Category Archives: Raid

Demesmaeker and Gagliani F18 Raid World Champions

After five day of intense sailing, crisscrossing thru the Stockholm Archipelago the 29 F18 catamarns finally reached the finish In the middle of Stockholm, close to the famous Wasa Museum. It was a close fight all the way in, between Team Patrick Demesmaeker / Olivier Gagliani from Belgium and the Swedes Jakob Lundqvist / Rasmus Rosengren. Eventually tit was the belgiens who took the gold, leaving Jakob och Rasmus with the silver. Another Swedish team, Fredrik Karlsson och Niklas Nordblom took bronze.

– It was stressful in the beginning, we were very close with Jakob and Rasmus all the way, said Patrick after the finish. Not until we could pass them, about 10 minutes before the finish we could relax.

– Before the race we said that anything could happen today, commented Olivier Gagliani. And almost everything happened.

The first race of the last day started in very light winds and thru a part of the archipelago which is quite dense, wit narrow straits and high islands. There was to obvious routes, on longer and more open. One narrower and shorter. The field split with approximately half boats on each course. Coming int the finish at Grinda it showed that the narrower part had been a little better. Interesting was that the leader boats choosed to change from the one to the other and made a massive loss. So before the start oft the last race Demesmaeker / Gagliani had just one point more than Lundqvist / Rosengren. Now the wind picked up and it became a long upwind into Stockholm. It became something like a match race between the two top boats. And at the end Demesmaeker / Gagliani could pass the Swedes and bring home the Gold to Belgium.

 Of course a silver gives somewhat mixed feelings, said Jakob Lunqvist after the race. There are like just two kinds of persons, those who are world champions, and those who are not. But we couldn’t match their speed. But it is the first time we sail together so, we are happy with the silver.

The best finish however, was performed by the team Fredrik Karlsson and Niklas Nordblom. By hoisting the gennacker about 25 meters before the finish line they managed to pass one boat and gaining the single point more that they needed to get the bronze.
All and aa, it has been a fantastic World Championship, with very varied, but just conditions. Although there are plenty of daggerboards that will need some love before next sailing, there have been no serious incidents. And on the dock at Djurgården we saw a lot of happy faces.

Day 4: …And action!

On the Saturday we were treated with true action sailing. The expected hard and gsutsy breeze did really kick in an send the racers off in smoking down wind start. We saw speeds in the 20 knot range and knowing that any minor mistake would cause a crash made the sailor fully focused. After the down wind leg came a short upwind and after that a long hard beam reach in about 20 knots of wind with gusts at 28. You could see expressions of utter joy shifting to fear and back again in the faces of the sailors.

It is very tight in the top, but the Swedish team Lundqvist,Rosengren took the lead early and the Belgians Demesmaeker, Gagliani wre further down the line, but have during the race showed a unique capacity to work their way up in the field. Despite the hard and gusty wind there was no severe breakage or incidents. Actually it was more dramatic during the night when a squall hit the harbour at Fejan. A F18 catamaran that was moored by one of the safety RIBs was lofted by the almost 50 knots wind and tipped over and pulled the Rib with it, and both landed upside down on the quay. Miraculously none of the bot were damaged and ad could serve in the race on Saturday.
Back to the race. On the way towards the finish at Nässlingen was another screaming beam reach and when team Lunqvist, Rosengren suffered a minor technical problem, it caused a capsize and Demesmaeker, Gagliani and two other teams could pass. The Australians Burvill, Skewes did also make decents race and the top three before the last day of racing now looks like this:

  1. Patrick Demesmaeker,Olivier Gagliani Belgien 202 points
  2. Jakob Lundqvist, Rasmus Rosengren Sverige 196 points
  3. Brett Burvill, Bailey Skewes Australien 179 points

Due to increasing winds no more races will be sailed on the Saturday.

Day 3: Young Swedish guns still close to the top after hard fights in light winds.

We were looking forward to a day of fast sailing and a long stretch from Sandhamn to Fejan in the north end of the Archipelago. But, the forecast didn’t match reality. No wind. First start was postponed and the race officer decided to tow the boats to the first checkpoint and shortened the course. The wind did come eventually, and it turned out to be a rather tricky race, where standings changed all the way. In the top though, it was the same gang. First the Belgian team, Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani, second Fredrik Karlsson and Niklas Nordblom who did a magnificent comeback after hitting rocks in race four on Thursday. On third place another couple of swedes Jakob Lundqvist and Rasmus Rosengren. So after five races Demesmaeker, Gagliani and Lundqvist, Rosengren shared equal point in the overall standing.

