Mark Self and William Sunnuck take victory in the extreme sailing race around the 100,000 islands of the archipelagos

The happy but tired Brits on X-Leisure won the world’s longest and toughest orienteering sailing race, Archipelago Raid. After completing the gruelling five leg race, the winner had a total of 143 points, pushing ahead of Addicom 1 crewed by the Swedes Fredrik Adilstam and Pontus Johansson by 6.5 points. The Frenchmen Eric Proust and Yann Andrillon on Proust Sailing were third with 126.5 points.

The final race saw the Swedish team on Tidermans inch ahead of X-Leisure to cross the finish line first, but with good boat speed it was the Brits who took a well earned victory.

“It has been very long and very hard but fantastic sailing! The scenery is stunning and it has been very, very good competition. The standard of the competitors is really high. We are a light crew and not strong enough to paddle – we really suffered during the paddling!” Mark Self said after crossing the finish line.

The sailors raced intensely throughout the five days and four nights in the archipelagos of Stockholm and Aland (between Sweden and Finland). They sailed around 450 miles up and down the archipelagos. The race was divided into five legs with a total of 28 checkpoints to pass along the way. In the four compulsory stops the competitors were able to eat, drink, make repairs and catch a little sleep before they had to set off again.

Conditions were varied with sun, rain, wind and at times no wind at all. Out in the archipelago of Aland, many teams capsized and one boat was dismasted because of strong winds and tricky navigation between the many small rocks and islands.

This year a record number of boats participated in the Archipelago Raid. With 28 teams of two, from 11 different countries, the Archipelago Raid has positioned itself as a world-class sailing event.

Top ten teams: 1. X-Leisure (GB) 143 p 2. Addicom 1 (SWE) 136.5 p 3. Proust Sailing (FRA) 126.5 p 4. Tidermans (SWE) 123 p 4. Sogeti (SWE) 123 p 6. Frugo (POL) 117 p 6. Jobman (SWE) 117 p 8. Bollé (FRA) 115 p 8. PAF (FIN) 115 p 10. Ocean Works (SWE) 110 p