Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) from near Munich has won the first leg of the 2017 Nord Stream Race from Kiel to Copenhagen. This 1,000 nautical mile offshore yacht race runs from Kiel, Germany, to St. Petersburg, Russia, in four legs.
The five identical ClubSwan 50 yachts competing in this sixth edition of the Nord Stream Race left Kiel yesterday at 1300. They spent the night rounding Denmark, reaching the finish line off Skovshoved, Copenhagen, 24 hours later.
“Our tactician from the UK, Hugh Brayshaw, did a super job last night as did the whole team,” said an exhausted but happy German team skipper, Michael Tarabochia. “We worked hard for the whole day and had a two hours on-off watch system, which worked well.”
However the racing was extremely close. Over the course of the leg at least three of the yachts held the lead. Ultimately the German crew finished just two minutes ahead of Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden). The Nyländska Jaktklubben from Finland finished third, closely followed by Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark). The top four boats finished within 13 minutes and all of the boats were home within half an hour. Lord of the Sail - Europe (Team Russia) took fifth place.
The local Danish team arrived home to cheers and flags being waved. Skipper Michael Nielsen was unhappy with their fourth place. “We were leading at the end of the night, but we had some problems and we made a tactical error,” he admitted.
The leg was characterised by its complex weather. Over the leg’s 24 hour duration the wind blew from most angles. Around midnight the wind disappeared altogether. As Michael Tarabochia explained: “I was trimming the spinnaker and you couldn’t see anything. And then the heavy rain came.”
Michael Nielsen found the intensity of the racing tough. “It was extremely close competition – ‘race mode’ all of the time. We brought dried food but we didn’t have time to make it. We just grabbed a sandwich or an apple. You could only sleep for 10 minutes at a time.”
The start of the 2017 Nord Stream Race leg two to Stockholm, leaves Copenhagen tomorrow at 1300.
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 send a crew with ten of their best sailors.