by Magnus Nordström
The 18th of January we had a magnificent race at a small place called Kvicksund, 200 km west of Stockholm. Very good hard ice and really nice wind 5-7 m/s (10-15 knots). During these conditions we sail as fast as up to approx. 70 km/h.
The first race in the Swedish Cup was held on a lake called Roxen also very good ice and weather conditions. Every season we try to race 3 Swedish Cup races, local district race, club race and of course the Swedish Championship.
It's always the same procedure: announcement on Thursday evening if the predictions look good and shippers meeting at 10 a.m. on the ice. "Only" 2 races for every class but they are quite long, 10 km each. It's always race on pure ice and never on snow! Now we are 2 active classes, the old Kitesail class 1 that looked the same since 1906 and the Kitewing class 3. Since 2006 the Kitewing class is larger than the Kitesail class. Kitewing is in fact the slowest class! and the fastest the Wingsail class with no active sailor today can speed over 100 km/ h.
It's always very exciting to race because it's often different persons that find a huge speed. We are about 5-8 persons that are able to win depending on the conditions. Alex Larsson the Swedish champion and the favorite took the 3rd place at Kvicksund.
We use special made up to 8 inches (200 mm) high skates because than we can raise the sail higher and also can lean a lot without the ski boot touch the surface, especially important when it's snow on ice.
The Kitewing class is growing a lot here in Sweden and we hope to have at least 50 sailors on the starting line in the Swedish Championship soon after the WISSA event in Riga.
photographs by Ulf Lindner © used with permission