Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 33 728x90

Nord Stream Race - New non-stop challenge for Gazprom Swan 60 Class

by Emma Upton on 30 Sep 2013
Team Great Britain take the lead ©onEdition
In the Nord Stream Race, the Gazprom Swan 60 Class took on a new challenge of racing the full length of the Baltic Sea in the second edition. The non-stop 800 nautical mile offshore race is organised by the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg (SPBYC) and the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) and this year celebrated the completion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which now allows gas to flow the full length of the Baltic Sea.

Five Swan 60 yachts entered the second edition of the offshore race, which this year started in Flensburg, Germany and concluded in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Swan 60 teams competing were Team Russia, Team Germany, Team Europe and newcomers Team Great Britain and Team Turkey. Crews crossed the waters of Germany, Poland, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden and Finland before finally coming to the finish in Saint-Petersburg, Russia after five days of non-stop racing.


From the start, all eyes were on winners of the Nord Stream Race 2012; Gazprom Swan 60 Class Circuit 2013 winners and inaugural World Champions, Team Russia. Tommaso Chieffi from Team Russia commented; 'The Nord Stream Race has gone up a notch in terms of competitiveness; people are now familiar with the Swan 60 and they know how to race her competitively. The quality of the teams has also increased and a number of world class sailors are participating this year. The fleet is now very evenly matched, as shown in the World Championship during the summer.'

After a nail biting race, which saw the Swan 60 fleet change race positions a number of times throughout the 800 nautical mile and five days of action, Team Great Britain were finally victorious, crossing the finish line with the dawn light. The team had managed to hold onto their first place position for the final 100 nautical miles of the race and beat previous race winners, Team Russia by just 26 seconds. A fantastic finish to the Nord Stream Race which saw Team Great Britain and Team Russia battle it out right to the end, crossing the finish line with less than a boat length between them. Over a race, even further in distance than the Rolex Fastnet Race, this is an exceptional finishing situation. The final few miles were dramatic to watch with the 60ft Nautor’s Swan yachts tacking and fighting hard for the first place position.

Speaking dockside as the winning Team Great Britain crew celebrated, Skipper Adrian Stead who has also represented GBR at the Olympics commented; 'The whole race was very close, the fleet stuck together the whole way. Earlier on we managed to get quite a good lead but then Team Russia and Team Germany sailed up to us again, we then got away again and in the last 100 miles we were trying so hard to keep Team Russia behind us, for most of that time there was only a 2-3 mile gap between us. We had a fantastic team who have all been brilliant; they all put in 110%. We were all up on deck for the last 16 hours of the race, hiking it out and making sure every boat length worked. We pushed the boat incredibly hard and it all paid off for us, what brilliant results.'

One of the most revered navigators in top level yacht racing, Jules Salter, Navigator onboard Team GBR and a previous Volvo Ocean Race victor spoke about the Swan 60; 'I hadn’t sailed on a Swan 60 prior to the Nord Stream Race. It is very quiet down below and the fleet are all even in speed; it was great to race with the other four one-design Swans.'


British sailor Simon Fisher of winning Team GBR commented; 'We had a great close race, it was good fun, we had much closer racing than I think we were expecting. Sailing the Swan 60 was good, it was great as it is a one-design Class and everyone was really equal in speed and it made for a great race. It really was competitive right to the end, two boats finishing just 26 seconds apart shows that, it made it a lot of fun for the sailors.'

In third place came Team Germany, who this year won the Nord Stream Inshore trophy following two fleet races in Flensburg, Germany in the lead up to the Nord Stream Race start. They were followed by Team Turkey in fourth and Team Europe in fifth place. With only five hours between the first and fifth boat finishing, this has highlighted just how competitive the one-design Swan 60 Class has become, a Class which challenges sailors on their sailing ability, experience and knowledge. Over the 800 nautical miles each Swan 60 had taken the lead position at some point, a fact which kept race followers guessing until the final moments and boats fighting it out the whole way.

The race this year attracted an array of high profile international sailors from all over the globe such as Jules Salter (GBR), Simon Fisher (GBR), Adrian Stead (GBR), Michael Muller (GER), Tim Kroger (GER), Magnus Woxén (SWE), Christian Scherrer (SWI), Marc Lagesse (FRA), Eberhard Magg (GER), Robert Stanjek (GER), Tomasso Chieffi (ITA), Pietro Mantovani (ITA), Francesco Mongelli (ITA), Lorenzo Mazza (ITA), Enrico Zennaro (ITA), Alexander Shalagin (RUS), Cenk Tekkaya (TUR) and Cagdas Artu (TUR).

America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race veterans sailed alongside up-and-coming youth sailors of tomorrow, creating a brilliant atmosphere onboard each boat. A third of the crews were America’s Cup sailors, 20% of the Gazprom Swan 60 fleet competitors have completed Volvo Ocean Races, nearly 10% of the Swan 60 sailors this year have represented their country at the Olympics and 20 racers have a World Championship title under their belts.

Newcomers to the race Team Turkey, sponsored by Bosphorus Gas Corporation took the opportunity to utilise the Nord Stream Race as a corporate team building exercise, with Managing Director of Bosphorus Gas Joachim Conrad commenting; 'We choose sailing as our company’s team building project as I thought if we put a team together on a boat it becomes a matter of survival, and by being a matter of survival it allows us to achieve a completely new level of bonding and cooperation between our team.'


