Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Nord Stream Race - Reflecting on a hard fought Baltic victory

by Philippa Holloway on 30 Oct 2012
Team Russia (sponsored by Gazprom), skippered by Vladimir Liubomirav, leaving Saint-Petersburg, at the start of the first leg of the Nord Stream Race 2012. onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com
In the 2012 Nord Stream Race, Team Russia, coached by Tommaso Chieffi, claimed the victory and picked up the trophy in Greifswald, Germany. The inaugural Nord Stream Race hosted five very talented and competitive crews, in a challenging 750 nautical mile contest over three legs, following the route of the Nord Stream pipeline through the Baltic Sea, crossing the waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany.

Chieffi took time out before flying home to Italy and reflected on his experience over the last two weeks: 'We are extremely pleased with our result, we never felt like we were invincible and with the pressure on we had to be well prepared. The team have been training together since April and we had a good season, winning the Maxi Class at the Rolex Swan Cup in Sardinia. We knew the competition would be tough though, Team Holland won Leg Two and Team Germany won the Match Racing, so we never felt we were necessarily going to win overall.'

Team Russia won the final leg to claim the overall title, Chieffi describes it was not all plain sailing:

'We didn’t have a great start on the final leg as we were pinned up by Team EU but we managed to do a very good downwind leg to pull it back. We had to finish ahead of Germany and Holland and did, but it was close. After all, it has been a big team effort; Vladimir Liubomirov (Commodore of the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg, the organising committee) is a fantastic sponsor and now, a very good sailor. He understands the dynamics of big boat racing and was a huge help in driving us to our full potential. It may look an easy win on the score board, but it really was never that easy.'

Whilst the race through the Baltic Sea was a first for many crews taking part, Chieffi was aware that conditions can change quickly: 'I’ve sailed in the Baltic in the past and it is a difficult sea, resembling a lake with huge wind shifts sometimes as much as 40 degrees. The sea state is also different; the short small chop is difficult to sail in. You need to be used to it, as it is absolutely one of the most challenging waters in sailing, but the rewards are great.

The future of the race looks bright in Chieffi’s opinion: 'I have no doubt this race with grow and grow, at the start of the campaign it was invitational but next year there will be more crews, more boats, and the teams will be better prepared, and I personally am hoping more Swan 60s are on the line to keep this one design class competing against equal boats. The race is also due to move forward by a month as the end of October was tough with the conditions.'

What characterises the Nord Stream Race is camaraderie between the crews, everyone is part of the same family but we are all competitors and we all want to win. Onshore we are all great friends and the competition element unites us. Everyone shared in the celebrations and there were some good memories made which I am sure will mean everyone will be back next Nord Stream Race website

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Barz Optics - FloatersNorth Technology - Southern SparsBakewell-White Yacht Design