Going south. Way south.

Status update

I just received some wonderful news from the Swedish Sailing Federation. The way they interpret the new Covid-19 guidelines from the Swedish authorities is that the Stockholm Archipelago Raid will be allowed to have 50 competitors, i.e. excluding the Race Committee. The Notice of Race will be updated accordingly and published at a later stage together with a Covid-19 safety plan based on the risk assessment and mitigations.

For the time being there are 27 teams who has said that they would like to come as long as it will be possible. They are from from the following 7 countries NOR (2), FIN (2), DEN (1), BEL (1), NED (2), GER (3) and SWE (16). Since there are still travel restrictions to or from Sweden from some of these countries a few foreign teams are uncertain if they will be able to come in the end.

What this means

All teams that have signed up to date shall pay the entry fee prior to the 1st of July (if they haven’t already) if they want to be certain to claim their place and to get the “early bird fee”. After the 1stof July the entry fee increases by 2000 SEK. 

The special reimbursement rules due to the pandemic applies (see NoR)

1.      If a non-Swedish team has paid the entry fee but is not able to participate due to special rules due to Covid-19 that prevents the team from travelling (closed borders, quarantine-rules etc) the whole amount minus bank fees will be reimbursed. 
Important: If the situation is such that you would like to come, but only if your National authorities changes the current rules regarding travelling to/from Sweden, then you shall contact me and explain the situation prior to paying the entry fee.

2.      If a sailor has symptoms that can be suspected Covid-19 (cough, fever, difficulty breathing, runny or blocked nose, sore throat, headache, nausea, muscle or joint pain) he/she is not allowed to participate and shall immediately (on the same day) inform the event organisation. The entry fee minus 2000 SEK will be reimbursed.

The plan

The planning for the event will be much easier from now on and as soon as possible after the 1st of July I will confirm the number of beds needed, how big the race organisation need to be, how many security boats will be needed etc.  Since we are fewer teams than usual there might be beds for most teams even if we have to spread out and be fewer in each room.

This year we plan to go south. Far south. The preliminary base camps for Thursday and Friday will be Rånö in the Southern Archipelago. Depending on the weather we might go to the beaches of Askö or round the inhabited island Öja (Landsort) which we did last in the raid in 2012. Or, if the winds are to strong we can sail further north, sheltered by the islands Utö, Ornö etc. On the third night we will stay at Lökholmen which is an iconic venue for all sailors and perfectly situated both for the 3rd and 4th days of sailing. We had a very nice 3 days practice raid this weekend in the waters around Sandhamn and it was an awesome experience with 10-18 knots of warm winds, amazing sailing and amazing food outdoors on the rocks. See the Swedish F18 association facebook page or the Relive track from one leg for inspiration. Thanks to Gustaf Dyrssen and Fredrik Karlsson for organizing, now we know for sure that raid sailing is both possible, safe and fun also during a pandemic.

Best regards

Lars Linder

Going back to the roots

Due to the pandemic changes have been made to the Stockholm Archipelago Raid to mitigate the risks and to be able to safely keep the distance to other teams. Sailors will sleep in tents and meals will probably be served outdoors, like it used to be the early days of Archipelago Raid. But the race will stay in Sweden and the trip to Åland is postponed to 2021. As a consequence the raid will be shortened to 4 days instead of 5 and starts on the 20th of August. An updated Notice of Race is published.

The 20th raid will be the same adventure and awesome sailing in the Stockholm Archipelago as every year. But changes has been made to adopt to the new normal.

In Sweden the first regatta of the season took place on the 25th of April 2020 with new routines and sailors who acted responsibly and kept the distance to other teams. It turned out to be the first regatta in the world post covid-19.

