It is a delight to bring one of the Finnish ocean sailing legends around the world again with a great crew.
It is a delight to bring one of the Finnish ocean sailing legends around the world again with a great crew.
Southampton – Cape Town: Jussi Paavoseppä, Matti Anttila, Jouko Kallio, Tommi Uksila, Pasi Palmu, Ari Kokko, Hilla Paananen, Aaro Immonen, Kennet Rehn, Kai Ylikangas, Veera Toivanen, Ian Herbert-Jones and Lucas Karlemo
Cape Town – Auckland: Jussi Paavoseppä, Matti Anttila, Jouko Kallio, Ian Herbert-Jones, Tommi Uksila, Hilla Paananen, Veera Toivanen, Aaro Immonen, Mika Von Svetlick, Ata Kaukonen and Topi Simola.
Auckland – Punta del Este: Jussi Paavoseppä, Matti Anttila, Jouko Kallio, Ian Herbert-Jones, Tommi Uksila, Hilla Paananen, Aaro Immonen, Panu Toppinen, Jussi Nyrölä, Tapani Holmen, Markus Hongisto, Jyrki Korhonen and Oula-Matti Tuominen.
Punta del Este – Southampton: Jussi Paavoseppä, Matti Anttila, Jouko Kallio, Ian Herbert-Jones, Tommi Uksila, Hilla Paananen, Aaro Immonen, Markus Hongisto, Oula-Matti Tuominen, Jukka Hopearuoho, Johanna Bruun, Niklas Saxen and Pekka Raatikainen.
Jussi Paavoseppä is the captain of Spirit of Helsinki and the driving force behind the project. He is a 44-year-old father of three children and a hotel entrepreneur. Jussi loves experiences. He has been active on the water since he was young, raced in Dragon class and even crossed the Atlantic in less than ten days. Jussi expects 100% calmness and concentration on sailing without external distractions from the OGR race. Creating lifelong friendships and experiences with other sailors will be one of the greatest gifts of the race. Not seeing the children and their development worries me. My wife will be fine, she’s a force of nature!
Matti Anttila is an architect and a keen track sailor. The Whitbread race has been on his bucket list since he was a child, although his experience offshore is mostly from holiday sailing. The opportunity to sail the iconic classic in the anniversary retro race is the fulfillment of his dreams. Matti is a team player, and there will be plenty of this during the competition. Matti expects to return home as his better self.
Jouko Kallio is an entrepreneur with two young kids from Helsinki. He has always enjoyed the sea and Lapland, whatever the weather. He has experience in sail racing in various track and island races, mainly in the Baltic Sea. This was an adventure that Jouko couldn’t refuse – the chance to participate in the OGR race with a great competitive boat. He is looking forward to sail with a great team on the oceans and of course sailing around the Cape Horn. What worries him the most is how the home team will manage during the long competition.
Pasi Palmu is a 47-year-old sea captain and professional sailor. He has an extensive sail racing background which continues to this day. He has worked as a full-time racing sailor and sailing coach for over 15 years. In the project, Pasi is responsible for sailing and safety. He makes sure that the team will not take unnecessary risks, however, keeping a good pace throughout the demanding race. From the actual competition, he is especially looking forward to the time when sailing becomes a routine for the crew. Then you can only focus on the sea and competition – enjoy. He is also sure that they will experience many great and funny moments during the competition.
Ari Kokko is a 39-year-old sea captain and professional sailor. He has been actively sailing since the age of 18 with several different keelboats in the Nordic countries. After graduating as a sea captain, Ari went to get experience on super yachts for seven years.
Ari has been building the Spirit of Helsinki boat to race condition since the beginning. His role is to make sure that everything on the boat works and to share tips about ocean sailing to the crew. What Ari expects most from this race is the calmness of the sea and the coordination of the crew’s work.
Tommi Uksila is a 52-year-old entrepreneur who loves the oceans and has an adventurous nature. Family, sailing, fishing and being in nature provides a good counterbalance to an entrepreneur’s busy life. In addition to his own SS Swan 44 boat, Tommi has racing experience in many other classes. Tommi has competed in several open sea races and crossed the Atlantic twice. For him, the race is a mental and physical human test. Cape Horn and sailing around the world. Something he has dreamed of since he was a child. That’s the thing.
Kai Ylikangas, who grew up in the archipelago, is a 47-year-old economist and chef. Kai has a sailing background from sailing ships to track sailing. Three young children and a wife keep thoughts and actions in order of importance. Kai’s interest to participate in around the world sailing started already in the 80s, when he imitated the Whitbread race by sailing around the cottage island on the optimist sloop. He is impatiently waiting for a long-term dream to come true – to be able to sail on the dream boat of his childhood the same routes that his grandfather sailed on the Suomen Joutsen in the 30s.
