Russia wins the first stage of Nord Stream Race 2018

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The team «Lords of Sails - Asia» has won the first stage of the Nord Stream Race 2018 offshore Baltic Sea regatta. The Russians were the first to cover the 150-mile stretch from Germany's Kiel to Denmark's Copenhagen and finished 15 minutes ahead of their nearest rivals.

On Sunday, the final day of the largest sailing festival, Kieler Woche, the five Swan 50 Class boats set sail from Kiel harbour. The Swedish team held the palm for the first half of the journey, but then the boat got caught in the calm and lost their position.

Overnight the fleet was in a tight group and there was a constant change of leaders. The team from Ekaterinburg succeeded in pulling ahead only in the morning.

«We had an average start, we were keeping third for the first 20 miles, - says Vyacheslav Ermolenko, trimmer and coxswain of the Russian team. - Then we made a good run up and broke away from the main fleet by more than a mile. Before sunset the fleet was divided and we got bogged down in a weak wind, while the Danes and Germans pulled up. We had a duel with the Danes and for 30 miles we sailed together. Only at dawn, at the rounding of the cape, we managed to pull away, and then we only built up the gap, eventually bringing more than 1.5 kilometers to the finish line».

The result of the 17-hour race in the harsh conditions of the Baltic Sea was an incredibly tight final: 15 minutes after the Russians, within 30 seconds crews from Sweden, Denmark and Germany finished second, third and fourth respectively.

Fifth came the crew from Finland.

Today, the crews will compete in the second series of coastal races in a stunning setting - right in front of the Royal Palace and the famous Copenhagen Opera House. And tomorrow starts the next longest offshore stage with a finish in Stockholm.

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