Fight for Line honors

2019-05-18 - ÅF Offshore Race A few boats will fight for the desirable Line honors in monohulls in this years edition of ÅF Offshore Race. The finish TP52 Zer°emission is one of them. In this article we ask their experienced team captain Samuli Leisti some questions.

Hello Samuli, please tell me more about your campaign, the team and the boat.

The Zer°emission boat is a TP-52 raceboat originally built by Oracle Racing and before known as Hurakan. The boat was purchased this spring and has now been under full refit and we have also done many additional offshore modifications. The boat will be launched on the last week of May.

The team has a long history of offshore racing. The last project was X Sail Racing Team with two X-35 boats where we won both gold and silver in the Worlds 2015. The same year I was chosen as an international sailor of the year in Finland. After 2015 the team has mainly been racing with Swan 50 & 60´s and we made a Transatlantic Record in 2014 by Leopard 3, that we chartered.

The Zer°emission project works to inspire sailors, race fans, our partners and race host cities to join us in quest for cleaner seas. To every race marina we visit, we will bring a Seabin cleaning device to clean the harbor waters and our crew will arrange and participate in shore cleaning actions. Behind the visible side of the project, we analyze pollution and CO2 emissions and we have also partnered with a company that compensates emissions made by companies and consumers.

As you might know, sustainability and the Baltic environment is something that Royal Swedish Yacht Club treasure a lot. Zer0emission is spot on to emphasize this mission. What lead you in this direction?

I have worked in sport marketing business nearly 20-years and the sponsorships are changing fast towards meaningful partnerships. I have also seen the change in our oceans over the last 40-years and it is not positive. We want to act! We really need to change the way we consume. Too many have so far taken advantage of the earth´s resources without any compensation for the emissions they have caused. It has to stop! 

Is this your first time participating in ÅF Offshore Race (or The Round Gotland Race before that)?

If I remember correctly this is my fourth time in Gotland Round Race. First time was in the early 90s. Gotland Round Race is a great race and the race is also on many sailor´s bucket list. We are very excited to race hard and share the important message we bring with us.

What made you choose race in the ÅF Offshore Race for you Zer°emission campaign?

ÅF Offshore Race organizers have really made a great job to make this event more interesting to a wider audience. It is awesome to start from the middle of Stockholm and meet so many co-sailors as well as the audience. This is how a sailing event should like. Of course, we highly value the number of people we reach.

Have you had a chance to look at the competition, yet? Who do you see as your key competitors?

Yes, I have had a look at the list so far. It will be interesting to see the performance of Rán. I also need to take the hat off to Niklas Zennstöm, who has done a lot for the purity of the Baltic Sea.

What is your goal with the 2019 race?

The line honors in monohulls, but most of all is to affect people´s attitudes and behavior of sustainability. To participate in the race against se pollution is our biggest mission.

We wish our friends from Finland best of luck in ÅF Offshore Race 2019, but also with their great and very important project Zer°emission.

Text: Iohn Ryott