Rolex Swan Cup 2008
Every other September the top international sailors and Swan owners from around the world gather in
Porto Cervo for a week of intense competition at the Rolex Swan Cup. This year, the 15th edition of this
prestigious event organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda will be held from September 8 – 14.
Nautor’s Swan anticipates that more than 100 Swans will be in attendance, made up of performance
cruising and racing models, including twenty-two Swan 45s and eight Club Swan 42s, sailing for the first
time in this competition. Nautor will also present two newly-launched Swan 66s, the latest Swan design
currently on the water. The queen of the fleet will be the Swan 112, Highland Breeze.
The Rolex Swan Cup is one of the most important events linked to the Sardinian sailing paradise of
Porto Cervo. Since the 1980s, Sardinia has been the preferred venue for competition of the world’s most
luxurious and performance-oriented sailing boats. Attracted by the flat water, the likelihood of excellent
breeze and stunning mountainous backdrops, the Costa Smeralda is amongst the top racing venues in
The Rolex Swan Cup race week traditionally includes a variety of race courses around the stunning north-
eastern coast of Sardinia. The courses are designed to make best use of the daily weather conditions.
Winds in September can vary between light thermally-induced sea breezes to the famous Mistral which
can blow from the northwest up to 45 knots at times. Whatever the weather, Swan yachts are equipped to
deal with the conditions that crews experience in the north of Sardinia. The regatta is open to all Nautor’s
Swan yachts. The Organising Authority will divide the fleet into four classes according to final entries:
– Class A: (Maxi) boats with length overall more than 18 metres, racing in IRC
– Class B: Swan 45 One Design
– Class C: Club Swan 42
– Class D: (Classic) Boats with length overall less than 18 metres, racing in NSR.
Often the courses will take the fleet through the Maddalena archipelago just north of Porto Cervo. Narrow
straits, rocky outcrops, shifting winds and tight competition set against some of the most spectacular
scenery imaginable, test the crews’ nerve, skill and speed to the utmost. And, while there may be hot
professional level racing at one end of the fleet, there is also a more sedate pace at the other end. Many
Swan owners are more attracted by the social element of the event and make the best use of their boat
to meet the crew’s mood everyday, whether it be racing or enjoying the picturesque beaches and perfect
The races never last more than a few hours, even though significant distances are often covered by these
ocean-going thoroughbreds before the fleet returns to their moorings in the idyllic setting of Porto Cervo.
Ashore every evening the Swan fleet, the crews, and their guests enjoy the special Sardinian hospitality
in the unique setting of Porto Cervo. The Rolex Swan Cup and a Rolex timepiece will be presented to the
overall winner in each of the four classes of the event at the end of the week.
Sunday, 7th September
09.00 – 18.00 Inspections, Registrations
Monday, 8th September
09.00 – 16.00 Inspections, Registrations
18.00 Skippers Briefing – Cervo Tennis & Conference Centre (entrance with briefing card)
Welcome Cocktail – Piazza Azzurra (entrance with event wristband)
Tuesday, 9th September
17.00 After race refreshment – Piazza Azzurra
18.00 Swan 45 Owners Meeting - YCCS Clubhouse
Wednesday, 10th September – Club Swan Race Day
13.00/15.30 Owner’s Spouses Lunch – YCCS Terrace
17.00 After race refreshment & prizegiving of previous Day Races – Piazza Azzurra
Thursday, 11th September
Island Long Race – Audi Race Day
17.00 After race refreshment – Piazza Azzurra
20.30 Media Dinner, by invitation
Friday, 12th September
11.30 Race(s) – Swan 45 Lay Day or Resail for Classes A, C, D Swan Boat Show
20.30 Owner’s Dinner, hosted by Rolex – Colonna Pevero Hotel (by invitation)
Saturday, 13th September
11.30 Race (s)
20.30 Rolex Crew Party
Prizegiving previous Day Races and special prizes – Piazza Azzurra (entrance with event wristband)
Sunday, 14th September
11.00 Race – YCCS Race Day
18.00 Final Prizegiving – Piazza Azzurra
Nautor’s Swan history
Nautor’s Swan was founded in 1966 by Pekka Koskenkyla in Pietarsaari, Finland. Hundreds of years
of Finnish boatbuilding history, combined with the unforgiving landscape around the small town of
Pietarsaari, where temperatures can drop to –30o C in winter and the sea can freeze for up to
five months of the year, inspired the vision of the founder to begin building high-quality and high-
performance sailing yachts, made for those who, like him, had the passion for cruising and racing in
full contact with the water and nature.
Koskenkyla, who was educated in the U.S., had the intuition and the ability to convince Sparkman &
Stephens, one of the most acclaimed yacht designers at the time and located in New York, to design his
first sailing yacht, which was to be in fibreglass and trimmed in wood. Nobody before had built a boat
over ten metres long in fibreglass, a material that was still new to shipbuilding then, but would dominate
mass production of boats in years to come.
