Swedish Nationals Report
The most competitive class in Sweden - by Farr.
June 6th through to June 8th, 11 Farr 30´s gathered in the beautiful village of Sandhamn, outside of Stockholm. The Royal Swedish Yacht Club hosted the event. It was time for the 2nd ever national championship for the Farr 30 class. Current champion was team Matrisen with Olympic sailor Martin Strandberg on the helm. But recently Matrisen have been heavily challenged by not just one team but of up to three teams, so the final result was not easy to pick. Weather offered light to moderate breeze under mostly clear sky and Scandinavian midnight sun. 8 tight races were to be held. German boat Topaz with Dr Harald Bruening participated and was a great international bench mark for the newer Swedish teams. One brand new team entered through E.stelle Medical, and boy were they up for a treat in the highly competitive fleet. First two races were held in very light and shifty conditions, making it a hard choice between A1 and S2 down wind. Mistakes were extremely costly but Civitanova managed the conditions the best and scored their first ever win in this regatta. Second race was very similar and first boat over the line was German Topas.
Day two offered some more breeze and the medium jibs were hoisted. 4 race was up for grabs. Race 3 and 4 victory went to Cheyenne with Anders Helmrich at the helm. Happy Yachting took the gun in race 5, Matrisen won race 6 while Orca with class president Patrick Lindbom scored first in race 7. Can it be more tight in a class when there is 6 different winners in 7 races?
After race 6 Topas had the overall lead with Matrisen and Happy Yachting tied on 2nd, followed by Cheyenne and Orca. The tension was tangible. Would Matrisen finally cave in, and would Sweden in the final race see a new champion? Would a German Farr 30 boat for the first time win the Sandhamn Open? It was to be settled on the water....
Final day, final race. The class was on fire and first start called for a general recall with more than half the fleet over early. Race committee blazed their guns and hoisted the black flag. Leeward end were favored as were the port side of the course. Wind were around 14-15 knots with a small chop. Everybody fought to keep speed under control while maintaining a gap below in order to have room to bear off and accelerate. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, boom. Avantime 2 with skipper and Volvo Ocean Race veteran Magnus Woxen was over, but what about the rest? First stretch was a drag race and Happy Yachting really showed their speed. At the top mark we had Happy Yachting first followed by Orca, Topas, Cheyenne, Avantime 2, Letto di Pletto, Matrisen and Civitanova. Downwind Matrisen gained a boat or two. Orca managed to get them self in to trouble and rounding up with jib problems, losing two boats in a heartbeat. Happy Yachting sailed brilliantly and kept a loose cover on the rest of us. Happy kept a comfortable lead to the finish with Topas in second. But the drama had only started. As Happy Yachting finished the did not get the gun, but Topas did. Nor did Cheyenne, Orca, Avantime 2 or Matrisen get a finishing signal...
Back in port the calculators were brought up. Who would win the nationals? It was clear that the regatta were to be won by the good German doctor, but what team would earn the right to say they are the Swedish Champions in the Farr 30 class?
With the better series, team Happy Yachting won the Swedish nationals. A huge achievement in what could be the most competitive class in Sweden at the moment. We lift our hats and say - WELL DONE HAPPY YACHTING and owner Pär Svärdson.
Now most Swedish teams are re-booting to take on the Swedish offshore classic - AF Offshore Race starting in the center of Stockholm and from there rounding the island of Gotland. Post that classics awaits the Worlds in Copenhagen Denmark.