by Cailah Leask
With the inaugural edition of the Nord Stream Race under one month away, anticipation is building for this inaugural Swan 60 race and pinnacle event in the Baltic Sea sailing season. Team Germany, skippered by Thomas Jungblut and sponsored by Stroygazmontazh are aiming to cross the finishing line first ahead of their European rivals, and pick up the €100,000 prize fund.
Team Germany supported by Stroygazmontazh
Jungblut, the four times Maxi World Champion who has completed the Rolex Fastnet Race seven times has picked an experienced team of European sailors to help him through the Baltic waters, many of whom he has sailed with for over ten years.
An excited Jungblut, commented: 'My crew is very experienced, Match Race World Champion Jesper Radich and then America’s Cup experts Gregorz Baranowski and Jacek Wysocki from Poland will help us tactically and we are all from northern Europe so accustomed to cold racing conditions.'
'The various stages to the race will ensure it is an extremely challenging one with long nights and potentially plenty of wind but hopefully not too much rain or worse, snow! Our clear hopes in this race are to win.'
The fact that many of the Team Germany crew have sailed together for over 10 years creates a unified and complimentary team who can easily build on each other’s strengths. Peter Kohlhoff is a key team member for the Nord Stream Race; the mainsheet trimmer has sailed with Thomas Jungblut for 15 years and the two sailors have worked on many projects together throughout their sailing careers. A further key player of Team Germany is Nils Heyde; the helmsman has sailed with Jungblut for over 30 years after the two men met and began sailing together at the young age of 16.
Ruslan Goryuhin General Director, Stroygazmontazh added: 'We are very pleased to be involved in the new Nord Stream Race and be supporting Team Germany. The international character of this race is close to the Stroygazmontazh ideals and we eagerly await the start of the race on October 18 in Saint Petersburg and hope Team Germany cross the line in first place on October 27 in Greifswald.'
The owner of the Swan 60, Emma, with whom the majority of the Team Germany crew usually compete, will also be on-board during the racing. Dr. Johann Killinger will take the position of second helmsman.
Starting in Saint Petersburg, Russia on Thursday 18 October, the fleet of Swan 60s will race directly to Helsinki, Finland. Helsinki will host the fleet for three days with a Match Racing Regatta scheduled for Saturday 20 October followed by an Open Day for the general public, media and guests to view the yachts. Monday 22 October will see the fleet depart to race to Gotland, Sweden where they will pit-stop overnight on Wednesday 24 October before the final leg to Greifswald, Germany. The race is scheduled to end on Saturday 27 October with a parade of sail by the fleet along the river before a final celebration and prize giving. The event will attract a range of European nationals – with stops in four different countries and crew members from around Europe.
Vladimir Liubomirov, Commodore, Saint Petersburg Yacht Club, and competitor on board Team Russia added: 'I’m looking forward to showcasing Saint Petersburg and the Baltic sailing region to the world. We hope this event will grow to become the flagship sailing event on the Baltic Sea and an event that is widely recognised as a premier offshore race. We look forward to seeing the competition in October and hope our recent win at the Rolex Swan Cup gives us the edge!'
The Nord Stream Race is an invitational event, open to Swan 60s for the inaugural edition in 2012 with open entry for future editions. The environment is perfectly suited to offer high-class sailing with the promise of challenging winds. The other four entries are: Team Europe, Team France, Team Germany and Team Holland.
Nord Stream Race website