The first Swan yacht ever built was the Swan 36, a yacht that introduced, in addition to a fibreglass hull,
a significant number of innovations such as a rudder positioned fully aft, a skeg separate from the fin
keel, the centre of the hull shifted aft with the application of a bustle, and a thicker section of keel aft,
providing greater steering stability.
In other words, a fibreglass yacht whose behaviour and safety equalled that of the traditional wooden
boats and that could provide greater steering stability, with less weight and improved living space. A
boat that marked the beginnings of one of the most prestigious boat yards in the world, whose boats
have come to embody luxury and quality in the sailing industry and serve to acknowledge the founder’s
motto “the very best”.
In spring 1968, a Swan 36 was delivered to British sailor Dave Johnson, who skippered the yacht
with remarkable success in regattas around the British Isles, in particular in Cowes. These racing
achievements generated such positive feedback that Nautor’s Swan swiftly established its reputation as
the foremost manufacturer of high performance racing yachts, leading to the development of the new
and bigger Swan 37 and Swan 43, with the latter winning the Admiral’s Cup in 1969 and becoming the
favourite of demanding sailors such as Herbert von Karajan with his Swan 43, Heliana II.
Sparkman & Stephens designed the first approximately one thousand Swan yachts sold by the yard,
including the memorable and iconic Swan 38 and Swan 47 which, together with the other models,
have positioned Swan as synonymous with quality, elegance, enduring reliability, and timeless lines.
All marked simply by the unmistakable Swan ‘arrow’ – indented in the hull of every Swan – a mark so
iconic that a brand name is not needed.
In contrast to this overwhelming success, fate was soon to deal a blow that would have ramifications for
years to come. Shortly before Christmas 1969, the assembly hall of the Nautor’s Swan boat yard burned
to the ground, destroying a dozen hulls in various stages of build. As a result, Koskenkyla was forced to
sell stakes in Nautor’s Swan, to finance the rebuilding of the yard and to re-start production.
Nautor’s Swan history (continued)
Despite this setback, Nautor’s Swan continued to fulfil expectations, entering the market for larger
seaworthy, elegant and timeless yachts with the introduction of the Swan 55 and the Swan 65. These
models offered owners all the joys of sailing combined with the opportunity for racing success – most
notably this included the Swan 65, Sayula II’s victory in the first ever Whitbread Round the World Race in
Between 1978 and 1981, another very well-regarded yacht designer, Ron Holland, began his
association with Nautor’s Swan by designing five yachts of which 300 were built, including the well-
known Swan 37, Swan 39 and Swan 42.
In the 1980’s, Nautor’s Swan entered a new era with the appointment of German Frers as yacht
designer, and he has been responsible for the design of all Swan yachts since then reinforcing that vital
balance of competent and comfortable racers.
Over 700 yachts have been produced to Frers’ designs, including his first the Swan 51 in 1981, which
was followed by great success with the Swan 46 I and II, between 1983 and 1997; the Swan 53 in
1986; the new Swan 43 in 1985; the new Swan 36 in 1988; the new Swan 48 in 1995; and the current
models, including the Maxi Swan line highlighted by the Swan 60, Swan 75, Swan 82, Swan 90 and
In 2006, to commemorate Nautor’s 40th anniversary, Frers designed the Swan 66, a model that
embodies everything that Swan stands for. The Swan 66 was conceived using forty years of knowledge
in premium yacht building and cutting edge technology. The Swan 66 provides a genuine performance
cruising solution and is a perfect interpretation of this concept.
The contribution of Frers has also been very important for Nautor’s Swan to enter into the “one design”
racing yacht segment with the design of the Swan 45 in 2001, followed in 2005 by the Club Swan 42,
which was developed in association with the prestigious New York Yacht Club to encourage a return to
traditional Corinthian sailing competition.
Today, with over 40 years of heritage, Nautor’s Swan is a leader in the luxury sailing yacht market. It is
globally recognised as the producer of exquisitely crafted yachts, capable of offering the perfect balance
of style and performance. Each yacht has been designed to offer both performance racing and relaxed
luxurious cruising, holding a very special place in the hearts of many sailors around the world, defined as
“The Spirit of Swan”.
Since 1998, Leonardo Ferragamo and a group of investors have controlled and managed Nautor’s
Swan, continuing to push forward with a whirlwind of innovations and changes that firmly place Swan
yachts at the forefront of the international sailing world.
Nautor’s Swan Yard
Since the foundation of the company in 1966, over 2,000 Swans yachts have been produced, ranging
from 36 to 131 feet – and almost all of them are still sailing.
The small yard started by Pekka Koskenkyla in Pietarsaari, where he produced the first fibreglass Swan
36, has now developed into three modern production facilities, employing more than 400 workers and a
similar number of specialists, subcontractors and consultants.
