Russians Sail to Victory in Nord Stream Race 2018
The Russians representing Lord of the Sail - Asia won the final offshore leg from Helsinki to St Petersburg by two minutes from Denmark. In so doing, the club has won the outright trophy for the Nord Stream Race, a significant improvement from their fourth place finish a year ago...

St. Petersburg, 06 July 2018 – The Russian crew called Lord of the Sail - Asia have won the Nord Stream Race 2018 after a narrow victory in the final offshore leg from Helsinki to St Petersburg. While the team could only manage fourth place overall in 2017, the Russians have dominated this year's 1,000 nautical mile from west to east through the Baltic Sea by winning in the offshore ranking, the inshore ranking and the combined all-rounder ranking.

Although the German crew representing Norddeutscher Regatta Verein notched up a perfect score in the opening salvo of this competition two weeks ago – winning seven times in seven inshore races at Kiel Week – the Russians soon established themselves as the team to beat. Lord of the Sail - Asia went on to overtake Germany in the short-course racing and win the "Nord Stream Race Inshore Trophy". Having also won two of the four offshore legs, the Russians take the "Nord Stream Cup" for best all-rounder in the combined inshore and offshore ranking.
Nord Stream Race © Andrey Sheremetev
Skipper Sergey Musikhin commented: "We came through some very tough times during this race. Two weeks with so many challenges, but that's offshore racing. All those things made our team stronger; we were racing not just for ourselves, but for our country, our flag. Congratulations to our team, we did our best under harsh circumstances."

Behind the Russians, Kris Houmann's Danish crew on Frederikshavn Sejlklub have finished second overall in the offshore trophy – a significant improvement for skipper Kris Houmann after his crew were unable to complete last year's final leg to St Petersburg when gear breakage forced them to divert to Tallinn, Estonia's capital city. From finishing last in 2017 to finish second overall in 2018 is a mark of Danish tenacity to come back and get the job done.

The positions across the finish line in St Petersburg were very close after 24 hours of racing. In order to beat the Russians, the Danes would need to get at least one boat between them and the series leaders. As it was they finished exactly two minutes behind Lord of the Sail - Asia; not good enough for overall victory but an excellent performance nevertheless. Houmann said: "We've had a good race. In all four legs we've been the leading boat at some point. It's been incredibly close between the boats but in the end the Russians were the best team and we congratulate them in their victory."

Norddeutscher Regatta Verein finished third in the final leg, placing Team Germany third overall in the offshore trophy while they were runners-up to Russia in the inshore series. The high point for this crew was their mastery of boat-breaking gale-force conditions on the long leg from Copenhagen to Stockholm, resulting in a heroic leg win for the Germans.

The Swedes from the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet, won the best start out of Helsinki on Wednesday but ended up last across the finish line in St Petersburg. However, they did just enough to finish a point ahead in the overall standings, relegating the Finnish crew Åländska Segelsällskapet to fifth place in overall offshore ranking.

The boats arrived in St Petersburg on Thursday evening, and at last the sailors could enjoy the warmth and hospitality of St. Petersburg Yacht Club, the organising authority for the Nord Stream Race. After the final prizegiving in the Central Naval Museum on Thursday, the crews along with VIPs were ready to enjoy a special tour of the historic city of St Petersburg, followed by the muchanticipated gala dinner in the evening at the Peter and Paul Fortress.
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