11 Teams Compete in Extreme Orienteering Sailing Race of 100.000 Rocks and Islands.
The second day of the Archipelago Raid saw most of the competitors getting more used to the extreme conditions and boats of this orienteering sailing challenge. Most of the teams navigated more than 150 nautical miles in close competition in cold, damp and unpredictable conditions. Three teams retired as a result of fatigue, injury and insufficient preparation.
At 09.30 hours this morning there was a restart at the 7th checkpoint. This gave the leading teams time to catch up on a little sleep while waiting for the backmarkers to arrive. Teams stayed closer together this time and at checkpoint 8 all the 11 competitors finished and restarted within 15 minutes. The wind decreased last night and during the day the wind was relatively light with scattered showers mixed with fierce squalls.
After sailing more than 150 nautical miles through the thousands of rocks and islands the exhausted competitors arrived at checkpoint 9 Kymmendo around 16.00 hours today. Drama continued when Team Skanska Fredrik Adilstamm (SWE) and Tomas Marimon (SWE), who were bound to claim victory at the checkpoint, capsized in an unpredicted squall just before entering it. The consistent performing Team Raymarine took advantage. Five teams were running in and out of the checkpoint within 5 minutes. The first team to come out of the cloud was Team Raymarine with Magnus Woxen (SWE) en Klabbe Nylof (SWE). Quickly jumping of the boat and
running onshore to get there signature from the checkpoint and of they were again. Magnus Woxen said. "I am more tired now than I ever was in the Southern Ocean during the Volvo Ocean Race." Klabbe Nylof said, "It so hard when the breeze dies and we need to paddle hard to keep ahead of the competition." The rule allows a paddle no longer than 1.6 metre.
Team TietoEnator 1, with Neal McDonald (GBR) and Lisa McDonald (USA) are slowly rising up the ranking. Over the first two legs (4-5 checkpoints per leg) they were in fourth position and checking in with the leading group more frequently. Neal McDonald was still all smiles. He said, "It is a crazy race, but that suits me. Huge weather differences though. One time it is really warm summer weather and the next minute in the squalls it is freezing cold. Did you see where the others went? I have to run."
A little later Team Jobman arrived with Bjorn Hansen (SWE) and Bjorn Osterberg (SWE). Bjorn Hansen said while he was applying the saw to cut of at least 35 centimetres of his ruined dagger board. "Not a lot of time to talk. We capsized and ran aground again not paying attention at a checkpoint."
First to retire was team Swesafe with Mikael Wilton (SWE) and Magnus Lovden (SWE) this morning early. The team was exhausted and did not see a chance to recover properly and compete at the highest level. In the afternoon Team TietoEnator 2 with Gerard Loos (NED) and Frederique Pfeiffer (FRA) gave up. Loos was suffering from a bad back and spirit in the team. At 18.00 hours Volvo Ocean Race veterans Richard Mason and Jason Carrington also retired. Carrington said, "We are not well enough prepared to do this. Then you only frustrate yourself. The navigation is
really complex and we need more time on these fast catamarans." Richard Mason was outspoken, "I will have to keep my big mouth shut. This is so hard. Give me the Southern Ocean anytime."
Score after one leg (checkpoint 1 to 7) is (only teams without penalty and still in race):
1 Team Tiddemans Anders Lewander (SWE) and Calle Hennix (SWE)
2 Team Raymarine Magnus Woxen (SWE) and Klabbe Nylof (SWE)
3 Team Jobman Bjorn Hansen (SWE) and Bjorn Osterberg (SWE)
4 Team Pia Mini Transat Pia L'Obry (SWE) and Liz Wardley (AUS)
5 Team TietoEnator Neal McDonald (GBR) and Lisa McDonald (USA)
6 Team Skanska Fredrik Adilstamm (SWE) and Tomas Marimon (SWE)
The event is organised in the spirit of a Raid, demanding an extreme performance in sailing respecting nature in an adventurous spirit. The course can vary between 350 and 500 miles depending on the wind strength. The race is organised and produced by Atlant Ocean Racing in co-operation with the Nacka Strand Yacht Club.
The eleven teams are a mix of round the world and dinghy sailors representing nine countries. The talented group, with some world champions, has experience in various different events, ranging from Volvo Ocean Race to Olympics.
The race finishes in Fejan on Thursday the 27th June.