Team Baghdad wins the 5.5 metre Gold Cup

Another strong breeze day in Curacao put the three final boats to test. As previously, the racing favoured going close to the shore upwind in order to escape the opposing current.

In first race (Race 4 in total) we had a decent start but trailed the dutch boat early on. However, after a hectic tacking duel on the first beat, the Baghdad team in the 5.5 metre Artemis XIV were able to slip through. The remaining race were quite tight and not until the very last run, the team felt assured it would win it.

In the second race of the day, we had a great start and was able to make a jump on our opponents. Even though we never could relax and had to keep the pressure on, we never were in any real danger of losing our lead.

Winning the last race meant that we were the first boat winning three races and consequently won the 5.5 metre Gold Cup. The team consisted of replacement crew Kristoffer Spone (helmsman) and Christen Horn-Johansseson (bow) as well as regular crew Johan Barne.

What a great win!

Wikipedia explains the race:GoldCup

Scandinavian Gold Cup is a sailing race held annually for 5.5 metre yachts. It is a nation race, meaning that each participant nation can send only one boat/team. Despite its name, it has been an international competition almost through its entire history, and participating is not limited to Scandinavian nations. The event has been held every year since 1919 (with exception of 1920 and 1940-46) making it one of the oldest active sailing trophies.

The Cup was originally established by one of the oldest Finnish yacht clubs, Nyländska Jaktklubben (NJK) in 1919, to celebrate newly achieved Finnish independence, promote sailing and improve relations between Finnish and Swedish yacht racers. At first, the Cup was a challenge competition between Finland and Sweden and it was raced with 40m2Skerry Cruisers. First event was won by Swedes. In 1922, Finns decided to give the trophy for now-popular International 6 Metre class. It was intended to replace older One Ton Cup as an international prize for smaller, more affordable racing yachts. 1926 was first year when competitors came outside Nordic countries and Cup was soon established as one of the most coveted in sailing world, attracting famous designers and competitors, including America’s Cup winners.

By end of 1930s, increasing costs began to decrease popularity of 6mR class and it was gradually replaced by cheaper 5 Metre and 5.5 Metre classes. Gold Cup was raced with 5.5 metre boats from 1953 onwards. It has continued to be raced annually, with exception of 1986, when two competitions were held. 2006 Cup was held in Netherlands, involved 11 nations and was for the first time won by a Dutch team.

Next in the schedule is the Heiniken Cup which is a practice regatta for the coming World Championships.