Aaro Immonen is a 21-year-old passionate sailor, boating entrepreneur and student. Aaro started sail racing on the Optimist dinghy at the age of 11, and he has gained experience from hundred-year-old classics to 60-foot open sea sailing boats. They say that sailing around the world is the best thing a sailor can do. Aaro can’t wait to surf the huge waves of the Southern Ocean in the competition and enjoy sailing. It remains to be seen if stepping on dry land after the race is a blessing or a curse!
Jukka is a 45-year-old family man and entrepreneur. For him, sailing has always meant fun and he has mainly sailed on his free time with family and friends. Participating in the competition with an iconic boat is an opportunity that could not be passed. He is fascinated by the idea of being small in the big sea. It will be the fulfillment of happiness.
Pekka Raatikainen is a 55-year-old lawyer and a father of three adult children. Pekka has long experience in course sailing with mahogany boats in the Baltic Sea, as well as experience in race and transfer sailing in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. Classic boats are close to Pekka’s heart, and he owns two of these beauties. Pekka’s childhood dream has always been to cross the Atlantic. He had already buried this dream until the opportunity came to enter the retro race with the wonderful Swan classic. There was no way to pass up this opportunity.
Panu is a 59-year-old father of two adult sons. He has been sailing since childhood and has been racing since his student years on keelboats, mainly in the Baltic Sea. Panu immediately seized the wonderful opportunity, because the group and the project are unique. He is looking forward to bringing his own contribution and learning something new. He waits to compete in challenging conditions and hope to bring home great experiences . The South Sea and Cape Horn are waiting for Panu.
Jussi Nyrölä 44-year-old entrepreneur from Helsinki. Previous sail racing experience has been gained from offshore races in the Baltic Sea. Sailing in archipelago with his own boat is a tradition he enjoys every summer. Jussi’s log book is still lacking ocean crossings, and the opportunity to go on the first leg of an around the world race on a Whitbread classic was an adventure that could not be passed up.
Tapani Holmen is a 46-year-old entrepreneur from Helsinki. The sailing spark started already in the sea patrol and since then he has sailed mostly for fun, except for a few offshore races. Tapani remembers grandfather’s who sailed around the globe twice on Suomen Joutsen stories, especially of Cape Horn. Since then, Cape Horn has remained in mind. Tapani expects the competition to be an opportunity to completely disconnect from everyday life and focus in total isolation only on sailing. Testing one’s own limits and using one’s skills as part of a group of multitaskers are of particular interest to him.
Markus Hongisto raced dinghies, mostly 470 class, professionally until 2002. His best position in the World Sailing ranking list was 9th. Markus still loves racing around the buoys, now mostly in the Dragon class. Markus has done offshore racing in various teams and campaigns, including ZeroEmission (TP52) and Atlantic crossing record (100ft super maxi Leopard by Finland). Besides sailing Markus is enthusiastic about technology and he has built a successful sales and leadership career in the leading technology companies including IBM, Cisco and Google. In OGR Markus looks forward to experiencing the “time travel” back to the non-digital era, and safely as a team managing whatever conditions the Southern Ocean and Atlantic has to offer.
Hilla Paananen is a thirty-year-old engineer with a master’s degree, an offshore sailor, and a bassist. She started her sailing career with the Teekkari Sailors and has been training for the OGR since the fall of 2020, with celestial navigation as her favorite topic. She has become familiar with the legendary Swans over the past few years, and now it’s time to tame the fastest one! Hilla enjoys life on the water but still wants to cross the finish line first.
Veera is a 32-year-old surgeon, who loves to do adventurous trips that let her test her limits. It didn’t take her a minute to say yes to the opportunity to join this team. Veera has sailed on a Dutch tall ship in the Caribbean sea and since then her dream has been to do an ocean crossing. What Veera is looking forward to the most is the feeling of being isolated and focusing only on what is happening on board. She hopes to make many unforgettable memories with this group of people she can already call friends.
Johanna Bruun is a designer and interior decorator. Childhood sailing summers cultivated three devoted sailors. Nowadays, the sailing season is spent on the Baltic Sea with the S&S classic, Meri-Mari, as its captain. Johanna’s family includes a 15-year-old son, a spouse, and a dog named Wille. The commodore of the Suomenlinna Yacht Club also serves as the responsible producer for the largest wooden sailing boat regatta in the Nordic countries, the Viaporin Tuoppi. Distant seas have always fascinated Johanna, and she has open sea sailing experience from Australia, Indonesia, and the Mediterranean. The opportunity to participate in individual legs gave me the chance to take part in this legendary sailing competition. It is especially fun to be involved in this 50th-anniversary race in the Sayala class. The early year heroes of Whitbread are the heroes of my childhood.