Today the historical plant in Kallby is dedicated to the lamination of all Swan hulls, using some of the
most advanced and fully computerized machinery to perfectly shape the moulds, which are then
laminated in high-quality epoxy carbon fibre. Another part of the plant is dedicated to the assembly
of the smaller sized yachts from the Swan 42 to the latest Swan 60. The Kallby plant also includes an
“indoor” water facility to test the yachts prior to delivery, which is often in the cold winter months.
In 2002, the latest yard with a private marina, was opened in Pietarsaari, near the sea. The yard was
the result of a long-standing collaboration between the company and the city of Pietarsaari, with the
ambition of building a high-tech boatyard, supported by the most advanced technology capable of
assembling large yachts.
The new yard is entirely dedicated to the assembly of the Swan Maxi yachts, including the Swan 66,
Swan 82, Swan 90, Swan 100 and over. The plant includes a large and private marina, an ideal place to
commission and test all the new yachts.
The third plant is in Kronoby and it is the plant where expert carpenters are dedicated to the hand-made
fabrication of the magnificent wood interiors, which have become a feature of all Swans yachts. The
level of detail is such that a sample of the wood of each yacht is kept at the factory, so that an exact
replacement can be made if required.
Like in the old times, the most important asset in building a Swan yacht today remains the teams of
boat builders, with the inherited know how from fathers and grandfathers, who spend pain-staking
hours crafting each section of the models. These craftsmen masterfully interpret the projects developed
by Frers Naval Architecture and Engineering and which are carefully detailed by a team of over 50
designers and engineers of Nautor’s Swan in-house Product Development and Technical Office
It is thanks to these manufacturing facilities and the expert craftsmen that Nautor’s Swan continues
to be a leader in the luxury yacht market and is globally recognised as the producer of exquisitely
crafted yachts, capable of offering the perfect balance of style and performance, ideal for both high
performance racing and relaxed, luxurious cruising.
The epoxy carbon fibre hull with the typical elliptical Swan shape, the strong and resistant structures,
the clean deck with invisible systems below deck, the winches concentrated abaft and the hatches
embedded in the deck edges, the solid metal parts beautifully hand-made, the use of the best available
mast and sails, and the installation of state of the art equipment are some of the elements which in the
hands of Nautor’s craftsmen in Finland make Swan yachts fast and easy to handle, and which can be
sailed in complete safety even with a small number of crew.
Nautor’s Swan Milestones
1966 Pekka Koskenkyla founds Nautor’s Swan
1967 Swan 36, the first boat over 10 meters built in fibreglass, designed by Sparkman & Stephens
1968 Swan 36 – Casse Tete II owned by Dave Johnson, wins all Class II races in Cowes
1968 Swan 37 and Swan 43 are introduced, designed by Sparkman & Stephens
1969 Swan 43 wins the Admiral’s Cup, with the British Fleet
1969 Herbert von Karajan, an expert and passionate sailor, buys the Swan 43, Heliana II
1969 Nautor’s Swan boatyard burns down destroying a dozen hulls under construction
1970 Swan 55, the first with an aft master cabin, designed by Sparkman & Stephens
1971 Swan 37, Stormy Petrel wins the IOR Formula – One Ton World Championship
1971 Swan 48 is introduced, with the wedge-shaped deck, called the “Swan deck”
1973/74 Swan 65, Sayula II, skipper Ramon Carlin, wins the first Whitbread Round the World Race
1974/75 The iconic Swan 38 and Swan 47 are introduced by Sparkman and Stephens
1977/78 Three Swan 65 yachts finish in the top five places at the Whitbread Round the World Race
1978/81 A second generation of Swan yachts, the Swan 39, is designed by Ron Holland
1981 German Frers starts collaboration with Nautor’s Swan, designing the Swan 51
1983 The memorably iconic Swan 46 – Mk I and II are introduced by German Frers
1986 The Swan 651 finishes third in the Whitbread Round the World Race
1991 The innovative Swan 55, with large tank capacities for lengthy voyages and reduced-draught
keel for costal navigation
1998 Leonardo Ferragamo leads a group of investors to buy Nautor’s Swan
2001 Club Swan is founded, with a club house at Yacht Club Segelsallskapet in Pietarsaari
2002 The one-design Swan 45 class is introduced, with an international racing calendar
2005 Partnership is signed with the NYYC for the one-design Swan 42 launched in 2006
2006 The Swan 66 – 40th Anniversary model is introduced, designed by German Frers
2007 The Swan 90 is launched and the Swan Maxi Class regatta calendar starts in 2008
2008 Swan 42 is named “Boat of the Year” by Sailing World magazine
2008 Swan 100 “Boat of the Year” at Shanghai Boat Show in May
2008 Swan 42 wins Rolex Giraglia Cup in St Tropez in June
Practical racing details at the Rolex Swan Cup
The Swan Line ranges from 42 to 100 foot and therefore the fleet participating at the Rolex Swan Cup in
Sardinia will be split into four classes: Maxi (length overall more than 18 metres, racing in IRC), Swan 45
One-Design, Club Swan 42 and Classics (length overall less than 18 metres racing in NSR.)
