Helsinki Delivers Perfect Conditions For Nord Stream Race
Published: Wednesday, 04 June 2014
The inshore series for the Nord Stream Race took place just off Helsinki Marina, with a gently building sea breeze and sunshine. Three races were held over a .7 nautical mile windward leeward course expertly managed by Helsingfors Segelklubb. With on water judging led by international jury chairman, Pat Healy, the close quarters racing between the six one design Swan 60s meant they were called on for decisions on a number of occasions.
Race 1 was held in challenging light air and led from the start by Team Germany, posting their first win of the 2014 Nord Stream Race series.
Race 2 saw the fleet challenged by a 180 degree wind shift when the gradient died and the sea breeze took over. Team Europe adapted best and took the win from Team Russia. “ In the second race we won, we basically raced in two different wind conditions because whilst we were racing the sea breeze was filling in," Tim Kröger, skipper onboard Team Europe says, "we saw the development and we could position ourselves in a spot where we could make the most of the new breeze. It was a little bit like offshore racing on a short course and things do happen outside on the water on the high seas as well when the wind drops and it comes back. You always have to be on your toes. It’s fantastic to race these boats on a short course because there is a lot more action and a lot more happening and conditions were favouring us.”
Race 3 was held in a steady 5 knots from the south. Team Russia and Team China tacked off the line at the starboard end and headed up the shore line in stronger pressure. Team Estonia and Team Germany opted for the pin end and the left of the course but pressure faded and they were forced to follow round the windward mark in third and fourth place. A tacticial decision to gybe at the mark gave Team Estonia the opportunity to move up to second place. Team Russia gybed early enough to keep options open but early leaders Team China found themselves in fading pressure with no way back. Positions were largely settled for the second and third round and Team Russia went on to extend its lead both of the final race and its standing in the Nord Stream Race overall.