A maximum number of teams are allowed to participate for security and logistical reasons. The maximum number of teams is 30. However, in order to limit the Covid-19 virus from spreading, the Swedish authorities allows gatherings of maximum 50 people (as of 2020-05-01). Since a minimum of 10 people is required for the Race Organisation it means that the maximum number of teams is 20, unless the authorities will allow bigger gatherings. The decision whether 20 or 30 teams will be allowed depends solely on the recommendations and rules by the Swedish authorities and can be changed as late as up to the registration day 2020-08-19.

For now 30 teams from 8 countries have signed up, but due to the lock downs and travet restrictions there is still a chance for sailors on the waiting list to enter. Sign up here. The early bird fee has been prolonged to the first of July since that might clarify what rules and recommendations will apply in different countries. The entry fee will be reimbursed for teams that will not be able to participate due to special rules due to Covid-19 that prevents the team from travelling to/from Sweden (closed borders, quarantine-rules etc).

The crossing of Ålands sea will be postponed to 2021. The raid will stay among the 36 000 islands and skerries on the Swedish side and stop for the night on some remote, beautiful island.

Possible course from south to north with endless possibilities not to pass the same place twice.

While you take a shower and raise the tent on the spot of your choice, dinner is prepared on the mobile kitchen of the transport vessel. After a well deserved meal and a glass of wine or two at the camp fire you make some final preparations on the boat to be ready for the early start next day. As the sun sets and the air get chilly you make sure the GPS, VHF and mobile are charging and go to your tent under the pine tree and tuck in to the sound of the forest and the waves.

Late evening tow

It will be a different raid in some sleeping in tents and waiting outdoors, but the stunning wilderness of the archipelago and the fantastic sailing is the same. We are going back to the roots of raid sailing.

Keep calm and carry on sailing

The Stockholm Archipelago Raid is set to take place on the 19th to 23rd of August according to plan. 30 teams signed up in 10 days. Precautions will be made to safeguard sailors and race officials from Covid-19. If the pandemic gets worse in the months to come and we are advised not to carry on even with safety measures the raid could however be cancelled at a later stage.

30 teams from 8 countries

10 days after registrations begun the 1st of March 30 teams had already signed up. Then the Corona shit hit the fan and only one team has signed up since. The following teams from 8 countries have signed up and are welcome to join the raid in 2020. Registration fees will be reimbursed in case the raid has to be cancelled or if a team cannot join due to lock down, closed borders or similar.

NATNoHelm Crew 
NOR505ErwinJagerThomasMordt Kolstad
SWE261PeterBusckMagnusDu Rietz
SWESWE 7FredrikKarlssonNiklasNordblom
SWEXX CasperSeifertHenrikAlmstedt

Covid-19 situation in Sweden

Covid-19 is a humanitarian and economic catastrophy with over 100 000 dead so far (900 of which in Sweden) and a huge impact on people’s lives and the economy in every country on the planet. In Sweden, like in almost all other countries in the world, the strategy is to take counter measures to control the outbreak, to protect elderly people and to “flatten the curve” to allow the health care system cope with the number of patients who needs intensive care and ventilator treatment. We think this strategy must go on until about 60% of the population has had the virus so it is going to be a long-distance endurance race, not just a couple of laps around the buoys. Unlike other European countries though, day care and primary schools in Sweden have remained opened and even restaurants can carry on as long as the tables are separated enough and there are no servings at the bar. Gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, but it is strongly advised to postpone festivities and to use common sense when gathering that many people. There is a lot of trust in people from the authorities and vice versa.

Safety and contingency planning

It is a big enterprise to organise the raid during normal circumstances and it is kind of overwhelming not to know if there will be 30 teams from all over the world or only 15 Swedish teams or no raid at all. But in these extraordinary times we shall not throw in the towel too soon. After all, there is no better place to be in the world during a pandemic than out on an F18 in the Stockholm and Åland Archipelagos.

Different options to safeguard the race officials and the sailors is being investigated. Keeping distance is very easy during racing but trickier during briefings, meals and sleep. Maybe all teams will have to sleep in their own tents instead of cabins and meals will be eaten outside around the camp fire in a true raid spirit. The aim is to make the 20th raid in the Stockholm Archipelago as memorable and spectacular as ever before.

