HiQ first home

In Accentura Gotland Runt

Monday June 30th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Scandinavia
Her silver metallic hulls sliced through the slate-grey seas tipped with white caps in more than 20 knots of breeze - the 60ft trimaran, HiQ, skippered by 'Klabbe' Nylof came over the horizon from the direction of the Almagrundet light tower to the finish of the Accenture Gotland Runt at Sandhamn. The carbon fibre sails were shining because of the spray that repeatedly washed over them as HiQ's triple-hulled form charged to the finish.

It had been a battle throughout with Stephan Myralf’s 60 foot Nokia, a battle that faded when Nokia began to break up and retired. But what a battle it had been. "We swapped places eight times during the race," said navigator, Roger Nilson, "and on one occasion we were no more than ten metres apart in the strong breeze."

Nilson had persuaded French multihull ace and round the world record holding skipper, Bruno Peyron, to join the crew. "I know he likes Scandinavia," he said, while Peyron added, "I wanted to get out of the office and into some fresh air..." His office job is dealing with the second edition of The Race - the no-holds barred race around the planet in which he will enter the 120ft catamaran currently building in France.

"It was wet and Swedish," said Peyron with a smile. "We had a great race with Nokia and it was one of those when being able to make repairs in rapid time paid handsomely." The mainsheet car on the boom of HiQ broke as she approached the mainland shore after a long starboard tack away from the turning mark off Visby. HiQ was 15 minutes ahead of Nokia at the time. "We could see her coming closer," said Peyron, and were only able to pull the sheet on when she was two minutes away. That was close."

This win confirms the overall victory for HiQ in the Nokia Oops Cup. Nylof and his crew have won every one of the races in this Scandinavian series. ‘Now that’s over,’ said a highly enthusiastic but very wet Nylof, after his crew had decided to duck the winning cox by throwing him off the trampoline into the sea.

"I’m hoping to do the Transat Jacques Vabre Race [in the autumn]," he said, "we have an option lined up on a boat for that and will know if we are successful in the next two weeks."

He then began to look into the typical sailor’s crystal ball, examining all the options open to him. These included The Race with Bruno Peyron, building a new trimaran for the French circuit – ‘that’s my aim’ – and another crack at the Volvo Ocean Race – he had been with Paul Cayard on EF Language when they won the last Whitbread. The high of finishing first in the Accenture Gotland Runt will soon wear off, but it will remain for a long time in the resume of Nylof’s racing portfolio.

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