Kiel, 25th August 2017. Five teams of champions will be setting sail this Saturday from Kiel, Germany on the new format Nord Stream Race. Organised by the St Petersburg Yacht Club, the sixth edition of this annual event has five stops including the St Petersburg finish.
Competition starts at 10.00 on Saturday 26th August with inshore racing on Kiel’s inner fjord. At 13.00 will be the start of the 150 mile first offshore leg to Copenhagen. Both will take place off the Kieler Yacht-Club. As Gerwin Stöcken, Kiel City Council for Sports says: "Kiel is not only Germany's gateway to the Baltic Sea, Kiel is also a world capital of sailing. That is why Kiel - the Sailing City - is the ideal starting port for the Nord Stream Race.”
Founder of the Nord Stream Race, Commodore of the St Petersburg Yacht Club Vladimir Liubomirov, commented: “For centuries, the Baltic Sea has been used mainly as a trade route. More recently, tourism has brought our world closer together. Sailing provides a great opportunity to develop friendship and unity among our neighbours through cooperation between the leading yacht clubs. That is very important for us.”
The five ClubSwan 50s will be sailed by national teams from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia and Sweden. Each represents the club that won the 2016 edition of the National Sailing League in their respective country.
With the five crews all sailing brand new ultra-quick race boats, in an environment with which they are unfamiliar, the next two weeks are certain to be action-packed.
Great challenge for the young teams
The Nord Stream Race will be a great challenge for the young crews. While the National Sailing League is sailed in 6.93m long J/70s, the ClubSwan 50, at 16.74m long, is a substantially larger, more powerful boat. Also the legs range in length from 150 to 470 miles. As a result all will require crews to be at sea for at least one night. In fact the longest leg from Copenhagen to Stockholm, will take three days. This will be a distinctly different challenge to the short, sharp inshore National Sailing League racing, to which the crews are used.
Invitation was a big surprise for Danish crew
“It was a bit of a shock,” says Chris Houmann, skipper of the Danish crew from Frederikshavn Sejlklub when receiving the invitation to compete in the Nord Stream Race. “We have never tried a concept like this, but we think it is really great, so we are taking the opportunity.” Another attraction was the chance to race the ClubSwan 50. “In our club we don’t have boats this big,” says Houmann, who usually sails a 36 footer.
While Frederikshavn Sejlklub is situated in north Denmark, others in the Danish crew come from the south. As a result they are more familiar with the course for leg one. This takes the five ClubSwan 50s from Kiel around southern Denmark up to Copenhagen.
German Team has little offshore experience
While all the Danish crew have offshore experience, this is not the case with the German team from Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (DTYC). While the Danes sail in the open sea, the DYTC crew’s sailing mainly takes place on the more confined, 20km long Starnberger See, near Munich.
Sailing with the German team´s skipper Michael Tarabochia are his two sons, Luis and Marco. He is the youngest person sailing in the Nord Stream Race. He will turn 17 next week during the leg to Stockholm. The DTYC recruited experienced British sailor Hugh Brayshaw as their navigator. “We need him on board to teach us offshore racing,” explains Tarabochia. Otherwise the crew comprises the same youth sailors who won the German ‘Segel-Bundesliga’ last year.
Volvo Ocean Race winner Martin Krite joins the Swedish team
While the German team has struggled to find experienced offshore sailors, this was no problem for the Swedish team. They come from Cape Crow Yacht Club on the island of Hönö, near Gothenberg. Among them is former Volvo Ocean Race winner, Martin Krite, although he is the only World Sailing Category 3 ‘pro’ on board. Most of the crew sail sportsboats or the M32 catamarans also built on Hönö. For example young blond skipper Patrik Sturesson says his offshore experience is limited to Sweden’s leading offshore race, the Gotland Runt. “We’ve tried to get talented sailors from the club and bring on some more experienced guys who we can learn from,” he explains. “We’re all good sailors but we haven’t done much offshore. But I think we can pick it up.”
Russian team has participated in major international offshore events
With Russia increasingly getting podium finishes in a variety of yacht racing classes, Lord of the Sail – Europe is expected to put in a strong performance. The team was founded in Yekaterinburg in 2004 by two experienced sailors. Six years later they had established a sailing club and sailing school to help popularise sailing in Russia. The club has since participated in major international offshore events such as the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
In addition to their National Sailing League sailors, the Russian Nord Stream Race crew is led by skipper Maksim Taranov. He has more than 20 years’ sailing experience while navigator, Eduard Podshivalov, has been competing at a top level for more than 10 years.
Finland has a long tradition in offshore racing
For many years Finnish boats participated in the predecessor to the Volvo Ocean Race, the Whitbread Round the World Race. The Finnish Nord Stream Race team is from the Nyländska Jaktklubben, Finland’s oldest, largest sailing club. Their sailors won the Finnish Sailing League in both 2015 and 2016. They will be joined on board by experienced offshore crew such as John Winquist, who competed aboard the yacht “Belmont Finland” in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round The World Race.
Under race rules, among the 10 crew required to race the ClubSwan 50 must be a skipper and navigator both with offshore experience. Up to four can be World Sailing Category C ‘professionals’. More than half the crew (including the skipper) must be members of the yacht club. Half must also have offshore experience.
The Baltic´s leading offshore regatta – the Nord Stream Race – has been run by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club with the support of GAZPROM and Nord Stream AG since 2012. The race connects Russia, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
For further information, please contact:
Konzeptwerft Holding GmbH
Englische Planke 8
20459 Hamburg, Germany
Ph.: +49 40 226 316 4-64 E-mail: email@example.com
Nord Stream AG
6302 Zug, Switzerland
Ph.: +41 41 766 91-91 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org