by John Curnow
Nautor's Swan Australia and New Zealand launch.
Nautor’s Swan 90
It may well have rained in Sydney on Wednesday night, but it was nothing except sunshine, glorious colour and wonderful aesthetics at the launch of the new Nautor's Swan Australia and New Zealand agency.
The choice of the magnificent White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale was very fitting for a brand synonymous with style, comfort and elegance. If you have been to China to witness the massive changes there during the last 15 years, then the current exhibition will really reach into your memories and feelings to evoke a sense of wonder and human endeavour.
Nautor’s Swan owners like Greg Snowball and Leslie Green were on hand to pass on their experiences. Leslie owns and races the Swan 601, Ginger, and he regaled all with a story about how, ‘I just wanted to do just the one Swan Cup and now I’ve done five. They’re that enjoyable!’
Simon Lang, the Customer Service Manager for Nautor’s Swan was present to not only enjoy the warmer weather of a Southern hemisphere Summer, but to clearly demonstrate how committed the manufacturer is to assisting current and future owners. ‘Enrico Chieffi, Nautor’s Swan Commercial Director (and former Star Class Champion), was going to be here himself and he made it as far as Hong Kong before having to return to Florence on urgent business matters. He goes home and I get to come here. Looks like I win’ Simon said.
Leonardo Ferragamo, son of the founder of the Italian Fashion giant, bought Nautor’s Swan 10 years ago and has steadily gone about building the brand and creating new and exciting products for customers to buy. Leonardo is a keen and competitive sailor. He has both a Swan 90 and 42, which is preferred boat to race.
Since 1966 when Nautor's Swan was created, they have built 2000 vessels. There are presently 36 in our region. Interestingly, there are 4000 active members of Club Swan, so it really goes a long way to confirming the old adage, ‘I aspire to a Swan.’
Nautor’s Swan currently produce the Club 42, which was created by the New York Yacht Club and there are 50 of these One Design, all-amateur vessels racing around the world, right now. Interestingly, another son of a famous father, Mani Frers pens Nautor's Swan’s boats with the new generation Swan 60 and 80 a mark of his skills. Late in 2012 there will be two new vessels joining the range, the 100 and 110.
What the Nautor's Swan 110 will look like when launched next year.
Club Swan - American Regatta - Nautor's Swan
The current 53 was first launched in 2008 and they are centreboarders with two rudders to allow for shallow draft work. Make no mistake however; these vessels still compete in many of the Swan racing events. There are also a 66 and 75, which are also more down the cruising with style and pace path.
You always get to learn facts when you ask questions of people who have seen things you haven’t. I particularly enjoyed finding out that the boats are manufactured more often than not in the super cold and dark environs that exist one hour’s plane flight North of Helsinki, which is where the factory is. Not only do staff have to plug their car’s engines into heaters when they go to work to avoid the blocks cracking, they can only launch the fruits of their labours over the long Winters in June and July, when the ice has melted enough.
Ian Treleaven and his wife Andrea have been enjoying some extensive cruising around the globe over the last few years. He was approached by Brendan Hunt of Vicsail to come and manage the Swan brand, which Brendan had recently secured the agency rights for. ‘Yes. I was happily dragged out of retirement to work with such prestigious organisation and brand. Actually, I think it was Andrea who was happiest, as she wanted to get me working again!’, said Ian
Brendan Hunt and Ian Treleaven at the launch party. - Nautor's Swan Launch
‘Our project has really been to generated interest and already this evening, we have seen people come and ask about the boats. We wanted to do our marketing in a different way, involving the existing Swan owners and also allowing greater access to the brand and the information about our products. We’ll assist our owners wishing to do one of the regattas and anything else they may require, through our special ownership programme, Club Swan’, Ian added.
If you aspire to a Swan, even if it is going to be in a few boats time, then you can access all the information at http://www.australia.nautorswan.com/ or call +61 2 9327 2088.
Guests enjoyed a sensational ambience at the cocktail party - Nautor's Swan Launch
Over the top of the Swan Class 45s masts at the 2010 Rolex Swan Cup
CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) Milling Machines at the factory complement the hand built elements. - Nautor's Swan
The Nautor yard and marina in Pietarsaari, Finland.
Old Swans in the snow at the factory in the 60's