ORC European Championship 2024 Sets Sail in Åland Islands

ORC European Championship 2024  Sets Sail in Åland Islands
Baltic Offshore Week 2022 © Janis Spurdzins

14 Febuary 2024 – Mariehamn, Åland Islands – The spotlight of European ORC racing will shine on the picturesque Åland Islands this August as it plays host to the highly anticipated ORC European Championships 2024. Organized by the Finnish Offshore Sailing Association, the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and hosted in the ÅSS Marina, this premier event is slated to take place from August 9th-17th 2024.

With registration now open, teams from across Europe are invited to vie for top titles in what promises to be a thrilling competition with three days of registration and practice followed by six days of inshore and offshore racing.

ORC Worlds 2023 Kiel
TP52 Beau Geste leading the pack at the ORC Worlds 2023 Kiel © Felix Diemer for ORC

The event is set to feature a robust fleet of participants, with early indications showcasing entries from nine nations. Among the contenders is Karl Kwok’s formidable TP52 BEAU GESTE, the reigning 2023 ORC Class A class European and World champion.

Starting this year, ORC championships will feature an enhanced four-class division format, where Kwok’s team and other very fast boats will be competing in a new Class 0 while others are divided into three additional classes to provide even closer racing among boats of similar rated performance. The fleet in Åland will be defined according to the following CDL limits:

Class 0: 16.400 ≥ CDL > 13.550 
• Class A: 13.550 ≥ CDL > 11.270
• Class B: 11.270 ≥ CDL > 9.630
• Class C: 9.630 ≥ CDL > 8.000

Check out the Notice Race on the ONB www.orceuro2024.com/notice-board and enter via the Manage2Sail portal.

ÅSS terrace
ÅSS terrace in Mariehamn

As anticipation builds for this prestigious event, competitors are encouraged to secure their spots and take advantage of early bird registration discounts before the June 1st deadline. Arrangements for accommodations and travel are already underway, with exclusive offers available through the event's official partners, Ålandhotels and Viking Line.

Ålandhotels is a leading player in the Åland tourist market with three hotels and three restaurants in Åland. In total, Ålandhotels offers comfortable accommodation in more than 230 rooms in central Mariehamn, having special offers for ORC Europeans guests. More detailed information is available at www.orceuro2024.com/news/where-to-stay-in-aland

Mariehamn harbour
Mariehamn harbour

Getting to the ORC European Championships 2024 is easy.

Three places in Scandinavia are connected to Mariehamn, the capital of the Åland Islands. The fastest way is to fly from Helsinki-Vantaa or Turku in Finland or Arlanda in Sweden. But the more relaxing and scenic option would be to take a ferry from Sweden or Finland on Viking Line, the official travel partner for the ORC Europeans: a 25% discount is offered to all participants of the ORC Europeans, with a detailed package to be published soon.

More info it at https://visitaland.com/en/plan-your-journey/travelling-to-aland.

Noora Westerlund, Regatta Chair and CEO of the Finnish Offshore Sailing Association expressed her excitement for the upcoming event, emphasizing the unique sailing conditions and rich maritime heritage of Åland.

“We are the people of the sea; our way is the sea,” states the poem's first sentence on the side of Matti Haupt's statue in front of the Maritime Museum in Mariehamn,” she said. “This poem describes the Åland people's fateful connection to the sea and the memories and stories of these people can still be sensed on this beautiful island surrounded by our prestigious Baltic Sea. This poem and Mariehamn have a special place in my sailor’s heart. When I was 11, the sea brought me here with my family for the first time. Since then, I have returned one season after another and could not be more thrilled to welcome my fellow sailors and sea lovers to this picturesque island – a true sailors’ paradise."
Baltic Offshore Week 2022
Baltic Offshore Week 2022 © Janis Spurdzins
"The ORC fleets in the Baltic region have been very enthusiastic and competitive,” said ORC Chairman Bruno Finzi. “Our World Championship held in Helsinki in 2012 was one of the most popular regattas in our history and has led to even further interest and excitement throughout the region. We very much look forward to this event in the beautiful Åland Islands and helping to crown four new ORC European Champions.”

A further indication of this regional enthusiasm will be shown next year when the Finnish Offshore Sailing Association will host the 2025 ORC Double Handed European Championship, and the full-crew 2025 ORC World Championship will be held in Tallinn, Estonia.

In addition to offering world-class sailing opportunities, Åland, known as Ahvenamaa in Finnish, boasts a wealth of cultural and natural attractions, making it an ideal destination for both competitors and spectators alike.

For more information and updates, visit https://orc.org/europeans2024.

ORC European Championships 2024 is organized by the Finnish Offshore Sailing Association, the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and hosted in the ÅSS Marina.