Team Holland sponsored by Gazprom International, in a close race with Team EU (sponsored by Nord Stream AG) and Team Russia (sponsored by Gazprom), pipped their rivals to the post in Leg Two of the Nord Stream Race, grabbing the overall lead.
A respectable third place after Leg One (3 points) combined with a win in Leg Two (12.5 points) put Tsaar Peter on top of the overall standings with a 15.5 point total. In the meantime, after 30 hours of racing, Team EU are only one minute and 46 seconds behind Team Holland, which is less than 0.1 % of the overall race time. Team EU are closely pursuing Team Holland: with the 4 points they won for the second place in Leg One, they now have 14 points from the two races.
After arriving into Visby, the main city in Gotland, Team Holland skipper Pieter Keijzer commented the success of his crew: "It was such a fantastic race! We made some right tactical decisions in the tactical department. ... The boat moved fast, everyone was working hard and the three of us, with Team EU and Team Russia, were so close together. Between five and ten miles before the finish Team EU announced over the radio the gap was only 20 metres, but we managed to pull away when it mattered and it was great to cross the finish line first!"
Leg One winners Team Russia (in the Bronenosets yacht) offered stubborn resistance in the three-way battle with Team Holland and Team EU in this Leg as well. The Russian finished in the third position, bringing their total points haul to 12.5 into the final Leg.
Team Germany (sponsored by Stroygazomontazh) and Team France (sponsored by Stroygazconsulting) were heading to finish Leg Two well behind the leading pack. This battle for fourth place was finally won by Team Germany, who overtook Team France in the final 50 miles and went on to finish 15 minutes in front.
The third and final Leg of the Nord Stream Race starts on Thursday 25 October in Visby. Crews will set out on the last Leg, to Greifswald in Germany, for the Race finish on 27 October.
The Nord Stream Race started on 18 October 2012. This competition is being held for the first time and consists of the three offshore races between the ports of Saint Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Gotland (Sweden) and Greifswald (Germany). The inaugural Nord Stream Race is contested between five international teams from the Netherlands, Russia, Germany, France and a united team from the EU. The Regatta, which involves only Gazprom Swan 60 yachts, goes along the route of the "Nord Stream" gas pipeline and is dedicated to the commissioning of this trans-European pipeline system. The first Leg of the Race finished on 19 October in Helsinki. The Regatta will finish on 27 October in Greifswald. The length of the Race is about 750 nautical miles (approximately 1,400 km). The name of Nord Stream Race is intended to emphasise the long distance, international nature and a high degree of complexity of the Regatta.