AF Offshore Race Round Gotland

This Swedish offshore classic starts in the middle of the capital of Sweden, Stockholm, and passes through one of the most beautiful archipelagos, before heading offshore, rounding the island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic sea and finishing in the picturesque village of Sandhamn. The race is around 400 nautical miles and a local rating system called SRS is applied together with one class racing under ORCi. The Royal Swedish Yacht Club together with the energy consulting firm AF is organizing and hosting the event.

 

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This offshore race is also part of the Swedish Farr 30s national cup – Magic Cup. 9 Farr 30 boats lined up, ready to battle each other and 270 other boats. All of Stockholm turned up and greeted us farewell. Rough counting says about a 100 000 people stood along the docks and keys, watching and cheering as friends or family members started this Swedish offshore classic.

The Farr 30 was the biggest one-design class, and early on it stood clear that they were among the most competitive boats. The weather were typical Scandinavian summer, i.e. sun or partly clouded, light and fluky winds with the general direction of South to South West.

The first stretch out through the archipelago was totally dominated by the Farr 30s. 8 of 9 Farr 30s finished in the top 10!

The offshore stretch around the island offered everything from doldrums calm to a very nice 20-25 knot down wind. One of the teams, Farr 30 Magic Youth, broke the national speed record in a thunder squall measuring 35 knots of wind. The guys all under 20 got the ride of their life, logging a GPS speed of 25, 3 knots….

As a class we are extremely proud of how well these little boats are performing. In the SRS class total, we had none the less than 6 Farr 30s among the top ten! On top of that, Matrisen with Martin Strandberg, current national champion, won the class and the race.

We would be surprised if we are not 10+ boats next year and the recruitment to the class looks to say the least, very promising.

 

Text by Henrik Sund

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