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