AF Offshore Race 2011 – Ran takes line honours
by Oskar Kihlborg on 9 Jul 2011
AF Offshore Race 2011, previously known as the Round Gotland Race, was held from the 5th to 9th July. With exception to the start four days ago conditions were light and changeable.
ÅF Offshore Race 2011 © Oskar Kihlborg http://www.kihlborg.se
The race machine Ran sailed rapidly throughout the race. The 72 feet long racer was the first to cross finishing line and got line honour.
Throughout the race, old-timer Wasa 55 Vindile had been leading the field as first boat. Vindile is a boat with a particular history, built some 30 years ago in Gothenburg. New owners have however made a spectacular job of transforming the former cruising boat into a really nasty two time winner, 2007 and 2010. In Sandhamn, Ran was the only boat Vindile had in front of them.
The race within the race, between the two TP 52's Reg and Datacom-Lindahl was won by the latter with experienced skipper Ralf Aspholm.
The well known Round Gotland sailing race is probably one of the world´s largest offshore races. This year the 74th edition of the race since 1937 has changed its racing course and is launching Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, as a starting point. Through the initiative of the new title sponsor, tech consultancy company ÅF, the organising yacht club KSSS (Royal Swedish Yacht Club) launched Stockholm as a test starting city for three sailing classes this year.
Some 30 boats lined up at midday yesterday in shining, sunny weather and a slow five-seven breeze, before tens of thousands of onlooking spectators and foreign tourists. Sailors, organisers and the public were all in agreement that through the launch of this race here, Stockholm has created another world class event. The ambition for next year is to have all classes, supposedly including more than 300 plus boats, starting from Stockholm.
The race is a truly international event and this year more than 60 boats entered with teams from Finland, Norway, Lithuania, Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia and Switzerland. Among the crews were established sailors and businessmen as well as a complete Australian female team.
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