The Swedish J/70 Sailing Leagues seasonal premiere took place in Malmö from the 18th to 20th of May.
Eighteen teams from across Sweden participated in the event, the first of four competitions that include 1-3 June in Jungfrusund on Ekerö, outside of Stockholm (from June 1st to 3rd); then Örnsköldsvik from August 24th to 26th, and concluding at Gottskär (outside Gothenburg) from September 7th to 9th. The goal was to have a total of 45 races, which meant each club would sail 15 races on the water.
KSSS (Royal Swedish YC) won the 2017 league. However, their nemesis for the past four years has been Cape Crow YC. “Our ambition is, of course, to be on top this year again. But, we have new crews at every event this year and we are bringing in new, young talented girls onto the team. Of the 16 sailors we have been in this year, more than half have never sailed in the J/70 sailing league events,” said Niklas Edler, captain of the KSSS team.
As was anticipated, the two protagonists were at it “hammer & tong” yet again for the 2018 season. The first round of Allsvenskan was settled in Malmö between the two who dominated the Swedish league in recent years- KSSS (2015 & 2017) and Cape Crow YC (2016). This time, it was Cape Crow YC from Gothenburg that won with the team of Patrik Sturesson, Erik Malmberg, Herman Andersson and Elin Sturesson.
“We have sailed really well and we are, of course, happy with the victory. We are especially pleased with Friday and Saturday sailing. On Sunday, it was a bit difficult, with a lot of shifts and reversals. So, we were sailing a little bit silly, you might say,” commented Patrik Sturesson, skipper of the CCYC team.
Malmö offered glorious summer weather. Before the last race, Cape Crow’s crew sat in the sunshine on land to see how the final round would be settled. If the KSSS were to be 1st or 2nd in that race, the victory would have gone to them.
“It was incredibly exciting. We thought that KSSS would handle their last race, no problem. But then, we saw that they started badly, and then we realized we could win,” said Sturesson from CCYC!
In total, there were 15 races for each of the eighteen clubs. Cape Crow won five and was on the podium in a total of 13 out of 15 races, indicating an amazing consistency.
KSSS finished second, while Särö Boat Club came third. And, despite the miss in the last race that cost the KSSS victory, the skipper Niklas Edler was pleased, “It has been a brilliant regatta in amazing conditions, with incredibly smooth and tight races. We sailed basically, very consistent, but with a few bad bumps in our record. We had a short lead before the final race and the total victory had been ours, if we were at worst second in the last race. Such is yacht racing!”