This is how a maxi yacht transforms from racing to cruising. How the new My Song – ClubSwan 80 was born and changes face in the story of its creators Pigi Loro Piana and Mario Pedol
It is a partnership that has endured since the 1970s that between two superstars of Italian sailing, seventy-one-year-old entrepreneur/owner Pigi Loro Piana and sixty-eight-year-old designer Mario Pedol. A pairing that has resulted in memorable, out-of-the-box, trend-setting boats. Of all sizes. From the 7-meter Avventura 703, the first sailboat whose owner Loro Piana became in the late 1970s, and then kicking off the My Song saga, a name inspired by an equally memorable song by jazz musician Keit Jarret, his favorite musician. The new chapter is added today with the new My Song, ClubSwan 80 that we just saw at the Rolex Maxi World Championship in Porto Cervo in September.
Why ClubSwan 80 My Song
This is how Pigi Loro Piana explains why the choice of ClubSwan 80: “After losing My Song (130 feet) I decided to separate the two functions of the boat, racing and cruising, which she had performed perfectly. At the time of the launch, I don’t think there was another sailboat with the same level of speed and comfort. But it was also at the limit in terms of size for both racing and cruising, because to race at a high level safely we needed about 30 crew for each race. It was like running a business!“
ClubSwan80 My Song, the video
The My Song Saga
A saga that of the boats called My Song by Pigi Loro Piana began with the Nauta 54 (Kaufman hull) in 1986, continued first with the Nauta 70 (Bruce Farr hull), then with the 84-footer (Reichel Pugh hull) in 1998, and finally in 2016 with the superb 130-footer (Reichel Pugh hull) that sank in 2019 falling from a freighter in the Mediterranean, returning from the Caribbean.
Each of these extraordinary boats, strictly navy blue (except the 54), were born out of the union between Loro Piana and Pedol with its Nauta Design.
The strength of their more than 10-year relationship is well explained by Loro Piana: “After all this time and so many projects together, Mario and I share an empathy regarding the look of sailboats and their functions. I am quite clear about what I want, and he implicitly understands my likes and dislikes and has the patience to accept them.”
Why an 80-footer
Having absorbed the trauma of the loss of the 130-footer, here is the new chapter in the My Song saga, the newly launched ClubSwan 80. This umpteenth adventure of the stainless Loro Piana-Pedol duo seems different from the others. But this is not the case. It always follows the same philosophy that has guided all boats bearing this name; they are born to be able to compete in high-level regattas but also to be comfortable, safe and easy to use when sailing with family and friends.
The choice of a 25-footer, Pigi Loro Piana explains: “I think 80 feet (25 meters) is the ideal size to still have great cues in terms of absolute speed in all gaits. But there is more to it than just the racing life. Which is more difficult to achieve with larger hulls. With the new My Song I plan to experience the pleasure of sailing in an absolute sense, even outside the race courses.”
There will be some more My Song
There is another new element in this new My Song. This time it is not a one-of-a-kind boat, a “custom” product destined to remain a single, non-replicable specimen, as it has been in the past. This 80-footer is the largest model in Nautor’ Swan shipyard’s One Design family, which new owners will join. Loro Piana again explains the choice: “With My Song, the first specimen of the new Club Swan 80 class, I hope we can replicate the success that the Shipyard is having with the Club Swan 36 and 50, one-design classes where races are always crowded, fun and not exasperated on a competitive level.”
My Song, America’s Cup technology
However, the new My Song is a very special boat, just as the others were. Just look at the canting keel with a maximum draft of only 4.75 meters, so they can enter marinas without having to be isolated in the roadstead as is the case with other boats of this size.
Special also because there is a rotating Canard in front of the shaft. It is a vertical wing that can be raised and lowered, where the angle of incidence relative to the axis of the boat can be changed. It is used to improve performance in medium-light winds.
The construction then. It was entrusted to Persico Marine, Luna Rossa’s shipyard. Marcello Persico explains why My Song is, again, special: “The construction of ClubSwan 80 My Song took us two years with a team of thirty people. In terms of materials and technologies, it is the same as what we use for America’s Cup boats or oceanic IMOCAs.”
How to make exposed carbon warm
But how can you reconcile technology, lightness, performance with design, elegance, comfort that an owner like Loro Piana requires for his boats? “We turned technology into elegance, thanks to Pigi’s input.”-reveals Mario Pedol, who continues: “Inside, it’s all exposed carbon. Then we worked on basic comfort to allow for cruise use: refrigerator, kitchen, air conditioning, large bathrooms with showers.”
The pictures speak for themselves; the boat is all exposed carbon with mahogany inserts. LED lighting (the whole lighting system weighs only 4.5 kg!) is artfully placed to give light and enhance the iridescent effect of carbon. The result is a feeling of essentiality that nevertheless conveys warmth, as the interior of a boat should be.
We said that this boat has a dual soul, like all My Songs, a yacht for racing but also for cruising, the original imprint of all Loro Piana boats is not belied here either.
My Song ClubSwan 80: two boats in one
But this time My Song is not a dual-purpose boat; it is like two boats in one: one for racing, the second for cruising. So the interiors are not only made of lightweight materials and solutions such as cabinets that are fabric stowage bags. They are largely removable.
Most of the interior elements that make it a cruising boat can be disassembled for racing use. From the forward cabin where the double bed, bathroom and separate shower disappear with ease, leaving the bow clear as befits a true racer.
The same thing is done for the central hall where the sofas are disassembled. The two midship cabins remain fixed, because a minimum of comfort for crew and owner must remain in a long race that can last days. In contrast, the aft area is empty, both in the racing and cruising configurations, except for four very light tube-and-canvas berths placed on each side. This solution is used to allow the crew not on watch upwind to rest, thus helping to reduce heeling of the boat.
The ClubSwan 80 My Song made its racing debut at the Rolex Maxi World Championship in Porto Cervo in early September where it placed fifth in its category, with a promising first in the last of the five races held. Earlier, not to contradict himself, Pigi Loro Piana with some friends had spent a few days on a cruise. With all the interiors fitted, of course.
My Song ClubSwan 80 – Data Sheet
Lft 24.70 m
Beam max 6.00 m
Draft 4.75 m
Upwind sail sup. 447 sq. m.
Displacement 19,210 kg
Ballast 6,500 kg
Interior Nauta Design
Juan K Project
PureEngineering LLC Engineering
Persico Marine Construction