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Nord Stream Race - Sweden take home victory

After a night of terror, exhilaration and 20+ knot boat speeds, Cape Crow YC (Team Sweden) arrived home to a glorious victory at the end of leg two of the 2017 Nord Stream Race.

At 420 miles, this was by far the longest of the trans-Baltic yacht race’s four legs, taking the boats from Copenhagen to the Royal Swedish YC at Saltsjöbaden, outside Stockholm.

The Swedes relieved Deutscher Touring YC (Team Germany) of the lead halfway to the turning mark off Bornholm on Monday night.

Last night, passing Gotland, they seemed to find a groove of their own, extending away, to finish with a lead of 50 minutes.

For the five crews, last night’s ride on their ClubSwan 50s was sensational, hard running in 25 knot winds, gusting to 30, in steep, short waves.

In the pitch black night, the fast ride was both exhilarating and terrifying.

Last night, running downwind, the boats were hitting 22 knots top speeds, but there was a price: “Just before we got into the Archipelago, we were on our side for about four minutes,” admitted Martin Krite. Fortunately no one was injured in the broach.

While on the first night they ran a watch system, last night it was all-hands-on-deck. “We skipped the watch and did a half hour rotation between a couple of helmsmen,” said Patrik Sturesson, the Swedish team’s 25-year-old skipper.

The Finnish crew from Nyländska Jaktklubben in Helsinki was next home, skipper Kenneth Thelen in a strangely euphoric place, running on pure adrenalin, stupidly grinning, sunglasses hiding bloodshot sleep deprived eyes, after steering for around 10 hours last night.

He had, in one night, relived his Whitbread Round the World Race experience of 28 years ago, one of his crew confided. Even if he had wanted to sleep last night Thelen said it would have been impossible, the carbon hull constantly singing out at the high speed.

Such was the pace of the Nord Stream Race boats on this leg that their arrival into Stockholm was a day earlier than scheduled.

This will allow crews recovery time before the Nord Stream Race’s third leg to Helsinki begins on Saturday, 2 September.

Nord Stream Race 2017 - leg two times:
1. Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) – 43h 29m 09s
2. Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) – 44h 18m 34s
3. Nyländska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) – 44h 33m 32s
4. Lord of the Sail – Europe (Team Russia) – 44h 51m 27s
5. Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) – 46h 13m 06s

Nord Stream Race 2017 - overall results after two offshore legs and two inshore series
1. Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) - 5
2. Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) - 7
3. Nyländska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) – 9
4. Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) - 11
5. Lord of the Sail – Europe (Team Russia) - 13

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