During the weekend, Strängnäs Segelsällskap organized the fourth and last edition of the Allsvenskan in sailing where we got the opportunity to represent KSSS. Before the final, KSSS was in 6th place but we wanted to sail up to a top 5 place in the total.
After a very difficult first day with very light and shifty winds we were only in 10th place in the fourth round of the Allsvenskan, but on Saturday and Sunday morning there was a bit more wind and more stable conditions which we liked.
This meant that we managed to sail up to a 4th place before the final and only 1 point behind Hjuvik, Sotefjorden and Halmstad who shared the lead. Hjuvik's boat club had already secured the win in the total but also showed in the final sailing that they are very talented sailors. With a stable win also in the final, they also won this part of the race. Congratulations!!!
For our part, the final started a little hesitantly but a half-baked start and we had a little too bad speed and were oversailed by Hjuvik, but after that we could break free and managed to round the first tick mark as 2nd and keep that place throughout the final. This meant that we finished in 2nd place in Strängnäs but because Sotefjorden came in 3rd place just before Öxelösund, we, KSSS, came in 3rd place in the total on the same points as Sotefjorden.
Congratulations and many thanks to all the participating teams who made this great weekend.
Many thanks to Strängnäs Segelsällskap and Svenska seglarsällskapet for a great arrangement and to KSSS that we got the honor to represent the Royal Swedish Sailing Society in the fourth and last part of Allsvenskan Segling 2023!
Finally, a big thank you Photographer Daniel Stenholm for these great pictures!
Today the World Championship ended in Kiel with two inshore up/down races in very light winds. Wind was around 5-6 knots at the start and although this is not our preferred conditions we also did not sail so well today and being in the Gold fleet having mostly larger/faster boats makes it even harder to find free wind and doing our own race on the course. In todays first race we also had a penalty situation and we had to make turns and in the very light winds this took its time and we got away from the start as the last boat in the 34 boat Gold fleet, ending in place 24. In the second race we had a much better start but again we did some mistakes and being punished for being a slow boat in the light conditions and ended in place 15. We have to analyze later with some distance what we could have done better but it was not the greatest of sailing days for the team and we are all very disappointed now.
With todays result our series for the Worlds were: 2, 4, 2, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1, (24) and 15 and total 32 after one discard. We missed the podium with one point and ended fourth in the Open class and on second place in the Corinthian division. So going out today in the lead and then ending only fourth was really not something we are proud of and we all feel sad about it as we had hoped for more. All results are here: ORC Worlds Results
We will now leave Kiel and give this some time and then analyze and reflect what and how we could have done things differently this last day after a regatta where we had sailed well all days before. We hope of course to be back again and try once more....
We thank all our competitors and congratulate especially the open podium winners Sugar 3, Matilda 4 and Arabela for really good sailing!
We also thank the organizers of the Worlds and we have enjoyed being in Kiel even if the weather maybe had not been the best with a lot of rain during the week.
During yesterday Thursday the World Championship in offshore sailing continued in Kiel with some 120 participating boats. We started on Thursday with two inshore races, up/down. We continued like the day before to sail really well and conditions was now lighter compared to earlier in the week with around 15 knots of wind. We managed to come on second and in third place during these inshore races and it is really tight in the top and one race we lost with only 9 seconds. Also, for us having a slower boat compared to many others being in the top places it is also harder to find free wind and we have to adapt to others more than they need to.
Then we had a short break on Thursday afternoon before the long offshore race started at 19 on Thursday evening and for us in Class C it was a 85 nm course planned taking approximately 12 hours over night. Again, we sailed really well and after a fantastic start (first to reach the rounding after first beat) we had great strategy/tactics as well as excellent boat handling and speed! We feel that compared to other teams we have an advantage racing in darkness as we have great instruments and know how fast the boat should go with different sails plus that we also practice that.
This means that after 5 days of Worlds and 8 completed races we have the series: 2, 4, 2, 2, 1, 2, 3 and 1 with a total score of 17. We are in second place overall with Matilda 4 in the lead with 15 points and on third place Sugar 3 with 20 points. This means we have overall two race wins so far during this Worlds and an average score so far of a bit more than 2 per race.
We are pleased to have a podium place now before the last day but tomorrow everything will be settled and we will of course do what we can to win but competition will be very hard and tomorrow we will also sail in the Gold fleet with the top half of the 68 Class C boats so it will be even harder for us to find that free wind but we will do out very best!
