The Antwerp to Aalborg race has had the fastest average speed of any Tall Ships Race in recent years and probably since the first Tall Ships Race that took place over 50 years ago, with Mir (Russia) averaging 11.292 knots. The record holder in recent years until now was Stad Amsterdam (Netherlands). Whilst she recorded top speeds of over 15 kts in the 2001 race, she averaged 9.339 knots over the entire race course that year making Mir’s result even more remarkable .
The unseasonably strong and sustained winds have created optimum sailing conditions for the large square riggers, though not so much for the schooners such as Wylde Swan
(Netherlands) and Eendracht
(Germany), as they sail at their best when the wind is across them (reaching) rather than when it is predominantly behind them, requiring them to tack downwind to maintain optimum speed and therefore having to cover more miles. The smaller Class D vessels will have been disadvantaged as the wind will have been too strong for most of them to have set their spinnakers.
The conditions for the second leg of the race, from Kristiansand to Hartlepool, are likely to be very different and should benefit the smaller vessels in the fleet.
At the 0600hrs UTC/GMT report, eleven vessels had finished, with Steppe
(Belgium) also now having crossed the line. In Class A the Norwegian ships Statsraad Lehmkuhl
and Christian Radich
have taken first and second place on corrected time (provisional results) with Sorlandet
, (pic) also from Norway, coming up to third position. Shtandart
(Russia), having maintained third position for much of the race, has slipped back to fifth.
Class B and C have remained in order as per the last two reports, with Tecla
(Netherlands) leading followed by Jens Krogh
(Denmark) and Constantia
(Sweden) in Class B and Dar Szczecina
(Poland), Rona II
(UK) and Black Diamond of Durham
(UK) in first, second and third place respectively in Class C, all on corrected time.
Both Rona II
(Spain) have crossed the finish line, with Hansa
winning the highly challenged line honours between the two by some 30 minutes.
The wind is forecast to reduce to light and variable this morning in the race finishing area, however it is predicted to change to light to moderate later in the day in a favourable westerly direction, helping the back markers reach the finish line in a reasonable time.
All results remain provisional until declaration forms have been submitted and reviewed by the race committee.
To track The Tall Ships Races fleet as they race, click here
To view the current placings of the race, click here
To see more images from The Tall Ships Races, click here
The Tall Ships Races is presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International.