There are different scenarios for what might happen in 4 months, but all of them are based on the assumption that the pandemic will still be ongoing with a very high number of patients in intensive care in Sweden and all around the world, that there is no “heard immunity” and no vaccine to protect us.Some of the raid sailors will have had Covid-19 but can’t be sure since they haven’t been tested and some won’t.

  1. The best scenario is that countries around Europe willease up the lock downs and open the borders between the countries, also to/from Finland making it possible to sail to Åland and back. In this case the raid will take place from the 19th to 23rd of August according to plan.
  2. Another scenario is that most of the borders remain closed for tourist travels making it impossible for most foreign teams to come to Sweden. In this case the plan is to make a raid from the 21st to 23rd of August for the Swedish sailors. Any foreign sailors who manage to get to Sweden (and back) are more than welcome of course.
  3. The worst scenario is that the Swedish authorities find it necessary to forbid gatherings of more than a few people. In this case the raid will be postponed until 2021. This scenario is the least likely though.

Personally, I believe in Scenario A.

Keep calm and carry on sailing.

/Lars Linder
on behalf of the Swedish F18 Association

Registration for the raid 2020 is open and you are invited

The Venue

The raid 2020 takes place in Stockholm and Åland Archipelagos, subject to weather conditions. The Stockholm Archipelago stretches about 80 Nm from North to South and 40 Nm from West to East. It constitutes of roughly 36 000 islands, skerries and rocks. The Åland Archipelago has about the same size and covers 80 Nm from East to West and 40 Nm from North to South and consist of about 26 000 islands, skerries and rocks. The two Archipelagos are separated by a sea of about 25 Nm with a light house and some underwater rocks mid way.

Passing through Check Point Nassa. Creds: Ollie Hartas #Hartasproductions

The race has two alternative routes depending on the weather conditions. In both cases the start will be in Saltsjöbaden and the first base camp will be in the very north of the archipelago. If the winds are moderate the goal will be the archipelago of Åland in Finland with another 25 000 islands. It includes a crossing of Ålands Sea of about 25 Nm. If the winds are too strong the course will instead turn back south to get shelter from the archielago, first to Sandhamn and then all the way to Rånö in the very south. In either case the fourth base camp will be Sandhamn before the final day back to Saltsjöbaden/Stockholm.

Stockholm – Åland course

Preliminary programme

Registration, tune up and welcome meeting is on Tuesday the 18th of August and the race days are from the 19th to the 23rd of August.

  • Tuesday 18th of August
    15.00 Registration and equipment inspection, Saltsjöbaden
    19.00 Welcome meeting and briefing
  • Wednesday 19th of August
    ~ 09.00 Start, 2 legs planned
    Base camp Fejan/Sweden
  • Thursday 20th of August
    2 – 3 legs planned
    Base camp Kökar/Åland or Lökholmen/Sweden
  • Friday 21st of August
    2 – 3 legs planned
    Base camp Mariehamn/Åland or Rånö/Sweden
  • Saturday 22nd of August
    2 – 3 legs planned
    Base camp Lökholmen/Sweden
  • Sunday 23rd of August
    2 legs planned
    ~ 16.00 finish in Saltsjöbaden ~ 18.00 Price giving ceremony
Fleet berthed at Fejan 2019.

A warm welcome to the 20th raid since the first “Archipelago Raid” organized in 2001. It is going to be a very special edition, we hope that you will love it too!
Read Notice of Race and Sign up here.

Lars Linder
On behalf of the Swedish F18 Association


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Registration starts on the 1st of March

The winter in the southern parts of Sweden is very mild with lack of snow and ice like on the picture. It is still possible to take your F18 for a spin if you’re up for it, but most prefer to do other sports during winter and maybe start planning for the season 2020.