Today racing continued in the ORC World Championship in Kiel with three races, first a coastal race for about two hours and then in the afternoon two up/down races. We have sailed really well today and managed to get a 2, 2 and our first 1 in this Worlds! Overall, we won the day in Class C and with this score. Overall, during the five races so far we have 2, 4, 2, 2 and 1 with an overall score of 11. We are overall in third place but just one point after Matilda 4 that are in the lead with 10 points. All results here (Class C): Worlds results
Overall, we have sailed very well today and very few mistakes with good starts, tactics, speed and maneuvers. The wind was a bit less today but we still had mostly around 20 knots of wind with gusts over 30 knots. We are especially please with todays last race where we took line honors being the first boat to finish (many other boats are supposed to be faster) and as well winning the race on corrected time with a large margin - this was our best race so far in this Worlds!
Tomorrow racing continues and the plan is to sail two up/down races with at 11 and then a long offshore race over night with start at 19. We hope for another good day and will do everything we can to repeat then good sailing we had today! The weather forecast seems to predict some lighter winds after the first days of strong winds. Then final day of racing, with two planned up/down races, will be on Saturday. Next update on the blog will come on Friday after the long offshore race.
The Offshore World Championship continued in Kiel today on its second day. Due to continued strong winds we only sailed one two-hour coastal race today. Winds were between 15-35 knots today. We sailed again relatively well and finished on 4th place. Again, we had a lot of reaching and it is difficult to compete with the J-112's and Italia 11.98's that are boats that are around a meter longer than us and have an advantage in that respect in these type of courses we had today and yesterday (there are three J-112's in the lead in total). Today, the first four boats finished in around one minute so it shows how tight/close the racing is and there is no room for mistakes. Overall, our series after two days of 2 and 4 gives a total of 6 points and a 4th place overall in Class C with a total of 68 boats. See results here (Class C for us): World Results
The racing today was fun with a lot of sail shifts and maneuvers but quite wet with rain and strong winds when we got out of the Kiel channel. We had hoped for a podium place also today but our first leg was maybe not good enough due to a wind shift that was not advantageous for us.
Going forward the schedule for the Worlds has been updated today and tomorrow there will be one Inshore/Coastal race followed by up to two up/down races. The updated schedule is as below:
We will do our very best for tomorrow and where we hope for 2-3 races. Overall, with the updated schedule we have now done 2 out of up to 10 races so a lot of competition remains and we are well positioned to hopefully fight for the podium places!
Due to the heavy wind conditions the schedule had been changed and we did a 1.5 hour coastal race in around 25-30 knots of wind. We managed to sail relatively well and finished second in our blue group of the Class C fleet. Overall results from today is here: Worlds Day 1 Results.
The race today included a lot of reaching with a short upwind and downwind. Even if we sailed ok there were several things we can improve for the days to come. Tomorrow is it not yet clear what course we are going to sail and it depends how heavy the wind forecast will be. One alternative is that we will sail a longer offshore course of 85 nm or around 12 hours.
Thanks for the pictures from us today that someone put on our FB page!
All preparations are now done and tomorrow the ORC Worlds starts here in Kiel. Today we did a practice race and after two general recalls at the start unfortunately we started too early and was disqualified but the good thing was it was only for practice.
Tomorrow the plan was for the long offshore race to start estimated at around 30 hours sailing but unfortunately the weather forecast predict heavy winds up to 50 knots in the gusts so the organizers have decided to change the schedule and tomorrow do a shorter coastal race of around two hours. In one way we feel this is too bad given we perform usually quite well in those windy conditions offshore but in one way you can also understand the organizers decision to make this change.
We will of course do everything we can to sail as good as we can tomorrow and then we will see how the organizers will adapt the schedule and when the long offshore race will be planned. The forecasts predicts quite a lot of wind to Wednesday but maybe slightly less than on Monday evening/night.
After some rest after Gotland Runt early July (where we managed to win overall) we are now getting ready for this seasons most important race being the ORC World Championship in Kiel Germany starting next weekend. "Malin" is on its way to Kiel and the rest of the crew will meet in Kiel mid next week for some practice and preparations before the Worlds starts.
There are around 120 participating boats in the World Championship and we have around 70 boats in Class C. See more about the Worlds and who is coming here: ORC Worlds.
We have good memories from the last Worlds we participated in, Tallinn 2021, where we came third in the open class and won the corinthian class. Once again we will meet Matilda 4 and Sugar 3 who came in front of us in the open class during the last Worlds (and all the rest of the boats) and we will do our best to try to beat them this time!
For this Worlds there are some changes and there will be less focus on up/down courses and we may instead do a coastal race almost every day but we will see how they plan things. As before, Worlds will start with a long offshore race over night with start on next Monday morning. There are five Swedish boats in Class C and two in Class B so overall 7. We will provide regular updates especially during the Worlds.
After a much-needed night's rest, it was time for the award ceremony and regatta dinner on Wednesday after our overall victory and class win in this year's Gotland Runt. We had (almost) the entire team and a lot of respective which was fun. Picture below from the pre-drink before the award ceremony.
