Welcome to Helsinki and the Roschier Baltic Sea Race
Helsinki Finland 20 July 2022 - Paavo Arhinmäki, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Leisure at the City of Helsinki welcomed crews taking part in the Roschier Baltic Sea Race to the impressive City Hall of Helsinki for an Official Reception two days before the start of the race.
“I wish you all a warm welcome to Helsinki. This year holds a special meaning for us in the field of sports as it marks the 70th anniversary of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Helsinki is a maritime city with a long history and sailing tradition and it is an honour for Helsinki to be hosting you all and the new Roschier Baltic Sea Race,” said Deputy Mayor, Paavo Arhinmäki.
“I am happy to see how the younger generations team up with the older to compete together in the race. Sailing is a sport which sees virtually no age limits and this is relatively rare in sport. Here we are surrounded by the sea and every Helsinkian lives less than 10 kilometres from the seashore, we have about 130km of shorelines and over 300 islands!
Helsinki is committed to the Baltic Sea Action Plan to promote conservation and protection. We are working with over 3,000 organisations around the Baltic Sea region to raise awareness and to get more and more people committed to helping the sea to survive and thrive so that future sailors and others may also appreciate its waters. I wish you all the very best of luck in this exciting new race on the Baltic Sea.”
“The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) brings a lot of people together in a wonderful way through sport and that is something the RORC is extremely proud of and loves doing all over the world,” said RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone.
“Special thanks to the City of Helsinki and to Ari Känsäkoski from ORA (Offshore Racing Alliance) and his helpers, Sake Kalske and Jan Paukkunen. Thank you also to the volunteers and everyone; we cannot do it without you. To have almost 30 boats here in the first year is a wonderful outcome and it will only grow. Next year is the 50th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race and we expect it to be the largest ocean race in the world. For those who are competing in the Roschier Baltic Sea Race, you are guaranteed an entry into the Rolex Fastnet Race. I wish everyone a great race and thank you to the City of Helsinki.”
Ari Känsäkoski from the Ocean Racing Alliance (ORA): “Thank you to RORC for believing in the idea in the first place; to the City of Helsinki for all their support and to all the yacht clubs that are involved: NJK, HSK, Xtra Staerk, AMP, FinIRC, and FORA. Plus of course to all the volunteers. You are all the ones who made this possible.”
After the City Hall Reception, the Roschier Baltic Sea Race Crew Party was held at the Allas Sea Pool. The urban spa is a unique party venue in Helsinki. Crews mingled with Helsinkians and a live set from Rock cover band Legazy.
Quotes from competitors:
“It is great that Helsinki is getting such a big race with famous organisers and this has attracted overseas large boats to Helsinki, which is amazing,” commented Ilmari Absetz, skipper of Finnish IMX 38 Kind of Magic. “For Kind of Magic, our wish is to finish the race happily. We are an all-Finnish team, except for a very experienced Australian Peter Fletcher and Swiss sailor Yasmine Piening. Peter raced with us on the Gotland Runt five years ago, but this is his first time in Finland. Peter says our target should be to win IRC Two!”
Dutch Volvo 70 Boudragon will be crewed by a youth team from the Netherlands, most of the 12 crew are under 27 years of age; the youngest is main sail trimmer Lucas Elderhorst, who is 15 years old.
“We have just done the Gotland Runt and now we want to qualify for the Rolex Fastnet Race. That is why we have come here, because this race is a qualifier,” said Willem Jan Landman, skipper of Volvo 60 Boudragon from Den Haag, Netherlands. “I have a co-skipper Kees de Walle and our 10 crew members are trainees from the Holland Ocean Racing Academy. Our Main trimmer Lucas Elderhorst is just fifteen years old. The Volvo 60 was originally Silk Cut in the 1997 Whitbread Round the World Race. Now called Boudragon, the boat has just had a major refit and is in good condition.”
Philippa Rytkönen is skipper of MP42 Tokka-Lotta with a crew of Finnish Seas Scouts, the youngest crew member is Laura Simi-Virahsawmy, who is just 15 years old.
“For sure this is a challenge for the crew and the boat,” commented Philippa Rytkönen. “We are really excited to do this race; our club does a lot of offshore sailing so this felt like a natural challenge for us to do. The crew have been asking me what they should pack for the race and how to prepare for it. Before the race, we did a 10 day practice programme in Helsinki, including sail changes, winch maintenance and other aspects of offshore sailing. Personally, I love to see the next generation of sailors training; they will be the skippers of the future and this race gives them responsibility at a young age.”
The German Carkeek 47 Störtebeker, skippered by Torben Muehlbach is owned by the HVS club in Hamburg, which encourages young sailors to race offshore.
“I am really looking forward to racing in this new RORC race - the Roschier Baltic Sea Race. It’s so good to be part of the very first event,” said Störtebeker’s Cosima Cramer, who is 20 years old. “It’s good meeting all the other teams on the dock and race village. I think the most challenging part of the race will probably be the lack of sleep. Our watch system will be two hours on, two hours off (on standby) and with only two hours of sleep.”
The inaugural Roschier Baltic Sea Race starts from Helsinki, Finland at 1830 (+2 UTC)
on Thursday 21st July 2022, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club together with the Ocean Racing Alliance. The official race supporters of the Roschier Baltic Sea Race are: The City of Helsinki; The Nyländska Jaktklubben (NJK), Finnish Offshore Racing Association (AMP); Helsingfors Segelklubb (HSK); FINIRC and the Xtra Stærk Ocean Racing Society.