“Talvisurf Oittaa” – first part of Finnish Open National

Even though the forecasts did not look too impressive in terms of wind and way too impressive in terms of water pouring from the skies, racers from Finland, Russia, Estonia and Sweden gathered to Espoo’s lake Bodom last weekend. Both sail and wind class were present and disciplines of slalom and course race were sailed.

In wings Ossi Pöllänen took his first victory ever in slalom and silver in course (Team Sweden, watch out for this big guy!), Rainer Salo still remembered how to race the course race (no challenging multiple World Champion here yet).

In slalom location of the track was, hmm… challenging, with the wind coming straight from the shore and varying between 0 and 7 m/s. Juha Blinnikka was first time on ice this winter, but apparently had all bits and pieces put well together winning all starts but one. Feodor Gurvits took silver. Right after came Ari Oksa and Mete Ciragan (remembering something from Kalajoki). Lehar Jürimäe was racing for the first time finishing fifth with several excellent starts and Pekka Mylly (proudly carrying a flag of Sweden) got his new board going a lot better than last year. Nina Honkala was best lady (Anna Arosilta-Gurvits could compete only on Saturday). Best Try was awarded to young Igor Sotnikov who took all the beating first timers usually get and still went to the finish line.

In course race ski sailing was on a menu and Saturday went as planned with Juha, Feodor and very experienced Kalevi Männistö (FIN-50) fighting for the race on ski sleds with big sails. Also there Lehar took everyone by the surprise by climbing up to 4th. On Sunday wind picked up, nearly all snow melted and suddenly the game was on between ski and skates. Feodor whiped the field on high skates, Kale came right after on ski sled, Juha and Ari took the skates, Sotnikov brothers and Egor Zhilin did extremely well on skis… Situation was a bit same in Riga 2009, but this time also water element was extremely present.

Suunto made our day by presenting two Ambit 2 super-watches. TalviSurf.fi team has been working with Suunto developing the sailing applications for it. The point is that instead of a normal watch or a GPS Suunto offers a platform that hosts multi-display during the race, follow-up on a computer and movescount.com afterwards and for more advanced users possibility to program own apps for speed, travel, start procedure… Interesting product all in all. Other sponsors were Guide gloves, Oy Brandt Ab that nicely helped with equipment to clean the ice, Oittaa sport centre and Airice & 3D Wind Service (also thanks to Rip Curl and Fazer).

Jouni Hellman and Janis Silis were two experienced judges leading the team of volunteers and TalviSurf Oy run the practical arrangements of the race.

Second part of Finnish National has not been decided yet, if there will be no race arranged before 13th of April, result of this one will count for the Title as well.

Report by Feodor Gurvits

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