Tapio Lehtinen (60)



Name Tapio Lehtinen

Born January 19th 1958

Nationality Finnish

Country of entry Finland

Tapio Lehtinen from Helsinki is a life long sailor who started in Optimist dinghies at the age of 6. A former Commodore of the Helsingfors Segelsällskap (HSS) Yacht Club, his experience ranges from racing Lasers, 470s and 29ers to keel boat and ocean racing, including a three-decade-long racing career in his classic six metre May Be IV. He has competed in the 1981/2 Whitbread Round the World Race aboard Skopbank of Finland, the 1985 Two handed Round Britain and Ireland Race, the 2-STAR transatlantic race 1986, the Azores and Back race in 1987 and the 2014 Bermuda Race.

He says of GGR: “I am participating because I love sailing, I enjoy being at sea. I accept the challenges, but I am not a risk taker. I take pride in preparing well and sailing in a seamanlike way. I’m competitive, but realise that in order to do well in this race, I first have to finish.”




Name Asteria
Type Gaia 36 Masthead sloop
Designer Sparkman & Stephens
Builder Cantiere Benello (ITA)
LOA 36.00ft / 10.97m
LWL 25.50ft / 7.77m
Beam 9.67′ / 2.95m
Draft 6.00′ / 1.83m
Displacement 15400 lbs / 6985 kgs
Sail area 540sq. ft / 50.17sq. m

Tapio Lehtinen will be campaigning a Benello Gaia 36, a Sparkman & Stephens design that won the first One Ton Cup in 1965 and a long keeled forerunner to the Nautor Swan 36, which he sailed from the Mediterranean back to Finland in 2017 prior to her being extensively refurbished at the Nordic Refit Centre in Larsmo. Built in 1965, Asteria is the oldest boat entered in the GGR, and work to restore her to racing standard has been extensive. Her deck moulding has been replaced and the interior stripped out to leave a bare hull prior to rebuilding with stronger bulkheads and fastenings. Tapio expected this work to be completed by Easter 2018 when he intended to give the boat a proper shakedown prior to arriving to Falmouth for the Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail on June 14, 2018.

Skipper Updates

November 19th 2018 12:00 AM

Tapio is battling unfavorable strong head winds potentially pushing him onto a dangerous lee shore at the tip SE tip of New Zealand. His satelite tweet said…GLIMPSE OF SW CAPE OF STEWART ISL. BETWEEN CLOUDS, SCARY & BEAUTIFUL..then four hours later …SAILING AND FLYING ARE CHALLENGING IN A GALE & CLOSE TO LAND then a few hours ago …STRESSING CLOSE TO LAND. He has been forced to tack away and reverse his course , trying not to get trapped. there are outlying rocks just 16miles off his beam as he struggles to sail clear. The next 48hrs are forecasting a series of strong gales, all from the wrong direction followed by another three days of headwinds, stalling any progress on course and letting Istvan and the rest of the fleet slip away into the distance. He continues pumping water from his leaking forward compartment which had ruined all but three rolls of his toilet paper so he now has a lot on his hands right now!! 🙂 The barnacles on his hull are not helping and causing even more frustrations.

November 14th 2018 12:00 AM

For TAPIO LEHTINEN, the crossing of the Tasman Sea is not peaceful cruise. All set to swim and pull barnacles then wind stopped the show…so he still has them all!..and little issues with his headsail furling extrusions keeps things slow!! Tapio, pushing by a strong northern wind, is caught in a thick and wet fog wondering if he should blow into the horn ?! The switch of the current strong northerly wind to the south-south-east tomorrow will force Asteria to pass under New Zealand upwind, before the return of westerlies on Friday. The formation of a high pressure system in his transom could also slow down his progress …

November 7th 2018 12:00 AM

As for TAPIO, he finally reached the Hobart Boatshed.com Drop Point, without having the ability to use his engine. The Finn appeared smiling and fit and should leave again 24 hours after this mandatory stop at Kingston Beach. He should then enjoy lenient conditions for several days to start of with the Tasman Sea.

November 5th 2018 12:00 AM

“RUNNING IN GOOD WESTERLY TOWARDS HOBART,ALREADY ON TAS CHART” Tapio Lehtinen Sailing is just 60 miles from South East Cape making 5kts but there is a NO WIND zone forming there in the next six hours. He has NO MOTOR so it is very difficult to make an ETA in Hobart. The wind will not return for another 12 hours and then be light head winds only. At this stage he may arrive at the Boatshed.com Film drop around Midnight local time on the 6th NOV but could be delayed another 18 hrs. He will be the 6th to join this imposed gate. A great performance on a boat that many find unsuitable for navigation in the Great South.