Registration for the raid 2020 starts on the 1st of March by registering online with contact information for the team members, club, boats etc. Teams then have until the 30th of April to pay the entry fee. Maximum 30 teams will be admitted for safety and logistical reasons. 

Charter boats

Our partner Goodall Design plan to bring to Sweden a limited number of top nodge C2s with Deck Sweeper sails for charter. This is a great opportunity for teams from overseas or far away who want to take part in the adventure. Check out the Goodall offer from 2019 and enquire for more information.

The 20th raid promises a great adventure

There has been 19 raids in the Stockholm Archipelago since Franck Cammas and Steve Ravussin won the first extreme sailing adventure for F18 catamarans in 2001, organised by Atlant Ocean Racing. The race was over 5-6 days, often from 4 in the morning to late in the evening or even around the clock. Paddling was allowed which meant no rest in lighter winds. Truly extreme.

AR 2004: Linder/Hasselskog, always last, with all gear, sea charts and food on the trampoline
AR 2005, Christine Salén Guillou explaining the course in the Åland archipelago

Since 2010 the Swedish F18 association is responsible for the raid that has become a less extreme version without paddling, more time for sauna, dinner and a good nights sleep. It has evolved into a 4 day sailing adventure and since 5 years the number of teams have steadily increased and in 2019 the raid was fully booked with top teams from 13 countries. See the F18 Hall of Fame for all winners.

The raid in 2019 was a 4 day event with teams from 13 countries.

The 20th raid will be something extra. For the first time since 2009, and maybe only time, the raid will be a 5 day event, from the 19th to the 23rd of August 2020. The course will be longer with two alternatives depending on the weather conditions. In both cases the start will be in Saltsjöbaden and the first base camp will be in the very north of the archipelago. If the winds are moderate the goal will be the archipelago of Åland in Finland with another 25 000 islands. It includes a crossing of Ålands Sea of about 25 Nm. If the winds are too strong the course will instead turn south, possibly all the way to Nynäshamn. In either case the fourth base camp will be Sandhamn before the final day back to Saltsjöbaden.

The adventure just got bigger, 5 days instead of 4, but the winning concept stays the same as the last couple of years. Lots of fantastic F18 sailing in the stunning archipelago, sauna, good food and drinks and sleep in a bed or under a roof. Repeat times four.

Sign up for the newsletter to stay tuned about information about the race and how to secure your place in the 2020 edition.

Karlsson/Nordblom did it again!

After three days of downwind Dahl and Fischer (SWE) had a small lead before Karlsson Nordblom (SWE), Paschalidis Pirinoli (GRE) and Demesmaeker Thery (BEL). The fourth day offered mainly upwind followed by a long reach to the finish line in Saltsjöbaden. Demesmaeker / Thery looked like they where going to win the last leg, but where overtaken in the last minutes by both Paschalidis Pirinoli and Karlsson Nordblom securing 2nd and 1st positions. In doing so Karlsson Nordblom is also the first team who wins the raid 2 times and Nordblom the first sailor to win the raid 3 times. For a full list of winners, see the F18 hall of fame.

In the mixed class the Danish team Jensen Wyon managed not only to avoid all rocks but also to sail fast and win the mixed class in their first attempt at the raid, well done!

Karlsson / Nordblom, winners of the 2019 edition before Paschalidis / Pirinoli on 2nd and Dahl/Fischer on 3rd.
Jensen / Wyon wins the mixed class
The Pontus Johansson perpetual trophy “the broken dagger” in Niklas’ good hands for a year until next Stockholm Archipelago Raid.

After 3 windy days and one softer, but many hours on the water, there was a happy and tired crowd that started to pack their boats on the trailers for a long drive back home. We hope to see you all back next year!

