Mathias Söderström and Thomas Westergren win Stockholm Archipelago Raid 2015

Ingredients for the Stockholm Archipelago Raid 2015: 4 days of 5-6 beaufort, very sunny conditions, an avarage of 23 degrees, the beautiful Archipelago scenery and 24 enthousiastic Formula 18 sailors.

Result? Brilliant sailing by Mathias Söderström and Thomas Westergren (SWE 81) who manged to keep Thomas Ekefalk/Rasmus Rosengren (SWE 7) and Carolijn Brouwer/Darren Bundock (AUS 888) on a respectful distance. A great event in perfect F18 conditions!

It all started on Wednesday August 26th. Boats from all over Sweden and foreign countries arrived at the KSSS yacht club in Saltsjöbaden (near Stockholm). Measurements and security checks were done and the first skippers meeting was held. Tensions were high because the weather predictions were perfect: minimum of 20 knots of wind and very sunny conditions. On Thursday August 27th the Formula 18 catamarans were launched for the start of this years Stockholm Archipelago Raid.

After the race started Mathias Söderström and Thomas Westergren were immediately on fire. They know their home waters very well. Söderström grew up with lake sailing in similar conditions on lake Mälaren. “It is a great advantage to be on home waters. Not because you’ll know your way around, because you don’t! The advantage is that the wind patterns are very similar, the way they flow around the islands.” Only in the fifth race they were beaten by Ekefalk/Rosengren. “In the fifth race we had a lead of 300 meters, but we hit a small rock at a 18 knots speed. The rudders came off and we capsized.

We had great difficulties to put the rudders on again in a 18 knots breeze, but after 15 minutes we were good to go. At that moment we were in last position and had to do everything to catch up with the others again. We sailed hard and fast, had a good boat speed and our strategy worked out well. Finally we ended up in 5th place. I think it’s our best race by far, we only arrived 2 minutes after Thomas and Rasmus who won that race”, tells Mathias Söderström. Also a new speed record was set: Finnhamn-Fejan (~25 NM) in less than 1 hour and 20 minutes! A very nice averge…

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