A vegvísir (Icelandic ‘signpost’ or ‘Wayfinder’) is an Icelandic magical stave intended to help the bearer find their way through rough weather. If this sign is carried, one will never lose one’s way in storms or bad weather, even when the way is not known.
So Vegvisir Archipelago Race is where sailing meets adventure racing. It shows you the way and keeps you safe, but also challenges you hard. The race comes from Morten Brandt, who started the extremely popular Silverrudder. This proves the worthiness of a challenge by itself, but if you are still not convinced then look at the entry list and trust more than 110 teams already registered. Two double handed and the singlehanded course is where the sailors will come face to face with the most complicated navigation in any Danish regatta. All courses are flexible – meaning that they can be shortened in case of very light wind. Two nights and two days is enough for the participants to find their limits and hook up with the inner Vegvisir. This means that the racing ends at 7 PM on Saturday, August 25th just in time for the notorious Vegvisir Race After Party and the Award Ceremony at 8 PM.
Parallel to the regatta multiple side events will be happening on the docks at Slotholmen. The side events are dedicated to ecology, sustainability and a better sea and shore environment in the Baltic Sea area.
Vegvisir Race 2018 features three courses. A double handed short course, a double-handed long course and a singlehanded course.
All courses start in the heart of Nykøbing Falster – the central city in the municipality of Guldborgsund. Then the participants head out through the winding sound of Guldborg on a Northeasterly course. They’ll be heading towards the archipelago of Smålandshavet.
But first, they’ll pass through the narrow gap between the islands of Falster and Lolland at the town of Guldborg. This happens as the Guldborg Bridge uniquely closes for traffic and opens to let the fleet through.
From this point, the participants sail out into the sunset of the late summer night only to see the big harvest full moon rising at 7:17 PM for the double-handed teams and at 7:49 for the singlehanded sailors.
Leg 1 & 5 the mandatory challenge
After the bridge at Guldborg, the participants will head out towards a Cardinal buoy Southeast of the island of Femø. This part of the course is mandatory for all boats on all courses. And it will also serve as the last common leg 5 when the skippers and crews are heading home for Nykøbing.
The junction buoy
The Cardinal Buoy Southeast of the island of Femø just mentioned before serves as a kind of “junction” for the race. That means that the strategically part of the race opens when the buoy is passed. From this point on skippers and crews will reveal their strategy by choosing to go either clockwise or counterclockwise around the course.
Among other things, the strategic planning should include weather and current predictions for the following days and nights. But also calculations estimating when the most difficult passages will be passed in the best possible and most safe way.
Double handed VR 2Star 210 (Counter Clockwise)
After the mandatory first leg, the participants setstart out on Leg 2 by circumnavigating the island of Fejø on the port side. After Fejø the sailors will be heading north towards Agersø. Circumnavigating Agersø keeping the island on starboard side. Passing south of the island of Omø, crossing Store Bælt north of Langeland. Heading south with Langeland on the port. Continue south in Rudkøbing Løb passing under Langelandsbroen the bridge between Siø and Langeland (vertical clearance 26 m). Heading for Marstal through the tricky and shallow waters passing south of Strynø.
Leg 3 enters The Baltic Sea at Marstal. Rounding Buoy #6 on Port. Heading east and rounding the Safe Water Buoy outside Rødby Havn. Going north passing entrance of Nakskov Fjord and following the shoreline on a northeasterly course.
Leg 4 starts with passing the buoys outside Onsevig Havn. Continue keeping south of Vejrø, east passing North of Femø before going south to the junction buoy southeast of Femø.
Double handed VR 2Star 170 (CCW)
The double-handed Short Course is mandatory for boats under 25 foot and optional for both keelboats and multihulls between 25.01 and 30.00 foot. Even though the course is shorter it’s still a long and demanding challenge that takes both skills and endurance. The route is similar to the long course all the way to the entrance of the Baltic Sea right after Marstal. Here Leg 3 turns southeast directly at the southern tip of Langeland. After rounding sailors head northeast passing by the entrance of Nakskov Fjord. Leg 4 is similar to the Long Course and hence starts to the east of the entrance to Onsevig Havn. And finally, Leg 5 is as mentioned mandatory for all participants.
Vegvisir Race 2018 Singlehand Course CCW
After the mandatory first leg, Leg 2 starts at the cardinal buoy southeast of Femø heading north. When the participant feels safe to head more west, he or she will do so following a northwesterly bearing heading for Omø. Leg 3 starts when the sailors are right north of Omø starting to go on a southernly course rounding Omø with the island on the port side. Going back south passing Vejrø on port, later closer to Rågø on starboard as the navigation gets tight. Leg 4 starts when changing direction from southbound to northbound west of the island of Fejø. Passing Fejø on port side before going northeast to find and pass through the “gate” south of the eastern tip of Fejø. Then navigate towards the Cardinal “junction” buoy to get started on the 5th and final Leg 5.
As leg 1 and 5 are the mandatory first and last leg for all participants they are not a part of the strategic planning as leg 2, 3 and 4. So if you choose to go round the course clockwise, your course will consist of the legs in the following order 1, 4, 3, 2 and 5.