November 2nd 2018 12:00 AM

While a weather alert has just been announced over the south of Tasmania, TAPIO through the night is at the heart of the biggest storm he had to suffered since the start of the race, 55 kts winds, gusts to 70 in a swell that reaches 12 meters. This is the terrifying environment in which the Finn is evolving at this very moment. He curved yesterday his route to the northeast to try to escape the strongest system but it was not enough. If he watched helplessly the barometer dropping, he knows that in the next 20 hours the wind should rapidly drop… but the seas will take a lot longer to calm down. Under storm jiib, and Stay sail, TAPIO expects the situation to deteriorate a little further and is impressed by the landscape surrounded Asteria.“IMPRESSIVE SCENERY IN THE SUN, STRONGEST YET 2 COME, BARO RSNG”

November 1st 2018 12:00 AM

Still preoccupied with barnacles : “HAVE A SLIPPERY DECK and COARSE BOTTOM, WAS MEANT 2BTHEOTHERWAY” But A HUGE NW/SW storm with 55/65kt winds and 12mtr plus seas is about to sweep through the Fleet. Tapio Lehtinen Sailing has been advised to expect it from 1900hrs UTC 1st NOV. He has nowhere to hide…

October 31st 2018 12:00 AM

The finn sounds OK today during his safety phone call to GGR Race control. The main issue for our sailor are the goose barnacles stuck on the hull of Asteria, slowing him down even more.. So, in à few days he should get to Hobart, and is already planning to take some time to dive and clean the boat in order to get rid of those barnacles ! He also tells us that he keeps preciously a small flower in the clock of his boat, enjoying the sweet lavender scent of this little lucky charm offered by my little girl when he left Les Sables d’Olonne… Céline

October 29th 2018 12:00 AM

TAPIO, 580 miles behind Susie, and 250 milles behind Istvan is getting prepared to finish off with the Indian Ocean, in which he avoided the worst gales, but it has not spared him. The Finn facing the lack of energy, has also made the recent and very unpleasant discovery of a legion of barnacles on the narrow hull of his boat.

October 26th 2018 12:00 AM

SAILING ON THE SILVER BRIDGE OF THE MOON TWRDS TASMANIA, Tapio lost some ground on Istvan in the last few days. The weather was so bad that he installed for the first time a rope system to be able to adjust his windvane with his feet, being protected, behind à plexi box. First conclusive test! “SMOOTH RUNNING IN FRESH WNW, WINDPILOT STEERING BEAUTIFULLY”.

October 24th 2018 12:00 AM

Tapio is expected little calms which should cause him to lose some ground that this nasty gust of wind had allowed him to win on SUSIE. Astéria should momentarily slow down tomorrow before finding a moderate flow of westerlies and a new strip of high pressures. This slow progression could be further hampered by the presence of the forbidden navigation zone located at the 42nd parallel which will prevent him from diving south before 330 NM. To be continued…

October 17th 2018 12:00 AM

TAPIO is still progressing alongside ISTVAN in a moderate southerly flow, which is going to be significantly stronger, blowing west in two days, so much that the organization has also asked them not to come down south, to stay at the top of the worst part of this gale to come. At least they are together, within 10 miles of each other. “TALKING WITH ISTVAN ON VHF, HE IS ALMOST AT SHOUTING DISTANCE!” A significant comfort in these hostile and isolated regions of the globe … especially for the Finn who owns the lowest boat on the water of the fleet.

October 10th 2018 12:00 AM

Everything is fine, despite the calm and weak winds of last week that have significantly slowed his progress down. Today, during his safety phone call to GGR Race Control, he was enjoying a beautiful sunny day aboard Asteria sailing downwind. Tapio still really enjoys his adventure and appreciates every little bit of marine life and environment on the way.

