, 2022-11-25 00:15:09,
As we slipped our lines from the dock in Porto Cervo I was trying to conceal my disappointment. After being present at the original launch of the design for the new ClubSwan 80 at the Düsseldorf Boat Show back in 2019 I’d been looking forward to the opportunity to climb aboard this super sleek, no holds barred, full carbon racing machine.
Now it was a reality, but as we headed out through the rocky entrance to this famous harbour, I was cursing my luck as the forecast light and fickle breeze had arrived and showed every sign of refusing to climb into double figures. Instead, the 8 knots that was currently on offer was hardly great testing weather for a boat that promised so much.
Yet, minutes later, with no increase in the breeze or change in the calm-looking sea state, there were suddenly 14 pairs of legs draped over her windward topsides and 14 heads had popped through the guardwires. Our keel was fully canted and visible for all to see as our upwind boat speed sat at 9-10 knots. Now the apparent wind speed was in the high teens.
In just a couple of minutes the act of setting sail and sheeting in had transformed the feel of the day and provided the first clue as to what the ClubSwan 80 is about. But it had also shown why it was best not to jump to any early conclusions.
The route from concept to reality had been a…
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