The award ceremony was unexpectedly crowded, which was great!
There were several nice prizes and we got a total of three traveling trophies that will now have Team Pro4u engraved / added, one for class victory in ORCi B, Hoburgen price and finally the finest trophy for Total Win. The trophies in the center below in the picture.
Even our meteorologist Martin Hedberg, who we have received very good help from and who we will continue to collaborate with also over the World Cup, was with us during the evening, which was fun.
Finally, there was a regatta dinner and then some dancing.
Today, Tuesday, July 4, we crossed the finish line in this year's Gotland Runt about 13:20 about 49 hours after the start on Sunday. We succeeded very well and for the first time we won in Team Pro4u total Gotland Runt and also our class ORCi B.
We won in total with about 1 hour and 20 minutes before the second place on estimated time and only about 20 boats finished, see the results here: Overall results
We won our class ORCi B with just over 7 hours on the estimated time, see the results here: ORCi Class B Results
In total, of the 180 registered boats for this year's Gotland Runt, many (the majority) broke the race either before, given the forecasts of very strong winds, or during the race, probably because things broke, they felt insecure, had not trained in strong winds or suffered a lot of seasickness on board.
Here is one of the many things we in the crew appreciate a lot with our skipper Patrik Forsgren because even if we also knew that it would be a tough race, we knew that the boat "Malin" was in top condition and you trust that things hold and work even in hard weather with a lot of wind and waves. On board with us, there were never any thoughts of not starting and instead we tried to prepare ourselves before in the best possible way and fortunately everything held as it should and the boat worked perfectly. However, we also suffered from some seasickness and such is always tough to deal with, especially for the person affected.
We are very happy and proud of this overall victory in Gotland Runt and several of us on board have long experience with around 20 completed Gotland Runt most of us have been without overall victory until now. Then it will perhaps be extra special because this year's edition together with 1993 and 2019 goes down in history as among the windiest and this year more boats broke than ever before (as much as 87% have not come to the start or broken).
We have done a really good Gotland Runt with very good tactics and strategy that Peter Thorwid and Roger Nilson were responsible for. The iron gang Emil Forsgren and Zacharias Krafft were on the foredeck and mast. Keyboard was Emil Alnebeck and sail trim was done by Linnea Floser and the undersigned Anders Björk. Main sheet has the happy and talented Ålänningen Thomas Tennström handled (reserve for regular Sven) and finally Patrik Forsgren was helmsman and skipper.
This year's race began with the archipelago part, which is a fantastic part of Gotland Runt, starting in the middle of the city and then sailing out to Sandhamn with lots of boats and sometimes narrow passages. We started quite late and managed to overtake lots of boats until we got out on the sea outside Sandhamn. That part had quite light to medium winds and is completely different from what was waiting for us later on the sea. The part from the lighthouse Almagrundet to Hoburgen was the toughest this year and it was also here that most boats broke. It was mostly crossing or tacking in strong winds mostly around 25-30 knots with peaks a bit over 40 knots. It was cold, wet, tough and challenging with such a long distance all the time on the open sea, difficult to get proper rest and food. As usual when you then round Hoburgen, you get a nice feeling because now you are on your way home and we got a tailwind and everything gets better and easier on board. The first part up to Visby (we did not have to round the buoy in Visby this year, good decision by KSSS and maybe you can permanently ignore this rounding?) we drove our Jibtop with staysail and it went as usual stable and fine in the wind that continued to be around 25 knots. When we then passed Visby and could fall a few degrees, we had a discussion on board about whether we should run the spinnaker and since we were chasing the total, we bet and hoisted our full-sized S3 in 30 knots of wind (a reef on the main) and here began a fantastic rope up to Almagrundet where we spent the first few hours when the wind was usually between 28 and 34 knots and we went really fast with a couple of peaks of 21.2 knots (new speed record for the boat). This last long slog home is guaranteed to be remembered throughout life with great joy, fantastic to be able to go so fast with such a type of boat we have! Of course, it helps that we have trained quite a lot and many on board have experience of hard weather.
We also had a reporter on board during this year's race and we hope Saga had an OK time on board with us! We also want to thank KSSS for a very well conducted race and fun to also race in really hard weather that tests the limits of teams and boats and show that thorough preparation and training gives results and the race was really quite undramatic in a positive way for us on the whole and the atmosphere on board has been very good all the way.
Tomorrow evening there will be an award ceremony and regatta dinner in Sandhamn and almost the entire team will be there and it will be a fun experience!
Pictures from KSSS.
Text: Anders Björk (who started and completed all three windy Gotland Runt in 1993, 2019 and 2023).
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