Team Germany wins Nord Stream Invitational Race 2016
SY SGM is the fastest Swan in the Baltic Sea
- Team Germany, skippered by Prince Alexander of Schleswig-Holstein, takes first place in the fifth annual Nord Stream Race
- Team Europe, sponsored by Nord Stream, finishes second in the 700 nautical mile event
- Nord Stream 2 supported the race for the first time this year, hosting a mid-way event in Helsinki for international guests and crews
June 13, 2016 | Rostock-Warnemünde | At 02:58 on Friday 10 June, Team Germany on board the SY SGM crossed the finish line as the winning crew in the Nord Stream Invitational Race 2016. They were the first team to arrive in Warnemünde, Germany, having completed the second leg of the race in 3 days, 8 hours and 13 minutes of non-stop sailing from Helsinki. This result, combined with their third place finish in leg one from Saint Petersburg to Helsinki, ensured their overall victory.
“As a wholly amateur crew, who had never all sailed together in this set-up before, we definitely didn’t expect to be standing here with the trophy in our hands!” said the overjoyed Team Germany skipper, Prince Alexander of Schleswig-Holstein, before being surprised by his crew with a shower of champagne.
Facing single digit temperatures, wind speeds up to 25 knots, and sometimes a nerve-wracking complete calm, the adverse conditions in the Baltic Sea pushed the participants to their limits over the 700 nautical mile race from Saint Petersburg to Helsinki to Warnemünde.
This was the fifth annual Nord Stream Race and the first time Nord Stream 2 lent its support, hosting the teams in Helsinki after the first leg of the race. Crews, journalists and invited guests joined the celebratory events, including German Ambassador to Finland, Dorothee Janetzke-Wenzel and Baltic Sea Ambassador, Erja Tikka.
Ulrich Lissek, Head of Communications at Nord Stream 2 said: “We are very proud to support the Nord Stream Race this year. It has been an exciting event with participants showing incredible teamwork, determination and international collaboration. These values are extremely important to our organization. We congratulate Team Germany on a successful race, and will see if Nord Stream-sponsored Team Europe can take back their title next year!”
Throughout the race, the international teams not only had to trim their Gazprom Swan 60 yachts correctly and sail at the fastest possible speed, it was also a very tactical challenge. Reading the weather proved to be a defining strategy for SGM. Prince Alexander said: “We knew that north of the island of Rügen there would be a large area of little wind and we gambled by taking the most northern route to avoid this. Also we knew that our competitors at the front, SPIRIT OF EUROPE and TSAAR PETER, were battling and would not leave each other’s side. They were not expecting much competition from us so we took the chance to steal away.”
Second placed Tim Kröger, who has taken part with his Team Europe in all Nord Stream Races since 2012, called this anniversary edition “the toughest and the coldest so far”. This must have been especially hard for the young crew members, but “they all did a fantastic job”, he said. While the race has always emphasized the involvement of young people, this year the organisers required each team to include at least three crew members under the age of 25.
Following the crew on SPIRIT OF EUROPE was Team Russia with skipper Sergey Borodinov on board BRONENOSEC. After winning the first leg they only secured fourth place in the second leg giving them five points in total. As the second leg is decisive in case of a tie break, Team Europe beats Team Russia with a second and a third place respectively. Fourth is the team from Finland with skipper Samuli Leisti on board TSAAR PETER, followed by Team Great Britain and skipper Adrian Lower on board PETITE FLAMME in fifth.
More information can be found on the event website www.nord-stream-race.com.