14 Questions to … Reino Suonsilta

Reino Suonsilta, Snipe sailor from Helsinki and member of the Promotion Committee

– 1) Your first time on a sailing boat?

I rented a 20 ft daysailer with my girlfriend (later my wife) after reading tons of sailing books. We barely managed to get back in one piece, with only one lost jib bag.

– 2) Your first time on a Snipe?

In 1979 we bought our first Snipe, a Persson copy built by Svante Lindholm in 1974. We sailed that for 2 years, went away from sailing for 20 years and then started again in 2004.

– 3) The most bizarre thing that happened in a regatta?

I was sailing with my son on a national ranking series regatta. We were late from the start and other had already gone a couple of minutes ago. By pure unbelievable luck, we were the first rounding the windward mark. We were so excited that we capsized the boat when setting up the pole. Well, at least the photographer got good series of pictures on how to get the boat up again.

Reino Suonsilta, Snipe sailor from Helsinki and member of the Promotion Committee

– 1) Your first time on a sailing boat?

I rented a 20 ft daysailer with my girlfriend (later my wife) after reading tons of sailing books. We barely managed to get back in one piece, with only one lost jib bag.

– 2) Your first time on a Snipe?

In 1979 we bought our first Snipe, a Persson copy built by Svante Lindholm in 1974. We sailed that for 2 years, went away from sailing for 20 years and then started again in 2004.

– 3) The most bizarre thing that happened in a regatta?

I was sailing with my son on a national ranking series regatta. We were late from the start and other had already gone a couple of minutes ago. By pure unbelievable luck, we were the first rounding the windward mark. We were so excited that we capsized the boat when setting up the pole. Well, at least the photographer got good series of pictures on how to get the boat up again.

– 4) What is the thing that most angers you in a race/regatta?

Long waiting time between the starts.

– 5) Which is the race/regatta that you remember with the most pleasure?

2006 Masters European on Lago di Caldonazzo sailed with my wife. Great location, unsurpassed hospitality by Herbert & Co, friendly atmosphere among all competitors.

– 6) And the race/regatta you would like to forget?

I don’t want to forget even this one: Finnish Nationals 2011 in Helsinki. Too heavy wind for me and my crew, we capsized 3 times, my crew broke his finger, mast was seriously bent, mast step exploded, rudder broke in two pieces. Serious Sailing – Still Serious Fun (afterwards).

– 7) Your “dream in the peak”? (Your sailing dream?)

Sail the snipe with my grandson, now 3 years old.

– 8) Sailing goals for 2017, and beyond?

Participate, enjoy and have fun!

– 9) The most important people for you in sailing and in the Snipe?

My wife Tarja for sharing the best moments in sailing. Clapa Carpelan for showing that Snipe sailing can be a lifetime sport. Kai Saarhelo for friendship and dragging me to management side of Snipe sailing. Juha and Hannis Lehtinen for close friendship, even outside sailing.

– 10) Why the Snipe?

Originally Snipe was the ultimate class to start sailing with my wife, low cost, easy to start, local fleet. Later I have learned to appreciate the activity and social and competitive elements of Snipe Class.

– 11) Your perfect sailing venue and your perfect sailing conditions?

Finnish Nationals in Kotka, 2015. Medium winds, barefoot sailing with warm water and hot air, 25 friendly crews enjoying the competition and after sail, progressively improving results with my crew Jouko.

– 12) Besides sailing which other sport do you practice?

Cycling – on and off road.

– 13) Are you superstitious?

Trying not to be superstitious. Hmm.. could that count as one form of being superstitious.

– 14) Your perfect holiday?

Cruise sailing in summer breeze with my wife.

Photos: 1) Me and Jouko leading the pack in 2015 Nationals in Kotka, 2) Hannis, Juha, Reino and Tarja exploring Bahamas during Midwinters 2015.

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