Weekly Sailing Digest

The Nord Stream Race finish in St. Petersburg

The fourth and final leg of the Nord Stream Race 2017 started at 20.00 on August 5th from Helsinki, Finland. Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) has won the Nord Stream Race 2017, after finishing third in the fourth and final leg from Helsinki, Finland, to St Petersburg, Russia. It was a tense and closely fought battle all the way to St Petersburg, with Lord of the Sail – Europe (Team Russia) just holding off their rivals to secure leg 4 victory by a margin of just one minute in home waters. Meanwhile, the Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) has won the "Nord Stream Race Inshore Trophy" after winning two of the three short-course races in Helsinki on August 5th.

Nyländska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) was second across the finish line behind the Russians, earning the Finns second place overall behind Sweden. Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) was fourth in leg 4, placing the Germans third overall on the podium. Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) suffered minor damage to the mast track, and while the Danes set out on the race course, decided to divert to Tallinn in Estonia in case the damage got worse. Swedish skipper Patrik Sturesson and the rest of the Cape Crow Yacht Club crew will celebrate the victory today when they are presented with the Nord Stream Race Trophy at the final prizegiving hosted at the Navy Museum by St Petersburg Yacht Club.

More information you can find here.

Clipper Race

On September 5th a milestone was reached overnight when the leading team of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, Qingdao, entered the Doldrums Corridor. Now, most of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race teams are now within the Doldrums Corridor which is making for some interesting tactical decisions. Qingdao still leads the fleet with Sanya Serenity Coast up to second place and GREAT Britain not far behind in third.

The skipper of Qingdao, Chris Kobusch, reports: "The past 24 hours have been pretty uneventful. We are sailing through the Doldrums Corridor at a steady course and speed in somehow steady winds (who would have thought!?). The majority of the fleet has entered the corridor and it seems it has split into two groups – one going east, one going west. We will see in a few days which tactic pays off."

All of the teams that have crossed the northern gate have now either started motoring, or informed the Clipper Race Office of their intention to start motoring, according to the Doldrums Corridor Rule. Some teams are using this section of the race to reflect on the challenge ahead and to maximise the chance of rest while not under sail.

Nasdaq, diverted to Mindelo, São Vicente, in the Cape Verde islands, in order to drop off round the world crew member David Harries, who has a sore and swollen right leg. It could be deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and the risks posed in bypassing the Cape Verde Islands and continuing on across the South Atlantic are too great and they prefer not to take a chance with it. The plan was that the team will sail as close as it can to the island before suspending racing in order to minimise any disruption to its race. It will then motor into Mindelo to carry out the drop off, and will resume racing from the exact position of suspension as quickly as immigration and clearance allow. There is a central hospital close to the marina in Mindelo where David will be able to get the appropriate treatment. Now Nasdaq has already joined the race and David has been admitted into the hospital.

Woman, Sailing, Antarctica

As we hear from Sailingscuttlebutt.com, The World Sailing Speed Council (WSSR) has confirmed the establishment of a new performance certificate for women seeking to sail around Antarctica under the WSSR rules. Set by Lisa Blair (AUS) on the 50-foot monohull Climate Action Now, she sailed the route with one stop from January 22, 2017 to July 25, 2017 in a time of 183 days 7 hours 21 minutes and 38 seconds.

Russian Sailing University. Online.

As we gather from a friend, the news website Itboat, the first online sailing courses were opened up in Russia. The name for it is Russian Sailing University, and the certificated are acknowledged in several yacht clubs and sailing school, so after completing courses online, a young skipper can start practicing immediately. You can find more information here.

Extreme Sailing Series

The tense finale of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 6 between team SAP and Alinghi was thrilling till the end, but finally the Danish team came out ahead, taking their third win of the season and ruling the overall rankings. Oman Air came third in Act 6 and had to give up their position at the top of the overall leaderboard.

Co-skipper of Alinghi Arnaud Psarofaghis emphasized that the season isn’t over yet: "It’s all to play for and we can still win the season, that’s the goal. We’re just going to have to work harder next time," said Psarofaghis, whose team won the Series in 2016 and currently sits third in the overall standings.

"It’s been a very difficult event for us," said Oman Air skipper Phil Robertson. "But, we’re standing on the podium so all in all it’s still a great place to be. We’re the only team that has podiumed at every event so far."

Team Red Bull had a good result in the second to last race, but the good result came too late for them to be able to reach the podium, and they finished 4th in the overall rankings. Although team NZ took the 5th place, they did get a trophy during this Act for reaching the highest speed. Team NZ finished ahead of British teams Land Rover and Wales.

Act 6, Cardiff marks the end of the European leg of the 2017 season, following events in Madeira Islands, Barcelona and Hamburg. The Series now heads to two brand new venues in the Americas for the final two Acts. Act 7 takes place in San Diego, from the 19 – 22 October.

Preparations for the next season are also already underway:

OC Sport, founder, and organizer of the Extreme Sailing Series™, is officially inviting team entries for the 2018 season, with the release of the provisional Notice of Race. The twelfth Series will visit eight iconic venues across three continents. The calendar and venues will facilitate larger racing areas, whilst remain true to the core Stadium Racing format. Venue locations will be made public in the coming months. Additionally, the Series will continue to build on the trend of the past four years that has seen the average size of race courses grow while maintaining the proximity of the foiling action to the shore.

Race Director John Craig explained: "With the GC32s being as quick as they are we need to give them a little bit more room to stretch, but we won’t lose the stadium feel. We will continue to bring the boats close to the spectators by positioning part of the racecourse close to shore."

The diverse racing format will include open water racing in some venues to maximize the potential of the high-speed foiling GC32s.

In addition, the 2018 schedule will increase the teams’ access to the boats. "A key goal of the Notice of Race is to enable the sailors to have more time with their boats. Some of the venues we have selected will reduce shipping time, which will increase the amount of time sailors have to use their boats," explained Craig.

The Series will continue to deliver a busy menu of up to 32 races at per Act: more racing, more spectacle and more entertainment for public spectators, VIP guests and media!

Sources of photos and news: ItBoat, Nord Stream official website, Extreme sailing series official website, sailingscuttlebutt.com