100 days to the start of the F18 Raid World Championship. 35 teams from 10 countries already signed up, making this fleet the biggest that ever sailed the raid in the Stockholm Archipealgo since the first event in 2001. The level of competition is high and to get on the podium you need to compete with all winners from the past 5 years who are all competing.
Sailors that concider to join need to hurry up and register prior to the 1st of June when 35 lucky teams will be confirmed.
The Raid will be a 5 day event for the first time since 2009, which means a longer course that will stretch across all parts of the Stockholm Archipelago and 4400 squere kilometres of beautiful wilderness. The course will be spectacular and will be adopted to the wind conditions. The aim is to reach places that are rarely visited and that make the F18 racing something extra. Nature, sports and adventure in one race.
The start takes place in Saltsjöbaden, just outside Stockholm. And the finish is in the very heart of the Capital outside the Vasa Museum. The fleet of F18s sailing into the city will be a sight followed by thousands of Stockholmers and tourists.
The partnership with the Stockholm Business Region will make this the best covered F18 raid of all times. There will be a camera team, drone pilots and photographers who will capture the adventure and make sure it will be distributed in differing channels every day to make it easy to follow and get close the the adventure from all parts the world.
100 days to the greatest F18 adventure this year. See you in Stockholm – the Capital of Scandinavia!
The Swedish F18 Association and the Stockholm Business Region have signed a marketing support agreement. The purpose is to promote the F18 Raid World Championship, the capital city and the nearby magic Stockholm Archipelago to an international audience.
The F18 Raid World Championship / Stockholm Archipelago Raid meet the high demands to receive the marketing support. It is an event that
Has a high international status and spectacular air
Will increase the knowledge about Stockholm as a tourist destination around the world
Will show a positive image of an innovative, sustainable and dynamic city
Is sustainable and respects the wilderness and sensitive environment just next to the capital city
The marketing support will mainly be used to produce great films, photos and content from the event that will be distributed in paid for and earned media channels. The aim is to make the event available and accessible with daily reports and interviews, live tracking and films. The viewers will get closer to the sailors, the sport and action than ever before. Onboard cameras and drones will be used to bring the action and adrenaline to the spectators.
The film and media team will also supply the Stockholm Archipelago social platform with content to increase traffic and raise awareness of the uniqueness of the archipelago.
Among the 30 registered teams are all top 8 teams from the 2021 edition including the winners Demesmaeker / Gagliani (BEL), 2nd Karlsson / Nordblom (SWE), 3rd Nieminen (Fin) / Backes (FRA) and 4th father and son Noordzij (NED). Also the winner of the mixed class Hedmann Jensen / Wyon (DEN) are back to defend their first place.
Karlsson / Nordblom won the three previous editions 2018 – 2020 and Leff Dahl, who won the first Raid World Championship in 2017, is also registered. It means all winners from the last five years will be on the starting line in 2022 in addition to the top 8 teams from 2021. To get on the podium will be super hard and require very good boat speed, excellent navigation skills, endurance to last long days of sailing and a boat that is well prepared and doesn’t fail during 5 intensive days of sailing.
5 wild card places remains that will be prioritised for top sailors from all over the world in the open, mixed and female classes. Teams signing up from now on will be put on a waiting list and will be confirmed as soon as possible and latest on the 1st of June when the wild card places will be released if still available.
There is also a possibility that one or more teams withdraw their application or can not make it in the end. So there is still a good chance for teams signing up soon as long as they are among the first 35 teams.
Teams from other continents (USA, South America, Australia, Africa) who are interested but have not yet managed to find a charter boat are encouraged to contact the Race Committee as soon as possible and no later than 1st of June to secure a place.
The raid in 2021 will probably host the biggest F18 fleet that has ever sailed a raid in the Stockholm Archipelago and possibly the most competitive as well. The F18 Raid World Championship will be both a competition on the highest level as well as an adventure and fun experience for all participants, sailors and the event organisation alike.
As six months remains to the start of the Stockholm Archipelago Raid the planning and preparation is now entering a more intense phase. As announced earlier, the 22nd edition of the raid will also be the F18 Raid World Championship 2022. So, if you haven’t already pinned August 17-21 in your calendar and started planning for the big adventure maybe the following news will help you make up your mind.
