The sixth edition of the Nord Stream Race has just seen five crews representing five nations complete 1,000 nautical miles of intense racing through the Baltic Sea. The Race along the Nord Stream Pipeline connects Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia - from the start in Kiel via stopovers in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki to the finish in St Petersburg, Russia.
In the end it was the Cape Crow Yacht Club from Sweden who won the Nord Stream Race 2017 and have earned the right to be called „The Best Yacht Club of the Baltic“. However, this event was not only about competition ..
Stopovers at famous Baltic yacht clubs to build friendship between nations
Over those 11 days of hot competition, the crews of the five participating nations have got to know each other not just as competitors but as friends who have gone through some great adventures together. On the water the focus was on performance, on winning. However, the stopovers - hosted by some very hospitable yacht clubs - offered an opportunity for the sailors to discover more about each other’s countries in the Baltic region, to gain a better appreciation of the rich variety of cultures in the Baltic.
The event was organized by St Petersburg Yacht Club with the support of Nord Stream AG and Gazprom and it was the club’s Commodore, Vladimir Lubomirov, who came up with the original idea for the race. "Just as we have connected yacht clubs from five different countries with the planning of the race course, we want to create a great sense of belonging together among the 50 participating sailors," said Lubomirov at the Gala Dinner Thusday evening with sailors and representatives at Peter and Paul Fortress in the historical centre of St. Petersburg: "With this international yacht race, we want to promote an exchange of friendship and culture between the Baltic sailors.”
Nord Stream Race - Reloaded
The sixth edition of the event was billed as “Nord Stream Race – Reloaded” for a couple of good reasons. The first was to use the National Sailing Leagues as a form of qualification for the offshore race. By winning their National Sailing Leagues in 2016, the champion clubs from Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia earned the right to race in the Nord Stream Race 2017.
Another key difference between this year’s event and previous editions of the Nord Stream Race was that competition took place in the high-performance ClubSwan 50 keelboat, a brand new design that is lighting up the sailing world with its stunning looks and impressive speed. Unleashing these young crews on these fast and powerful boats was a dream come true for the sailors who were discovering the challenge of offshore sailing for the first time.
Oliver Schwall, CEO of Konzeptwerft Germany (Lead agency Nord Stream Race): „We’re living in a politically crazy world, but we know sports can cross borders and barriers. I think what we did with Nord Stream in creating this race, connecting cultures, countries, this to me is the most exciting part of what we did with this race. We had so much friendship and hospitality between the hosting clubs. The sport in general can be proud of what it can achieve, in ways perhaps that other sports can never do.“