Kennet Rehn is 47 years old entrepreneur. His family includes his wife and two school-aged children. Kennet has been sailing all his life, especially actively for the last 10 years using various boats. He spends about 200 days at sea each year, and crossing an ocean has been a long-standing dream of his. “It will be wonderful to experience unique moments at sea with this team and this boat!”
Jyrki Korhonen is a 43-year-old entrepreneur and family man. In addition to the Baltic Sea, Jyrki has gained competition experience from various races in the Mediterranean. In the summer, he also organizes and skippers experience sailings. What he expects most from the race is tight competition on the oceans with a great team in versatile conditions. He wants to experience the waves of the South Sea, starry skies and Cape Horn. Jyrki can’t wait to enjoy the peace of the sea, a wonderful boat and great company. In life, when there is an opportunity to do something unique, you have to do it.
Ian Herbert-Jones joined the team on Spirit of Helsinki to sail around the world with less then 7 days notice! Ian has recently competed in the Golden Globe Race where he spent 7 months and over 23,000 sailing alone, including rounding of the infamous Cape Horn. He previously completed a circumnavigation with the Clipper Race, acting as watch leader for Clipper Singapore.
At home Ian lives in the countryside on the English Welsh boarder with his wife Sally and 3 grown up children.
Ian has always considered himself an adventure sailor, rather than a racer, and is looking forward to sharing this epic adventure m, crossing the worlds great oceans with a great crew
As a young student Antero unsuccesfully applied for WRTWR 1985-86 (s/y UBF). This new chance could not be overlooked and here we are, heading towards leg 2. Normally this 57 years old civil servant deals with railroad maintenance and lives a full blended family life with spouse, 2 teenaged boys and a dog. Anteros’ sailing history is a blend of charter and event skippering, racing and cruising with everything from windsurfer to schooner, half-tonner to Classic Swan 65 to VO60. He has crossed the Atlantic and sailed most of Europes coastline, whole Finnish coastline and lake Saimaa, some Caribbean and Greek archipelago. What Antero mostly waits from this experience is feeling the loneliness and smallness of a human in the midst of the great Southern Oceans waves in a safe yacht crewed with friends.
Oula is a father of two adult children, a spouse, and a doctor who has dreamed for years of spending his fiftieth birthday sailing around Cape Horn. When he heard about this project, he was immediately ready to join. During the Atlantic crossing 15 years ago on his older brother’s Swan 371 boat, the sunrises were the most beautiful part, and since then there has been a certain longing for the open sea. He is looking forward to sailing on the Southern Ocean, and seeing albatrosses and storm birds. Oula has offshore experience from several Gotland Runt races and a rounding of the Fastnet lighthouse. In recent years, sailing has focused on inland racing with J70 or Melges24 boats. Sailing is always teamwork and he believes this diverse group will do well and form deep friendships for life.
As a sailmaker and one of the founders of WB-Sails Mika von Svetlick has spent 43 years working on hundreds of different yachts. He has witnessed the development of modern sails’ technology from early eighties – Cotton and Dacron sail cloths to the latest high modulus membrane solutions. Being part of numerous sailing projects have also taught him a thing or two of the importance of team work. He hopes that he could benefit this great project the best possible way and is looking forward to go “All In” at the Southern Ocean.
Topi Simola is a 47-year-old father of two teenagers and a passionate sailor. Topi has worked in various leadership positions and is now taking a well-deserved break from the rat race. Topi has spent a lot of time at the sea his whole life and for the past 23 years, he has had a sailing boat of his own. For the past decade, he has been increasingly involved in offshore racing in the Baltics and found his real passion.
For almost ten years, he was one of the skippers and owners of a company that offered charter sailings on the legendary BOC singlehanded yacht Swan 51 Belmont. “It’s great to have the opportunity to sail with another iconic yacht from Finland and in a real ocean race mode”. Sailing in the Southern Ocean has been Topi’s dream for a really long time and he looks forward to the challenge.
Niklas Saxén is an engineer who has been working in different international Sales roles and board assignments. To his family belongs his spouse and four moved-out grown children. He has started sailing in his early childhood with optimist dinghy and later track racing with 470. He later moved to race with keel boats and one type boats like classic 6mr and 12mr in Finland and around the Baltics Sea. During the last four years his has been focusing on Match racing. After doing longer transport sailings between races the idea started to grow to do offshore racing. Joining the world-around sailing team is very exciting and he is enjoying the team work and friendship. He is looking forward to experience the Ocean life, Ocean sailing and every day racing.