The only crew to consist of both female and male sailors, Team Turkey’s Chief Helmsman Robert Klein was impressed with the team’s results; 'We all celebrated at the gala dinner after the race; the whole team are extremely happy and very proud of their achievement. The race was a fantastic team effort and once we realised we were in with a chance and knew that we could be competitive, the whole spirit and determination of the team changed, we decided we wanted to race for a position and fight for it. We all had a great time learning to sail and race the Swan 60. We will now take this experience and new team dynamic back to the office; we definitely achieved more than we expected.'

Team Europe, who took second place in the 2012 edition, may have taken fifth place this year but all is not lost as Skipper Tim Kroger pointed out; 'To begin with we had a good start, we were happy, we were well placed and we could keep up with everyone else, at that point we were very much in the race. However, when we came to the second transition zone, between two weather systems, we just dropped out of it. But that is yacht racing, it is part of the game, you win some, you lose some. The other teams all sailed very well and congratulations go to Team Great Britain on their win.'

A dazzling gala dinner at the Taleon Imperial Hotel greeted the euphoric sailors in Saint-Petersburg and guests were treated to an evening of fine dining and traditional Russian entertainment in the surrounds of a beautiful former palace. The Nord Stream Race was rounded off perfectly with a final prize giving ceremony which took place in the Saint-Petersburg’s Maritime Museum, a fitting venue for such an event.

The Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg is proud to have hosted such an event; 'We are getting extremely positive feedback from participants and they are eager to take part in the next edition which is the best result for us. Organising an offshore event differs greatly from inshore events; we have to be prepared for all kinds of surprises and eventualities.

There were two major highlights of the Nord Stream Race for us, one was ORC boat Outsider beating the speed record and other was the two Swan 60s finishing the race in such a spectacular style. The social programmes in both Flensburg and Saint-Petersburg were also fantastic. We would now like the race to become really attractive to sailors, offering them a valuable challenge and opening the race up to different kinds of yachts and yachtsmen.'

The 2014 edition of the Nord Stream Race is set reverse again, and with a route similar to the inaugural race in 2012 teams will race from Saint-Petersburg, Russia to Rostock / Warnemunde in Germany, via a stopover in Helsinki, Finland. The race will also be brought forward next year and is scheduled for the end of May 2014.The long term aim of the Nord Stream Race is for it to sit alongside the other iconic ocean races such as the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Clipper Round the World - Meet the 2017-18 crew - Greg Schey
Greg Schey is well on road to achieving that dream, after completing third of four sail training levels this week “I’ve always wanted to sail around the world. Since I was knee high to a grasshopper, one thing that I’ve always said is that’s what I want to do.” Greg Schey, a 27-year-old doctor from Swansea, Wales, is well on the road to achieving that dream, after completing the third of four sail training levels this week ahead of setting off for full circumnavigation in the Clipper 2017-18 Race this summer.
Posted today at 4:37 am
JJ Giltinan Trophy - More images from a funky Day 1 on Sydney Harbour
More images from Michael Chittenden from the first race of the 2017 JJ Giltinan Trophy on Sydney Harbour, Michael Chittenden was on the water for the first race of the 2017 JJ Giltinan Trophy on Sydney Harbour, sailed in a funky breeze, leaden skies and plenty of rain. Plus a 300 metre long cruise liner at one end of the course and a waka wall at the other
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Video of Conrad Colman finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race, which he completed under jury rig after being dismasted 700nm from the finish. In Foresight Natural Energy Colman became the first New Zealand sailor to complete the Vendee Globe, he also became the first in eight editions of the race to sail the entire race using only renewable energy sources.
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Heerema delayed by Biscay lows
With 16 boats now finished, eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. With 16 boats now finished, the eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. Until now it was the 2000-2001 edition, with 24 starters and 15 finishers, which saw the biggest number of starters reach the end of their race at the legendary South Nouch buoy.
Posted on 25 Feb
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season with major victory at RORC C600
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season off with major victory at RORC Caribbean 600 Bella Mente Racing, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth, launched its 2017 campaign season with a major victory this week, winning IRC Overall, CSA Overall and CSA 1 at the RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua; The team took home coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the IRC win as well as the Bella Mente Trophy, the team’s namesake award, for being first IRC yacht to finish that is wholly manually powered.
Posted on 25 Feb
Cool drone footage of Dongfeng Race Team on the water
Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Stunning drone footage of the re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 has been released as the team hit the water off the coast of Lisbon.
Posted on 25 Feb
49th Transpac early entry deadline approaches on March 1st
Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race is well underway Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from nine nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.
Posted on 25 Feb
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Replay coverage - Race 1
Live coverage of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain Replay of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain
Posted on 25 Feb
Hat-trick all around for Phaedo^3 in this year Caribbean 600
Lloyd Thornburg and crew of Phaedo^3 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class. Lloyd Thornburg and the crew of his MOD70 Phaedo^3 for the last three editions of the RORC Caribbean 600 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class.
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman's thoughts on his incredible performance
Colman was the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels After finishing 16th in the Vendee Globe, crossing the finish line under the jury rig which had carried him the final 720 miles of his race since he was dismasted, Conrad Colman was greeted by a hero's welcome into Les Sables d'Olone. The first New Zealander to complete the race he was also the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels.
Posted on 24 Feb