The Skorpios ClubSwan team, helmed by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, is gearing up for the summer sailing season with a new $20 million racing sailboat, the Skorpios, and a freshly assembled international team to sail her. Sailing fans' first opportunity to see the ClubSwan125 yacht in action will likely be the Rolex Fastnet Race, slated to begin on Sunday, August 8.
Dmitry Rybolovlev's team is hoping to test the 43-meter Skorpios, named after the Greek island owned by the billionaire's family trusts, at the English Channel regatta before competing in the Middle Sea Race in October 2021. The yellow-and-black boat, designed by Franco-Argentinian naval architect Juan Kouyoumdjian and built over the course of four years by the high-performance division at Finnish shipbuilders Nautor's Swan, has already drawn attention in sailing circles for innovative features including its canting keel and single curved foil.
According to Nautor's Swan, Rybolovlev's yacht could be the fastest monohull ever created, able to reach speeds of roughly 15 knots upwind and run consistently faster than the wind downwind. The top-of-the-line vessel, which Nautor's Swan CEO Giovanni Pomati referred to as "one of the most amazing yachts of all time", will be crewed by an international team including several Olympic yachtsmen and nine sailors with experience in round-the-world races.
With the new maxi yacht, the Skorpios team will be hoping to replicate the success which it has already seen in the ClubSwan 50 class. With two-time world champion and Olympic medallist Fernando Echávarri as skipper, the Skorpios team won the world title in October 2019 at the Nations Trophy in Palma de Mallorca. The team also earned the bronze medal at the 2020 Nautor Swan World Championship in Baia Scarlino, where a combination of Covid-19 restrictions and stormy weather unfortunately meant that only four out of eleven races were able to go ahead as planned.
Indeed, 2020 was a disappointing season for many sailors and followers of the sport. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, countless regattas were either cancelled—from the World Cup Series Genoa to the America's Cup World Series in Cagliari —or severely curtailed, as was the case with the Baia Scarlino event.
Fortunately, racing enthusiasts from around the world are returning to the water in 2021, and the launch of the ClubSwan 125 Skorpios has stoked particular excitement for October's Rolex Middle Sea Race, a 600-mile circumnavigation of Sicily which has become one of the Mediterranean's premier offshore regattas. Though 57 boats have already entered the event, the organisers of the Middle Sea Race has estimated that the headline contest will be between the Skorpios and the 30-meter Comanche. The Comanche, which currently holds the record for the fastest transatlantic crossing in a monohull boat, will be in for a challenging race. Keen sailing fans will be watching closely in October to see if either the Rybolovlev's Skorpios or Comanche is able to break the Middle Sea Race record of 47 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds that hasn't been beaten since 2007. body check tags ::