F18 Nordic Championships were held from 7 to 9 September in Hanko, Finland. Sixteen teams from Finland, Sweden, Estonia and USA had registered for the event hosted by the Finnish F18 Association and Hangö Segelförening r.f. (HSF) founded in 1906.
The first day of racing started in estimated 16-20 knots of wind from the east. Hanko is open to all other wind directions except north and waves were quickly typical to Gulf of Finland i.e. short and steep. The first day was not without incidents, as the both Estonian teams lost their masts before the first start when a shroud pin failed on both team’s Nacras. Also at least five other boats suffered damages that caused either DNF or both DNF and DNC codes to be marked in their results from Friday. Steve Stroeble & Matt Morris from San Diego, USA (Infusion with Nacra DS) were almost unstoppable on Friday scoring 2, 1, 1 and 1, being 1st in overall. Leff Dahl & Jacob Thun from Stockholm, Sweden (C2) were the strong second scoring 1, 2, 2, and 2, being 2nd in overall. Finnish team Mikko and Kirsikka Räisänen (Infusion with 1D DS) started with 3rd place from the first race but suffered damage and were forced to skip the next two races.
After the racing and sauna on Friday, a lovely welcome dinner provided by the Finnish Formula 18 Association was enjoyed in the HSF club house restaurant. The dinner was an excellent opportunity to relax, connect with other F18 sailors and plan the future events. During the evening the next Nordic Championships in 2019 was discussed. Preliminary the Swedish F18 association will host the Nordics next year in Stockholm, the venue for the Stockholm Archipelago Raid. We are looking forward to hear about the event soon from the Swedish F18 Association!
The second day of racing was sailed in light winds and clear conditions. The sea state from Fridays wind was challenging though still manageable. Despite the tricky waves and light wind Mikko & Kirsikka managed to find their groove and scored three bullets and one 3rd place which improved their position in overall to 5th. Steve & Matt and Leff & Jacob remained their positions in overall.
On Sunday, the last day of racing, three races were sailed. The weather conditions were changing throughout the day; the wind speed from 10-15 knots of wind to almost no wind with big shifts. Mikko & Kirsikka once again dominated the fleet and scored bullets in every race. Impressive! Both Steve & Matt and Leff & Jacob did well on Sunday and managed to remain their standings in overall. The gold went to USA, the new Nordic country and the silver to Sweden. The fight for the bronze medal was fierce between Mikko & Kirsikka and Lars & Erik from Sweden with their C2. Both teams achieved 35 points but this time, based on the number of bullets, the medal went to Finland. In addition to the Nordic bronze medal Mikko & Kirsikka won Finnish F18 nationals.
Congrats to winners and big thanks to everyone involved!! Till next time, cheers!
Report by Ilkka Saura
The final results:
Pictures and videos (Sailpix.fi):
Main partner of Finnish F18 Association: Finnlines