This year’s edition of the F18 raid in the Stockholm Archipelago was held in the last weekend of August. Nineteen F18’s were on the starting line in this three-day raid event that was run for the 5th year since it replaced the more extreme Archipelago Raid. The concept of raid sailing fit perfectly in the high-speed catscene and the Stockholm Archipelago became the ideal playground where courageous route choices often are rewarded at the finish line. Teams that do not succeed in the upwind-downwind course can still win a raid.
The concept is to find about 10 check points per day divided into two legs. The first leg took the fleet from the start in Stockholm to a nice lunch stop in the outer archipelago. The second leg went to the island Finnhamn where sailors had their base during the two evenings and nights. Sauna, dinner at a restaurant and real beds are part of the concept: allowing this raid to be both comfortable and yet adventurous for many teams.
The second day began with a long leg three to the North and then a relaxing lunch break at the flat, stunning Gillöga with hundreds of skerries and rocks. The Dutch team, who rested on the smooth, sunny rocks concidered retiring from the race and remain in paradise. Everyone was enthusiastic and nobody wanted to break up. Start of leg 4 in the easterly downwind with gennaker offered new tactical challenges when boats on the wrong side of the line pushed up other boats quite a bit before falling off to a perfect start. The next check point led the catamarans right through a anrrow straight in the Nassa archipelago in good speed and double trapeze. The sign 7 knots was ignored, all were busy keeping track of rocks on their Garmin and iPad-plotters. On the next open water the boats spread wide left and right only to meet up at the next check point and a final, close race back to the finish line at base camp.
The last day was again sunny and a little more windy from NE. Leg five was tactically interesting downwind with stronger wind close to the small islands and a constant shift towards east. It was a long gennaker reach towards South to a check point that took more than two hours before turning East into a mine field of small islands. The last leg was a wonderful downwind in increasing 10-12 knot breeze over open waters with family sailors as rounding marks and tactical challenges towards the finish at the club house in Saltsjöbaden. Everybody were happy and had an adrenalin rush until long after the price giving ceremony was over. Raidsegling is the future of the F18 in Sweden and F18 is the obvious class for anyone who want to experience the adventure.
Thomas Ekefalk, won his second F18 raid in a row, this time as a crew with helm Mathias Söderström. The team won after overtaking 2 boats the last 300 metres of the last leg and on the exact same points as the Claesson ‘super brothers’ who ended up in second place. In third place was Team Bushi with Pascalidis (GRE)/Dyrssen (SWE) with just two points behind.
The Stockholm Archipelago raid is part of the Multi Cup 2014 consisting of three races. If you want to join you’re of course invited:
- Multi cup raid, Stockholm-Finnhamn-Saltsjöbaden 29-31 August 2014
- Swedish Championship, Nynäshamn 12-14 september 2014
- Stockholm Grand Prix (inkl. Bart´s Bash) in central Stockholm 19-21 September 2014
Text: Lars Linder
More info and result can be found on www.multicup.se
Photos: Malcolm Hanes