Within each class the yachts will race under either IRC or NSR (Nautor Swan Rating), a special handicap
system designed specifically for the Swan fleet. The exceptions to this are the Swan 45 and Club Swan
42 One Design classes, which will race without handicap, first home the winner.
One of the peculiarities of the NSR is its ability to give handicap benefit to yachts that are being used as
the dormitory for the crew during the Rolex Swan Cup. That is to say if the crew are living onboard and
the yacht is equipped with all associated equipment including knifes and forks, pots and pans, as well
as ample stores and is not completely stripped out, the handicap is altered in its favour. Random checks
are made by the event’s measurers during the week to make sure that a token plate is not the only piece
of domestic equipment on board and that the crew are not heading off to a hotel room as soon as the
sun goes down.
Each class will race for individual class honours. There are also special prizes for owner-driven yachts
and other criteria set by the organizers. The Combined Maxi-Swan prize (introduced in 2006) willl be
presented to the best performing Swan competing in both the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex
For Class A and D, seven races are scheduled and one discard will be allowed if 5 or more races are
completed; three races shall constitute a series. For Class B and C, eleven races are scheduled and one
discard will be allowed in calculating overall results if 8 or more races are completed; five races shall
constitute a series.
About the Organisers
The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda was founded on May 12th 1967 by its current President, His
Highness the Aga Khan, and a small group of Founding Members, as a non-profit sporting association
whose purpose was to bring together nautical sports enthusiasts and those who love the sea. The
Board of Directors, the Commodore, the Sports Director and the Secretary General supervise all of the
Club’s social and sporting activities.
Affiliated with both the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV) and the Federazione Italiana Motonautica
(FIM), the YCCS promotes and organises a series of major sporting events for which it is renowned
throughout the world. These include the Rolex Settimana delle Bocche, the Rolex Swan Cup, the Maxi
Yacht Rolex Cup, the Sardinia Rolex Cup, the Rolex Veteran Boat Rally, and the Coppa dei Campioni.
The YCCS has also organised many World and European Championships in various classes, such as
the Star Class World Championship, the International 12-Metre World Championship, the Rolex Farr 40
World Championship, and championships for J24s, Optimists and the International 6-Metre Class. The
YCCS is the administrative headquarters of the International Maxi Association (IMA) and the Farr 40
In addition to the aforementioned activities, the YCCS burgee was also found aboard both Azzurra,
ranked third in the 1983 Challenger Series for the America’s Cup in Newport, and Destriero, which
brought the Blue Ribbon back to Italy in 1992 after smashing all previous Atlantic crossing records.
2004 marked the 20th anniversary of the YCCS’s first collaboration with Rolex, which has since become
the Club’s Official Timekeeper. The 2008 YCCS calendar includes the Sardinia Rolex Cup, the Maxi
Yacht Rolex Cup, and the Rolex Swan Cup.
A major renovation project undertaken at the YCCS Clubhouse, which overlooks Porto Cervo Marina,
was completed in 2003, making the complex one of the most prestigious and beautifully functional
yacht clubs in the world. The New York-based architect Peter Marino and his team gave the building
a complete facelift, redesigning its architectural structure and renovating the clubhouse interiors. The
adjoining Piazza Azzurra, the centre of the Race Village during sporting events, hosts a series of cultural
initiatives throughout the rest of the year. The Clubhouse offers members and regatta participants 24
guest suites in addition to a bar and lounge, panoramic poolside terrace and internal and external
restaurants. In 2008 Blu Mediterraneo Spa was opened at the Club, the world’s only Acqua di Parma
spa. Patrons can also benefit from an established sailing school that has over 30 years of experience.
In 2007, the YCCS celebrated the fortieth anniversary of its founding.
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
07021 Porto Cervo (OT)
Tel: +39 0789 902200
Fax: +39 0789 91257 / 91213
Rolex and sports: a pioneering spirit in the name of excellence
Precise, waterproof and robust – at its launching in 1926 the Oyster was already synonymous with
modernity. Adapted to the lifestyle of a rapidly evolving society in which leisure played an increasingly
more prominent role, this wristwatch was destined to, over time, replace the traditional pocket watch.
The sports world offered an extraordinary field of validation and expansion for this timepiece of
unprecedented quality. Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex, had a first stroke of genius in 1927 when he
equipped Mercedes Gleitze, a young English woman, with a Rolex Oyster when she swam across the
English Channel. He reserved the front page of the Daily Mail to announce the event to the public at
large. Although the watch was immersed for a number of hours in frigid seawater, it continued to keep
accurate time, proof of its undeniable waterproofness and robustness. The young entrepreneur had just
created the “Testimonee” campaign.
From then on, the advances of the Oyster would be inextricably linked to sports achievers excelling
in developing disciplines: Malcolm Campbell in automobile racing, and Stewart Blacker and Chuck
Yeager in aviation, to name a few. These highly visible personalities all represented victory, prowess
and adventure, underscoring the technical qualities of the Oyster.
