Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Kullaviks Canoe & Racing Club Leads Swedish J/70 Sailing League

J/70s sailing Swedish Sailing League (Motala, Sweden)- The first event for the Swedish J/70 Sailing League took place in the pretty setting of Motala’s lake in the heartland of Sweden.  After a ten race series, several non-traditional sailing clubs ended up leading some of the more famous yacht clubs in Sweden with impressive performances.  Winning Act One of the Allsvenskansegling was none other than Kullaviks Kanot och Kappeseglingsklubb (Canoe & Racing club)!

On the first day of racing, it was the Cape Crow Yacht Club that impressed everyone at this year's kick-off of the Allsvenskansegling series. The first day of the first round was sailed in Motala in mostly light winds, light rain and chilly temperatures.

But, the weather did nothing to dampen the mood of the eighteen teams who have trained hard during the spring and were happy the series finally started. It was generally light in Motalaviken. Sometimes down to 1 m/s, but in some races it could quickly blow up to 7 m/s and rain a lot!

J/70 sailing Swedish Sailing LeagueCape Crow Yacht Club, from Hönö outside Gothenburg, thrived in the gray weather and impressed by winning all three races they sailed, despite being complete newcomers to the J/70s and the league.  After them, the next two top teams were KSSS (the Royal Swedish Yacht Club) and Ekolns Yacht Club, both of which had a respective first, second and third in the three races.

After the second day of racing, the leaderboard shuffled completely with a surprising newcomer sitting on top of the pack of eighteen teams. Motala’s lake provided sun and steady winds of around 3 to 5 m/s all day with many wind shifts.  By posting a 1-2-1-1-1, the Kullaviks Canoe and Racing Club hurtled into the lead, much to the surprise of the more experienced teams.  Still lying second was KSSS (Royal Swedish YC).

After Kullaviks and Royal Swedish Yacht Club, chasing them were another set of newcomers- Cape Crow Yacht Club from Hönö sitting in third place and Ekolns Yacht Club of Uppsala that was in fourth place.  In fact, in fifth was yet another newcomer- Segelsällskapet Kaparen from Gottskär and Kungsbackafjorden!  This is all good news for the development of sailing in Sweden, all new, young teams few have seen sailing against each other before!

The final day of sailing on Sunday produced mostly light winds on the pretty lake.  The shiftiness and streaky breezes produced many tight duels all day long.  However, there was no question that KKK (Kullaviks Canoe & Racing club) from Kullaviks south of Gothenburg had everyone’s number!  They won 7 of 10 races and closed the regatta with five straight 1sts!

The Kullaviks team had a really good mix of sailors on board, including Marcus Westerlind (Olympic 470 sailor in 1996), Oskar Angervall (two America's Cup project with Victory Challenge, plus victory in Match Cup Sweden), and two 15-year-olds- Elin Nordin and Samuel Fridriksson.

J/70 at mark- Sweden Sailing League“This is how we want to known for in Kullaviks headlines. Two veterans and two kids! It will be a fantastic for the boys and girls in our club,” laughed Marcus Westerlind. “Today, we really had an amazing five races, we won four and finished second in one.  And, we were leading the one race that we got second; on the final run in the race, we were a little too passive and KSSS sailed past us. But on the whole, we are extremely pleased with the day!”

KSSS also sent a ”youth" crew to Motala; at 26 yrs, skipper Erik Skoting was the oldest aboard their boat. The other three were Jacob Lundqvist (24 years), Linnea Floser (23 years) and Oscar Lundqvist (22 years).  Despite their youth, they all have a solid background in dinghies, especially Optimist and Lasers. In recent years, however, they have been sailing keelboats like a Farr 30, X-35 and last season some J/70s.

The concept for the Allsvenskan is audience-friendly short races close to shore that are easy to follow. The format is proving to be extremely popular for sailors in Sweden; the fact that three of the top five are all relative “newcomers” to racing is a tremendous development.  It is the clubs- not the individual sailors- that finally brings the gold!

The final results had Kullaviks at the top followed by Cape Crow YC in second, KSSS (Royal Swedish YC) third, Ekolns Segelklubb fourth and Halmstads Segelsallskap fifth.

The next events for the Allsvenskan are Ekerö (10-12 June), Malmo (12-14 August), and finishing in Gothenburg (2-4 September).   For more Swedish J/70 Sailing League information