec crew member checking the breeze; Vladimir Liubomirov at the helm of the winning yacht and Wednesday’s match racing. Credit: Laura Kitching

Gazprom Swan 60 World Champions celebrate dockside with prosecco. Credit: Nautor’s Swan/Kurt Arrigo