The new title sponsor is partly the old one, as it is BANK DnB NORD, headquartered in Copenhagen, a joint venture of the Norwegian bank DnB NOR, Oslo and Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (NORD/LB), Hanover, Germany, which had been the sponsor of this years Baltic Sprint Cup.
'This year's outstanding success has helped us decide to renew this race,' said Sven HERLYN, Executive Vice-President at NORD/LB responsible for North Eastern Europe Division. The initiator of this year's NORD/LB Baltic Sprint Cup is designated to become CEO of the newly founded BANK DnB NORD. 'Norway had to be left out in 2005 for logistical reasons,' explains HERLYN, 'but with a start at the northwestern end this sailing nation is to play a special part in the second edition of the race.'
That the Stavanger fiord was chosen as the starting location is not a matter of chance. The reason for this choice is that the traditional North Sea Yacht Race will finish there at the end of next June, leading from Banff in Great Britain to Stavanger, where 2006 will also see the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Stavanger Seilforening sailing club. Apart from this well established regatta, there will be also other feeder races for entries from Germany and the neighbouring countries to Stavanger.
One of the feeder races will be run by the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV), Hamburg, one of the DnB NORD Baltic Sprint Cup 2006 organizers, to start in Cuxhaven at the mouth of river Elbe. Another one is planned to start from a Baltic Sea port like Kiel after Kiel Week. After the Banff-Stavanger race, with a prizegiving taking part on either 29 or 30 June, the fleet will embark onto the first leg to Oslo that will be the race's longest (286 nautical miles).
The Norwegian capital is the headquarter of Norway's biggest bank DnB NOR, the Nordic mother of the title sponsor. Semi circling the southern coast of Norway, the fleet will first sail with North Sea breezes before taking on the challenges of the Skagerrak strait.
'It is our goal to interest more Scandinavian entries this time and with the strong fleet of Norwegian blue water sailors we are sure that we will be successful in this,' declared HERLYN of one of the regatta's major targets. With a stopover in the metropolitan city of Gothenburg the event will come to one of Sweden's yachting hotspots. Only two weeks prior to the DnB NORD Baltic Sprint Cup stopover, Gothenburg will have seen the finish of the Volvo Ocean Race Around the World. The small village of Marstand in the outer skerry belt also is a favourite regatta location off Gothenburg. From Sweden, the course will take the fleet through the Kattegatt and the Sound to Copenhagen, host city of the last stopover of the NORD/LB Baltic Sprint Cup 2005. The plans are to stage a big party in the Danish capital city on the weekend of 8-9 July, before starting the final leg over 95 nautical miles to Warnemünde on the German coast, where earlier this year a great party organized by NORD/LB marked the finish.
'The fleet will reach their final destination only one and a half weeks after the start,' explained Alan GREEN (GBR), who will once again act as Race Director. So the DnB NORD Baltic Sprint Cup 2006 will be much shorter than the 2005 version. 'By shortening the course, we pay heed to the wishes of many sailors,' said Event Director Henning ROCHOLL from Hamburg, 'but there are plans for another longer Baltic Sprint Cup heading from east to west again in the summer of 2007.'
The first pan-Baltic regatta in July this year with 45 entries had been a tremendous success. 'It was one of the most interesting and challenging events I have ever participated in,' said Gunter PERSIEHL, skipper of his Bavaria 42 match Pippifax, President of NRV and one of the patrons of next years Baltic Sprint Cup. This year the yachts had been sailing on the traces of the Baltic trade traditions on a course of more than 1,000 nautical miles in three weeks from Sandhamn, Sweden with six stopovers to Rostock-Warnemünde in Germany. Overall winner was the X-442 Emil Reiseschwein of Stefan HUMMELT from Buxtehude.
The highlights of the race are captured in a professional 89 minute film. The DVD will be presented by the NRV and NORD/LB on Wednesday 2 November, at 1600 hours in the conference room Copenhagen on the boat show hanseboot in Hamburg. Before presenting the film further details of the DnB NORD Baltic Sprint Cup 2006 will be announced. The Notice of Race is already in progress and is planned to be published later this year. Once again, the regatta will be open to a wide range of sailors and types of boats, from family cruising yachts to ambitious cruiser-racers.
'If we manage to convince the young and the experienced active sailors again with our programme off and on shore, we have reached our main goals. Visiting the home markets of our mother banks will give us great chances to invite our customers and employees,' concluded HERLYN, 'our target is to bring together the sailing nations of the Baltic rim to maintain the traditions of trade, seamanship and fair-play. We use German reliability and Norwegian sense for simplicity to create a dynamic sailing event.'