October 8th 2018 12:00 AM

Tapio Very chatty on text messages and who seems to be enjoying the ride !
Tapio #Lehtinen (via satellite) :

October 5th 2018 12:00 AM

“1ST SNOW AT KILPIS? GOT TO HURRY UP 2 MAKE IT THIS SEASON:)” TAPIO is pushed by the winds and should continue to progress properly these next two days, bows pointed to the east. Yesterday on the phone he says that “he passed the position of the boats of Abhilash and Gregor”, and that he is “trying to catch up with Susie and to stay away from Istvan” . He has not been able to fix his heater yet, and his engine is not working anymore, but he does “not need that to keep sailing”, he says. Yesterday, he filmed an Albatross, and he regrets not having brought a book on marine ornithological fauna on board to help him to recognize all the birds observed so far. Tapio (via satellite) “WIND! SSE, BEATING WITH H1andR2, ASTERIA WEATHER!”

September 29th 2018 12:00 AM

Behind, TAPIO LEHTINEN, as well as ISTVAN KOPAR, SUSIE GOODALL, and LOIC LEPAGE will have to face a much more violent system. Fortunately, they are located, following the recommendations of the organization of the GGR, high edge of the gale. But their relatively northern position should also preserve them from the bulk of the swell and the wind.

September 25th 2018 12:00 AM

Yesterday Tapio wrote that he “CANT REALLY ENJOY THE PERFECT SUN&RUN BEFORE ABILASH RESCUED”. Today it’s a “RELIEF ABILASH and GREGOR ARE SAFE, GET WELL SOON, THX TO RSQERS“.TAPIO LEHTINEN, has benefited from better weather conditions than the leading group, even if the swell generated by the gale of this weekend is still consistent. Alongside ISTVAN KOPAR and LOIC LEPAGE, he is sailing on the high edge of a northwesterly wind system that will become even stronger before waning as he moves south-west … Wind directions will allow him to progress towards the direct route, fully East. Note that TAPIO LEHTINEN who had been overtaken by ISTVAN KOPAR is now in front of the Americano-Hungarian thanks to a better passage of the depression this weekend.“BACK TO BUNK, SHE IS RUNNING WITH THE SILVER APPLE IN HER WAKE”

September 19th 2018 12:00 AM

Tapio still sailing along with Istvan, was heat by a storm last night : (via satellite) A BUMPY RIDE THRU THE NIGHT IN 30 KN HEADWIND”; and is getting ready to face the new storm coming in the next 48h…(via satellite) “BARO DROPPED TO 995, CALM 1 HR, NOW RISING, NW 20KN”.

September 14th 2018 12:00 AM

TAPIO LEHTINEN and ISTVAN KOPAR, whose routes converge again, should not escape the zone of calm building up and may well remain stuck for two days, Sunday and Monday.
However, Tapio keeps his sense of humour ! : “HOW 2 DRY A SHIRT? PUT IT ON, A SWEATER ON TOP AND EAT PORRIDGE”

September 10th 2018 12:00 AM

Day 70 : rounding Cape of Good Hope ! This morning, TAPIO LEHTINEN and ISTVAN KOPAR found themselves rounding the Cape at the same time within 1 mile of each other, allowing eye contact, after so many days of sailing, and after good trajectories. different … (via satellite) “WOW, GOING UP AFTER A NAP HAD ISTVAN LESS THAN A NM OF ME! 🙂 “

September 6th 2018 12:00 AM

Tapio “IMPROVED BOUILLABAISSE COMBINING PIRKKA TINS ,SPICES,HUGE AND HOT:)” still cooking like a chief despide his toothache really annoying him lately, in Sat Phone contact today and yesterday with his dentist to prevent him from a potential infection. And that does not stop him either from encouraging the leader : “CHAPEAU VDH!IN SWEDISH THEY SAY GAMMAL AR ALDST,OLD IS ELDEST”, nor to appreciate each moments and mother nature : “AFTER PITCH DARK NIGHT PRISTINE SUN, DARK BLUE ROUGH SEA,BIRDS”.

August 29th 2018 12:00 AM

TAPIO LEHTINEN, is caught up by ISTVAN KOPAR and MARK SINCLAIR not far behind. All three brought the rear, nearly 2000 NM in the wake of VDH. He should soon hang a band of high winds but will soon have to deal again with multiple areas of high pressure, along his route… Tapio is still very busy on board and can not afford to take the time to set up the Spi and to hand steer at the moment, which has slowed its progress down lately.

