News Two former opti sailors now racing around the world

Two former opti sailors now racing around the world

In a few days the 13 racing yachts compiting in the OCEAN GLOBE RACE (OGR) 2023/24, a retro sailing race around the world, will finish the second leg in Auckland. The OGR is a 24,000 mile sprint around the globe, divided into 4 legs. On board the Finnish SWAN 55 GALINA WITHSECURE, two former Opti sailors, Anton Eklund (26) and Viivi Moisio (21) are taking part in this racing adventure.  Like their 10 teammates and most of the sailors in this regatta, neither are professional sailors, but they are experienced and competent. On 30 October we published an interview with Anton Eklund on 

Here is an interview with Viivi Moisio. 65 women sailors are among the 218 sailors in the OGR fleet, on board Galiana WithSecure with the youngest OGR crew there are 3 women.
Viivi's sailing vita in a nutshell: Opti sailor instructor training at the Finnish Sailing Association; Opti instructor at Espoo's Merenkävijät Club for several years; adult sailing instructor at Espoo's Sailing Club; own regatta activities with Zoom8, Europe and on the 6mR classic racing yacht "Merenneito II", built in Turku/Finland in 1928, training and working as a sailmaker.

What was your motivation to join the OGR? What is the attraction for you?
My main motivation was that after sailing Optis I wanted to see the world and try bigger boats. The attraction for me is just being out on the ocean and experiencing the waves and beautiful sunsets.

Thinking back to Opti Sailing, how were your Opti experiences important to this eight-month adventure around the world?
Sailing with Optis has taught me the hunger to compete and different ways of performing and surviving under pressure, but most importantly, the basics of sailing that Optis taught me are the same, even though the boat is bigger.

How did you get into (Opti) sailing, where did you learn it?
I started sailing with my brother at an Opti camp in Finland. At first I wasn't interested in sailing at all, but the orange sailing gear got me hooked.

What have been your best Opti experiences in the past and now when you train Opti sailors in Helsinki?
When I sailed Opti the best part was the friends I made and the big fleets we sailed with. With coaching, the best part is of course when someone you coach succeeds and you see their development.

To be part of the OGR crew there was an extensive selection process. How did it go for you? Why do you think you were chosen?
The selection process went well and I've made a lot of new friends! ???? I think I was chosen because it's easy for me to throw myself into things. I also get on well with other people, which is crucial in a long race like this, where you spend a lot of time in close quarters with other people.

The longest leg of the OGR is behind you. It is not only a demanding sailing competition, it is also an adventure and freedom. Which is more important to you?
I am very competitive and sometimes it was hard to enjoy every moment because I always wanted to get the maximum speed. I am also very adventurous and want to see everything, so that part is there.

How do you feel being away from your family, friends and Opti sailors in Finland? How do you balance this long race with your job?
My family and friends are very supportive and are following the race closely, which feels great. I work as a sail maker, my  workplace, WB Sails in Helsinki,  has understood my excitement about the race around the world.

During many days no hot showers, no freshly cooked food, but packaged food prepared with hot water. You will have slept barely eight hours in a row. How do you deal with these challenges?
You get used to these things pretty quickly and learn to appreciate the little things that you take for granted on land. Luckily I had some sweets with me for the bad days.

How were your tasks on board distributed among the crew?
On the boat, the whole crew does everything, but of course you have to take some things into account. For example, you don't lift the heaviest person up to the mast or ask the smallest person to hoist the spinnaker all by themselves.

What was life like on board?
Our team works really well because we have worked on this together and we know each other's strengths and weaknesses, which is good for teamwork.

You are a crew of ambitious regatta sailors who put their heart and soul into the race. Were you able to enjoy nature despite the demand to sail fast all the time?
Yes, I enjoyed the nature very much while sailing. Several dolphins jumping at the bow of the boat and the flying fish were spectacular sights. The strange weather phenomena also kept me focused on the work. It was also nice to learn how the clouds affect the wind.
(Interview: Birgitt Müller-Genrich/Press Work OPTI CLASS GER)

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