The Baltic Sea is a large, 413, 000 km², inland sea in the Northeastern corner of Europe. It is typically broken down into the following regions: The Central Baltic Sea The Gulf of Finland, Kattegat, the Gulf of Bothnia and Skagerrak. The many countries that fringe the Baltic sea, each offer their own unique culture and interesting sailing grounds.
Due to being one of the lesser-visited areas of Europe by international visitors, these cruising grounds offer pristine natural beauty and many settlements untouched by foreign tourism. They thus present an opportunity for sailors with a mind for an adventure the perfect opportunity to get off the beaten track and discover what many others haven’t.
The sailing season in the Baltic begins in June and runs until the end of August. The season is not wholly determined by the weather, but rather that many of the facilities are not in operation during these months. With pleasant sunshine and twilight encompassing 20 hours of the day, July is a superb month to sail in the Baltic. But it’s not all about cruising, due the small tidal range, and strong, predictable winds, the Baltics also make for the perfect racing grounds.
Racing in the Baltic
With a rich maritime heritage and excellent sailing conditions, it’s no surprise that the Baltic offers sailors excellent opportunities to prove themselves in a race environment – there’s a reason why the World Match Racing Tour returns to the region every year! The inaugural RORC Baltic Sea Race will be one such event. With a course stretching approx. 630 nm from Helsinki, around Gotland, and back, it’s the latest “must-do” offshore event. The race takes place from the 21st July 2022 and is open to boats racing under IRC, MOCRA, Class40 Rules and other class associations. It’s unique setting will allow participants to experience the rugged beauty of the central Baltic as well as the charming and artistic archipelago city of Helsinki.
The Finnish Archipelago
The Archipelagos to the south and west of Torku, in Finland, are home to a staggering 20,000 islands. This presents sailors with the chance to get lost for days, exploring these wild, uninhabited islands. With countless remote anchorages and the ability to camp anywhere, with everyman’s rights, those who are looking for a true adventure in the wilderness will find it; and can enjoy freshly caught fish on the campfire. The perfect remedy to the hustle and bustle of civilisation.
Rügen and along the Southern Baltic coast
Along the southeastern Baltic coast, the landscape is very different. Featuring little to no islands and a lack of natural harbours, the region has developed very interesting coastal settlements and seaports. Marina development along the coast has seen a surge lately and an impressive example lies in the heart of Gdansk which is a beautiful, historic city. Further to the west, in Germany, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Rügen features breathtaking chalk cliffs, towering over a hundred meters above sea level. Rügen is also a popular island, amongst locals, to visit for its unspoilt beaches and verdant interior.
All-in-all, the Baltic has a lot to offer sailors looking to experience something new and exciting; while enjoying the pleasures of sailing without the usual tourist crowd.