'We have developed an very good boat and are looking forward to giving the other competitors a real fight. Our skipper, Bruno PEYRON, is regarded as one of the world's best yachtsmen on this type of boat,' says NILSON, the Stena-Sovcomflot navigator.
Sailing this type of lightweight boat can have disastrous consequences and can come to a very abrupt end if the skipper does not know when it is time to hold back. The difficulty lies not only in pushing the boats to their limit, but in slowing them down and doing so in time. The boat's limits can be exceeded very suddenly, and when that happens, they capsize.
'You can always push a boat hard in a strong wind, but the person who wins is, in my experience, the one who best knows when it's time to hold back. Bruno is brilliant at doing this at precisely the right moment,' says NILSON, who has crewed for PEYRON several times over the years.
PEYRON and NILSON were the skipper and navigator, respectively, of the giant catamaran, Orange II, which recently broke a sensational speed record for sailing non-stop around the world. They crossed the finishing line in Brest on 16 March this year, a mere 50 days after the starting gun was fired in the same location, with more than a week to spare over the old record. Proof, if ever it was needed, of their outstanding ability and skill in sailing multihull boats.
In addition to PEYRON and NILSON, this year's Stena Sovcomflot Sailing Team comprises Frenchmen Steve RAVUSSIN and Pierre YVES MOREAU, and Sweden's Linus NETSHAGEN and Per JONSON - all highly qualified racing yachtsmen with considerable experience of sailing multihull boats.
The racing starts in Helsinki, Finland on 21 and 22 May, continues in Stockholm, Sweden on 28 and 29 May, before moving to Gothenburg, Sweden on 6 June and Oslo, Norway on 9 and 12 June. The Faerder Race will also be held off Oslo on 10 June, followed by Sjælland Rundt on 17-18 June and then a race in Copenhagen, Denmark on 20 June. After taking part in the Gotland Runt race on 3 and 4 July, the next competition, Sandhamn to Sopot in Poland, start 6 July. Sopot City Race is on 10 July followed by the Sopot - St. Petersburg race on 12 July and the cup finishes in St. Petersburg, Russia with a speed race on 16 July.