Between 200 and 250 sailboats eagerly waiting to get off in combination with the crowded starting area puts great demands on planning and preparation. And everything is prepared in every detail ...
The boats start in small groups/classes with ten minute intervals from 10:00 on Sunday until about 14:00. The boats getting ready to start stay in "gates" just behind the starting line and wait their turn.
The smallest and slowest boats will start first and the largest and fastest last. At Sandhamn they leave the archipelago and head out on the Baltic Sea for the classic sailing around Gotland. This year the race course anticlockwise around Gotland. On the way home the boats get to choose whether they want Gotska Sandön on port or starboard. The total length of the race is approximately 350 remotely. All boats will be sailing the same course except the Classic-class which sail down to Visby and then return home to the finish line in Sandhamn. That course is about 247NM.
Most expect two-three days at sea, from Stockholm City through the archipelago, around Gotland and back to the finish off Sandhamn. ÅF Offshore Race is as much a Swedish sailing classic for friends and leisure sailors as a challenge for the very best professional teams from northern Europe.