Stars go cat sailing
On Sunday 23 June the second Archipelago Raid will start from Stockholm with 11 teams competing in the longest and most extreme orienteering sailing competition in the world on Formula 18s.
For four intense days and nights the 11 teams will have to navigate the thousands of rocks and islands of the Stockholm, Åland and Finnish Archipelagos. On the way they have to find almost 30 checkpoints located on beaches, pontoons, beaches boats and in lighthouses. The event is organised in the spirit of a 'Raid', demanding an extreme performance in sailing respecting nature in an adventurous spirit. The course will vary between 350 and 500 miles depending on the wind strength.
The race will take the teams through the labyrinth of islands and nameless rocks. But the course will also go across an open stretch of the Baltic Sea for 33 miles. That is between the island Åland and Fejan (north western point of Stockholm Archipelago). Main attributes to win this race are endurance, knowledge of multihulls, navigational skills and local knowledge of the labyrinth.
At a briefing on Thursday 20 June in the Vasamuseet, the teams were presented with the waypoints and the first four Checkpoints of the race taking the teams from Stockholm to Sandhamn to start with. Further checkpoints will be handed out during the race. The race is organised and produced by Atlant Ocean Racing in co-operation with the Nacka Strand Yacht Club.
The eleven teams are a mix of round the world and dinghy sailors representing nine countries. The talented group, with some world champions, has experience in various different events, ranging from Volvo Ocean Race to Olympics.
Team TietoEnator 1
The happy loving couple of Neal and Lisa McDonald (USA) will team up for the first time after chasing each other round the globe in the Volvo Ocean Race. The McDonalds do not favour themselves. Neal McDonald (GBR) is an experienced 18ft skiff sailor and won the 49er Europeans in 1989. He said, "we do not know anything about the Archipelago or these boats (Formula 18s). But our strong point is our enthusiasm for this event."
Team TietoEnator 2
Gerard Loos from the Netherlands, who was forced to abandon last year's race with a sinking boat after hitting the rocks, thinks his strong points is the fact that he wants revenge, next to the fact that his teams consist of two World Champions. Loos, who just returned from sailing the Worrel 1000, sails with Frederique Pfeiffer from France.
Mikael Wilton and Magnus Lövden from Sweden seem one of the favourites. Lövden sailed Tornados for many years and represented Sweden during the Sydney 2000 games. Wilton has an extensive experience of the Archipelago and is also a World Champion in Mini 12s.
Two other Volvo Veterans have teamed up. Former SEB Crew Magnus Woxen and former ASSA ABLOY man Klabbe Nylof are now called Team Raymarine. Two Swedish local dinghy sailors that made it on the big boats will give it a go on the Formula 18. Their strong point is the endurance factor. These guys are unlikely to give up and know the race course well. More knowledge of the boats could not harm them.
Team Jobman, Bjorn Hansen (swe) and Bjorn Osterberg (swe)
Team Kempff, Joakim Kempff (swe) and Magnus Nordstrom (swe)
Team Pia Minitransat, Pia l'Orby (swe) and Liz Wardley (aus)
Team Tidermans, Anders Lewander (swe) and Calle Hendrix (swe)
Team Skanska, Fredrik Adilstam (swe) ad Tomas Marimon (swe)
Team TietoEnator 3, Mikaela von Koskull (fin) and Yann Jameson (Scotland)
Team Tieto Enator 4, Jason Carrington (gb) and Richard Mason (nzl),
See more of Thierry Martinez's top photos of last year's Swedish Archipelago Raid on the next pages...