Nord Stream race sets sail tomorrow
Tomorrow marks the official start of the 750 mile Nord Stream Race from Saint Petersburg, Russia across the Baltic Sea.
This new competition has brought the elite of the sailing world together to race across the Baltic in identical Swan 60 - a new development in offshore yachting and with a prize fund of 100,000 Euros for the overall winner, this is a yacht race worth winning.
Among the five teams entered into the Nord Stream Race there are a number of sailors whose experience and skills are second to none.
Team Russia heads into the race with a series of high profile successes behind them. After taking first place in the Rolex Swan Cup Maxi Class and winning the Swan Maxi Class Circuit 2012, the team are on top form and well prepared for the race ahead. Within Team Russia there is Tommaso Chieffi, 17 time World champion and five time European champion and Francesco Rapetti who is a four times America’s Cup winner. The team now have a wealth of experience racing and competing onboard a Swan 60 which will benefit them greatly during the Nord Stream Race.
Team Europe is also in a good position. Skipper is Germany's Tim Kroger, a former America’s Cup sailor and Volvo Ocean Race sailor. There is also Mikael Lundh onboard, the Swedish sailor has competed in the Volvo and the Rolex Fastnet Race a number of times.
Team France is also gunning for first place. Skipper, Jacques Pelletier has won many offshore races throughout his sailing career. The crew members are also of high quality and consist mainly of members of Yacht Club of France or allied clubs to YCF and who are mostly amateurs with only two or three professionals. The crew will be skilled, competent and effective.
Team Holland is equally positioned to beat the competition and take the title. The crew have a wealth of sailing experience gathered from various yachting and racing events. Within the team there is Robert Schutte; the Dutch champion won Les Voiles de Saint Tropez last year and has won a number of regattas throughout his sailing career such as the Nord Sea Regatta. On board Team Holland is also Peter Elmers who has sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in his own boat.
Team Germany is also in prime position to win the Nord Stream Race. This is led by skipper Thomas Jungblut, a four times Maxi World Champion and has completed the Rolex Fastnet Race seven times. Alongside Jungblut are Match Race World Champion Jesper Radich and America’s Cup sailors Gregorz Baranowski and Jacek Wysocki. The fact that many of the Team Germany crew have sailed together for over 10 years creates a unified and complimentary team who can easily build on each other’s strengths, they are also extremely familiar with the Swan 60 model after racing onboard a Swan 60 for a number of years.