It’s been a great year for the team. We did lots of new regattas and participated in several international events. Among the best moments was Match Cup Russia and the intense spring when we sailed six competitions in eight weeks.
2017, as the previous year, we sailed more competitions than ever before. In total, we sailed 11 competitions. Seven of them was outside the borders of Sweden and four of them in the M32 catamaran.
We began the season with a local grade 3 regatta, Ice Breaker. Still a bit rusty from a long winter, we ended up in 5th place.
The weekend after that, we went to Szczecin, Poland for a double regatta. The Polih Match Tour’s Double WarmUp. It was two grade 3 in four days, a perfect way to kick start the season. A first in the TOM28 and great days with all kinds of weather. We ended up 7th in the first regatta, and 3rd in the second.
Towards the middle of May, we sailed our seasons first WMRT qualifier. Gothenburg Match Cup was sailed in our home waters, and we performed above expectation. It was a high level competition with participants such as 2017 world champion Torvar Mirsky. We ended up in 5th place, just missing out on the semifinals.
In the following weeks, we increased the level of competitions with Szczecin Match Race, a grade 2 in the same city in Poland as earlier. Our performance didn’t reach what we hoped for, but we had a great time.
A few days later we travelled to Germany for Match Race Germany, our first grade 1 regatta. We had very light winds and struggled to handle the very challenging Bavaria 40S boats. In the end, we ended up in 11th place with three wins and eight losses.
In June we sailed another local regatta, the grade 3 Spring Cup. We ended up in 2nd after winning 9 out of 12 matches.
During the summer we went to St Petersburg for the highlight of the year, the WMRT qualifier St Petersburg Match Cup and the following Match Cup Russia, grade W event on the WMRT serie. The qualifier went ok with 7 wins and 5 losses and we qualified for the main event. For Match Cup Russia, we started the fleet racing round outside of St Petersburg with all kinds of conditions. We consistently had great starts, but struggled to hold on to that throughout the races. Regardless, we ended up in 15th place and was qualified for the round of 16 where we faced Pieter-Jan Postma. The sail area was moved into the central parts of St Petersburg, an amazing place to showcase the regatta. We sailed really well and took the best of three to the last match. After having the lead throughout the first half of the final race, a poor decision after the last upwind, PJ got ahead and we lost the match. We ended up in 12th place and in hindsight, we are pleased with our overall performance.
After our adventure in Russia, we only sailed two more events. The Swedish championship ended up being a disappointing performance for us with a forth place. With very light winds, we could only sail one partial round robin and every match counted. The event was concluded with four wins and two losses, a result which didn’t provide a satisfying place.
We ended the season with Alicante Match Cup, another qualifier for WMRT. Alicante, at the same time host for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover, was a great host for the competition and we was thoroughly schooled in the art of light wind catamaran sailing. Performance wise, it was a complete failure. We have never sailed in such light wind (barely flying the windward hull with gennakers on the upwind) and we learned a ton about sailing the M32 and about how we should utilize each crewmember the most.
Key values for the season:
- Won matches: 53, win ratio 49.1%
- In keelboat: 38, win ratio 52.1%
- In M32: 15, win ratio 42.9%
- Lost matches: 55, loss ratio 50.9%
- In keelboat: 35, loss ratio 47.9%
- In M32: 20, loss ratio 57.1%
- Ranking went from #36 (15/2) to #33 (20/12), with a peak at #24 (16/8)
In the beginning of the year, Markus decided to leave the team. We brought in Jonatan Bergström, an experienced sailor from 49er sailing as well as M32 sailing during 2016. From the start, Jonatan performed well and have been a great addition to the group. During the year, we’ve used a few people to help during both practice and competition. Honourable mention to Malin Holmberg who helped out for the PMT Double WarmUp and Match Race Germany.
This year, as many before, has been a great leap in experience and knowledge for the team. We’ve competed in four different boat types at many new locations. From a result perspective, we haven’t had a great year, but that is due to our desire to participate in regattas with boats we haven’t sailed before.
During the spring, we partnered up with Båths and Magic Marine. Båths is the Swedish distributor for Magic Marine, and for the season we’ve sailed with gear from Magic Marine. We are very happy with the quality of the gear and are looking forward to next years collection. A plus is the color scheme that fits nice into our orange and green look.
Our partnership with Leech Eyewear continues. We still believe that high quality sun wear is important for the increased stress we put on our eyes by being at sea. Having high quality lenses also increases our perception of the surroundings in challenging conditions.
We look into 2018 with the high level goal of performing better than in 2017. This is going to be achieved by practicing more and to spend our time sailing competitions in boat types we have sailed before. At home, practice will be made in new boats, the FarEast 28R. We’ll spend time to master gennaker sailing in keelboat, something we haven’t done much of. This is done to perform well in the local regattas, the location we sail the most regattas during the year.
Another goal for 2018 is to step up our game in the World Match Racing Tour. We want to qualify into more main events and go from “participating to learn” to perform from the very first match at competitions.
A huge thank you to everybody that follows and support us, through the good and the tough times. It all gets so much more fun when you get to share it. Thank you again, and we hope you’ll be with us next year as well!