by Henry Robson
Tim Kroger and his crew went out for an intense training session today at the Helsinki Sailing Club ahead of next week’s Nord Stream Race, organized by the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg.
Team Europe train in Helsinki ahead of the Nord Stream Race
With conditions favourable, Kroger’s team hand-picked from around Europe, put in a four hour training session honing their skills with just under a week to go before the start of the Nord Stream Race which starts in Saint-Petersburg on October 18.
An excited Kroger sees preparation as key ahead of the 750 nautical mile race across the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany via Finland and Helsinki and oversaw a focussed training session in the Finnish capital: 'We had a great practice session today, winds were light but we were able to check the systems on-board plus the vital electronic package. We had a good look at the sails and the rig and worked on a couple of manoeuvres.
With one week to go there is still a lot of work but we are gelling as a team and I am looking forward to heading to Saint-Petersburg on Sunday. All the five boats have now arrived in Helsinki so it feels like the race is already on. I am excited and so are my motivated crew.'
Kroger has some experienced crew around him with Mark Lagesse (France) as Navigator and long term friend Michael Lundh (Sweden) as Watch Captain which sees Team Europe as potential winners of the 100,000 Euro prize pool.
Lundh is excited by what lays ahead of them over the next two weeks, 'I like the set up within our boat, not everyone knows each other and that’s why I enjoy sailing. I know Tim Kroger well so I understand how we thinks and acts but not everyone else does. That is part of the fun and challenge for us all to get along and gel and that is why our practice this week is so important. We have a good mixture of youth and experience and I am excited by the challenge the Nord Stream Race has to offer.'
The Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg has called it ‘The Nord Stream Race’ in order to underline the long distance, the international character and the high level of complexity and technical challenge of the event. 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. Participants from more than fifteen European countries will take part in the race.
Nord Stream Race website