Raid Finland click here to read or make an observation about this  article
by Christer Byström - Umeå, Sweden

The fourth Raid Finland was held in the last week in July in the area south of the city Turku in southwestern Finland. The first two years the summers in southern Finland was really warm and sunny. The last two summers has been not so warm but the Raid has been lucky and avoided the worst weather, but the good thing with the absence of high pressures was the fact that the wind was always present, and most of the time from behind!.

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V. BERING, Flemming Seestrand Sörensens home-built Navigator.
Picture C.Byström

(click images for larger views)

It is a seven-day sail-and-oar competition for open boats between 15 and 25 feet (altough the rules can be bent a little if necessary) with some kind of traditional look, either in hullshape, rig or wooden trim.
This year 23 boats were supposed to start but some unfortunate events (sick relatives and damaged boats) reduced the number to 21 just before the start. The boats (or at least the crews, some boats were rented on location) originated from fourteen different countries, and the international flavour was just like the previous years one of the great attractions of the event. Other attractions was of course all the beautiful boats and the excellent food that was included in the fee. The most far-travelled crew came from Hawaii and the most far-travelled boat came from Canada (a 17 ´Whitehall sailed by the manufacturer Harold Aune. His report can be read on: http://www.whitehallrow.com/).

Harold Aune from Canada, builder of the WHITEHALL brought one of his boats all the way to Finland. Marie Hutchinson is crewing.
Picture M Hanyi

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The country with the most participants was not Finland as one might expect, but Germany with six boats. One of them, Kleiner Kerl, also won the overall race (just like she did the last time she participated in 2003).

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Overall winners for the second time, Stephan Rudolph and Elisa Rivera aboard Kleiner Kerl.
Picture B Chazarenc

The boats are obviously very different in type, size and age so the field will be quite scattered on the longer legs. The biggest boat this year was Freja, a sprit-rigged danish Stor-Megin, 22´1”x 7´3”. The smallest boat was Victoria, a Whitehall 14, 14´x 4´2”. The oldest boat was Prinsessan, a skerrycruiser from 1917 of swedish origin but with german owners.

VICTORIA, a 14´Whitehall was the smallest boat in the fleet but did surprisingly well on some of the legs. She was sailed and owned by Bertrand and Anne Chazarenc from France.
Picture M Hanyi

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In order to somewhat make the results more fair there has been made an attempt to create a handicap system for the Raid. Starting with the german FKY handicap system made for larger sailing ships we used the results from the previous Raids to change the factors in the formula to fit the smaller boats. It is obviously an impossible ask to find a perfect formula for such an event since tacking, downwind sailing and rowing means very different speeds between the boats, but at least it brings the results closer together.

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V.BERING, JENNU and OFELIA, all with coloured sails
Picture C Byström

The Raid phenomena is spreading across the world and this year Raids are held in the following locations (there may be more that I don´t know of):

Sail Caledonia (Scotland)
Croisiere Loire (France)
Raid Finland
Shipyard School Raid, (British Columbia)
Blekinge Archipelago Raid (Sweden)
The Dorestad Raid (The Netherlands)

Always a long queue to the food
Picture M Hanyi

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Even more Raids are beeing planned for next year.

The official Raid Finland Homepage is found on:
http://www.raidfinland.com/

More texts and pictures can be found in the Raid Finland Archives:
http://www.kolumbus.fi/raidfinland/

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EGL SATG DA CLUPPERS, a corsaire from Switzerland sailed by Peter Gass and Manda Litscher.
Picture C Byström

 
Despite a heavy boat the russians were keeping up with the rest of the fleet
Picture M Hanyi

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Pekka Erkola and his son Jesse. Pekka built VIHTANEN himself.
Picture C Byström

 
Inside the main building at Rosala Viking Centre
Picture B Chazarenc

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Faster, faster
Picture M Hanyi

 
Near Högsåra
Picture Dick Lindberg

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45 degrees Picture Dick Lindberg

 
Wood is beautiful
Picture Johan Olofsson

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Despite her small size, Victoria is fighting bravely
Picture Dick Lindberg

 
Residents of the Harvaluoto harbour
Picture Pekka Erkola

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Transporting the luggage takes some effort
Picture Manfred Jacob

Christer Byström

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