1. Five days of sailing instead of four For the first time since the Archipelago Raid in 2009 the race will be five days again. It is a great opportunity for sailors around the world, since a long trip will be even more worthwhile. It is most likely to go back to 4 days again in 2023.
2. Partnership with KSSS The Royal Swedish Sailing Association (KSSS) has always been supportive to the Swedish F18 association in previous editions, but this year the club will formally be organising the event in partnership with the F18 association instead of the other way around. We could not be more happy about this since a World Championship is a big enterprise and KSSS will bring to the table the people, resources and skills to make this raid a world class event and championship.
3. Five more teams allowed In order to welcome and accommodate as many teams as possible from all around the world that maximum number of teams allowed will be raised to 35 this year only. 30 places will be assigned following the regular registration procedure (to be announced later in the NoR) and 5 will be wild cards.
4. An extra spectacular race course With one extra day of sailing it will be possible to sail a longer course and pass all parts of the archipelago, from the South, to the far East and the very North. The four best base camps have been selected for the stop overs which will make this extra memorable to the teams. The registration and measurements will take place at KSSS in Saltsjöbaden just next to the start. The first base camp will be Rånö, the second Lökholmen/Sandhamn, the third Fejan and the fourth Nässlingen. The last day will be a shorter day with a final sprint to the finish in Stockholm.
5. Finish in the Stockholm City centre The finish will be located in the best possible place at KSSS guest harbour in the centre of Stockholm. It means that the final stretch to the finish line will be seen by thousands of people on both sides of the harbour entrance. This is also very nice spot for friends and family to greet the teams after five tough days and to salute the winners at the price giving ceremony.
6. A new logo The Stockholm Archipelago Raid has evolved over the years, but the somewhat sturdy Stockholm Archipelago Raid stickers and print on the t-shirts has remained the same. Time has come to update the look and feel of the logo to strengthen the brand and reflect what this raid is about. Big thanks to Roman Pixel for the great design.
However, rest assured that the winning Stockholm Archipelago concept remain the same with long days of sailing followed by sauna, good food and drinks and a place to sleep and recharge the batteries for the next day of sailing. The event is a World Championship with some of the best F18 sailors in the world. But it is open to F18 club sailors who are coming for the adventure and the thrill to sail in the amazing archipelago of Stockholm. Registrations will open on the 16th of April and as always teams who sign up early will secure a spot and will get the best price. Stay tuned for more information.
Looking forward to seing you in Stockholm this summer.
Having sailed most Archipelago Raids since 2004 I have many very strong and beatiful memories, but it becomes blurry what happened which year. I tend to attach the memories to something that stood out that specific raid. “The year the wind died and we had to paddle across the Åland sea (2005)”. “The year with a very windy first day when Darren and Jeroen sailed from Finnhamn to Fejan with an average speed of 17 knots (2015)”. Etc.
I will remember the raid 2021 as the downwind raid with more gennaker runs than ever before, four days in a row. All eight races started with our gennaker hoisted and it stayed up much of the time. This since the wind shifted 180 degrees after 2 days, just as we reached Fejan and started to head back towards Stockholm.
Day 1: Saltsjöbaden to Nässlingen
The forecast on the first day was awesome with 15-20 knots of wind from West to South west, a little more in the gusts. As we left Saltsjöbaden behind and approached the outer archipelago the winds had already increased to 20 knots+ and we where flying with the gennaker, hitting the 24 knots mark on the GPS. Navigation was difficult since all focus was on sailing fast without capsizing.
As we approached the Check point Gillöga, with many shallow areas, Demesmaeker / Gagliano (BEL) where in second place behind Karlsson / Nordblom (SWE) when they hit a underwater rock in high speed. Both daggers broke right off leaving the boat standing on the rock. They had to lift and push it off and borrowed a tool from a safety boat to cut off the splintered daggers. They managed to sail the remaining 15 Nm downwind to the finish line without daggers. Incredibly enough their Akkurra wasn’t damaged other than the broken daggers, so with two replacement daggers they where all set and ready to go in time for the start of leg two.
Erik and I where doing fine as we approached Sandhamn on a half wind reach until a gust buried the bow into the water with a capsize as a result. When we got to the finish we realised that most teams had capsized at least once.
