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Tjörn Runt, Tjörn Sweden

Ullman Sails First and Second overall!

Wed, 20th Aug 2014
By Ullman Sails First and Second

Tjörn Runt, Tjörn Sweden Ullman Sails First and Second overall!
Ullman Sail

August 16th 2014 the annual Tjörn Runt, the second largest race in Sweden and largest race on the Swedish West Coats.  This race is made famous by small passages and over 400 boats participating.  The Swedish late summer early fall weather can also make it interesting.

On August 1st 9 sailors from the San Diego area who had been racing the last 4 years on the Andrews 70 Alchemy flew to Sweden to start preparing for the Tjörn Runt.

With several days to prepare the team sailed each leg several different times charting rocks and recording the wind shifts around the islands in several different wind directions.

At first it was a little daunting with only a small amount of the rocks marked and charts that were originally plotted in 1910.  There are several slightly submerged granite reefs,  channels only a few meters wide,  currents that change with the barometric pressure and the unstable weather patterns, and the fact that there would be over 400 more boats to deal with during the race.

After hauling the boat and most of the team wet sanding and fairing the bottom of a Beneteau 40.7 the American Team from San Diego was starting to get noticed.  Other competitors had heard we were there and were walking by to see what we were up to.  It started a frenzy of boats getting hauled out to sand the bottom and other teams to start practicing.

After practice each night the team would analyze the data to determine which mode in which condition was working the best.  We needed to improve our downwind speed. Ullman Sails shipped a new spinnaker for us after not being happy with the spinnaker that was supplied by a different sailmaker.  This gave us the downwind speed we were looking for.

On race morning the team felt well prepared and went out to have fun.  Our start was at 9:10am.  We were off to a great start but as we beat out the channel the lighter boats could accelerate a little better putting 3 boats ahead of us.  We were still doing well under the handicap but felt we needed to push harder.

As we left the narrow start channel and started working outside we hit the right pressure and shifts to pull into second, 4 minutes behind the leader.  We stayed even on a reaching leg with the leader pulling on the boats behind.  We sailed past the RC 44 World Championships near Marston and started heading back into a narrow channel that brings you into a crowded archipelago with approximately 100 islands and reefs.

As we sailed downwind picking as clean of lanes as we could with so many boats, we picked up every minute on the leader.  Approaching the final bridge to sail under the trumpets sounded alerting the spectators that we were the leaders just as we passed the last boat.  Putting 8 minutes on them on the run.

Team Alchemy was first in class and first overall.

The crew

Will Stout, Artie Means, Chuck Skewes, Jay Davis, Brad Ruetenik, Patrick Koranda, Mike Hurlihy, Gunner Sege, and Per Peterson.

This article was posted on Wed, 20th Aug 2014