Updated: Jul 23, 2019
At July 18 we drove with ferry into the capital city of Finland and went straight with the car into the Finland countryside for a SUP race. You know the fact that Finland is the happiest country in the world? Yeap, it's true, but actually first impression was not like that. We drove and drove and there was nothing to see. But at the end of the road we understood why...
Lomakeskus Sieravuori is a lakeside retreat sparsely dotted with campsites and cottages in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and the only thing that matches the scale of its wide open expanse is its magical natural beauty and extremely welcoming hosts.
If you have seen the Finnish flag, you now there is blue stripes on a white background. The blue is a symbol for all the lakes and the white color is a symbol of the snow in the winters. We don't see the snow, but smaller and bigger lakes there was everywhere, which explains why they call Finland the Land of a Thousand lake, they have 187,888 of them. Other national treasure absolutely is the sauna. Local jokes that there are more saunas than cars in Finland which might be true, even at Burger King in Helsinki has a Sauna.
First of race was at 10pm, which amazed with peaceful view both views and racers. There literally never gets dark; The sun sets at 11pm at this latitude, however it doesn’t drop too far below the horizon, with the early morning hours offering a lingering sense that the weather gods can’t decide between day and night. It’s not quite a true “Midnight Sun” but it’s mighty close.
Sieravuori’s absolutely magical place, so was the both racing days. Smile and sun on our faces was all the time.
If first day was more like a fun race than second day race was one of Eurotour races where SUP masters fight for prizes.
Eurotour is a series that unifies Europe's biggest summer races to support the sport and grow the European stand up paddling community.
If in previous years the weather was windy and mostly cloudy and cold, this year weather was perfect to catch the summer sunburn and great feeling at the race.
Lake was flat both days which made the race easier for our team rider Arvis Iljins, who feels like a fish in the water on such a conditions. Arvis Iljins 15 year experience like a flat water canoe racer give him all he need to finally win this Eurotour race. The first part of the distance he was straight ahead of Danish paddle star Christian Andersen and only in the finish sprint he shows hes speed and run in to the finish like a Finlands Eurotour gold medal champion.
This victory asked 4 years for Arvis. In 2016 Arvis went for this race for the first time and as he said he more swim than paddle that time. 2017 he was 5th and 2018 for the first time he stand on pedestal as 3th place winner And in 2019 he finally made this race done.
As Arvis after finish said this year the field wasn't strongest but this was a great battle between him and Danish paddle star Christian Andersen from the start till finish line where this time he was faster at the finish sprint.
Asking about future plans Arvis was determined :
" This year mean goal is China and for now I'm focused for that''
At the end of the event we stay on the Finland for another day and went to see Helsinki, which showed as a very different view of Finland.
Helsinki is the capital of Finland and the country’s biggest city, with a population of 588,000. It is the center of Finnish business, education, culture and science. The city is home to eight universities and six science and technology parks. 70% of foreign enterprises operating in Finland have their headquarters in here.
In the city are distinct and charming atmosphere ,the architecture stands out with a mixture of Scandinavian, art-nouveau, and modernist styles, and remains at once industrial, utilitarian, and cool. Then there’s the city’s palette of seasonal colours; fluctuating between vivid summer greens, intense Baltic blues, and the crystalline white of Nordic winter. Through it all there are so much to see in Helsinki, we just left our car in the parking line and walked through the city to see its directly beautines. It was special to be here and we have a feeling to come back there another time.
Thank you and see you in our next adventures.