With Spindrift racing about to compete in the M32 Series and World Match Racing Tour event in Copenhagen, we take a quick look at the country that they will be calling home in early May.
In 2016, Denmark was once again ranked no. 1 in the World Happiness Report. The study takes into account health and access to healthcare, family relations and job security as well as social factors like political freedom and government corruption. With a 37-hour working week and five weeks holiday a year, leisure time plays a huge part in Danish culture. And they have a special word, hygge, that refers to the feeling you get from a nice, warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people around you.
Denmark is almost completely surrounded by water - the North Sea to the west and the Baltic Sea to the east, and with nowhere in the country more than 50km from the sea and Europe’s longest coastline at 7400km, perhaps this is the reason the Danes are so happy.
Denmark is primarily a low-lying country (its highest hill is only 170m above sea level) covered with glacial moraine deposits. The moraines consist of a mixture of clay, sand, gravel, and boulders, carried by glaciers from the mountains of Scandinavia, which rose from the bed of the Baltic Sea.
The low-lying west coast stretches for more than 500km from tidal flatlands and marshlands in the south and drifting sand dunes and wild beaches to the north. A number of dykes and harbours have been constructed along sections of this coast to protect these low-lying coastline regions from the flooding.
The boundary line between the sandy West Jutland and the loam plains of East and North Denmark is the most important geographical division of the country.
Skagen, Denmark’s northern area, ends in a point with the North Sea to the west and Baltic to the west. In 2013 was listed Skagen Beach among the world’s top-100 coastal destinations – for its romantic, windswept wilderness.
The coastlines of eastern Jutland and many of the nearby islands are heavily indented with fjords, bays, and other inlets, forming numerous natural harbours and narrow straits that separate a large number of the 406 islands that make up Denmark.
Only 97 of these islands are inhabited but in total the islands of Denmark account for over one-third of its land area and most lie between Jutland and Sweden. Bornholm, Denmark's easternmost island, is south-east of Sweden in the Baltic Sea and is a nature reserve that is only accessible by boat. There are no cars, modern buildings, or domestic animals (such as cats or dogs) on the island.
The Great Belt Fixed Link is a combination of bridges and tunnels that serve as a year-round transport route between Denmark's two largest islands, Sjælland (on which Copenhagen is located) and Fyn. The twelve-year construction project was the largest engineering project in the history of Denmark and the Link includes three components stretching over 21km. The East Bridge span stands at 254m above sea level and is the highest structural points in Denmark.
Spindrift racing will be competing on Øresund, a strait of water that separates Denmark from Sweden that also connects the North Sea with the Baltic Sea.
The Baltic is the youngest sea on our planet, emerging from the receding ice masses only some 10,000-15,000 years ago. Governed by special hydrographical and climatic conditions, the Baltic Sea is one of the planet’s largest bodies of brackish water as it is made up of salt water from the North East Atlantic and freshwater from rivers and streams that drain from an area four times larger than the Sea itself.