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7 June 2005, 03:17 pm
Union Offshore Race Goes To Team Nokia
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Nokia Oops Cup 2005
Oslo, Norway

Magnus "Mange" OLSSON (SWE) and Loïc PEYRON (FRA) picked the right side of the last island up the Oslofjord and managed to pass Bruno PEYRON (FRA) and Roger NILSON (SWE) on Stena Sovcomflot a few nautical miles before the finish line to take victory in the Union Offshore Race, race three of the Nokia Oops Cup 2005.
All the way up along the Swedish and Norwegian coast the three leading trimarans where in shouting distance from each other in the first offshore race for the Formula 60 trimarans.

'It was a very tight race all the way from Gothenburg to Oslo. We tacked on each other all the way,' said OLSSON, skipper on Nokia.

The six trimarans left Gothenburg, Sweden on Monday at 2000 hours local time, and after a short reach out to Vinga Lighthouse, the crew started the fight against 20-30 knots of northerly wind up to Oslo, Norway. Team Academy and skipper Knut FROSTAD (NOR) were among the first boats round Vinga, but shortly after the halyard block for the staysail broke. Academy had to seek inn to calmer waters along the coast to give the guy in the mast a chance to replace the broken block.

TietoEnator with Thomas JOHANSON (FIN) on the helm had the same problem, but they also got two holes in their main as the lashing from the staysail broke and came swinging back. That ended the race for the Finnish team as they now are limping towards the finish line in Oslo.

The three boats in the lead, HiQ, Stena Sovcomflot and Nokia, had a tight race all the way to the end Monday morning. All the three boats had different sailing configuration all the night and as the wind increased HiQ in to the morning hours, HiQ finally had to put in a reef. That gave Stena Sovcomflot and Nokia the little edge they needed to put some distance between them and the Swedish team.

The crew on Stena Sovcomflot felt pretty confident that they had their third win in the bag, but with Team Nokia a few hundred metres behind they were not able to cover them any more in between all the islands, and ended up on each side of one. OLSSON picked the right side and came out in front of the Russian-Swedish team.

Next race for the crews in Nokia Oops Cup is the Speed Race on Thursday, and on Friday the Helly Hansen Færder Race kicks off.

Results Union Offshore Race

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

Overall Standings
(After 3 of 11 races)

  1. Stena Sovcomflot (RUS/SWE) - 2.5 points
  2. Nokia (SWE) - 6.5
  3. Academy (NOR) - 8
  4. HiQ (SWE) - 8.5
  5. Bonduelle (POL) - 12.5
  6. TietoEnator (FIN) - 14
Mats Olsson (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Stena Sovcomflot heads the fleet:© Hans Berggren
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