'(L to R) Thomas Jungblut, Pieter Keijzer, Vladimir Liubomirov, Tim Kroger, and Jacques Pelletier (Skippers) today (17.10.2012) in Saint-Petersburg for the Nord Stream Race 2012.'
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The highly anticipated inaugural Nord Stream Race gets underway tomorrow, 18th October in Saint Petersburg, Russia. This new competition has brought the elite of the sailing world together to race across the Baltic in a radical development of offshore yachting. Gathered at today’s pre-start press conference the competitor lineup was intense for this inaugural year. With a prize fund of 100,000 Euros for the overall winner this is a serious yacht race to win.
Amongst the five teams entered into the Nord Stream Race there are a number of sailors whose experience and skills are second to none. Having competed in some of the most prestigious and well known racing and sailing events across the globe, these individuals are well prepared for the 750 mile nautical mile race across the Baltic Sea.
Team Russia are heading into the Nord Stream Race with a series of high profile successes behind them; after taking first place in the Rolex Swan Cup Maxi Class and winning the Swan Maxi Class Circuit 2012 the team are on top form and well prepared for the race ahead. Within Team Russia there is Tommaso Chieffi, 17 times World champion and five times European champion and Francesco Rapetti who is a four times America’s Cup winner. The team now have a wealth of experience racing and competing onboard a Swan 60 which will benefit them greatly during the Nord Stream Race.
Team Europe are also in a good position, with a highly experienced and professional crew, they have every chance of beating competition. Team Europe has the advantage of Skipper, Tim Kroger, an America’s Cup sailor and Whitbread around the World Race competitor. There is also Mikael Lundh onboard, the Swedish sailor has competed in the Whitbread around the World Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race a number of times, both extremely challenging and demanding races.
Team France are also in line for first place. The skipper, Jacques Pelletier is a great sailor and a great skipper who has won many offshore races throughout his sailing career. The crew members are also of high quality and consist mainly of members of Yacht Club of France or allied clubs to YCF and who are mostly amateurs with only two or three professionals. The crew will be skilled, competent and effective.
Team Holland are equally positioned to beat the competition and take the winning title. The crew have a wealth of sailing experience gathered from various yachting and racing events. Within the team there is Robert Schutte; the Dutch champion won Les Voiles de Saint Tropez last year and has won a number of regattas throughout his sailing career such as the Nord Sea Regatta. On board Team Holland is also Peter Elmers who has sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in his own boat; a feat not readily undertaken by many.
Team Germany are also in prime position to win the Nord Stream Race. The team comprises of Skipper Thomas Jungblut, who is four times Maxi World Champion and has completed the Rolex Fastnet Race seven times. Alongside Jungblut are Match Race World Champion Jesper Radich and America’s Cup experts Gregorz Baranowski and Jacek Wysocki. 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, they are also extremely familiar with the Swan 60 model after racing onboard a Swan 60 for a number of years.
The experience and skill amongst each of the five crews guarantees that the Nord Stream Race will be an intense and close event. The sailing worlds’ elite will battle with the challenging sailing and weather conditions to race for the finish line and the title of Nord Stream Race Champion.
Nord Stream Race website
by Philippa Holloway
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2:40 PM Wed 17 Oct 2012GMT
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