Stockholm, 2nd September 2017 – Leg 3 of the Nord Stream Race set sail from Stockholm, Sweden, early this morning. The fleet docked out at 0200 hours from the KSSS marina in Saltsjöbaden and motored to the island of Sandhamn for a start at 0600 hours.
The fleet started eight hours earlier than the original scheduled start of 1400 hours, because the weather forecast predicts that winds in the eastern end of the Baltic Sea will build to 40 knots from the east. With this in mind, the race organisers have reconfigured Leg 3 to a 130 nautical mile passage from Sandhamn, one of the eastern-most islands of Sweden to Hanko, one of the western-most points of the Finnish mainland.
The sailors have enjoyed great hospitality in Sweden. Managing director of the KSSS and former America’s Cup sailor Stefan Rahm was delighted that the Royal Swedish Yacht Club was involved in the race. “It has been great to host the fleet here in Saltsjöbaden and our members have been following the race closely on the race tracker. We look forward to seeing the fleet here again next year.”
The five ClubSwan 50s crossed the Sandhamn start line in light airs, and in the early stages it was Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) who claimed the lead out of Swedish waters. However, after a few hours of racing upwind in light airs, it was Nyländska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) who had taken the lead towards Hanko, with Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) moving up to second after a slow start.
Overall leader at the halfway stage, skipper of the Swedish crew Patrik Sturesson is optimistic about being able to follow his team's victory in Leg 2 with another strong performance on this leg to Finland: “We have learned a lot of lessons about how hard you can push the boat in strong conditions, and we feel we have gained a lot more experience already.”
Kenneth Thelen is keen for Nyländska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) to perform well on their race into home waters. “We are highly motivated for Leg 3. Finland used to be very strong in offshore racing 30 years ago, but not so much today. The Nord Stream Race is a great opportunity to remind people how exciting offshore racing can be, and to built enthusiasm among a new generation of sailors.”
Aside from learning about each other as competitors and rivals on the sea, the crews from five Baltic nations have been making friends and sharing good times on the shore at each of the stopovers.
During their stay in Stockholm, some of the crew took the opportunity to visit the city and see some of the sights. For example the Russian Team, Lord of the Sail Europe, went to the Wasa Museum, to marvel at the beautifully preserved Swedish warship built almost 400 years ago.
Learning about the history and the culture of different countries around the Baltic is part of the reason why the Nord Stream Race was created.
The best yacht clubs of the National Sailing Leagues from the Baltic countries Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia are competing this year at the relaunched Nord Stream Race. The clubs are racing in a fleet of brand-new, one-design ClubSwan 50 racing yachts.
The Baltic Offshore Regatta - Nord Stream Race - has been held by the Saint Petersburg Yacht Club with the support of Gazprom and Nord Stream AG since 2012. The race connects Russia, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
From 25th August to 7th September, the 1,000 nautical mile race course follows the Nord Stream pipeline from Kiel to Saint Petersburg, with stopovers in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki. The idea of this revised format for the Nord Stream Race is “Connecting Baltics through Sport”.
You can follow the Race:
Five champions have qualified to participate in the Nord Stream Race 2017 via their National Leagues from the previous season: Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club from Germany, Frederikshavn Sejlklub from Denmark, Cape Crow Yacht Club from Sweden, Nyländska Jaktklubben from Finland and Lord of the Sail – Europe from Russia. Each of the five sailing clubs has sent a crew with ten of their best sailors.