The race is on

In the end 27 teams from 13 countries made it to this edition of the Stockholm Archipelago Raid. Yesterday the Club KSSS was a vibrant mix of people from all over the world rigging, tuning, test sailing and packning their gear for 4 days of intense sailing. The World Silver champion Dany Paschalidis and Marc Pirriloni where the last team to take the sails down last night.

Start today at 10 outside Saltsjöbaden. The legs today will bring the fleet south, round the island of Ornö, and then North towards the first base camp at Sandhamn where they are expected around 5 PM.

To finish first you first have to get to the finish

The Check Points in the Stockholm Archipelago Raid is what the Control Points are in an Orienteering race. They can be buoys, light houses, rocks, skerries, kerns or even a beach. You have to round them on the right side and then try to find the smartest way to the next one. But between the Check Points there are many dangers; some very visible islands to round and some rocks lurking beneath the water to dodge. The saying “To finish first you first have to get to the finish” has never been more true.

The playground is set. 65 Check Points are spread out over a vast area, about 40 NM from East to West and 50 NM from North to South, but not all of them will be used.
Each day in the morning the sailors will get the course for the day. The course is set by the Race Office as late as possible depending on the weather forecast. During lunch break there can be changes to the course. And, if the weather changes quickly compared to forecast, the course can also be altered at a checkpoint during the race for security reasons.

The Check Points have been given to the sailors in advance so they can down load them into their navigation device. They will also have a sea chart for oversight and planning purpose. There is never one way to get around the course, and many legs has been won, not by the fastest team but by the team that took the best way. It is one reason why different Swedish teams (never the same) has won for the last 5 consecutive years. They have the advantage of knowing the archipelago better. Maybe this year it won’t be enough…

30 teams from 14 countries make their final preparations

As 3 weeks remain until start of the Stockholm Archipelago Raid the teams are getting ready. A maximum of 30 teams are allowed and this year sailors come from 14 countries all over the world to experience the adventure in the Stockholm Archipelago.

The teams:

There has never been as many nationalities represented in the raid as this year, both some of the best F18-sailors in the world, professional off-shore sailors as well as strong Club sailors. All of them looking forward to the adventure and the stunning nature. If their goal is to get on the podium or just getting to the finish line without hitting a rock, the challenge is just as big. And since there are 10th of thousands of rocks, skerries and Islands in the Stockholm Archipelago it is sometimes easier said than done.

It is also one of the most competitive fleet of F18 sailors that has ever sailed the raid since the start of the former extreme Archipelago Raid in 2001. All winners since the first raid can be found in the F18 Hall of Fame

Some of the teams:

  • Iordanis “Dany” Paschalidis (GRE), F18 World Champion 2018 and Silver Medalist 2019 sailing with Marc Pirriloni (FRA), former Tornado World champion and Olympic sailor. 
  • Patrick Demesmaeker (BEL), European F18 champion and winner of St Barth Cata Cup and Vincent Thery (BEL), Archipelago Raid veteran
  • Pierre Yves Moreau / Benoit Lequin (FRA), Maxi trimaran and sport cat transatlantic record holders and Archipelago Raid veterans
  • Fredrik Karlsson / Niklas Nordblom (SWE), winners of the Stockholm Archipelago Raid 2018
  • Leff Dahl (SWE) F18 Raid World Champion 2017


The raid is a mix of sport, nature and adventure in the perfect F18-playground; the Stockholm Archipelago. It is the largest archipelago in Europe with 36.000 rocks, skerries and islands and the most difficult one for navigation.

Each day the fleet will sail between 50 and 100 NM depending on the winds. The competitors are free to choose their route between checkpoints. Each team gets a sea chart of the area and coordinates for the checkpoints. But having a good GPS with plotter attached to the arm or chest is vital. Other gear includes the safety equipment required, like VHF, knives and flares as well as power bars and a Camelbak with water to be able to eat and drink while sailing. Dry suit is recommended since the water in the outer Archipelago can be a bit nippy.

Nature, sports and adventure