After lunch at the beautiful Rödlöga a steady 8 knots south easterly wind prevailed and sent the racers on a long downwind stretch. Passing through the really narrow strait at Norrpada, where only one team did have a casual encounter with the Swedish granite. It was a tight fight all the way to the finish line and we could really feel that the competitive temperature is rising. On third place was Demesmaeker, Gagliani , second twin brothers Becker from Holland. First was the young swedes Lundqvist and Rosengren. This will also make Demesmaeker, Gagliani the overall leader tonight. But with just three points margin to Lundqvist, Rosengren. Tomorrow forecasts says 20 to 26 knots of wind, but hey we heard that one before…

Day two: A day of tactics into the fog, and a Swedish team in the lead.

The start of the sailing on the was postponed due to prognosis of light winds. And the teams could have a soft wake up in the morning. The start was set to 11 o’clock and by then there was warm weather and a steady breeze at about 6 to 10 knots. The wind came from Northeast and it became a long upwind to Sandhamn. What also came in was fog.

Despite the sometimes bad visibility it turned out to be a day of a tactical game. Where it really paid off to find the right shifts. And Belgian team Patrick Demesmaeke and Olivier Gagliani won both races. But they are not on top of the podium. After four races Swedish team Jakob Lundqvist and Rasmus Rosengren are number one, second is Australians Brett Burvill and Bailey Skewes and on third Patrick Demesmaeke and Olivier Gagliani from Belgium. The difference however, between the three teams are just two points.

Tomorrow promise to be a highlight of the F18 Raid World Championships. The race will crisscross through the spectacular outer archipelago in three races, with more downwind than we have had up till know. Stay tuned.

Day one: What a wonderful Wednesday

In the morning the waters outside KSSS harbour in Saltsjöbaden looked smooth and shiny like a polished hood of car, the sun trickled through a light mist and the warm and humid air felt like a Turkish bath. Then the 29 focused teams launched their catamarans and slipped out to the start of race 1. However, the wind picked up and the first long upwind out in the archipelago started. The field stretched out with the predicted favorites steadily increasing their lead. The Belgian team with Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani took a reassuring lead all the way to the finish line. Despite the perfect conditions there were some teams who found under water rocks on their way and had to use the lunch brake for repairs. One team broke their sprit and had to resign, but they will be back tomorrow.

After lunch race Race 2 started with a long upwind out to the open sea and around one of the archipelagos larger islands, Utö. The breeze was steady and the tactical choice few, so this race proved to be something of a drag race. And it was a close all the way to the finish line. But first over the line was the Swedish team Jacob Lundqvist and Rasmus Rosengren.

Follow the race:

Live tracking: TracTrac

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A final update before start

29 teams from 10 countries finallåy made it to start. Th eFreanch helmsman Nicolas Touchot who won the Raid Costamoricaine in France 2 weeks ago hyrt himself during the race and had to withdraw from the Raid WC.

Penny and Jan at the boat weighing and measurement control.

Teams started to arrive on Saturday to a warm and sunny Stockholm. During Monday and Tuesday the registration and measurement control and safety inspection have kept the sailors busy. THere has also been a tune up race on Monday evening.

Nice evenings at Saltsjöbaden.

On Tusday evening, when all boats were donor with all inspections, there was a gathering with some hot dogs and beer before a photo shoot followed by the team breifing.

Team breifing on Tusday night

At the end of the breifing the Check Points that will be used for leg 1 and 2 on Wednesday where communicated. Each evening the sailors will get the Check Points to be used the next day.

Check Points day 1

Follow the race here on the homepage and your favorite team on the TracTrac that can be found on the Official Notice board.

30 teams from 11 countries make their final preparations

The new logo of the Stockholm Archipelago Raid

Two weeks remain until the start of the Stockholm Archipelago Raid (SAR) which is also the F18 Raid World Championship this year. As the start gets closer the 30 teams from 11 countries go through and update their navigations equipment, safety devices and personal gear. Meanwhile, the Race Organisations review the Checkpoints and Sailing Instructions, set the menues together with the restaurateurs of the remote islands at the base camps and prepare all volunteers and the film and media team that will follow the sailors around the course.

