Troy Gilbert - embedded on Blixt Pro Sailing
2013-07-01 - ÅF Offshore Race
Sailing World writer - Troy Gilbert - embedded on Blixt Pro Sailing
Southwestern Edge Gotland Island
After a light wind start in Stockholm lined with thousands of spectators all along the waterfront and high energy, the breeze intensified throughout the archipelago. With the wind mostly on the nose, it was a series of dueling tacks for Class ORC-A through the narrow channels with Esimit Europe, Wolfpack and Blix Pro Sailing out front respectively. Packed with weekend boaters, and errant cruise ship here and there and sightseers in power boats taking photos and cheering the Swedish team on, the channels were stunning and offer a unique backdrop for the first leg of this 350nm race. After making the turn towards Gotland in the open waters, the breeze filled after having been light for a few hours and the racers maintained one tack throughout the evening headed south. With the temperatures dropping and the night filling in, onboard Blix it got quiet as long distance racers tend to do in the late mornings. The quiet, cold and focused overnight racing was followed by a brilliant sunrise and the TP 52 powering between 6-9 knots. Visible in the distance were Hyundai, Wolfpack and Progressive sailing past Visby. Currently Blix Pro Sailing is doing 5.5 knots sailing due south - spirits are high.
Images: Start - Underway