The Swedish Farr 400 Wetjob, skippered by Niclas Heurlin is the winner of IRC One for the first edition of the Roschier Baltic Sea Race. Arto Linnervuo’s Finnish Xp 44 Xtra Staerk is second and was the first boat from Finland to cross the line in Helsinki. Ed Bell’s British JPK 1180 Dawn Treader is third in IRC One.
The all-Swedish crew racing Wetjob are regular competitors in the Gotland Runt; skipper Niclas Heurlin has competed in over 20 editions and has also completed two editions of the Rolex Fastnet Race.
Interview with the winner of IRC One - Niclas Heurlin's Swedish Farr 400 Wetjob
“It was a fantastic opportunity to be part of the first Roschier Baltic Sea Race, this is our home turf and RORC organise great races so that is why we jumped on the train from the beginning,” commented Wetjob’s Niclas Heurlin. “We are incredibly happy with our win against really good opposition like Xtra Staerk and Dawn Treader. We had to put some distance between us and them as we rate higher, so that was fantastic. For us this was a very long race, 650 miles is a challenge, so that was inspiring. We know Gotland very well but this time we went around it the other way! We know the weather there, so that was an advantage for us.”
Arto Linnervuo’s Xp 44 Xtra Staerk is the first Finnish boat to complete the Roschier Baltic Sea Race at 17:48 EEST on the fifth day of the race.
Arto Linnervuo raced his Xp 44 Xtra Stærk with an all-Finnish crew as he has done in many RORC races, including the RORC Transatlantic Race, RORC Caribbean 600 and the Rolex Fastnet Race. Xtra Staerk will continue to participate in the next edition of the Roschier Baltic Sea Race in two year’s time , but Arto intends to race in future RORC races with his new foil-driven Infiniti 52 Tulikettu.
Xtra Staerk came through the finish line at full speed with a triple-head spinnaker set and was greeted on the dock by a huge crowd of supporters from Finland.
“We are very proud to participate in the Roschier Baltic Sea Race, to have a RORC race in the Baltic Sea is amazing,” commented Arto Linnervuo. “The race was fantastic, and the crew loved it; it was a tough and tricky race for everybody. I am really proud of this team for being the first Finnish team to cross the line. To have this race attract international teams takes Finnish offshore sailing to a higher level and that is my aim; to help the offshore racing community thrive in the Baltic and to come better together.”
Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader sailed from the UK to participate in the Roschier Baltic Sea Race. Ed Bell has visited the region on many occasions on business, but this is the first season that he has raced in the Baltic Sea. Dawn Treader was the overall winner of the 2022 Gotland Runt prior to coming third in class in the Roschier Baltic Sea Race.
“I have been to Stockholm and Helsinki for work and the people have always told me how wonderful the sailing is. We had a great result in the Gotland Runt, but for us the tactics were a bit simpler with some full-on downwind racing. Whereas the Roschier Baltic Sea Race was much more technical. The race was complex and the longest time we have taken to do a 600-mile race. We wanted a different experience from racing in the English Channel or the West Coast of Ireland and it was good for that. The Baltic is a lovely place to be at this time of the year. Right now it’s after 10 at night and still light; that is different to the other offshore races, where it is dark half the time. It’s a fair way from the UK, but not a ‘mad’ delivery. We will definitely be back and let’s hope for more breeze next time.”
The official race supporters of the Roschier Baltic Sea Race 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.
Image: The Swedish Farr 400 Wetjob, skippered by Niclas Heurlin is the winner of IRC One for the first edition of the Roschier Baltic Sea Race © Pepe Korteniemi /www.pepekorteniemi.fi