Germans Surge into Early Lead at Kieler Woche
Kieler Woche delivered perfect sailing conditions for the fleet of ClubSwan 50s engaged in warm-up racing before the start of the Nord Stream Race this weekend.

It was also a perfect start for the German team Norddeutscher Regatta Verein who won all three heats in today's 11 to 16 knot breezes, as skipper Hendrik Brandis explained. "We had a very good day with three first places. The first race was straightforward because we led from start to finish but we didn't have such a good start in the next one. We were third but we managed to sail a clean race and gradually we took our chances. The Russians overstood the layline and that gave us the chance to move into the lead."

However the German skipper, a European Champion in the Swan 45 class and with prior experience of the powerful ClubSwan 50, wasn't getting ahead of himself. "We are only one day in, and we have two more to do, and I know how quickly things can change in one-design racing. But certainly today was very good and the crew is doing amazingly well getting used to a new boat. We had clean manoeuvres, no mess-ups, and frankly I'm astonished!"
© Nord Stream Race/Andrey Sheremetev
Not everyone had such a clean day. Lord of the Sail, Asia were quick in the first two races as the Russians took two second places. But they had forestay problems which forced them out of the final heat and drops them to third overall in the standings behind Finnish team, Åländska Segelsällskapet.

The Swedish crew representing Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet lies in fourth overall while Frederikshavn Sejlklub only completed the first race. In the second heat they lost the gennaker over the side during a manoeuvre, resulting in the sail getting caught under the boat and ripping in a number of places. While they soldiered on without the sail for a while, the Danes decided to pull out of the rest of the day and investigate ways of getting the sail repaired.

This, after all, is only training racing before the main event, the 1,000 nautical mile Nord Stream Race which begins this Sunday.

Click here for the results.

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