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Nord Stream Race - Germany win opening leg

Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) claimed honours on the 150 mile opening leg of the 2017 Nord Stream Race from Kiel, Germany to Skovshoved, just north of Copenhagen.Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) -

Leg one of this four stage, 1000 nautical mile race east across the Baltic took the boats 24 hours, after starting from Germany’s ‘Sailing City’ at 13:00 hrs yesterday.

“Our tactician from the UK, Hugh Brayshaw, did a super job last night, all of the team did a good job,” said the winning team’s skipper Michael Tarabochia. “We sailed the right angles and we worked hard the whole day.”

The crews spent much of the first leg following the Danish coast. This was mostly upwind and made for few tactical options. For example the Swedish crew dived south during the evening in search of stronger wind, but this didn’t pay.

Despite the newness of the one design ClubSwan 50s, and their crews still being unfamiliar sailing them, the racing was extremely close. During the leg at least three of the yachts led.

Ultimately the German crew finished just two minutes 20 seconds ahead of Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden).

While the German and Russian teams ran watch systems, the three other crews didn’t, resulting in some extremely tired Scandinavian finishers.

The top four boats finished within 13 minutes with Nyländska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) third and the local heroes on Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) fourth.

Lord of the Sail - Europe (Team Russia) was fifth, still within half an hour of the winner.

Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) - Click image for a larger image

The local team on Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) arrived to cheers and flag waves from their fan club.

Skipper, Michael Nielsen, was disappointed with their fourth place. “We were leading at the end of the night, but we had some problems and made a tactical error,” he said.

However he was impressed by the closeness of the racing. “It was a very difficult leg with lots of wind shifts and extremely tight competition all of the time. At 21:00 we even had to duck the Swedish boat! It was really interesting."

"We brought freeze dried food, but we didn’t have time to cook it - we just grabbed a sandwich or an apple. We’d only get to sleep 10 or 20 minutes at a time.”

Starting Monday at 13:00 hrs is leg two of the Nord Stream Race, from Copenhagen to Stockholm. At 470 miles, this will be by far the longest leg.

Nord Stream Race - Finished at:
1. Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) 12:39:15
2. Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) 12:41:35
3. Nyländska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) 12:47:03
4. Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) 12:52:23
5. Lord of the Sail – Europe (Team Russia) 13:06:30