The start of the Nord Stream Race is just 48 hours away (June 24, 15:00hrs CEST). Some of the crew are spending time in Kiel, others are cramming in a couple of days at work before they return to Kiel for the start of Leg 1 to Copenhagen this Sunday.
Kiel, 22 June 2018 – These are the nervous hours before the start of the Nord Stream Race 2018 in Kiel. At 1,000 nautical miles, it is one of the longest offshore races in the annual sailing calendar, and for some of the competitors this will be the longest they have ever spent at sea.
Three days of challenging inshore racing earlier this week at Kieler Woche - the largest sailing regatta in the world - have been a very useful training ground for the five crews as they get used to these powerful ClubSwan 50 racer-cruisers. All five teams have come through the white hot competition of the National Sailing Leagues and have had to win their season in the J/70 league racing in order to qualify for a place on the start line of the Nord Stream Race.
Now they turn their racing skills to a very different kind of challenge as they get to grips with these powerful 50 footers. Norddeutscher Regatta Verein proved to be a class apart, using their previous experience of ClubSwan 50s to win all seven races ahead of Åländska Segelsällskapet from Finland and Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet from Sweden; the German margin of victory was a lot less by the end of the three day regatta (June 18-20).
Henrik Lundberg, skipper of the Finnish entry representing Åländska Segelsällskapet, finished second at the Kiel Week inshore regatta and said it had been useful to bring on board the Swedish professional sailor, Patrick Sturesson, who skippered Cape Crow Yacht Club to victory in last year's Nord Stream Race. "Patrick helped speed up our learning curve," said Lundberg, himself a veteran of the Whitbread Round the World Race.