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21 August 2006, 12:03 pm
NYLÖF And HiQ Win 2006 Cup
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Nokia Oops Cup 2006
Kiel, Germany

Sweden triumphed in the Nokia Oops Cup 2006, with Klabbe NYLÖF (SWE) and his crew on the 60 feet trimaran HiQ taking overall victory after eleven tough races. NYLÖF wrapped up victory after winning the offshore race between Malmö, Sweden and Kiel, Germany last followed by third place in Kiel City Race on Saturday.
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The winning margin was small, with just a point separating HiQ from the second place Nokia Academy of Knut FROSTAD (NOR).

'We have worked so hard for this, so it feels great that it lead to a victory,' NYLÖF said.

Repeat Win

Three years ago, NYLÖF won the Nokia Oops Cup, but the last two years he has been number two and three after FROSTAD.

'It feels like revenge to get a victory again,' NYLÖF explained. 'Two years in a row we have had problems with our boat, but this year everything worked great. We have sailed well and fast, and we have been in good shape with our material and a good backup shore organization.'

But it was a hard fight all the way to the dockside in Kiel. Just one point divided HiQ from Nokia Academy, with HiQ taking six victories and Nokia five.

'Our best sail race was the course race in Sandhamn, while the City Race in Kiel was the worst. It's no use to try to sail conservatively and save the material, that's when everything goes bad, like it did today,' said NYLÖF, after finishing the Kiel City Race in third place.

Offshore Race Proves Vital

The victory was secured last Wednesday when HiQ finished an hour before Nokia after a 330 nautical mile offshore race from Malmö to Kiel. HiQ had an average speed of 15 knots over the 21 plus hours and logged top speeds of 36 knots.

'It was really tough, but we had no problem,' NYLÖF revealed. Things were far worse for him and the crew during the race between Helsinki, Finland and Copenhagen, Denmark a couple of weeks ago. NYLÖF would rather forget about it, HiQ ran into no wind for several hours and finished twelve hours after Nokia and TietoEnator Audi.

'We have been able to turn up our speed whenever we have run into trouble, and we haven't had any real problems. It has been a really great Nokia Oops Cup, exciting and tight races and better than earlier years,' NYLÖF commented.

In front of almost 10,000 people on the docks of Kiel, it was Nokia Academy who took the victory after five heats in Kiel City Race. But it did not help, FROSTAD ended on 25 points, just one point after NYLÖF and ten ahead of TietoEnator Audi and Thomas JOHANSON (FIN).

FROSTAD Left Frustrated

FROSTAD's year in Nokia Oops Cup has been loaded with problems. 'Of course I am disappointed,' he said. 'This year has been frustrating, everything has broken, dagger boards, sails, and foils, just about everything. We have sailed boat that wasn't ours, we got it late and didn't have time to check it out thoroughly and then you don't know how it has been maintained earlier.'

In the Offshore Race from Horten to Gothenburg, Sweden the dagger board broke right off.

'It took a long time to get it fixed and right. We have done mostly repairs through Nokia Oops Cup. But we have had some fun victories as well,' FROSTAD explained, 'like winning Gotland Runt and the Offshore Race from Helsinki to Copenhagen, then we did everything right.'

JOHANSON, skipper on the Finnish TietoEnator Audi, ended on third place in Nokia Oops Cup, but he was still happy that his team had improved in the end of the cup. 'We have performed really well, winning eight out of nine starts; the ninth was a false start. In today's race we were best in all five starts,' he explained.

TietoEnator Audi's best race was definitely the second place in the offshore race to Copenhagen.

Lars-Ola NORDQVIST (As Amended By ISAF). Image, HiQ take the finish line at Kiel to secure overall victory:© Hans BERGGREN
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