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7 June 2006, 02:27 pm
Speed Duel Debut In Oslo
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Nokia Oops Cup 2006
Oslo, Norway

The 2006 Nokia Oops Cup begins today, with the 60 foot trimarans in Oslo, Norway for the opening City Race. It is also the first performance for the exciting new race format Speed Duel where two boats sail against each other in two laps on a short course.
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'The Speed Duel will be the most exciting race we have sailed, and worth seeing for the public,' said Norwegian skipper Knut FROSTAD, onboard Nokia Academy.

Klabbe NYLÖF (SWE) on the Swedish trimaran HiQ agreed, saying, 'It will be hard to sail, it's going to be fast and there is very little space for manoeuvres. But it's going to be very exciting for the public to watch. Anything can happen!'

The winds in Oslo are relatively light, but the speeds can get up to 20 knots for the fast and light trimarans.

FROSTAD's Plan

'It feels like we're going to be placed a bit after HiQ on the tacking, but we're going to try to beat them in the hard winds out on the sea instead,' revealed FROSTAD.

The Finnish skipper and 49er Olympic Champion Thomas JOHANSON and his crew have never been more prepared.

'Now we know how the boat works and it feels good,' he explained yesterday. 'For the race tomorrow we are strengthening the crew with last year's winner in Nokia Oops Cup, Stève RAVUSSIN [(SUI)] and Pierre-Yves MOREAU [(FRA)].'

About This Year's Event

The Nokia Oops Cup is one of the toughest sail racing competitions in northern Europe. This year it will be an international match between Norway, Sweden and Finland, and three of the world's leading offshore racers.

The Speed Races also bring a new element to this year's race, as the 60 foot tris fight in a sailing duel in the centre of some of Northern European's most famous cities.

As well as Oslo, the race will visit Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm in Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; and Copenhagen, Denmark before finishing in Kiel, Germany on 19 August.

The Cup includes both spectator friendly City Races and several days long Offshore Races.

At the helms of the advanced 60 feet trimarans Nokia Academy, HiQ and TietoEnator Audi, stand three of the Nordic countries' most skilled and experienced offshore race skippers: FROSTAD (NOR), NYLÖF and JOHANSON.

Lars-Ola NORDQVIST (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from last year's race:© Hans BERGGREN
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