The Royal Ocean Racing Club has received strong interest for the Roschier Baltic Sea Race, with over 30 teams expected for the inaugural 630-mile offshore race which starts and finishes outside Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Contenders for Line Honours and the overall win under IRC are among the current entries, as well as passionate corinthian Finnish teams lured by the excitement of racing in home waters.
American skipper Clarke Murphy has chartered the VO65 Ambersail 2 for the Roschier Baltic Sea Race, which will be a contender for Line Honours. Ambersail 2 will be crewed by the Murphy family, including Clarke’s children Liam and Caitlin, and world class professional sailors including; Ian Budgen as tactician, Mike Broughton as navigator, plus Abby Ehler, Al Fraser, Jake Newman and Dom Davies.
“We are putting the band back together for the first Roschier Baltic Sea Race,” smiled Clarke Murphy, who has been racing with some of the crew for over 20 years. “We are excited about doing a RORC ‘first’ race, excited about midnight sun racing and this will be my first time sailing in the Baltic Sea. We know that all sorts of conditions are possible, thus our choice of a round the world racer, the VO65. We love sailing together; great sailors with a real sense of humour, low ego, and terrific team spirit. The addition of my children to the team over the past five years has made it even more fun.”
Ed Bell’s British JPK 1180 Dawn Treader sailed from the UK to the Baltic Sea to take part in the Roschier Baltic Sea Race. Prior to the race, Dawn Treader took part in the Gotland Runt winning overall in a class of 164 boats. Dawn Treader can be counted as one of the favourites for the overall win under the IRC Rating Rule for the Roschier Baltic Sea Race.
“I have visited the region many times on business and always wanted to race in the Baltic; the light at this time of year is just fantastic, it is a beautiful place to sail,” commented RORC member Ed Bell. “The Gotland Runt was a great race; we had a mixture of conditions from light airs to 25 knots. Dawn Treader will sail to Helsinki a few days before the Baltic Sea Race and the boat is in good shape with just some minor breakages to fix. This new race looks like a very interesting course with lots of geographic effects that will come into play.”
Philippa Rytkönen will skipper Finnish MP42 Tokka-Lotta for the Roschier Baltic Sea Race. Philippa is a sailor with a big passion for the environment and for ocean conservation. Future generations of sailors are trained on board Tokka-Lotta which is crewed by youths from the Naantalin Siniset Sea Scout Club in Finland. Purpose-built for sail-training, Tokka-Lotta was designed and built with safety in mind. In 2019 Tokka-Lotta was sailed across the Atlantic and each year she logs over 1,500 miles in the Baltic Sea.
“The crew is very excited to be taking part in this race as so many offshore races have been cancelled in the past few years. We are also looking forward to representing the Finnish Sea Scouts in the race,” commented Tokka-Lotta’s Philippa Rytkönen. “I think Tokka-Lotta has the youngest crew of the whole fleet; our youngest crew members are aged 15-17 and the skipper is 26 years old.”
One of the smallest boats in the Roschier Baltic Sea Race is Salla Kavén’s Finnish H-323 Silver Moon II. Salla has been racing the H-Boat design with her brothers for over 20 years. Silver Moon’s crew of five are all family members.
“We are all Corinthian sailors and like a floating hospital,” joked Silver Moon’s Salla Kavén. “We have one paramedic, one nurse and one firefighter, plus a Vice Principal teacher to lead the team, and an Engineer for all the technical work. We are looking forward to being a part of this great race. It is an enormous adventure for us with a small boat. Safety comes first, but we will sail as well as we can and enjoy every second on the Baltic Sea!”
The Roschier Baltic Sea Race will start and finish off Helsinki in the Gulf of Finland, incorporating the Swedish island of Gotland on Thursday July 21st, 2022. The official race supporters 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.