Tengbom / Engstrand broke their rudder so bad they decided to abandon race. Fortunately they where very close to Tengboms home where they left their damaged F18 and traded it for his private hydroplane. Before we knew it they set the air plane down in the bay where we had our lunch brake and then followed the fleet from air instead.
The second leg started outside Sandhamn, rounded the light house Svängen out on the open sea towards the beautiful skerries of Björkskär. The wind was up making it hard to aim high enough with the gennaker up. Some teams capsized, others places it safe getting their gennaker down before reaching Björskär.
As we rounded the check point and turned west the wind had really picked up. It was now a very fast upwind on port tack, through the narrow straights of Finnhamn before tacking our way to the base camp Nässlingen.
Demesmaeker / Gagliano where on fire eager to get back in the game when their jib hook broke. They lost many boats without their jib and finished on 17th place overall after a terrible start of the raid.
The Dutch team father and son Noordzij where incredibly strong and consistent finishing 1st and 2nd giving them the overall lead after the first day.
The sailors dropped in at the beautiful island Nässlingen one after the other and pulled up their boats on the beach and lawn. The large sauna was hot, the beer cold and the food was delicious after a pretty rough first day. At the end of the dinner the Race Officer Ian presented the check points of day 2 and all teams got busy preparing for day 2.
Day 2: Nässlingen to Fejan
Nice warm 12-15 knots winds from south east and not a cloud in the sky. A beautiful sight as all boats hoisted their gennakers and bore away for a 1,5h downwind reach towards the check point Ängskär. The navigation was not hard, but closing in at Änskär there where many options and boats chose different ways to approach the narrow strait between the islands.
The final stretch was a 5 Nm half wind in high speed towards the paradise Rödlöga where the villagers opened up the cafe and handed out icecream. It is the only habited island in the area and provided a good shelter for the southerly breeze. Some teams had hit rocks and had some repairing to do before the 2nd start of the day.
As always when starting downwind the winner is not always the one who crossing the line first. Teams coming from behind can steal the wind and pass a number of boats in high speed.
The first check point was 10 Nm away downwind with some gybes here and there and dangerous rocks to avoid on the way. After a few more narrow straights the fleet rounded the iconic island and Light house Söderarm and then turned west for a long port tack to the finish at Fejan where Demesmaeker / Gagliani taking the win. A well deserved sauna and the best food that the archipelago has to offer in the restaurant by renowned chef Pelle Lydmar before going to bed in the old quarantine station built in the late 19th century.
Day 3: Fejan to Sandhamn/Lökholmen
On day three the wind shifted to North and since we where heading south it meant another gennaker start followed by alot of downwind sailing and reaches. At this start the dutch team Noordzij where still in the lead, with Karlsson Nordblom just behind and Linder Brunnberg on a third place and Nieminen / Backes and Dahl / Bredberg also in the game.
However, from now on, Demesmaeker / Gagliani showed just how fast they are outshining the rest by winning all remaining races. But Karlsson Nordblom still had the overall victory within reach as long as they did not let too many boats between themselves and Demesmaeker / Gagliani.
The lunch break was in a beach at Husarö after a long reach. Demesmaker Gagliani taking the win followed by Karlsson Nordblom. At this point the Finish French team Nieminen Backes, who had not sailed together for some time, got their speed up finishing third, which would also become their result overall in the end.
The 6th leg started with a long gennaker reach with the wind from the side where some teams, but not all, managed to sail with their gennaker up all the way to the first Checkpoint Morsken. Then followed a long downwind to and through the island of Nassa and then towards the Finish in Sandhamn. At the end of the leg the wind died and boats where drifting on the sea a few miles outside of Sandhamn. There where two alternative ways to get to the finish and the frustration onboard the boats taken the “wrong” way was huge as the boats that took the “other way” got the wind first and went from 1 knot of speed to trapezing in 10 knots. The positions among the top three teams was identical to the previous leg.
Sauna, drinks in the sunset and dinner in the charming boat house at the youth sailing camp site of KSSS at Lökholmen.
Day 4: Sandhamn to the finish at Saltsjöbaden
On the final day of racing sun was shining and there was a light breeze, possibly even lighter around noon. The start outside Sandhamn was yet another downwind start towards the lighthouse Svängen. Dahl/Bredberg did not get the best start. First they where OCS in the start and had to turn back to the starting line and when they got to Svängen they did not have enough room and scratched the starboard hull against the lighthouse that refused to give more room.
