Helsinki, 2 September (HELCOM Information Service) - Russia's team won the HELCOM Trophy at the Helsinki Commission's 13th annual international rowing boat competition, held on 28 August in Kaliningrad, Russia, following the international pollution response exercise BALEX DELTA 2008.
Seven teams representing oil spill response vessels from Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), took part in this year's HELCOM boat race. Each team consisted of six rowers and a helmsman.
The total racing distance was 920 meters. The boats which were divided into two groups had to start from a berth, reach a buoy 460 meters away, go around it and race back.
The race in the first group (Denmark, Lithuania, Russia and EMSA) was opened with an amazing spurt from the Russian crew, whose boat took a winning lead from the start. Despite an incident when one of the crewmen broke an oar and had to quickly replace it with a spare supplied on board, the Russian team was the first to cross the finish line, recording a time of 7min06s. The "silver" result was shown by the Swedish team (7min15s) which was competing in the second group (Finland, Poland and Sweden). And the third best time was posted by EMSA's team from the response vessel Otilia (7min43s).
Thirteen HELCOM rowing competitions including this year's have been held since 1990. The race has been won six times by Swedish teams and twice by Finnish, Lithuanian and Polish teams.
The next annual HELCOM Trophy rowing competition will be held in Latvia - the host of the HELCOM BALEX DELTA 2009 oil pollution response exercise.
Winners of the HELCOM Trophy rowing competition:
2008 (Kaliningrad) - Russia
2007 (Tallinn) - Poland
2006 (Gdynia) - Finland
2005 (Karlskrona) - Sweden
2004 (Warnemünde) - Sweden
2003 (Helsinki) - Sweden
2002 (Liepaja) - Lithuania
2001 (Rönne) - Lithuania
2000 (St. Petersburg) - Sweden
1998 (Gdynia) - Finland
1996 (Karlskrona) - Poland
1991 (Rönne) - Sweden
1990 (Gdynia) - Sweden
Note to Editors:
The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as the Helsinki Commission, or HELCOM, is an intergovernmental organisation of all the nine Baltic Sea countries and the EU which works to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation.
HELCOM is the governing body of the "Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area", known as the Helsinki Convention.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Nikolay Vlasov
Tel: +358 (0)207 412 635
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 639