Favorites win ÅF Offshore Race 2013

2013-07-03 - ÅF Offshore Race There were two seasoned pros who won this year's ÅF Offshore Race (formerly the Round Gotland Race).In ORCi, the more race oriented class, the yacht DataCom skippered by Ralf Aspholm took first place. The broader SRS class was won by Matrisen Sailing Team, skippered by Robert Szabo. Both yachts represent the host club KSSS.

- There were many ups and downs in this year's race. We found it hard to get out of the archipelago into open seas. And once out we had our fair share of both close haul sailing as well as nice downwind, says Ralf who now won the race for the fourth or fifth time.
- I'm actually not quite sure how many wins I have, Ralf is quoted saying.

The DataCom team has been able to attract several big names in yachting, such as navigator Roger Nilson, foredecker Anders Dahlsjö and the UK born tactician Matt Humphries. All three have experience from the Volvo Ocean Race and other major events in sailing.
As navigator Roger Nilson experience means a lot for the success of the team. Still Ralf wants to highlight the importance of the boat's owner, Christer Carenfelt, who now sailed the race for the 25th time.
- Christer is 72 years old and had decided that this was his last race around Gotland. Now he finally had his win and it was Christer who steered the last stretch toward the finish line in Sandhamn.

The SRS class was won by a Farr 30 from Matrisen Sailing Team, skippered by Robert Szabo. Matrisen Sailing Team is very active in the Farr 30 class and has an impressive track record with a win at the European Championship in 2011, silver medals in the World Championships 2012 and a win at the Swedish Nationals in 2013.
- We have won our class twice in this race, both 2010 and 2011. But we've never won the entire SRS class. This win is great fun and means a lot to us, says Robert Szabo and continues:
- We chose to sail with just six people rather than seven this year. As a result, we were about 70 kg too light on the beat. But due to the light winds that sometimes ended up being an advantage. The main reason we won is that we sailed very aggressively all the time. 

The winner in the Classic Class was crowned already on the Tuesday. The reason is that the old wooden boats have a shorter course and "only" sail to Visby and then return back to Sandhamn. The one who performed best in this race was Anitra, a 48 foot long cruiser in wood, sailed by skipper Henrik Kahm.

S/Y Anitra was designed by Sparkman & Stephens and built at Neglinge boat yard in 1958. Already in her first year, Anitra won the classic Fastnet Race.