Michael Møllmann and his team at Palby Marine are battling in the Great Belt (Storebælt), while X79 singlehanded sailor Esben Pilegaard sought shelter from the storm in Gilleleje overnight.
Only one boat continues to sail in the Garmin Round Denmark Race. It's the semi-professionals from Hansen Sailing Team aboard the Eliott 35 SSeren Palby Marine. We spoke with skipper Michael Møllmann yesterday as the boat rounded Gedser; the expected arrival in Aarhus was around 7-8 AM on Monday morning. However, Michael Møllmann cautioned that much depended on how the forecasted storm low pressure system would affect Denmark. Later on Sunday evening, the storm hit the 35-foot racing boat, and the arrival was postponed to at least 11 AM. "The sea is quite rough in the Great Belt. It might delay us by a couple of hours. Another 50 nautical miles to go. Boat and crew are okay," wrote Michael Møllmann in a text message at 03:45. Three hours later and 16 nautical miles further - at 7:00, Palby Marine was heading towards calmer waters off the east coast of Samsø with another 34 nautical miles to Aarhus. The boat was maintaining a speed of 7.5 knots. It appears that the wind will decrease slightly before picking up again in the afternoon.
Emergency harbor in Gilleleje
The only remaining boat in the 2Star race is the Polish First 40.7 named Polised Manx. Skipper Kuba Szymanski and co-skipper Maciek Lato sought emergency harbor around 1 AM on Monday night in Langeland, in the ferry town of Spodsbjerg. An hour later, X79 sailor Esben Pilegaard also sought emergency harbor in Gilleleje on the northern coast of Zealand. The boat and skipper had a tough journey - first from Esbjerg to Skagen, sailing in strong winds for a significant part of the 222 nautical mile leg. Since then, the wind from the ongoing storm low pressure system seriously hit the 7.9-meter-long boat in the Kattegat on Sunday evening and night. The skipper is reported to be in good condition. The other remaining solo sailor in the offshore race, Stig Wittrup on the Moody 45 Cassiopeia, arrived in Helsingør at 4:30 PM, well ahead of the worst of the winds. The third solo sailor who set out from Skagen on Saturday, Robert Kuper on the long-keel sloop Lea, chose to withdraw around Sunday noon, heading towards Grenå.
Inshore course on stand by The entire inshore fleet is in a mandatory pit stop in Helsingør. The race organizers have put the race on hold and are waiting for the conditions to stabilize to a level where it would be safe to resume the competition