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Sailing solo, non-stop around the world

Being keenly in love with the oceans, Tapio Lehtinen also encourages younger generations to sail on the open sea.

Finnlines has supported the “life-long sailor” Tapio Lehtinen for a number of years, transporting crew, boats and equipment. Lehtinen participates for the second time in the Golden Globe Race, sailing solo and non-stop around the world. The rules forbid outside assistance and shore visits during the race.

Entry to the Golden Globe Race is by invitation only and entrants must be very experienced sailors. Another requirement is not to use any modern electronic instruments or autopilots as all equipment must date back to 1968.

When high-frequency radios allow, participants may talk to the outside world. Satellite phones may only be used in case of emergency. Only mariners on vessels at sea and other competitors may advise of weather routing. Finnlines’ ships support Lehtinen by contacting him by radio when connections work. Lehtinen must have been pleased to talk to the Finnlines ro-ro vessel, Finnpulp, and discuss the course of the competition.

A challenging race

The race started in early September and by the time participants reach the finish line, they will have spent around 250 days at sea – which is a raw and challenging experience. Unfortunately the race for the Finnish sailor ended on 18 November in the Indian Ocean when Lehtinen was forced to abandon his boat Asteria. Asteria sunk within a few minutes, the cause of the sudden and heavy leakage still being undefined. The rescue operation was successful and Lehtinen is on his way back home.