Over the years, new fields of endeavour would be added to these early sports disciplines. Today,
Rolex is involved in five major sports: golf, sailing, tennis, equestrian, and motor racing. All of these
disciplines call for endurance and surpassing oneself to achieve success.
Rolex and sailing
Rolex has always enjoyed a privileged relationship with the sea, the world of sailing and the call of the
deep. Among the sports that Rolex has been sponsoring for many years, yachting undoubtedly holds
a special place. The spirit and philosophy of the sport are in perfect harmony with values that Rolex
holds dear: excellence, precision and team spirit.
The partnership between Rolex and yachting dates back to the late 1950s. The close ties that bind
the company to the world of sailing have continuously grown stronger ever since. Today, Rolex is the
Title Sponsor of over 20 major international events in three distinct categories:
– classic ocean races, such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race;
– high-prestige regattas, such as the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the Rolex Swan Cup and the
Giraglia Rolex Cup;
– the most coveted world championships, such as the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship.
Through its support of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the world reference in sailing, Rolex
participates in the development of this spectacular and exciting sport. Since 2001, Rolex has been
sponsoring the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards, honorary prizes that celebrate the top
men and women sailors that have particularly distinguished themselves in the course of the past year.
The winners are selected by their peers. Rolex Watch U.S.A. also sponsors the Rolex Yachtsman and
Yachtswoman of the Year Awards in America.
Rolex and sailing (continued)
Over the years, Rolex has also cultivated close associations with the best-known yacht clubs and the
organisers of major events in the world of sailing, including among them:
– New York Yacht Club (USA)
– Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (Porto Cervo, Italy)
– Royal Yacht Squadron (Cowes, England)
– Yacht Club Italiano (Genoa, Italy)
– Yacht Club Ilhabela (Brazil)
Among its Testimonees, Rolex counts a number of exemplary sailors:
– the Dane Paul Elvström, a legendary regatta winner with four Olympic gold medals and 19 medals
in World Championships, is today considered an icon;
– the American Paul Cayard is a complete sailor counting among his achievements seven World
Championships wins, 1st place in the 1997/98 Whitbread Round the World Race, competing in five
America’s Cups, and two times in the Olympic Games;
– the young Greek sailor, Sofia Bekatorou, a 470 gold medallist in the Olympic Games in Athens, has
twice received the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award in the women’s category;
– the American Gary Jobson, Ted Turner’s tactician when the 12-metre Courageous won the
America’s Cup in 1977, is now a sports journalist. He was inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of
Fame in 2003.
In 1992, a new watch intended for professional navigators was created in the Oyster Perpetual
collection. Named Yacht-Master, this officially certified Swiss chronometer is immediately recognisable
by its bi-directional graduated rotatable bezel with raised markers.
Drawing on ancestral know-how, Rolex continually expands the limits of technology and in 2007 it
launched the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II. Featuring a countdown with a programmable memory
– an unprecedented watchmaking complication – this innovation constitutes an indispensable tool for
experienced skippers and yachting afficionados alike.
Presentation of Rolex
Rolex is recognised the world over as a leader in the Swiss watchmaking industry and enjoys an
unparalleled reputation for quality and know-how.
The birth of Rolex
The origins of Rolex date back to the beginning of the 20th century. At a time when pocket watches
were still the order of the day, Hans Wilsdorf, a young Bavarian just 24 years old, wagered on the
future of the wristwatch. The pioneering spirit of the founder is the subject of some of the finest
chapters in the history of contemporary watchmaking and was the source of two major innovations.
In 1926, Rolex invented the Oyster, the first truly waterproof and dustproof watch, and, in 1931, the
Perpetual Rotor, the first self-winding mechanism. Over the years, Rolex created a full line of Oyster
watches, with a strong identity and intrinsic features. Recognisable at a glance, this collection of
timepieces includes over 170 models available in 3,200 possible combinations. The Cellini collection
later enhanced the choice offered to consumers loyal to the legendary Rolex quality. The reliability and
performance of the product have built the worldwide reputation of Rolex.
An international company
Today led by Patrick Heiniger, Rolex is present in some one hundred countries. The company ensures
the distribution of its watches and the quality of their maintenance through a network of 28 affiliates
and several thousand official Rolex jewellers.
A Rolex watch is made to last. Assembled by hand, it benefits from the company’s know-how and
decades of cumulative expertise. An after-sales service, unique in its genre, ensures the proper
functioning of the watches over time. It is based on the competence of nearly 4,000 watchmakers,
trained by Rolex, who work for the affiliates or for jewellers of the Group worldwide.
A universal and timeless brand, Rolex continues to conquer new markets and expand its presence
Responding to a growing demand while integrating the latest technologies requires a constant
evolution of the means of production. As of the late 1990s, Rolex opted for a vertical integration of its
production facilities which ensured its control over the manufacture of all the watch components and
guaranteed its autonomy. In the interest of coherence and efficiency, the company consolidated all its
activities in Switzerland at four functional sites.
