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21 June 2005, 10:55 am
Wins For Academy And Stena Sovcomflot
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Nokia Oops Cup 2005
Copenhagen, Denmark

After two more legs in the Nokia Oops Cup, the Russian/Swedish boat, Stena Sovcomflot remains number one in the overall standings, although their success came at a price for navigator Roger NILSON (SWE). In yesterday's race Knut FROSTAD (NOR), led Academy to victory to keep Stena in check at the top.

'I wouldn't change these guys for any sailors in the world,' said FROSTAD after he won leg seven of the Nokia Oops Cup, the Copenhagen City Race in Denmark, with a clear margin yesterday. Team Academy is the only team in Nokia Oops Cup that, according to FROSTAD, only has amateurs on board and they are all young Norwegian sailors.

FROSTAD has focussed on building a Norwegian team from the bottom up in this year's Nokia Oops Cup. While most of the other teams have hired multihull stars to lead their teams, FROSTAD has kept to his fellow countrymen.

As usual he has Espen GUTTORMSEN (NOR), his right hand from the last two Volvo Ocean Race campaigns on tactics. Eivind MELLEBY (NOR), respected Laser and Melges 24 sailor, has recently joined the team as trimmer, and Frode BOVIM (NOR), at number eight in the 49er ISAF World Sailing Rankings with helm Christoffer SUNDBY (NOR), is also on the trim, to name some of the crew.

The first race turned out to be a question of who had paid attention at the skippers briefing. HiQ was leading the fleet towards the finish, trailed by Stena Sovcomflot. When the Stena went round the bottom mark instead of going for the line, Klabbe NYLÖF (SWE) and the HiQ crew turned around and chased after them. Both skippers thought that the course had three rounds, but FROSTAD and his Team Academy were in no doubt. Instead of ending third, they took the gun while the two other boats sailed the wrong way.

'We where convinced that there only were two rounds so we went for the finish,' said FROSTAD.

In the next three races the Norwegians where the second boat over the line and they finished the racing day just as they begun it, with a win.

Stena Sovcomflot realized their mistake way to late in the first race and ended up last over the line. They fought hard to recover from the loss in the remainder of the races, and returned to the dock after five races in second place.

HiQ, with NYLÖF at the helm, came third, while the Finish boat TietoEnator was fourth, Nokia fifth and Bonduelle sixth.

The next race for the six trimarans in the Nokia Oops Cup is the long distance classic Eurocard Gotland Runt which starts on 3 July.

On Saturday NILSON, navigator on the 60 foot trimaran Stena Sovcomflot, took the boat to a record breaking time in the Danish classic Sjaelland Rundt, leg six of the Nokia Oops Cup. The Russian-Swedish team shaved over seven hours off the old record that NYLÖF on HiQ set in 2003. They finished the 275 nautical mile long course in just 13 hours and 21 minutes.

However the record did not come without a price tag. 'I was down below when the boat suddenly came to a stop in a wave. I was thrown forward and knocked out three teeth, and I probably also broken a couple of ribs,' said NILSON on his way to the hospital in Helsingör after the race.

The incident on Stena Sovcomflot happened five hours into the race, but they did not abort the race to get NILSON to hospital. Stena Sovcomflot just kept on racing with the injured navigator down below.

'The pain was so strong that I almost fainted, but luckily enough I had some strong tranquilizers on board to take the pain away,' said NILSON.

NILSON was also on board HiQ when they established the old record in 2003. Then they took over eight hours of the old record.

'Stena Sovcomflot is much faster than the 2003 edition of HiQ was,' said the Swede. 'We also had better winds with much less tacking this time around the Danish island. We have a very skilled crew and Steve RAVUSSIN is a magician when it comes to getting this tri up to max speed.'

The Swiss skipper certainly knows his boat and topped out during the record race at 43.6 knots. The other trimarans in Nokia Oops Cup that participated in Sjaelland Rundt followed right behind Stena Sovcomflot. HiQ ended up second, TietoEnator came third after a hard battle with FROSTAD on Academy, who finally ended up in fourth place.

Results Själland Runt

  1. Stena Sovcomflot (RUS/SWE)
  2. HiQ (SWE)
  3. TietoEnator (FIN)
  4. Bonduelle (POL)
  5. Academy (NOR)
  6. Nokia (SWE)

Results Copenhagen City Race

  1. Academy (NOR)
  2. Stena Sovcomflot (RUS/SWE)
  3. HiQ (SWE)
  4. TietoEnator (FIN)
  5. Nokia (SWE)
  6. Bonduelle (POL)

Overall Standings

(After 7 of 11 races)

  1. Stena Sovcomflot (RUS/SWE) - 11 points
  2. Academy (NOR) - 16
  3. HiQ (SWE) - 21.5
  4. TietoEnator (FIN) - 26.5
  5. Nokia (SWE) - 26.5
  6. Bonduelle (POL) - 35.5
Mats Olsson. Image, Stena remain in charge at the top:© Hans Berggren
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