Finnish H-323 Silver Moon II, skippered by Salla Kaven has won the Roschier Baltic Sea Race having scored the best time after IRC correction for the new race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with the Offshore Racing Alliance.
The Kaven family have raced the 9.9 metre sloop designed by Hans Groop since they were children on Lake Päijänne in Southern Finland.
The inaugural Roschier Baltic Sea Race produced a multitude of trace leaders in the latter part of the six-day race. On day four, Tilmar Hansen’s powerful German TP52 Outsider was in pole position until the youth team from the HSV racing German Carkeek 47 Störtebeker took up the lead. The largest boat in the race, Kenneth Bjoerklund’s CNB 76 Enderpearl was also a favourite on day five. On the sixth day, the Swedish Albin Nova Team Mobline, raced double-handed by Paer Lindfors & Nadine Kugel, took the lead. However, Silver Moon II, the second to last boat to cross the finish line in Helsinki, took the prize. Silver Moon II won by just under 16 minutes after six days of racing. All of the team are related either by family or marriage. While the team have won many local races in the past, to beat an international fleet of proven winners is extraordinary.
Crew of Silver Moon II: Salla Kaven, Heidi Ekholm, Kari Itkonen, Jorma Kaven, Jouni Kaven.
© Pepe Korteniemi /www.pepekorteniemi.fi
All of the team are born and bred in Finland and a completely amateur crew. Salla is a class teacher, and her sister-in-law Heidi is a nurse. Salla’s brothers Jorma and Jouni are an engineer and a paramedic respectively, and Karl, Salla’s husband is a firefighter. The Kaven family sailed from a very young age with their parents who bought Silver Moon II in 1985. Salla became the skipper in 2012. The team fully admit that they sometimes argue when racing on Lake Päijänne, where they grew up, but the arguments stopped offshore!
An emotional welcome for the Finnish crew of Silver Moon II © Pepe Korteniemi /www.pepekorteniemi.fi
There were tears of joy from Silver Moon II Skipper Salla Kaven as a huge crowd cheered the team to the dock: “I am speechless, just so happy, we never thought we could win this race,” commented Salla, a teacher in Helsinki. “It was great sailing and everything went well, but even when we crossed the line, I didn’t believe it.” – but the message to all the amateur sailors out there from Salla is: “You can do it if you want to; do what you love.”
Skipper Salla Kaven is thrown in the water! © Pepe Korteniemi /www.pepekorteniemi.fi