After the first stage of the international Nord Stream Race regatta in the Baltic Sea, which finished on 19 October in Helsinki, the Netherlands team on the Tsaar Peter yacht, sponsored by Gazprom International, is in third place.
Teams from Russian, Germany, France are also taking part in the competition, along with a joint European Union team. The regatta, in which the Gazprom Swan 60 yacht is also taking part, follows the route of the Nord Stream gas pipeline and is dedicated to the commissioning of this trans-European pipeline system.
The first past the interim winning post in the Finnish capital was the yacht Bronyenosetz (Battleship), representing Russian (sponsored by Gazprom); next came the European Union team (sponsored by Nord Stream AG), and in fourth place was a boat sailing under the French flag (sponsored by Stroigasconsulting). Because of technical problems, which appeared before the start in St. Petersburg, the German team (sponsored by Stroigasmontage) could not take part in the first stage.
A mini-tournament match race was held on 20 September in Helsinki between participants in the regatta (pairs races close to the coast line), in which the Netherlands team also came third. First place went to the German team, and the Russian Bronyenosetz came second.
The Netherlands team (Gazprom International) was represented by the yacht Tsaar Peter and a team with great yachting experience. It consists of Robert Schutte, last year's champion of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, and winner of the Nord Sea Regatta, and Peter Elmers, who sailed across the Atlantic in his own boat
After the finish, commodore of the Royal Dutch Yacht Club and captain of the Netherlands team, Pieter Kejiser, acknowledge that his team and boat were still quite new - it was formed especially for the regatta - and this was the first time his team had set to sea. Nevertheless, despite the dangers that hide in the Baltic Sea at this time of the year, everyone is very glad to take part in the Nord Stream regatta and hopes that more will be expected from it in the future.
The second stage of the regatta is currently underway. According to information received in the middle of the day on 23 October, Tsaar Peter is leading the race. A little more than 40 miles remains until the interim finishing line in Gotland in Sweden.
The Nord Stream Race regatta started on 18 October 2012. These competitions are being held for the first time and are part of three offshore races between the ports of St. Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Gotland (Sweden) and Greifswald (Germany). The regatta will finish on 27 October in Greifswald. The race extends over 750 nautical miles (approximately 1,400 km). Representatives from 15 European countries are taking part in the regatta. The Nord Stream Race's title marks the distance, international character and high level of difficulty of the regatta. This year, participation in the regatta is through invitation from the organising committee, but future Nord Stream Races.will be open to all Gazprom Swan 60-class yachts.
The Gazprom Swan 60-class monotype vessel is the largest around today. Altogether 8 of these vessels have been produced in the whole world so far. A carbon body and mast make the yacht particularly durable. Despite its size, it is light and stable when running, and has excellent seafaring potential. The use of state-of-the-art technology in the technical fitting-out of the yacht means that it can demonstrate outstanding racing quality both in coastal and offshore regattas. Next year, a few more regattas will be held for boats of this class.
The Gazprom Swan 60 class was created through the financial support of Gazprom, which was echoed in its name. It was presented to the sporting community for the first time on 12 September 2012 in Porto Cervo (Sardinia) at the Rolex Swan Cup regatta. The aim behind creating the Gazprom 60 is to form a new professional and well-run class to take part in both sporting competitions and social events. Official status in the ISAF (International Sailing Federation) is planned for this type of boat to hold future World Championships in this class and a cycle of official regattas in Europe. The mission of the Gazprom Swan 60 class consists of popularising races between monotype yachts in maxi class without a handicap. Such competitions are becoming interesting for yachtsmen and are entertaining for the public, attracting more people to sailing as a sport.
Match races in a number of sailing competitions stand on their own, insofar as they attract an audience that is no less than such sporting forms as football or boxing. Match races are held close to coastlines, in order to be convenient for spectators. Only two boats take place in the race; the time for travelling the distance is not important, bets can be placed on speed, and it is possible to block competitors as well. From last year, match races were included in the Olympic programme.