A Living Tradition - Sail Magazine

A Living Tradition

A few weeks after visiting the Nautor’s Swan yard in Finland I was lucky enough to take part in the Swan Owners Association’s 2013 American Swan Regatta on Narragansett Bay.
Author:
Publish date:
 The Swan 53 Nai’a luffs up against Cygnus Montanus at the start of the regatta

The Swan 53 Nai’a luffs up against Cygnus Montanus at the start of the regatta

A few weeks after visiting the Nautor’s Swan yard in Finland I was lucky enough to take part in the Swan Owners Association’s 2013 American Swan Regatta on Narragansett Bay. Hosted by the Jamestown Boat Yard (JBY), which specializes in maintaining Swans of all ages, the event underscored another important aspect of the Nautor’s Swan phenomenon: the passion and dedication of the company’s customers.

Although a separate organization from the company-sponsored “Club Swan,” which holds events around the world and includes membership in Finland’s Segelsallkapet Yacht Club, the U.S. Swan Owners Association takes its responsibility for keeping the flame alive no less seriously—with the help of the folks at JBY, they know how to throw a heck of a party.

This year’s festivities included cocktails aboard the Nantucket Light Ship and a true-blue lobster bake on the beach alongside the JBY yard. There were also mixers and award ceremonies out at Clingstone, the historic “house on the rock” in the middle of Narragansett Bay, which JBY helps manage.

 A traditional lobster bake afterward

A traditional lobster bake afterward

As for the racing, three varied courses over three days provided the dozen or so boats taking part with ample opportunity to show what it means to be a Swan. This was especially true of the first day, which featured 25-knot-plus northerlies, rain and a wicked chop under a low overcast. For many fleets, the conditions could have spelled serious trouble, but not this one.

Working the foredeck aboard the Swan 53 Nai’a, which is also the waterborne home for Swan Owners Association board member Bob Beltrano and his wife, Kirstin, I couldn’t get over how the boat seemed to just eat up these conditions. It was the same thing with Todd Stuart’s Swan 56 White Rhino, which would eventually go on to win the regatta overall. As for Carl-Henric Svanberg’s Swan 77 Cygnus Montanus, the big boat crushing the seas was a sight to behold.

Afterward, there was the usual sense of accomplishment and camaraderie that inevitably comes in the wake of a heavy-air day on the water—in this case coupled with a particular sense of pride in the fact that it had all been done aboard a fleet of magnificent Swans. I think the folks back in Jakobstad would have been equally proud.

Read more about Swan here

Related

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more