Presentation of Rolex (continued)
The Acacias headquarters is home to all the administrative activities of the company as well as to
those related to the final assembly of the watches, sales and after-sales service.
The Chêne-Bourg site brings together all the activities related to the development and manufacture of
the dial and gem-set elements.
The Plan-les-Ouates site groups all the activities related to the development, manufacture and quality
control of the case and bracelet.
The Bienne site is the location of all the activities related to the manufacture and assembly of the Rolex
An image of excellence
In 1927, a Rolex Oyster crossed the English Channel, strapped to the wrist of Mercedes Gleitze,
a young English swimmer, and reached the French coast in perfect working order. The company
then took out an advertisement in the Daily Mail proclaiming the success of the waterproof watch
and the beginning of “the triumphant march of the Rolex Oyster around the world”. This event also
marked the start of a long association between Rolex and exceptional personalities who bear witness
to the excellence of the product and are Testimonees of the brand. These associations give rise to
numerous partnerships and sponsoring activities in fields as varied as art and culture, tennis, golf,
yachting, equestrian and automobile sports.
Perpetuating the spirit of enterprise
Patrick Heiniger, the third Chief Executive Officer since the company was founded, is today at the
head of a Group having some 7,000 employees around the world. Committed to the principles that
are the foundation of the brand, he is also able to break with tradition to respond to changes in an
ever evolving world, thus reinforcing Rolex’s position as a leader in the watchmaking industry, be it
by conquering new markets or by increasing the visibility of the brand.
Official website: www.rolex.com
Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II
The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II regatta chronograph spells uncompromising adventure.
Inspired by the winds of change, this model sets new sights in the art of watchmaking.
Intended for experienced skippers as well as yachting enthusiasts, this regatta chronograph is born
of the longstanding relationship that Rolex enjoys with the sea, sailing and the mysteries of the deep.
It perpetuates the supremacy of the Oyster, designed to resist water and conquer the elements.
The latest addition to the family of professional watches, featuring an unprecedented horological
complication, the Yacht-Master II and its programmable countdown memory signal a new generation
that draws on a wellspring of know-how and innovation.
Today, total autonomy in research and production grants Rolex the freedom to create, design and
manufacture resolutely innovative watches while rigorously adhering to the demands of quality.
Rolex relies on the competence and ingenuity of its watchmakers and the resourcefulness of the men
and women – designers, engineers and other specialists – in its laboratories and workshops.
The Yacht-Master II is much more than the culmination of Rolex technology or that indispensable
instrument at the starting line of a regatta. It is a moment of pure pleasure to be savoured both on land
and at sea.
2008 Rolex Yachting Events Calendar
Circuito Atlántico Sur Rolex Cup
January 14 – 20, 2008 Buenos Aires, ARG - Punta del Este, URG
The Circuito Atlántico Sur Rolex Cup organized by the Yacht Club Argentino, offers a competitive
challenge of both offshore and inshore handicap racing. The regatta will include an offshore race, for
boats 26 feet and longer, from Olivos/Buenos Aires to Punta del Este, Uruguay; following this race, in
Punta del Este will be two days of inshore windward/leeward racing, the Circuito la Barra day race, and
a race around Isla Gorriti on the final day. For 2008, the event will host the first leg of the IMS and ORC
South American Championship.
Rolex Miami OCR
January 27 – February 2, 2008 Miami, FL, United States
Established in 1990, the annual Rolex Miami OCR (Olympic Classes Regatta) organized by the Olympic
Sailing Committee of US SAILING, is sailed on Biscayne Bay and features elite-level competition in the
classes selected for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. As the only International Sailing Federation
(ISAF) grade-one ranking event in the U.S. for Olympic and Paralympic classes, the Rolex Miami OCR has
a track record for high attendance by foreign teams.
Rolex Offshore Race Buenos Aires – Rio de Janeiro
February 9 – 21, 2008 Buenos Aires, ARG – Rio de Janeiro, BRA
The Rolex Offshore Race Buenos Aires - Rio de Janeiro began in 1947, and held every three years, has
endured as a classic ever since. The 1,123-mile race is organized by the Yacht Club Argentino and the
Yacht Club do Rio de Janeiro, and has attracted many well-known international ocean racers and their
yachts over the years. The 22nd edition will mark the second year that Rolex has added their support
to this race on the world ocean racing circuit. The current race record belongs to the Brazilian Navy
Academy’s Cisne Branco that covered the distance in 4 days, 18 hours, 52 minutes and 57 seconds.
Rolex China Sea Race
March 20 – March 24, 2008 Hong Kong / Subic Bay, PHI
Since its inauguration during Easter 1962, the China Sea Race has been held every two years. In 1968,
it was included for the first time in the newly-organised World Ocean Racing Championships and, in 1972,
it was officially recognised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and is a RORC Offshore Category 1 race.
