Sailing is more than a way to enjoy life at sea and more than a sport: in these unusual times it has proven itself to be one of the safest options for staying positive and enjoying time with family and friends. This is why Southern Wind celebrated with the SWS Family Sail, a rendezvous at sea that was held from Saturday September 5th to Sunday the 6th in the waters off Porto Rafael, Italy. As its name suggests, the gathering celebrated the essence of sailing: family, fun, camaraderie, and a little bit of friendly competition under the sun. And even without a programme of shore-based social activities, it was a huge success.
The SWS Family Sail took place in the waters off Marina di Porto Rafael, a small, family-run port in a picturesque bay that looks out towards the famous Arcipelago della Maddalena. The late summer weather was sunny, beautiful and warm with light Mistral breeze that varied from 5 to 15 knots. Sailing courses were agreed upon in the morning, a starting line was set up and the fleet of seven Southern Wind yachts was off to stretch their sailing legs over courses that were up to 20nm long. Participating yachts included SW78 Ocean Horse, SW82 Grande Orazio, SW-RP90 Allsmoke, SW96 Seatius, SW100 Freebird, SW100 Illusion of the Isles and SW105 Wolfhound.
Like all Southern Wind gatherings, the SWS Family Sail was also a time to trade notes. Mafio, the Captain of SW105#04 currently in build, was also present to sail aboard a Southern Wind yacht first time and to get to know our yachts in action. At the conclusion of the gathering he wrote that he: “felt very well cared for in a happy, relaxed and positive atmosphere. Even though the context was superyachting, the vibe was sporty and down to earth. It was wonderful to find that both owners and their captains were so open and enthusiastic about their yachts, right down to the smallest details.”
The SWS Family Sail’s closure was simple: after sailing along their daily 20nm course, the fleet gathered in the bay off Spargi where they hoisted their Southern Wind banners and sounded their horns in unison, a socially distanced chorus to say “arrivederci” until next year. We wish to thank everyone who participated and hope to see you all again soon.
Some words on the participating yachts.
“We Are Family” could well have been SW78 Ocean Horse’s theme song at the SWS Family Sail weekend. The owner is on his third SWS yacht and sailed with his wife and three daughters adding a special touch to the competitive edge they kept on the rest of the fleet. At the event’s closure they had these words: “Sailing is something special, a unique experience. And when we have the privilege to be on board as an active sailing family the sensation is very close to heavenly. It’s wonderful. Sailing together with a fleet of SWS yachts is a sensational picture: even the landscape became secondary. Thanks again for this wonderful weekend.”
SW82 Grande Orazio is a regular wherever the SWS banner is hoisted and true to style owner Massimiliano Florio sent his yacht over to enjoy the action even though he personally couldn’t be present. Skipper Luca Sessa helmed with a group of younger sailors to give them a taste of superyacht sailing at its best. Skipper Sessa had these words at the end of the event. “I have a great love for Grande Orazio and was proud to be able to sail as part of this elegant fleet of internationally recognized nautical masterpieces. After having first sailed on a SWS yacht in 2003, I feel I belong on SWS yachts.”
The custom project SW-RP90 Allsmoke was in Sardinia and stopped by to enjoy the fun. The owner saw his previous yacht, the SW78 now called Ocean Horse and couldn’t help but race against her a bit. Even in cruising mode, the 90 footer custom Allsmoke showed her stuff and was a joy to watch on the water.
The owner of SW100 Illusion of the Isles hasn’t missed a SWS gathering since 2006. He and the group of friends he had been cruising with stopped by to enjoy the spectacle and became a catalyst for our closing salute.
SW96 Seatius has been cruising in Sardinia and her owner and very professional crew were a force to be contended with. With owner constantly at the helm, Captain Angus Fuller made the best of his long experience aboard Southern Wind yachts, showing off the beauty and performance characteristics of this SW96 to their best advantage.
Due to current Covid-related travel restrictions, SW105 Wolfhound’s owner could sadly not be present. But after concluding a successful charter season in the South of France, Captain Nelly and his faithful crew headed over to enjoy some end-of-the-season fun. The largest yacht in the fleet and helmed by a Captain who is on his third Southern Wind yacht, Wolfhound was often at the head of the fleet, showing off her style. Captain Nelly said that he and the Wolfhound team: “Really enjoyed the weekend and, as always, it was great to catch up with the fabulous Southern Wind Team. We are looking forward to more days like these next season for sure.”