(Goteborg, Sweden)- Peter Gustafsson and his crew continue their winning streak in 2010 sailing their J/109 BLUR off the picturesque coast of Sweden. After winning Helly Hansen Skagen Race in Norway and Big Boat Challenge in Denmark in May, it was time for a race in home waters: the 15th edition of the 150 mile Goteborg Offshore Race. Some might remember the earlier Skaw Race and Skagerrak Cup that were held in the same waters. Now the course runs from Goteborg to Marstrand, over to Skagen and south around Kattegat.
The forecasts couldn’t have been better. SE 10-15 knots going to lighter NW during the evening. All the boats got off at 1100 on Friday the 13th (not the best starting date?) and after some short and intensive legs to get out of the archipelago everyone hoisted their kites for the run north towards Marstrand. Perfect conditions but tricky winds and current reshuffled the standings early on. And when the fleet got that promised 180 degree shift on the beat over to Skagen, everyone knew that this race would demand 100% focus and concentration all the way until the finish.
The night proved to be a magical one. Warm downwind sailing in 4-8 knots of wind, a million stars, lots of falling stars (some counted over fifty) and sparkling seas. And BLUR managed to stay with, and even overtake, all the 40-footers except a new First 40. Suddenly they all wished they had a sprits and asymmetrical spinnakers!
After a glorious sunrise, the fleet beat north again along the Swedish coast. Once again fantastic conditions and close racing, especially among the 40-footers. And after 26 hours of racing, BLUR managed to beat most of the 40-footers on the water to a comfortable win on handicap with over an hour in both IRC and SRS rating systems.