Another long reach in trapeze with wind from the the side followed, where teams that managed to keep the gennaker up all way could gain many positions. At the Checkpoint Kalken the course was Westbound through all the islands of the middle archipelago. It became a long upwind with some tacks for the first time in 4 days. First to the finish at the beach at Björnö was the outstanding Belgians Demesmaeker Gagliano followed by Linder Brunnberg (SWE) and the best mixed team Hedann Jensen / Wyon /DEN) on third. For Karlsson Nordblom this leg was a disappointment with a 10th place. Still they would only have to finish within 12 positions after the Belgians in the last race to be able to claim the overall victory.
Leg 8 was a short sprint to the finish in Saltsjöbaden. The wind was light as all teams set their gennakers for the 8th gennaker start of 8 possible. After about half an hour most teams had taken down their gennakers and where an a long upwind mostly on starboard tack. The cutoff point was reached a minute before the course would be shortened so the course was to sail pass Saltsjöbaden, round a mark on the north side of the bay Baggensfjärden before heading back to the finish.
The pressure on Karlsson Nordblom seem to have taken its toll, because they completely lost it in the super light winds and ended on a 16th place loosing the overall victory to Demesmaeker / Gagliano who again finished the last race with a bullet. A remarkable series of 5 bullets and one 2nd after the catastrophic first day. Truly a very worthy winner overall after having sailed the raid in the archipelago for so may times before, always ending among the top three teams.
The Race Organisation, the safety crew, the judge and all volonteers did a top job giving the sailors an amazing experience that will forever be in our memories. And to me it will be remembered as the downwind raid; the year we started with gennakers hoisted in all 8 races.
After four days and 8 races in everything from tough conditions to light winds the Belgian team Demesmaeker/Gagliani broke the 10-year Swedish win streak since Bundock/Leeuwen won in 2011. And what an achievement that was after a catastrophic start hitting a rock with their Akurra in race one and droping the jib in race two. After that the Belgians where unstopable with one second place and the rest bullets, ending on 176 points.
The phenomenal Swedish raid experts Karlsson / Nordblom did everything right until the last day and seemed to have their 4th consecutive win within reach, but had a bad day in the light winds. After finishing 10th in the 7th race they only had a few points lead over the Belgians and lost it in the last race, 3 points behind overall. Previous years they have more than once won the raid in the last race by only a few points, but this time margins where not on their side.
The Finnish-French team Nieminen / Backes came 3rd overall after a very solid performance in all winds. They managed to avoid all the rocks with a handheld GPS (not mounted) which meant that Olivier Backes had to sail much of the race with only one hand. For sure they can sail even faster with a hands-free navigation solution.
In the mixed class Antman/Wetterling (SWE) took the lead the first day. But the Danes Hedmann Jensen/Wyon (DEN) where going faster for every day and after a 3rd place overall in race 7 they where beyond reach for the Swedes finishing on a very fine 12th place overall.
The Noordzij father and son (NED) did not manage to defend their first place they had after four races and they ended on a forth place overall.
On 5th Place the former Raid World Champion Dahl and crew Bredberg (SWE) just managed to beat the other Swedish raid specialists Linder/Brunnberg (6th place) after a bold route choice in race 7 that made them pass many teams.
All teams are to be congratulated for great sailing, good sportsmanship and making it to the finish. Welcome back next year to the F18 Raid World Championship.
The second day of the raid offered perfect F18 conditions. 15 knots of wind with gusts of 20 all day, mainly from the W-SW. Since the fleet was heading NE it ment lots of long gennaker runs, again.
The standing in the top is that the top 4 teams are the same as yesterday. Karlsson/Nordblom in the lead, but on the same point (103) as the Noordzijs. Then Nieminen/Backes on on 93 points and Linder/Brunnberg on 88 points.
Demesmaeker / Gagliani have been sending it with one 2nd and one bullet and are advancing quickly in the scoring.
Today the fleet turn back south and the wind changes from SW to NW to N 10 to 15 knots of wind. It means that there will again be mainly downwind to the next base camp Lökholmen.
The westerly breeze with winds from 15-25 knots made the first day super fast. The winners of the first leg Noordzij (NED) father and son where flying the 34 Nautical miles sailed in 2.07 at an average speed of 16 knots, while navigating.
