The Race is On

2013-07-01 - ÅF Offshore Race ÅF Offshore Race drew an astounding 100 000 spectators as 240 yachts jostled through Stockholm ström.

Proceeding through the archipelago to the open Baltic, the course is set around Gotland and back to the finish at Sandhamn. The first crossing of the finish line is expected late monday.

There was no shortage of drama in spite of the light winds. The confined area outside Kastellholmen made the staring line dense, with clashes and showers of grunts as a result. 

It is rare for sailors to entertain such a large crowd, but today's starts were handled to cheering and applause. To this tune, the 100-footer Esimit Europe flying the EU flag took the lead. With the German olympic champion Jochen Schuman at the rudder, only a disaster will prevent them from reaching Sandhamn first.

Esimit passed the first narrow passage at Oxdjupet 1:39 after start followed by the Norwegian TP52 Trucknor Wolfpack with skipper Thomas Nilsson. Preceding Thomas Blixt with Blixt Pro Sailing - also  in a TP52.