A grand ocean race!

2013-06-30 - ÅF Offshore Race At 11am the start of this year's ÅF Offshore Race will be underway, This year, participation records have been broken as a total of nearly 300 boats from 11 countries attended.

There is also a record number of spectators. On Saturday an estimated 5,000 people an hour passed the bridge to Skeppsholmen. Today Kastellholmen and Södermalm will be full of spectators, catching a glimpse of the drama in the bay.

Today's start in the stream between Kastellholmen and the photographic museum encompasses all 14 classes and 248 boats. First off is the larger and faster boats, among others Blixt Pro Sailing, Avantime, Datacom and Europe's largest monohull, the 100-footer Eisimit Europe flying the flag of the European Commission. Every ten minutes there is a start, culminating with the so-called "Antiques Roadshow", ie the older, classic wooden boats such as Refanut, Regina and Britt-Marie.

This is the third consecutive year that the race starts from downtown Stockholm. This is done in collaboration with the City of Stockholm, which accounts for much of the infrastructure in the form of five temporary pontoon jetties, running water, sewers and broadband etc to the sail area. Mayor Sten Nordin has been the driving force as he believes that an event like this makes sailing a great experience and promotes the city as a destination.

This year's ÅF Offshore Race has received considerable attention, nationally and internationally. Twenty representatives of international daily and trade press together with TV channels are in place on shore and some even aboard. DN reporter Ulrika By is onboard a boat with a female crew. She will be blogging throughout the race.