Careering through the majic islands
Magnus Woxen and Klabbe Nylof
At Fejan island the remaining seven competitors in the Archipelago Raid finally finished after 500 nautical miles of almost non stop sailing and orienteering through one of nature's most undiscovered labyrinth of islands.
Leading the fleet from start to finish was Team Raymarine raced by Swedish sailor Magnus Woxen and Klabbe Nylöf. The two winning sailors just competed against each other in the Volvo Ocean Race on SEB and ASSA ABLOY respectively. Now they teamed up to claim an overall win in this unique event. Surprising second overall was Team Skanska with Fredrik Adilstamm and Tomas Marimon who finished on equal points with Neal and Lisa McDonald on Team TietoEnator 1. Skanska had a leg win and claims silver, leaving the McDonalds in third overall.
Woxen/Nylöf impressed the fleet with solid boathandling of the Hobie Tiger Formula 18, combined with impressive navigational skills of the thousands islands. Klabbe Nylöf was extremely happy. "What a great event," he said on finishing. "This was fun! It was not easy and obviously you get very little sleep but it is very manageable. Our strong point was that we knew we had to finish to win. We sailed like we do in the Volvo Ocean Race, conservative but at 120%. We never capsized for example. Magnus and I also have a good knowledge of the Archipelago and we could decide quicker on this extremely open course. That left us more time to concentrate on sailing the boat."
Second overall was the young Skanska Team. This team have sailed together in the Hobie Tiger Formula 18 since the spring. Fredrik Adilstamm was very pleased with their performance. "We did not expect this. We were sailing against all these professionals. But our strong point was sailing the boat. But we were also taking too many risks and capsized a few times. It is so different to sail and navigate at the same time. We are not offshore sailors. We could have been stronger in strategy and tactics. But we have learned a lot and adjusted our sailing style during the event."
Neal McDonald was exhausted upon his arrival. "It is very enjoyable, a great way to spend four days with your wife. It is a great mix of sailing, navigation and stamina and obviously we lacked on the navigational side. I found that incredibly hard. We had no feel for the place. Blasting along rocks with 20 knots of speed was a strange concept to us. But the best team won -they never put one foot wrong."
After five days of racing, sailing, paddling, navigating, capsizing, freezing and fighting fierce cold squalls the challenge in the Archipelago Raid ended. Right up until the bitter end at Fejan the top teams kept fighting and pushing each other from checkpoint to checkpoint which totalled 26.
Race Director and creator of the event former EF Education skipper Christine Guillou was very content with how this second running of the Archipelago Raid had gone."It went really well. We wanted to go to other archipelagos and that worked. It is also good to see that the event can be sailed on these boats. The teams showed that it was possible. You can do it in a more or less safe way. The reaction and the spirit of the competitors is very, very positive. Of course we still need to improve things. But it shows that this event holds a combination of lots of adventure, extreme sport and good competition. Important for me is also that this is a race where mixed teams can do well. But you need to prepare well and come with a strong team. Sailors have to be very all round and complete not only individual but also as a team."
See page two for results...