Lunch break at Björnö Beach

The level of competition is very high, it has never been as tough to get on the podium. All SAR winners since 2016 are represented and the best F18 long distance sailors on the planet will participate. It will also be a battle between F18 boat manufacturer since all major brands are present: the Goodall Akurra, Goodall C2, Windrush Edge, Exploder Scorpion, Cirrus R and Nacra Evolution. 

Some of the most renowned teams that have a good chance at going home with another F18 medal:

  • Demesmaeker/Gagliani (BEL), Champions and SAR winners 2021, sail an Akurra. 
  • Burvill/Brown (AUS), Australia Champions came 2nd in the European Championship in Garda last month (ahead of Demesmaeker), first time in SAR. Sail a Windrush Edge.
  • Karlsson/Nordblom (SWE), F18 raid veterans and the only team that has won the SAR together more than once (2018, 2019 and 2020). Sail a Scorpion.
  • Noordzij father and son (NED), have sailed the SAR together many times, last year leading after the first two days (finished 4th). Sail a Cirrus R.
  • Lundqvist/Rosengren (SWE), Lundqvist is the reigning Swedish Champion now sailing with former Swedish Champion Rosengren who won the SAR in 2016. Sail a C2.
  • Dahl/Bredberg (SWE), Multihull expert Dahl won the first F18 Raid World Championship in 2017. Sail a C2.
  • Waterhouse/Pixell (AUS), Multihull legend Waterhouse won the extreme long haul race Worrel 1000 in May 2022 in the USA. Sail an Exploder.

In the mixed class three teams will have a go for gold

  • Jensen/Wyon (DEN), SAR winners of mixed class in 2021 and 2019. Sail the Akurra.
  • Windrike (SWE), the Swedish multihull couple just came back from a successful F16 European Championship. First time sailing the SAR, sail the C2.
  • Gijsbers/van Toorenburg (NED), have done well in the iconic Round Texel, but first time in SAR. Sail a Hobie Wild Cat 
Jan and Penny sending it. Best mixed team 2021

Follow the race in real time

It has never been easier to follow the race in real time. The boats will have trackers that send the positions, speed and course continuously. A team of film and still photographers, commentators and media experts will provide updates several times per day in social media and YouTube. Follow and share the Stockholm Archipelago Raid channels on Facebook and Instagram and the Official Notice Board for updates, results and more information.

Illustrative race course of the F18 Raid World Championship 2022

Join the spectacular finish in Stockholm City

After 5 long days of sailing from early morning to late afternoon the teams will finish in the heart of Stockholm, just outside Junibacken at the Royal park Djurgården, sometime after 15.00 on Sunday the 21st. The boats will then be pulled up, demasted and loaded onto trailers just next to Junibacken. Friends and family are welcome to greet the winners, talk to the sailors and get a close look at the spectacular boats on land. Food and drinks will be available at the pricegiving cermony that follow as soon as a final result is established.

Top 3 teams at the F18 raid World Championship 2017

Stockholm Archipelago Raid – A race through 36 000 rocks and islands

Stockholm Archipelago Raid (SAR) is a yearly recurring event. This year it is also the F18 Raid World Championship. The raid is a mix of sport, nature and adventure in the perfect F18-playground; the stunning Stockholm Archipelago. It is the largest archipelago in Europe with 36.000 rocks, skerries and islands and the most difficult one to navigate in. It offers limitless possibilities for exceptional courses between the check points on islands, buoys, light houses and beaches. Many famous sailors from all over the world have competed in the raids over the years. For a full list of winners of the Archipelago Raid / Raid Revenge and Stockholm Archipelago Raid, see the F18 hall of fame.

Dahl/Bredberg just after capsize in the SAR 2021
https://www.facebook.com/stockholmarchipelagoraid

3 weeks to start

On Thursday the 21st an information meeting was held for the sailors of the F18 Raid World Championship. The meeting had 3 agenda points

  • Race information
  • Logistics and accommodation
  • Gear and safety

Scroll to 9 minutes to skip the pre-talk.

