The old cliché of football being a game of two halves really did apply to Leg 2 of the Nord Stream Race. Originally the leg was set to take place from Copenhagen city centre all the way to Stockholm. This 420 mile passage took no time for the fleet to complete in 2017 when strong southerly winds propelled the ClubSwan 50s at speeds in excess of 25 knots to Sweden's capital. The crews arrived tired but elated a day sooner than expected.
However, with a big high pressure system sitting over Scandinavia, Sweden was bathed in some of its hottest weather for years. Great for sunbathing, not so good for wind. With the prospect of a very slow passage out of Copenhagen, principal race officer Eckart Reinke called for the fleet to motor their way along the coast for a start the following morning from the southern tip of Öland, Sweden's spear-shaped second largest island. The course would now just be 211 miles, almost exactly half the original leg distance.
When the fleet started on Thursday morning, it was in soft southerly breezes. The lightweight ClubSwan 50s were cruising along nicely under gennaker with the Swedish sunshine. For Swedish skipper Jim Rotsman, it was his first time sailing the ClubSwan 50. "The first day was fantastic, a lovely evening. We had 12 to 14 knots of wind and we were sailing downwind in the sunshine. And then in the evening with the sunset, it was just magic."