On the 27th August 2005, the second S&S Swan Rendezvous came to a happy conclusion. This regatta of Swan yachts was based in the Etrusca Marina in Scarlino, a town close to Follonica on the Tuscan coast, and was organized by the S&S Swan Association in conjunction with the Etrusca Marina.
Thirty-two vintage Swan yachts, designed by Sparkman & Stephens and coming from all over the world, met here for a specially dedicated celebration held over three magnificent days of fabulous weather, of perfect wind (never more than 20 knots) and with relatively flat sea conditions.
Never before had so many vintage Swan yachts been seen all together. To see them docked next to each other along the pier was a moving spectacle – with their beautifully sleek lines, their slender sterns, typical of another era, their solid aluminium masts and the solid teak decks of 15-20mm thickness! They are certainly not light boats, but it is a real spectacle to watch them all next to each other, navigating at their own pace - perhaps quite slowly, but gracefully and inexorably.
The event was generously hosted by the magnificent Etrusca Marina and also by Nautor itself. Many owners of these old Swans could thus realize their dream of comparing their boats on land as well as on the sea with other boats of similar size and beauty, not least consolidating old friendships as well as establishing new ones. First amongst all was the family of the Commodore of the Royal Belgian Sailing Club, André Annicq, who brought from northern Europe his Swan 43’ (which has been in their hands since 1971), with his wife Anne and their four grown-up children. They became a real symbol of the spirit of this event – a series of regattas characterized by fair play and acted out by gentlemen of another time – with their family crew, great welcoming on the pier, and a great desire to have fun!
Each evening all of the crews and their families were invited to a cocktail party, or to a typical dinner of the wonderful local cuisine, accompanied by live music.
Many iconic figures of the nautical world were present at this event – including most notably Pekka Koskenkyla (the founder of Nautor in 1965), Mike Hurrell (a partner in Swan back in the 1960s and still today the record holder in his victories in the Cowes Sailing Week – on a Swan, of course!), Ivana Epis, a historical personality of the shipyard who for 35 years gave assistance to all the owners of Swan yachts, many sold by her), Gunnar Svenfelt the head of the S&S boat department of the Finnish shipyard, Enrico Chieffi Olympic Champion in the Star Class and marketing director of Nautor, Lorenzo Bortolotti, who competed in the America’s Cup with Azzurra and Italia, and Simone Anichini, finance vice-Presidente of Nautor, to name but a few.
On the pier was even Victor Ukmar, who looked on with great pride at his Swan 37’ – Ki.
For everyone involved with the Swans of Sparkman & Stephens, the next appointment is in the same marina in August 2007.