Du Soleil overall winner of AF Offshore Race 2018
4 July 2018
Estonian 50-footer Furiosa, skippered by Rolf Relander, was first to
cross at the finish line in Sandhamn at 04.50 AM Tuesday morning.
And for several hours, it looked like their time would be good
enough to give them the overall winner in the regatta. But as more
boats got closer to the finish in Sandhamn after rounding Gotland,
it was clear that there would be more challengers for the title.
Du Soleil passed the finish line at 2.31 PM on Tuesday making their sailed time around the course on corrected time 56 hours and 38 minutes, 40 minutes better than Furiosa’s. A young team on Goose II (Mumm 36) where on the final stretch sailing upwind towards the finish with a good shot at beating that time. But in the end, they where four minutes behind Du Soleil over the line, and that put them in second place.
Over the night it looked like a few teams could be fast enough to upset the standings on the overall scoreboard. But with less wind the clock ran out for all of them. At 12.00 ECT the final overall result was made official, making Du Soleil the winner of the ÅF Offshore Race. Skipper Fredrik Hertzman has won the regatta once before with Du Soleil in 2007. “When we won the last time we had to fight for it more and this time our goal was really to win the ORCi class, so the overall win is a nice bonus”, says Fredrik Hertzman and continues:
”We had a good plan from the start and we followed it very well. It was a windy start but the boat sailed very good and we made the right decisions. We had a smaller spinnaker going south to Gotland and that was a good call”.
The first 24 hours of the race saw tough conditions with winds over 25 knots and a challenging sea state. At midday on Monday, 42 teams had abandoned racing. Carbon Tiger, a 33-foot trimaran capsized Sunday evening and an emergency helicopter rescued the four-man crew. The crew were reported to be unharmed. The wind died out on Monday and Tuesday, with plenty of teams stuck in windless patches on the course. A large part of the fleet reached the finish in Sandhamn during Tuesday night and Monday morning.
“It has been a challenging edition in many ways. The first day and night with lots of wind was physically demanding for the teams. When the lighter wind came it was more a difficult tactical game where you had to position yourself well while also trying to recover some strength after the start. But all teams that have finished the race have been happy and in good health when they have come to Sandhamn”, said Håkan Andersson, Race Director of ÅF Offshore Race.
Beatrice Aurore, a classic yacht built in 1920 took the line honours in the classic class, passing the line at 04.43 AM. The elapsed time around the track for Beatrice Aurore was 39:23:02 – 46:21:17 on corrected time.