Competitor profile

Name     Tapio Lehtinen
Born     January 19th 1958 – Helsinki, Finland
Domicile     Helsinki, Finland
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
Race No        6
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. The yacht was finally released from the yard at the end of May, shipped from Helsinki to Zeebrugge, Belgium, and from there sailed to Falmouth for the Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail on June 14, 2018.