For 2008 – the 24th edition – Rolex will be title sponsor of this 565-nautical mile race that starts from
Hong Kong harbour and finishes in Subic Bay, Phillipines – a true Asian blue-water classic.
International Rolex Regatta
March 28 – 30, 2008 St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Highlighting the Caribbean racing calendar with its unique blend of island-style hospitality, competition and
camaraderie, the St. Thomas Yacht Club’s International Rolex Regatta will celebrate its 35th year in 2008,
and Rolex has been a partner since the very beginning. The event features IRC and CSA handicap racing
as well as one-design and beach cat racing in a beautiful setting, with professional race management and
dependable Caribbean tradewinds. On the social agenda are festive shore-side events and the Rolex prize
giving partnered with a beachside farewell party at the yacht club. With over three decades of history, the
tradition of a Rolex watch awarded to every class winner still stands.
Rolex Farr 40 World Championship
April 16 –19, 2008 Miami, FL, United States
This year the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship moves to Miami, Florida, and upwards of 40 racing
sailboats – 40 feet long and all identical in design – will race over four days in ten challenging races for the
World Cup and a coveted Rolex timepiece. The Farr 40 class is one of the most competitive and exciting
one-design fleets, and each Farr 40 crew is made up of a maximum of four professional and five to six
amateur sailors. Each yacht must be driven by its amateur owner/helmsman. Racing is precise, tactical and
intense. With all other factors equal, skill and timing are crucial
Rolex Capri Sailing Week
May 20 – 24, 2008 Capri, Italy
Following a successful introduction in 2005, the Rolex Capri Sailing Week returns to the turquoise waters of
Capri providing spirited competition for the start of the Mediterranean racing season. Hosted by the Yacht Club
Capri, the regatta provides a week of highly competitive racing for the Swan 45 and Farr 40 one-designs, IMA
Mini Maxi, and the Comet 41S, 45S, 50, 51S classes. The regatta is an official leg of the 2008 Farr 40 European
Circuit, Swan 45 2008 Class Circuit, and the IMA Mini Maxi Division 2008 Circuit. The strikingly picturesque
island provides a stunning backdrop to the on-the-water racing action in the Bay of Naples, off Capri.
Giraglia Rolex Cup
June 8 – 14, 2008 St. Tropez, France – Genoa, Italy
One of the most renowned distance races in the Mediterranean, the Giraglia Rolex Cup has been a tradition
for European sailors for over 50 years. From the race start off the historic port of St. Tropez, France, the fleet
heads through the idyllic Iles des Hyeres and across the sea to round the Giraglia,
a rocky islet off northern Corsica, before racing for the finish off Genoa, Italy, a total distance of
243 nautical miles. Tactics and weather play a key part of this classic Mediterranean distance race.
Sardinia Rolex Cup
June 16 – 21, 2008 Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy
This coveted team trophy, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, is competed for every two years.
Each national team participating at the Sardinia Rolex Cup 2006 will comprise three yachts: a Farr 40, a Swan
45, and TP52. ISAF has designated the Sardinia Rolex Cup, the Offshore Team World Championship, and
teams will also be racing for the Rolex Offshore Team World Championship Trophy.
Rolex Commodores’ Cup
June 29– July 6 2008 Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
First held in 1992, the Rolex Commodores’ Cup is an international offshore regatta for three-boat
national teams. Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, this biennial event is held over seven days
at Cowes, Isle of Wight. The Rolex Commodores’ Cup is designed to test the teams over a variety of
inshore and offshore courses. Team challenges must be endorsed by Member National Authorities and
strict nationality rules apply to the crew, along with limitations on the number of professionals allowed
on each boat.
Rolex Ilhabela Sailing Week
July 3 – 12, 2008 Ilhabela, São Paulo, Brazil
The beautiful island of Ilhabela provides a stunning setting and a variety of challenging sailing
conditions for the 2008 Rolex Ilhabela Sailing Week. The event, which had its first edition in 1973, has
been a tradition for Brazilian sailors throughout the years and its unique blend of island-style hospitality,
competition and camaraderie has been attracting sailors from all over the world. The steady trade
winds produce great sailing conditions and offer a testing variety of both offshore and inshore handicap
racing. The 2008 Rolex Ilhabela Sailing Week, organized by the Yacht Club de Ilhabela, will be the
second and final leg of the IMS and ORC Club South American Championship.
Trofeo S.M. La Reina Rolex Cup
July 11 – 13, 2008 Valencia, Spain
The Real Club Naútico de Valencia is host of the Trofeo S.M. La Reina Rolex Cup. As in past editions,
there is expected to be a very high turnout, upwards of 100 boats. The competitive fleet will comprise
TP 52s, the new GP42s, X 35s, ORC 570 and 670, along with various RN classes and some classic
yachts. The fleet will enjoy three days of racing in the waters off of Valencia.
