The 2009 season had a sad start after we lost our dear friend Karl-Helge Löfgren of Allegro. The memory of K-H and his passion for 8mR sailing reminded us of the uniqueness of our class.
The season proved once again to be great with very close competition between the boats. Unfortunately Vågspel lost its rig during the first race, after which the crew jumped onboard Lara. A new wooden mast, designed by Juliane Hempel, is being built at the Red Sky yards in Kotka. Wanda rejoined the class after extensive refit with Robbie Lindberg's son Robson taking over. In return Windy was getting her hull done by Mika Louhivaara. Silja returned from Norway after winterizing there. Julia Ormio's Lara won the class championship and Timo Saalasti's Sagitta the overall ranking. Hannu Kähönen and Katrina are getting faster every season and came in second. Ambitious plans were drawn on a piece of napkin (due to lack of common language) with the Russian crew of Astra to sail one day in St. Petersburg. Kim Weckström was elected as the Commodor of HSS, which is today one of the Worlds largest 8mR Yacht Clubs. IEMA finally came up with a simple solution (thanks to our ever so creative John) for solving the 8.00 versus 8.07 dispute by changing the divider on formula by 0,02.
Definetely an exciting season, but most of all at the end what really matters and keeps the 8mR class going strong for decades, generations and across borders is the people and the friendship we have built over the years. Thank you all and happy holidays!
Julia Ormio on behalf of FEMA
Picture of the season by Esko Kilpi: The fives getting a treat of Jaloviina (Finnish sailor's brandy) by eight metre Sphinx Antti Toukolehto during the Helsinki regatta 2009.