It was a special kind of endurance test: the slowest Silverrudder edition in its young history not only put the skipper to the test, but also drastically decimated the field right through to the finish line. Only 131 starters managed to circumnavigate Funen clockwise. 177 boats started the race did not reach the start and finish port of Svendborg within the time limit or had given up beforehand and set course for their home port. Another 107 skippers did not want to do this 6th edition of the solo classic.
As expected, "First Ship Home" was the fast trimaran "Black Marlin" with Danish skipper Jan Andersen, who needed 29 hours, 33 minutes and 53 seconds for the theoretically 134 nautical miles long course around Funen in the sometimes extremely mild winds. Records were out of the question from the start this year. Andersen had reached the finish line in front of Svendborg at 7:33 p.m. on Saturday evening. It was the second night at sea in front of many starters - a novelty in the history of the one-handed regatta on this scale.
The 6th Silver Rudder started on Friday morning with little or no wind
Victory in the group of "Kielboote Mini" was also a Dane with Per Cederberg on the Seascape 24 "Danish Seascape II" (39 hours, 22 minutes, 25 seconds) ahead of Patrik Heinrichs T-24 "Jynx" (40:12: 20) and Harald Müller's Platu 25 "Honk" (41:41:11). In eighth place in this fleet was the smallest silver rudder challenger Piers Oest with the Bente 24 "Goldensnatch" (42:54:47). Also in the "Kiel Boats Small" division, a Dane prevailed with Allan Lester Kierkegaard, he crossed the finish line in his X-79 "Charole" after 40 hours, 16 minutes and 18 seconds. In second and third place followed Peter Edman's Swedish Seascape 27 "My" (40:28:55) and Søren Juel's Danish Albin Express "Explorer" (40:45:27). The French solo sailor and Seascape designer Sam Manuard, who started so virtuoso, did not reach the finish on the borrowed Swedish "Hammerscape" within the time limit.
No easy task: With one to two knots of countercurrent, most of the participants had to fight their way into the race on Friday with great difficulty. Many even anchored to stop the general backward drift
In the medium group, Per Svanberg's Swedish Fareast 31R - GRP "Kuài" prevailed with a sailed time of 37 hours, 50 minutes and 22 seconds. Second was his compatriot Anders Bastiansen on the X-332 "Taxim" (37:50:43) ahead of the X-332 "Dogmatix" (38:43:15) by Stefan Voss. The first two boats were only 21 seconds apart at the finish after a thrilling final spurt!
Peter Kohlhoff's "Gloria" on course for victory in the 2017 Silverrudder
"Large" winner: Peter Kohlhoff on "Gloria"
The only German group victory was achieved by Peter Kohlhoff with his beautiful individual construction and family cruiser "Gloria", which made the race in the group of "Kiel Boats Large". Kohlhoff and his 40-footer crossed the finish line in 36 hours, 41 minutes and 15 seconds. Shortly after crossing the finish line on his third participation, the man from Kiel said: "It was the most beautiful of all silver rudders! I'm a bit disappointed that so many boats gave up. Yes, it was mentally very demanding. You were always looking for the next one Brisenstrich. But you also do it to torture yourself and to go to your limits. " Second in the large group was William Frijs-Møller's IMX 40 "Mandalay" ahead of Peter Wrede's modified J 39 "Yes!". At Wrede's Silverrudder premiere, the boat name was the program: the former Olympian sailed straight to the group podium.
Peter Kohlhoff and his "Gloria" after crossing the finish line on the way to Strande
The start and finish line in front of Svendborg
In X-Large, Martin Meredin's Danish X-43 "Esbern Snare" had the nose tip in front after 34 hours and 33 seconds. Rikard Roth's Swedish Xp-44 "Xar" (36:32:47) crossed the finish line a good two and a half hours later. Stig Wittrup's Danish First 40 "My Way" (36:47:15) followed a quarter of an hour later. Peter Højlands Farrier F22r "Linet2" (35:39:54) ensured another Danish victory in the group of small multihulls. The Danish minority of the participants clearly beat the German majority in this edition. But that's not what most of the participants want. For them, the Silverrudder remains a challenge and adventure, where getting there is the most important goal. If you haven't succeeded this year, you might try again in a year.
Happy ending to what is perhaps the most beautiful story in the Silverrudder 2017: Niels Thomsen (70) made it to the finish line with his Scanmar 33 "Tustinne" after 47 hours, 32 minutes and 59 seconds at sea on Sunday morning as the penultimate "finisher" in the Medium group. The likable Danish farmer is now the only sailor who has participated in all six editions of the solo classic around Funen. Skål, Niels!