Leg 1 was mainly gennaker runs for one and a half hour and then a were fast reach with the wind from the side. Leg 2 started with a long downwind to Björkskär and then an even longer upwind to the first base camp Nässlingen.
The local raid champs Karlsson / Nordblom had a very good day and offered the tourists the locals in Sandhamn a show when the capsized in a very narrow straight just before the finish line, blocking the passenger ferry Cinderella for a while.
FIN36 Nieminen (FIN) / Backes (FRA) are on third, despite a 3p penalty. They are sailing incredibly fast and stable in the hard conditions. Team USA Stroebel / Leuck are also sailing very fast and are on 7th overall which is quite an achievement in a totally unknown archipelago with so many rocks.
BEL1 Demesmaeker/ Gagliani had a terrible start. First they hit a rock really hard and destroyed both daggers in the first race. After some unorthodox boat care during the lunch stop they managed to get to start of leg two. But in the second race they where in the lead, but lost the jib and had to sail the boat as an a-cat loosing many places.
A couple of more boats did not finish and Tengbom / Engstrand has had to retire from the raid unfortunately.
Day two will be slightly lighter winds, more like 15-20 knots, with lots of gennaker runs to the base camp Fejan.
4 days to start of the 21st consecutive raid in the Stockholm Archipelago and the first foreign teams have arrived in Stockholm. 22 teams with some of the best F18 sailors from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, France, USA and Sweden will participate this year, despite some late cancellations due to Covid travel restrictions and quarantine rules. No less than 9 different F18 models will be sailed including some brand new designs and earlier models.
The high pressure with hot air that parked over the Scandinavian peninsula for over a month in June / July feels long gone this rainy and windy August night. However the sea temperature is still up and and the weather forecast is quite uncertain.
What is certain though is that the Race Committe is prepared, the Base Camps are ready and the 66 Check Points (bouys, light houses, islands, rocks etc) are set waiting to be rounded. The course will be in the middle and northern parts of the archipelago, an area of about 50 km * 100 km.
The name of the game is that teams will be briefed during dinner about the CP’s that will be used during the 2-3 races the following day. They can then prepare their navigation, study different options and short cuts and make their strategy and plan for the next day. Typically 3 to 5 CP’s are used each race and the sailed distance each day is from about 40 Nm and up. The winning concept is to have reasonably good boat speed while making the right navigational choices, dodge the rocks to keep the boat in one piece and to eat and drink to get the energy to keep going to the finish line.
Safety equipment includes VHF, GPS, knives, towing lines, paddles, flares and spares on each boat and all sailors wear a dry or wetsuit, floating aid and sometimes helmet and a Personal Locator Beacon.
The spirit of the raid is as much about the adventure and nature as it is about the sport. Being far out in the wilderness in places that you would not normally go to in these small, super fast catamarans or any boat is exhilarating. The changing scenery as you leave Stockholm behind and move from islands covered with woods to the outer bare rocks and skerries inhabited by seals and sea birds is amazing. And after a sauna, a good dinner and drink or a glass of wine the party is on before it is time to hit the sack. Repeat times four.
I just received the wonderful news from the President of the International F18 Association that the Stockholm Archipelago Raid has been granted the Raid World Championship in 2022!
The F18 Raid World Championship is the long distance discipline of F18 sailing. In addition to boat speed and endurance the top teams must also be good at navigation to find all the check points and to avoid the underwater rocks on the way. The first F18 Raid World Championship took place during the Stockholm Archipelago Raid 2017.
The plan is to race four or five days around the 17th-21st of August 2022, but since we have not received confirmation from all base camps the dates are yet to be confirmed.
The check points, base camps, saunas, dinners and number of races will be similar to a normal year and the ambition is to keep the nice atmosphere between sailors, even if the stakes are higher. The usual cap of 30 teams will be removed, but since there will not be beds for more than 30 teams some teams might have to sleep in their on tent or on the floor.
Vikingarnas Sailing Society, where teams will park their cars, register, measure and set up their boats and where the price cermony and regatta dinner will take place is in central Stockholm. It’s an exceptional club with lots of space in a spectacular and central location, very convenient for media, friends and family as well as public spectators.
Now we look forward to make this year’s edition awesome and a great tune up for both sailors and the race organisation for the World Championship in 2022.