Ellen on the raid

News of this year's catamaran marathon through the Swedish Archipelago

Thursday June 12th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Scandinavia
The City of Stockholm will see an impressive line up for the start on 8 July when teams of two will be competing on Formula 18 catamarans in the longest and most extreme orienteering sailing competition in the world. During four intense days and nights the sailors will pass by more than 25 checkpoints scattered on islands in the vast Stockholm, Åland and Finnish archipelagos (more than 100.000 islands).

Some of the biggest names in various disciplines in the world of sailing are competing. Kingfisher’s superstar Ellen MacArthur will be racing the Hobie Tiger 18 Omega.

"Racing in the Archipelago Raid and in the French double handed transatlantic race Transat Jacques Vabre in November is part of my training programme for the solo project with the new 75 foot trimaran (currently under build). The Archipelago Raid is well known as a gruelling race demanding endurance, great tactics and navigational skills. A true challenge!" said Ellen MacArthur.

Two years ago, the multihull specialists Franck Cammas and Steve Ravussin won the Archipelago Raid (pilot edition) and later on that year finished on the top step of the podium of the Transat Jacques Vabre. A good “warm up” in the Nordic Archipelagos…

The British ocean racing couple Neal and Lisa McDonald (Neal skipper on ASSA ABLOY and Lisa skipper on Amer Sports Too in the Volvo Ocean Race) were third in last year’s edition and will be back this year.

“It was a far tougher event than we had imagined and because of that a greater sense of achievement finishing it. It is an event that mixes an incredible number of talents, navigation, organisation, planning and sheer endurance along with basic seamanship and sailing skills. Coupled with that it takes place in one of the most beautiful sailing areas in the world, not that we always had time to look at it,” said ocean sailor Neal McDonald after last year’s race.

Last year’s winners, the local boys Klas Nylöf and Magnus Woxén (Volvo Ocean Race, Cape to Rio on ex Lakota etc), will defend their title on “Team Sogeti”. They will see some fierce competition in top sailors like:
- The McDonald couple
- World class match racing specialist Björn Hansen with Björn Österberg on “Team Jobman Workwear”
- Sweden’s “Sailor of the Year” 2003 Helena Darvelid, with a background as crew on “Lakota” with Steve Fossett, and on “Sun Allianz” with Tracy Edwards for the Jules Verne Trophy. Darvelid will co-skipper with Hobie Cat specialist Pia L’Obry, who will be the first Swedish female to compete in the Mini Transat (September 2003).

Side by side with the professional sailors, amateur teams will also enter the race, like the talented Fredrik Adilstam and Tomas Marimon on “Nokia Team” who finished 2nd last year.

The official list of competitors will be announced after 15 June (deadline for registration)

The international watch maker Omega is official timekeeper of the race. Omega has been associated since long with internationally known sailing regattas, primarily the America’s Cup.

The race
The Archipelago Raid demands extreme performance in sailing respecting nature in an adventurous spirit. The course can vary between 400 and 500 nautical miles depending on weather conditions. The start is in Stockholm on 8 July and the arrival is on 11 July at the marina of Gustavsberg outside Stockholm.

Event Organiser
The event is organised and produced by Atlant Ocean Racing. Based in Stockholm, Atlant Ocean Racing is specialised in managing international sailing projects and events. After the success of Intrum Justitia, EF Language/EF Education in the Whitbread, ASSA ABLOY in the Volvo Ocean Race, The SAP Match Cup and the 60’ trimarans in the Nordic Countries, Atlant Ocean Racing is using its expertise in sailing and adventure multi-sport events (Raid Gauloises) to produce the Archipelago Raid.

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