New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport Presented by Rolex
July 19 – 27, 2008 Newport, RI, USA
This biennial race week -- in its sixth running -- has become a favorite of sailors with its split format. The
Classics Regatta, held over the weekend of July 19-20 during the club’s 100th birthday celebration of
America’s legendary yacht designer Olin J. Stephens, will host some of the sport’s most awe-inspiring
yachts, including historic 12-Metres and Sparkman & Stephens designs.
For Race Week at Newport’s second session -- from Thursday, July 24 through Sunday, July 27 -- up
to 200 modern racing machines will converge on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound for IRC,
PHRF and one-design competitions. The event is part of the 2008 US-IRC Gulf Stream Series, and
three one-design classes--the NYYC Swan 42s, J/109s and Melges 32s--will use the event to determine
their 2008 North American or National champions. In addition, the event will serve as the J/105 East
Coast Championship and the Beneteau First 36.7 Northeast Championship.
Rolex US-IRC National Championship
July 25 – 27, 2008 Harbor Springs, MI, USA
Little Traverse Yacht Club’s (LTYC) 48th Annual Regatta and One-Design Series, fondly known as the
“Ugotta Regatta” that follows the Mackinac Races each year, doubles as the second Rolex US-IRC
National Championship. The 2008 Rolex US-IRC National Championship will follow the two most
famous long distance fresh water races in the Great Lakes, starting with the Bayview Mackinac Race,
which was instrumental in the introduction and growth of IRC in the Midwest, and followed by the 100th
running of the Chicago-Mac race.
Rolex Baltic Week
August 26 – 31, 2008 Travemünde, Germany
The 2008 event will mark the fifth edition of the Rolex Baltic Week, Germany’s exclusive sailing event
on the Baltic Sea. Once again the regatta will feature a sportive highlight –the Rolex Farr 40 European
Championship will be part of the competition. The new venue is a seaside resort near Luebeck; the
regatta organizers from Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) Hamburg, the Luebeck Yacht Club (LYC),
and the international Farr 40 Class Association will stage a first-class Farr 40 event.
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
September 1 – 6, 2008 Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy
The Costa Smeralda provides a stunning setting and a variety of challenging conditions for the Maxi
Yacht Rolex Cup, one of the highlights at the end of the Mediterranean yachting season. The first
Maxi World Championship took place in 1980, created by the YC Costa Smeralda in Sardinia and its’
president, the Aga Khan. The regatta is now an eagerly anticipated annual event and attracts a sizeable
fleet of these majestic yachts to Porto Cervo each September.
Rolex Swan Cup
September 8 – 14, 2008 Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy
Porto Cervo becomes the center of the Nautor’s Swan world in September 2008 with upwards of
100 Swan yachts competing in this week-long regatta. Recognized worldwide as one of the preeminent
designers/ builders of luxury sailing yachts, this biennial event attracts both racing and racer/cruiser
yachts. A draw for top sailors, the Rolex Swan Cup provides a spirited week of racing and gala social
events that the YC Costa Smeralda is renowned for.
Rolex Big Boat Series
September 11 – 14, 2008 San Francisco, CA, United States
Established in 1964, the Rolex Big Boat Series takes place annually on San Francisco Bay. In 2005,
Rolex became title sponsor of this prestigious regatta which includes very competitive one-design and
handicap racing. Widely recognized as one of the most important sailing events on the U.S. West Coast,
this “granddaddy” of grand-prix racing attracts the top competitors and boats from across the country.
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
September 27 – October 4, 2008 Saint-Tropez, France
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is an amazing rendezvous of yachts, first run twenty-six years ago as
La Nioulargue. The regatta gathers together the most extraordinary modern sailing boats alongside the
most beautiful traditional yachts during the first week of October. A host of racers and sailing enthusiasts
come from all the corners of the globe to do battle in the bay of Saint Tropez. The Trophée Rolex is
awarded to the winner of the Classic Division over 16 meters.
Rolex Middle Sea Race
October 15 – 25, 2008 Valletta, Malta
The Rolex Middle Sea Race takes place in the heart of the Mediterranean and covers one of the most
beautiful courses in the world. Unique in that it starts and finishes in Malta, the 607-mile route includes
the deep azure waters of Sicily and the Strait of Messina, the islands of Pantelleria and Lampedusa,
and even features Stromboli’s active volcano as a course mark. In 2007, in ferocious conditions the
American Maxi, Rambler, set a new course record of 47 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds.
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards
November 11, 2008 Madrid, Spain
These awards recognize the top male and female sailor in the world. The winners are selected by the
121 ISAF Member National Authorities from an impressive field of nominees. Recent winners have
topped their fields, from one-design to offshore racing. This year’s award ceremonies will take place
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
December 26, 2008 – January 1, 2009 Sydney – Hobart, Australia
Mention the leading ocean races in the world, and the Rolex Sydney Hobart is certainly in the top three.
This 628-mile offshore race organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia provides a tough test
for skippers, tacticians and crews alike. This year’s race will be the 64th annual edition of this time-
honored event. In this race, Rolex sees a yachting classic that attracts a well-seasoned fleet ready to test
themselves against the challenging conditions.
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