August 27th 2018 12:00 AM

Tapio progresses painfully still caught in the high pressure systems of the South Atlantic, having trouble to cross due south to the latitude of Cape Town so far. After the beautiful descent of the Atlantic, Astéria lost a lot of ground on the leading pack. The weather was not favorable to her, and Tapio had to devote his time to repair all the technical problems, related to the solar panels, his hydrogenerator and his engine.But he keeps his spirits up and enjoys the adventure: “I,VE GOT A FRIEND-A BLACK AND WHITE STRIPED PILOT? FISH AT THE BOW”.

August 15th 2018 12:00 AM

Tapio succeeded in fixing the few technical problems he had on board “FIXING LEAKS, LINES ETC IN ANTICIPATION OF ENDING SUMMER” and he wrote this morning that he “FIXED DAMAGD SOL PANEL AS CLD, CHANGING PANEL CONNECTIONS”. All this has slowed down Asteria’s progression for the last few days, and Tapio is now 6th in overall ranking, behind Are and Uku leading back the peloton. But, over 4 knots this morning on the tracker he is now back on track and the boat is ready to go South!

August 8th 2018 12:00 AM

The eastern mob, was led since yesterday by TAPIO LEHTINEN, 5th in overall ranking, before UKU and ARE WIIG, more south on the tracker but more west also so further from the direct route.Tapio Lehtinen has growing problems on board with his windvane, engine, Hydro generator and solar panels…He is managing to keep some operational, but concedes that if he loses more than one of his electrical power sources, he may be forced into a stop over at Cape Town. He has good HF SSB comms with his team and they are helping him with advice from the various equipment suppliers.

August 6th 2018 12:00 AM

Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen (Gaia 36 Asteria) and Russian Igor Zaretskiy (Endurance 35 Esmeralda) are continuing down the shorter easterly route.
Tapio, llike Istvan, also reported engine issues, who messaged on Saturday that his new engine with just 49 hours of running time stops after 5 seconds. The Fin is also struggling with power from the many solar panels on Asteria which instead of producing 300 watts are generating just 3watts…

August 2nd 2018 12:00 AM

The front group of TAPIO, IGOR, ARE, UKU and SUSIE crossed the equator at the end of July and slide south. Tapio is pushing ahead steadily at 5.8kt, currently in 8th position, at 350 miles behind the leader Jean-Luc VDH. On his latest news, TAPIO reported a technical problem about his toilet (broke free while!…) but he sounds good having “champagne under the stars..” (from his text message)

July 20th 2018 12:00 AM

Tapio reports that he is having trouble getting his HF Radio to perform. An HF Radio Installation & Performance Test Report was submitted for Asteria as part of it registration for the GGR but Tapio is not able to get it to work in the field. If he can’t resolve this it will be very isolating as the fleet spreads out, shipping numbers drop and shore stations get few and far between. He is still very much in the mid field pack and it can reasonably be expected that Tapio’s performance will improve as he settles into the very sleek Asteria.

July 13th 2018 12:00 AM

Tapio speared around the south west corner of Lanzarote to make his film drop this morning under genoa and full main. The low freeboard and classic S&S lines still so striking. He reported that his HF Radio was not transmitting and that he was still developing an understanding for his Windpilot self steering system. The laceration to his hand is healing well and he looked in good shape heading off to the south.

July 11th 2018 12:00 AM

Tapio has reported that he has his windvane self steering unit working well. His steady rig for riding downwind is a poled out genoa hanked on his forestay with the roller yankee over sheeted to push the nose down when it goes to sniff the breeze.
He is treating a small infection in his hand, making it clear that looking after yourself is so important. Carozzo in the original Golden Globe Race was a red hot contender until failing health caused him to retire. Tapio must know that if the infection gets beyond his control he could be forced to give it all up too. The Golden Globe is all about looking after the boat and the person.

July 6th 2018 12:00 AM

consistently in the front half

Champing at the bit on start day he gave Jean Luc’s staunchions a nudge and then shot out into the Atlantic. Asteria, while heavily loaded with round the world supplies, is ideal for the light conditions experienced by the fleet since the start and has been consistently in the front half.

April 5th 2018 12:00 AM

Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen is another waiting for the ice to melt. Work on his Gaia 36 Asteria is nearing completion at the Nordic Refit Centre in Larsmo. The hull has been stripped inside and out and strengthened, and both interior and deck rebuilt, making this 1965 vintage Sparkman & Stephens design as near to a new boat as possible. Her relaunch is planned at the beginning of May and Tapio will use the voyage down to Falmouth as her proving trial.

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