Cape Crow Yacht Club from Hönö near Gothenburg in Sweden has won the Nord Stream Race 2017 (26th August to 6th September) after finishing third on the final leg from Helsinki to St. Petersburg in Russia. The Swedes also take the “Nord Stream Cup” for best all-rounder in the combined inshore and offshore ranking. The German team from Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club has won the “Nord Stream Race Inshore Trophy”.
Skippered by 25-year-old professional sailor Patrik Sturesson, the Swedish crew has established Cape Crow Yacht Club as “The Best Yacht Club of the Baltic Sea” and takes the Nord Stream Race Trophy 2017. On the ClubSwan 50 with Sturesson were navigator Jimmy Hellberg, Holger Tidemand, Erik Malmberg, Martin Krite, Axel Munkby, Marcus Höglander, Johan Wikman, Arvid Bild, Julius Hallström and boat captain Giuseppe Filippis. With an average age of 28 years, the Swedes had the second youngest team. Founded in 2012, Cape Crow Yacht Club’s clubhouse is situated on Kråkholmen (translation Crow island), one of the smallest islands in Sweden’s western archipelago offshore Gothenburg. Sailing with the team for the first two legs was the round-the-world veteran Martin Krite, part of the winning crew in the 2011/12 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The Swedes quickly worked out how to get the best out of the ClubSwan 50, the powerful one-design keelboat used by all five international teams in this year’s competition, which set out from Kiel in Northern Germany on 26 August.
Sturesson commented: “That was a hard leg, but good fun, and we’re delighted to have won the Nord Stream Race. I have only done one offshore race before this, but sailing in one-design boats in this race, everyone with the same equipment is a great challenge. It has been a big eye-opener and all of us on the crew have a real taste for offshore sailing now. We want to do more of it now.”
Finishing second on this leg and coming second overall in the offshore ranking were Nyländska Jaktklubben (Team Finland), led by charismatic skipper and Whitbread Race veteran Kenneth Thelen. “I’m so proud of my crew,” he said. “Our two young team members, Niki and Ohto, have had a great time and if it means they come back to do more offshore racing in the future, then this has been a great success.”
The final place on the podium for the offshore ranking goes to Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) in third place, with Lord of the Sail – Europe (Team Russia) in fourth and Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) in fifth place.
The boats arrived in St Petersburg on Wednesday 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.
The only team who didn’t sail to St Petersburg was Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) who decided to sail to Tallinn to analyse some minor damage to the mast in case it got worse during the passage to St Petersburg. Once they had docked the boat in Tallinn, the crew made their way by train to be there at St Petersburg Yacht Club for the prizegiving on Thursday afternoon.
After the final prizegiving in the Central Naval Museum at noon, the crews along with VIPs enjoyed a three-hour river tour of the historic city of St Petersburg, followed by a lavish gala dinner in the evening at the Peter and Paul Fortress.
The sailors, especially those who had never raced offshore before, have come a long way – approximately 1,000 nautical miles - since departing Kiel in North Germany on 26th August.
Nord Stream Race Trophy - four Offshore Legs
1. Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) - 7
2. Nyländska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) – 10
3. Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) - 13
4. Lord of the Sail – Europe (Team Russia) - 14
5. Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) - 17
Nord Stream Inshore Trophy
1. Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) - 2
2. Nyländska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) – 5
3. Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) - 5
4. Lord of the Sail – Europe (Team Russia) - 8
5. Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) - 10
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