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by Colligo Marine 20 Jul 21: 50 PDT
2021 Gotland Runt Offshore Race © 59° North Sailing
"Having been an early-adopter of Colligo Dux with our first boat ARCTURUS I knew what we were getting into and was excited to learn from the mistake we made on that boat ten years ago and apply them to SPICA. Everything fit on the first try, the custom spreader ends were perfect and the rig 'set' after only a couple shakedown sails in Stockholm prior to the race start. Once we got her tuned up, the boat performed great. The rig got a lot of attention on the docks too among the other racing boats, especially having a high-tech rig on boat from 1977!..." - Andy Schell, founder of 59 degrees North Sailing
The Gotland Runt Offshore Race is the world's largest annual offshore race. It starts in the center of Stockholm, sails through the Stockholm Archipelago, round the island of Gotland to the finish at Sandhamn. The course is about 350 Nm and was first sailed 1937.
About the boat
Colligo Marine Synthetic Standing Rigging, Running Backstays, and our ELHF System are all featured on 59º North's SPICA. SPICA is a 1977 Norlin 34 'Special'. She's a one-off, built for the 1977 Gotland Runt Race in Sweden. The managing director of the shipyard where the Norlin's were built commissioned her. There were lots of Norlin 34's built, in two iterations, and her hull was based on the Mark 2. But her deck layout was unique - she had a racing style cockpit and flush foredeck and is the only one with this setup. The Norlin 34s back in the 70s were renowned offshore cruiser/racers and did well in the Gotland Runt, Fastnet and other European offshore races. She's a fin keel, skeg rudder, weighs about 12,000 pounds and has a masthead rig.
Future plans for the boat
Andy and his family plan to use the boat mainly in the Stockholm archipelago as their family cruising boat. They will occasionally race for fun, and the big Gotland Runt anytime that they can do it.
Long-term, Andy stated that he has aspirations for sailing her solo across the Atlantic. Andy explained that "With the boats at our business getting bigger (I'm now skipper of ICEBEAR, our Swan 59, which is HUGE) we wanted a small boat that would return us to our roots as simple, small boat sailors. We wanted to set an example that a cruising boat need not be big or complicated to have fun, big adventures on. And we wanted to get Axel [his son] out on the water as soon as possible! He sailed with us last summer for 3 weeks as a 2-month old!"
About the race and results
Gotland Runt Race is Northern Europe's biggest offshore race in the Baltic. Click here for more information on the race. It starts in central Stockholm and winds through the islands for the first 40 miles, before heading out into the open Baltic and sailing around the medieval island of Gotland, then back again to finish in the outer archipelago at Sandhamn. Traditionally this has been a huge race on the offshore calendar of major ocean racing teams. A lot of the Whitbread and Volvo boats using this as a training race, and still do.
"To come 7th place in our class (out of 34), with having never sailed the boat before with her new rig and sails, never sailed with the crew before as a group, and only hoisted the number 1 genoa literally on the starting line...it was awesome! We sailed the shout of that boat and had a blast doing it!" Andy explained.
More on the race results here!
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