Thursday, 22 May 2014

Nord Stream Race : Team Europe introduces Female Starting Helmsman with Youth Crew

Uli Schumann and Tim Kröger. Supplied image.

by Cailah Leask

Team Europe will be working with a different dynamic in this year’s Nord Stream Race. The third edition of this annual race starting in a matter of weeks will see female Olympic Yngling sailor, Ulrike Schümann from Berlin, on board the Swan 60 as starting helmsman.

Tim Kröger, Skipper of Team Europe, said of the appointment, ‘It was an easy decision to sail with Ulrike in the 2014 Nord Stream Race, with her experienced background in the Olympic classes, including a 4th position at the 2008 Olympic Games, she is an invaluable addition as an exceptionally talented sailor. Her strengths lie in close racing which I have experienced first-hand, winning German big boat championships together. Ulrike will quickly melt into her new position’.

Qualification criteria for Team Europe are strict as the Gazprom Swan 60 Class is especially competitive with some of the world’s leading yacht racing names involved. The core repeat crew includes Magnus Woxén, Wouter Verbraak and Christian Scherrer. Tim Kröger explains that a successful team lies in the quality of the sailors and their ability to all get along as a team, ‘Fun, joy and the will to work hard are important ingredients if you want to sail successfully’.

Tim is confident that Ulrike will fit seamlessly into his crew with her professional attitude that always impresses him. Another youth female to make the cut and join Team Europe this year is Anna Reinsberg-Andersson a young Laser Radial dinghy sailor from the Nord Stream Race’s finishing port, Warnemünde, Germany. Anna is part of the ‘Youth Sailing Concept by Adidas’, offering young sailors the chance to join experienced offshore professionals and race with them. Four youths from Germany and Finland, have been selected in total, Tim Kröger believes that the Nord Stream Race will provide the perfect vehicle for youngsters to bring positive sporting memories home, ‘they will not be treated as guests on board, they are expected to bring their ideas and views with them and I am sure we will hear some useful comments back from these talented sailors’.

For Anna this is an excellent introduction to offshore sailing and the chance to spend time afloat with the more experienced Ulrike, who will undoubtedly offer Anna essential input into her sailing development. Anna a member of Warnemünde Segel Club, commented, ‘I am excited at the chance to look over the shoulders of pro sailors like Tim Kröger and hope to be able to keep in contact with the crew and race again with them in the future, this concept is fantastic and a really unique chance for youth sailors to race Swan 60s’.

Nord Stream Race 2014 is made up of two legs going across the whole of the Baltic Sea from Saint Petersburg (Russia) to Rostock-Warnemünde (Germany) stopping once in Helsinki (Finland). Just as last year the race is open to the Gazprom Swan 60 class and yachts under ORC handicap. The start for the 150 nautical mile medium-distance race from Saint Petersburg to Helsinki is on 29th of May 2014. In the Finnish capital the Swan 60s will compete in a match race series and the ORC yachts will have inshore races on their programme. On 2nd of June the fleet will leave for the 600 nautical mile long-distance race to Rostock-Warnemünde. The route then passes Gotland and Bornholm following the Nord Stream gas pipeline, the eponym of the regatta. Depending on wind strength and direction the boats will arrive at the finish in Warnemünde between 5th and 6th of June. Organisers of the top-class event are the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein together with Saint Petersburg Yacht Club in cooperation with Helsingfors Segelklubb. The Nord Stream Race was initiated in 2012 in order to connect the countries around the Baltic rim on a sporting level.

Nord Stream Race