Vegvisir Race – the essence of of adventure sail racing
Vegvisir Race is a demanding double- and singlehanded adventure sail race in Danish and German waters.
It's collaboration between the event and communication bureau Shorthand ECM, the Munipality of Guldborgsund and five local sailing clubs.
In the two first editions of Vegvisir Race a strategic element was included as the sailors and to chose themselves which way they will go round the course. This year 2019 the race committee will make the decision that will be published on the skipper's meeting prior to the starts. New courses every year is another feature that makes the event special.
In 2019 the event will go down close to the big harvest full moon in August starting Thursday 15th ending with the notorious Vegvisir Race After Party on Saturday the 17th.
Everyone needs a Vegvisir
A Vegvisir is an Icelandic magical symbol that helps you to find your way. The myth says that the bearer of this sign never will get lost. On the contrary, he/she will always get through the storm and bad weather even when the route is unknown.
– A Vegvisir is both a compass literally and figuratively. It helps people to find their way at sea and in life. Therefore the symbol is a perfect match for the new event where the demands to the navigators are extreme and as the side events will “calibrate” people’s ethical compass as they focus on environmental problems of the oceans, says Morten Brandt.
Extreme demands on the participants
Comparing Vegviser Race to the ordinary distance races for club sailors and to other double- and singlehanded races the kinship to adventure sports is considerably larger.
– The race puts great demands on the participants’ skills, physics and tactical abilities. It will be an achievement to complete. During the development of the concept we were past several formats. Among other things, we had dogma sailing without the use of electronic devices on the drawing board. But instead of trying to turn back the clock, we have chosen to see things as they are. This means that we have a two course formats that will make extreme demands on the participants’ ability to use their electronics on board as navigators, meteorologists, tacticians and strategists, says Morten Brandt
Call-up the bridge to open
The race has three courses. One doublehanded course for the smaller keelboats, one for the larger doublehanded boats and one for the singlehand sailors. There will be a common start and first leg, that goes from the starting line in Nykøbing to a Cardinal Buoy in the midst of the archipelago of Smålandshavet. To get there the10 NM long winding sound of Guldborg must be overcome. And to get out into the unique archipelago the bridge at Guldborg must be passed. Normally the sailors will have to wait for the bridge to open but during the Vegvisir Race the cars will wait for the sailors to pass. When going back on the final leg 5 the sailors will call the bridge operator by cell phone or by VHF-Radio to secure a safe passing before the the final stretch on the sound of Guldborg back to Nykøbing.
Lots of gearshift required
The Vegvisir Race courses combine tight inshore sailing with potentially rough offshore. There will be lots of changes and “gearshifts”, when it goes from in-shore to offshore and back to inshore sailing.
– As Vegvisir Race has really demanding navigation tactics must be in place before starting. Route planning will have to take into account the development in the weather over the next 30-40-50 hours, says Morten Brandt.
The sailors can be followed from shore via trackers and there will be a virtual leaderboard that shows the current position of the participants based on the voyaged distance.
Serving a good cause
In addition to creating a unique event for sailors, the goal is to establish a cross-cultural event that will attract interest from across Europe and extending far beyond sailing’s sphere. Nevertheless, the event’s core and starting point is the challenging, spectacular and digital shareable double- and singlehanded sailing event. This is complemented by side events that focus on sustainability, marine environment, marine and coastal quality and solutions to human problems such as micro-plastic in the ocean that surrounds us in the Baltic Sea area.
– I will try to help give back to the sport of sailing and the sea which I love. The ambition is that the event is moving in the direction of an international people’s meeting on the marine environment. The journey started in 2018 year with a well designed side events. The aim is to create curiosity for the event, the area and the concept, says Morten Brandt.