Some years ago a got an email from Morten asking if I could do a quick lecture about preparation for singlehanded sailing before a race he was organizing. 134 miles around the island of Fyn, organized in a way normally reserved for sailing festivals like Barcolana or Round the Island sounded interesting and perfect for Seascapes so I was quick to confirm. 27 was in the developing phase at the time so I was surprised to see Seascapes on the entry list. In fact, three pioneers: Per Cederberg, Jochen Denkena and Øyvind Bordal signed in with the 18s and honestly caught me by surprise. 18 is based on the Mini Transat class boats and she is ergonomic enough to be sailed solo but I never thought we are going to have owners ambitious enough to join a 30+ hour race like that. It didn’t take much to decide we will bring another 18 from the company to join the 3 already signed in and long story short it ended up being an amazing race. You can check a selfie video from this race here:
The race itself is pretty straightforward as far as navigation goes – keep the Fyn to the left or to the right depending on the actual race instructions. The main nuisance is the current that is quite significant in all the channels so you hope to have some fair breeze when you find yourself there. Most of the course is protected from the waves but the north part of the island is quite exposed so hopefully, we will not end up beating upwind in 15+ knots there.
Race format obviously hit a sweet spot between being hard enough to make it interesting and being doable enough to try and giving it a go. The number of boats on the starting line increased by 100 each year ending up on staggering 330 in 2015 edition making it by far largest singlehanded race in the world. The trend didn’t change much and this year more than 400 boats are expected to arrive in Svendborg.
Seascapes started their presence on the second edition with four 18s on the line. Following year 27s joined with 3 boats and the number of the 18s has risen to 6. Ultra light conditions saw only 40% of the boats finishing the race with the rest loosing hope in fog and no wind. 27s did great with me and Lars Peter winning the first and second place in the class while I ended up being the first monohull over the line. Jan Kobler on the 18 made us all proud crossing the line after almost 50 hours on the water as one of the last boats that finished the race in the time limit.
In 2015 we saw eight 18s and six 27s signed in making it by far largest Seascape fleet so far. Due to unpredictable weather situation, some Seascapers did not arrive, however, everyone who started got their Finisher T-shirt!
In 2016, 15 Seascapes are signed in. For the first time, our new Seascape24 joined the race and proved that it is a potent boat in light and heavy winds alike.
The 2017 edition is now the largest Seascape gathering to date. 28 Seascape sailboats registered in total make one of the largest fleets of the same brand on Silverrudderand. It will be a great sight when they all leave to challenge the seas.