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Scandinavian Doldrums

The full crew sailors and the 2Star sailors got after a slow start a fast ride to the most Northern point of Denmark; Skagen. And then the notorious Kattegat showed once again why it’s both known for being erratic and unpredictable. In opposition to the singlehanded sailors - who out of nowhere faced winds gusting 35 knots - the 2Star saiors and fully crewed boats meet a total vacuum. As everybody who have sailed know – sailing in zero wind gets more and more stressful as the hours pass by.

And the hours did go by. From early morning into the evening and even into the night before a tiny breeze filled in. Only the Elliott 52, Rafale, managed to get going. But the boat did only 100 nautical miles in 18 hours making an average of less than 6 knots – the numbers never lie.

Rafale entered Øresund approximately at 3.09 AM leaving the fleet behind. Another Elliott, the smaller 35SS Palby Marine entered the Øresund at 07.54 AM. The Grand Soleil 43 FeOS, is at the moment set be be 3rd boat to enter the Sound. Meanwhile Rafale has left the most tricky part of Øresund and is soon about to turn East for Christiansø and then Bornholm.

Fastest 2Satr boats lead the pack

Fastest 2Star was the small Dragonfly 800 Tri skippered by Lars Kämpfe followed by the JPK 10.30 Ratzfatz 4 with Andreas Rohde on the tiller. These boats were east of the Northeastern tip of the Island of Anholt leading the fleet south while Rafale entered Øresund – close to 50 NM behind. Now they are approaching Øresund with less than 10 NM to Kronborg.

Singlehanders in the Baltic

The singlehanded sailors who started 2 days in advance were all in the Baltic Sea. The grupetto formed by Scanmar 33 sailor Niels Thomsen and X79 skipper Esben Pilegaard sailing south of the Swedish coats doing 5 to 6 knots while Christian Jensen in the X-412 Wuchtbrumme and Flemming Andressen in the First 40.7 were resting by anchor.

Negotiating the beat

At the front of the race the boat were beating upwind in the Baltic Sea trying to find the best possible way west between Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Three boats were staying in the middle of the course, The Beast, Beluga and Embla. While the Dutch boat Extra Hod took the left hand side of the course while the Danish boat Let’s Sea took the right side. Later consensus was to go south. Right now the front runners are west of the German peninsula Rügen.

The suspense is building; will Elliott 52 Rafale and skipper Philipp Kadelbach managed to close the gap to the smaller and singlehanded Figaro 2 Jan Hansen who have to rest for at least another 8 and maybe even 16 hours before the finish in Aarhus. The lead had scrubbed from 270 to 150 nautical miles in 36 hours.

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