Tampere, August 24-26, 2012.
Kai Saarhelo and Jaakko Mikkonen won the Finnish Nationals. Regatta report.
The 63rd Finnish Nationals were organized in Tampere, the hometown of famous Bjurström brothers, one of the best Snipe sailors ever at 70-80’s. Rikard’s son Robert has continued the family tradition in 3rd generation with his wooden boat Turbo Joker. 22 Snipes from Nykarleby, Pori, Turku, Tampere, Lappeenranta and Helsinki Fleets were present. During the weekend the SCIRA Finland also celebrated SCIRA 80th Anniversary in form of nice dinner.
Speciality in Finland is the championship regatta with other Classic One Design Classes 505 (20 boats) and Lightning (20) – an idea for smaller Snipe countries to organize a bigger Championship Regatta with wider publicity in local media and better interest at local YCs. This reguires some guidance towards YC for the rules of multiple Championship but can be organized with good will. Naturally some flexibility is needed from classes, sailors and hosting club. By us this is also a strong message to the local Federation that Snipe Class class among other non-olympic classes is well alive and kicking.
Friday – Day 1
The weather forecast for the weekend challenges all of us – hardly no wind (2-7 knots). Thanks to fast registration the sailors have plenty of time for waiting the wind on shore and update the latest news between friends. Finally at 5 pm race committee takes the AP down and the first race can be started after one hour in very light and shifting conditions. For the most of the teams the first race is just about to avoid big mistakes. The pre-assumed top teams still rule the first race: 1. Kotisalo, 2. Carpelan, 3. Aalto-Setälä and 4. Saarhelo. Long day behind each of us.
Saturday – Day 2
Same conditions, maximum 5 knots. Out of three scheduled races Race Committee can finally organize only two. Wind is making some tricks and good for the race some new teams can be seen in the lead, e.g Määttä with brand new Zeltic 31099, Cederberg with his “Max Load”, Toija, Mikkonen and Lehtinen family Hanna-Leena and NS Juha with their new SkipperSnipe “Kungen”. Anyhow, after the second day still same top 4 teams are in the lead – within 2 points!
In the evening SCIRA Finland celebrates Class 80th Anniversary with good food and wine. Past Commodore P-O Holm send his best wishes to the Class via e-mail.
Sunday – Day 3
Last day. Sun is shining, shorts are enough and Windguru is forecasting already 6-8 knots, much more than before J.
30900 (Saarhelo-Mikkonen) gets a super start from the RC boat, following by 30259 Ville Aalto-Setälä with his 9 year old daughter. Race is very tight until very end. Only 2 meters difference for the two leading boats. Ville wins before Kai. Mr Snipe in Finland with over 50 years experience, Claus Carpelan 30874 with his new crew Julia Raerinne following next before the team Kotisalo 30588 with their DB Marine Persson with fresh Italian experience from Europeans. You can feel the heat as only one point differes the leading teams before the last start. 30900 takes another shot start heading to the right whereas major fleet considering the right side would be the best. At the first mark 30900 is leading already more than 200 meters and the question is more or less, who would be the second and third. Finally team of ex NS Reino Suonsilta with his wife Tarja (30460) manages to keep second position before 30874 which guarantees the victory for 30900, Tinoco’s World Champion boat in Rungsted last year.
This was a Snipe Regatta of very light winds, 22 boats, 48 Snipe sailors, boats from Persson, Skipper, Zeltic and home made classic wood, strongest participation of female sailors ever (12), including 3 female skippers, 7 juniors and finally new Finnish Champions Kai and Jaakko after 12 years dominance of Claus and Ville. Five teams heading next to Masters Worlds in Spain.
Classes come and classes go but Snipe is forever