Håkan Andersson, Race Officer, and Lars Linder, Chair of the race organisation

Some high lights:

Håkan talked about the race and the importance of reading through the Sailing Instructions (when published) and the rules. There is a high point system and the race committee can shorten the race for the last boats that will then get a point deduction, but they are still in the race.

Lars informed about logistics and what to expect when arriving in Saltsjöbaden and tips on accommodation, importance of having papers in order, the measurement of the boats and where to park cars and trailers during the race etc. He continued to talk about the finish in the city of Stockholm, where to take the boats out of the water, the price giving etc.

Some tips was shared about what to bring and not to bring, the common toolbox and spareparts and how that works.

Richard talked about the film and media production that will deliver both daily updates, short films, reels, interviews every day and a longer film afterwards. TracTrac will be used to trac all boats and how they choose their ways through the rocks and skerries of the archipelago.

Check out the whole presentation here.

100 days to start

High lights from the first F18 Raid World Championship in Stockholm 2017.

100 days to the start of the F18 Raid World Championship. 30 teams from 10 countries already pre-registered. The level of competition will be high and all winners from the past 5 years are all in the race.

Sailors that concider to join need to hurry up and register prior to the 1st of June.

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.

Illustrative race course of the F18 Raid World Championship 2022

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!

Partnership with Stockholm region

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.

Registration has started

Less than 3 days after registration opened for the F18 Raid World Championship many teams from eight countries signed up..

Registered teams: F18 Raid World Championship (sailarena.com)

Demesmaeker / Gagliani going fast even without their jib (2021). Photo: Henrik Trygg

Among the 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.

Jan and Penny sending it. Best mixed team 2021. Photo: Malcolm Hanes

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.

Son and father Noordzij at the F18 Raid World Championship. Photo: Jasper van Staveren

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.

We look forward to welcoming you

/Lars Linder

on behalf of the Race Committee

Lunch break at Björnö / Björkvik 2021. Photo: Ingrid Petitjean

6 news about the F18 Raid World Championship 2022

Race area: 4400 km2
Check points: ~70 in all, 6-10 used per day
Course: 250-400 Nm depending on winds
  1 Start: KSSS Saltsjöbaden
  2 Base camp 1: Rånö
  3 Base camp 2: Lökholmen
  4 Base camp 3: Fejan
  5 Base camp 4: Nässlingen
  6 Finish: KSSS guest harbour, Stockholm city

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.

The new logo with the typical silhouette of an F18 under gennaker.

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.

/Lars Linder

On behalf of KSSS and the Swedish F18 association

2021 – The downwind raid

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.

Difficult half wind approaching Sandhamn day 1, Linder/Brunnberg had just righted their boat after a capsize.

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.

Tengbom / Engstrand damaged their F18 in a capsize, but managed to switch to a hydroplane and join the fleet before leg 2 even started.
Tengbom / Engstrand flying low after start of leg 2

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.

Dahl / Bredberg hanging in there leg 2 close to Björkskär

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.

Demesmaeker / Gagliani going fast even without their jib…

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.

Father and son Noordzij sending it and in 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.

Passage through the straight of Ängskär, day 2 2021

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.

Start leg 2, day 2 outside Rödlöga

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.

Most boats stay in the water, only two fits on land at Fejan.
High spirit at the restaurant Fejan.

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.

Nieminen Backes finishing 3rd in race 5 and overall

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.

The lagoon of Lökholmen, Sandhamn

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.

Happy winners 2021 Demesmaeker Gagliano
The winners 2021 Demesmaeker/Gagliani with the Pontus Johansson perpetual – the broken dagger.

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.

Happy sailors of the 2021 edition

Thank you all who made it possible

/Lars

Remarkable win by Belgians Demesmaeker / Gagliani

Demesmaeker/Gagliani are incredibly fast, even without their jib!
Photo: Henrik Trygg.

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.

Final results

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.

Karlsson/Nordblom on their Scorpion. Photo Ingrid Petitjean.

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.

Backes (FRA)/Nieminen (FIN) finish on third place with their Phantom from 2012.

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.

Hedman Jensen/Wyon battling upwind.

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.

Maarten Noordzij (in orange) in one of many downwind starts 2021.

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.