The offshore course took the participants round the four corners of Denmark. Here the Swedish solo-sailor, Anders Nyberg in his RM 13.50 Embla is close to rounding the most northern point of Denmark Skagen.
The Garmin Round Denmark Race inshore & offshore once again marked itself as the longest, most challenging and most adventurous race in Northern Europe. The adventure sailrace tests the sailors' endurance and their ability to dose the pressure on themselves, on the boat and on the equipment. It is an achievement to reach the goal and if you have ambitions to win, you must start with a plan and a setup that ensures that you reach the finishing line in Aarhus.
Like a trip to L’Orient
The courses send the participants on adventures in the Danish, German and Swedish waters around midsummer with distances that require completely different preparations and completely different routines than the participants get on any other race in Northern Europe. The official distances on the two courses are 640 nautical miles for inshore and 760 for offshore, but of course everyone sails longer due to the upwind surcharge. Just to put it in perspective, the two distances correspond to a trip from the offshore start-venue Esbjerg to resp. Brest (640 nautical miles) and L’Orient (760 nautical miles).
And the mission succeeded in enabling all accomplished participants to recount unique experiences during the long days of short magical June nights.
One of the absolute highlights of the event was when Esben Pilegaard on Friday afternoon after almost 9 days en route surfed over the finish line and completed the offshore course singlehand in his small X79er Relax.
- It has been an incredible experience with lots of ups and downs, but also a lot of adversity. I have three auto-pilots that all broke down. So, I manually steered all the way from Bornholm, but at some point it also became routine. Adversity can be overcome. I learned that, he said.
Another highlight was when the double-handed sailors after 600 nautical miles got a restart between the two Little Belt Bridge.
- It is so difficult to sail in Denmark. The weather and the wind change a lot all the time. You have to be a good navigator and meteorologist, and then of course you have to be persistent, said Richard Van Leeween from the Dutch Hod 35er ExtraHod who ended up as the third doublehand boat.
Close to disaster
In the serious end, JPK 10.30 skipper Anders Johansen had a near-death experience on the North Sea, when he hit a large steel cutter with his bowsprit, while he himself was sheltering on the toilet. After the race he said:
- I was shaken and I still am. I consider it fortunate that nothing happened to the boat and that I am still alive.
Longest in 24 hours
Jens Thuesen's first 24 hours on the offshore course deserve a mentioning. Here he, Jens Quorning and Tor Beltov sailed 284.3 nautical miles in the Dragonfly 40c trimaran Flying Dragon averaging 11,8 knots.
- Garmin Round Denmark Race is a terrific race. I think many can see that after this week. For us, it was even more amazing to get the trimaran out on the North Sea and feel what it can do out here, he said.
The battle of Kronborg
The Fully crew sailors focused on getting to know their boats in race mode over a long period of time. To get maneuvers and boat handling to play at all hours of the day in all conditions. And then of course the togetherness.
- We had our own match in the match with the X49er Flux. And at Kronborg it became quite close. It was a terrific fight on a beautiful evening with Kronborg as a backdrop, which we luckily won, said Xbox skipper Henrik Jørgensen. He and the crew on the Xp44er broke as an added bonus the 2021 record on the inshore course set by the Tp52er Rafael.
The official Garmin Round Denmark Race records
Inshore singlehand: Claus Cato, Archambault 35 Emily, 4 days, 15 hours, 58 minutes, 0 seconds
Inshore 2Star: Andreas Willim & Tom Gosh, JPK 38 Belle. 5 days, 2 hours, 39 minutes 40 seconds
Inshore Fully Crewed: Henrik Jørgensen, Xp44 Xbox, 4 days, 4 hours, 56 minutes 33 seconds
Offshore Singlehand Rikard Roth, Xp44 Xar, 4 days, 16 hours, 0 minutes, 28 seconds
Offshore Fully Crewed Jens Thuesen, Dragonfly 40c Flying Dragon, 3 days, 20 hours, 14 minutes, 7 seconds