Fridays strong winds and huge 3 meter swells didn´t last to race day. Wind dropped and swell got lower but there were good waves and a downwind breeze from south when the race started.
Tommy Karls immediately took the lead. The first part of the race he had marathon paddler Jacob Holst just behind him. But a very confident and fit Tommy Karls who medalled Silver at the 1984 Olympics didn´t give the much younger top marathon paddler a chance to pass. After 6 km it was obvious that Jacob didn´t had the experince of going fast in the waves. Tommy increased the distance and soon Jacob was distanced.
When the course changed to north and swell came from behind it soon showed who had the skills to catch the waves. Paul Rosenquist, Erik Verduyckt, Gleb Greben and Jonas Fager passed Jacob Holst and at the same time Oscar Chalupsky came surfing through the field. It was now 15 km to go in the downwind and the finish at Femöre was now visable from a long distance.
Tommy looked fresh all the way and was having fun in the waves and seemed to paddle without much effort when passing the finish line with a big smile on his lips.
Oscars experience and skills in the waves took him to second place. Chased by Gleb Greben from Norway who nearly got him at the finish line just 5 seconds behind. Another fight was also going on between Paul Rosenquist and Erik Verduyck and was won with only 2 seconds by Paul. Jonas Fager wasn´t far away and passed the line some 30 seconds later.
The three women handled the conditions well and finally Elin Hedström from Sweden finished first before last years winner Eva Mauck from California followed by Caroline Holmqvist from Sweden.
The two OC6 outriggers with their crews who came down from Stockholm for the race was a new element in the Arkösund archipelago and spectators was amazed at the look of the boats, the speed and the crews shouting!
Back in the field the not so experienced paddles now struggled and gave the rescue boats some job while the two seakayakers was working their way to the finish line in beautiful swedish summer weather.
Prize giving ceremony and dinner was held afterwords at the Oxelösund Canoe Club while the sun finally went down after a long day.
More info on www.seamasters.se