Welcome to 15th Downtown Sailing Week!
Helsingfors Segelsällskap Yacht Club (HSS) organizes the Training Clinic and XV International Helsinki Downtown Regatta which brings hundreds of sailors to Liuskasaari, Helsinki. This will be also part of International Baltic Sea Trophy together with Spinnaker Regatta in Tallinn.
In 2008 the HSS youth committee decided to start an annual Optimist Dinghy race at HSS with race course areas right outside the club harbor in the center of Helsinki. Magnus Roschier-Holmberg, builder of Zoom8 dinghies with a marketing background urged us to brand the event right away and voila – HSS Downtown Race (DTR) was born. During the first years the race had a Finnish Optimist Association regional race status, most of the participants being young Optimist beginners. As the oldest sailors in the HSS Optimist program progressed to the national ranking series, the Downtown Race grew bigger and got a national ranking race status with separate regional level fleet for the beginners. A contact was established with the Estonian Optimist Association with an agreement of Estonian sailors attending the DTR and the HSS Optimist team taking part in the Spinnaker Regatta – the big annual international youth regatta organised by Kalev Yacht Club in Tallinn since 1976.
During the next years HSS was contacted by the Finnish Zoom8-dinghy, Europe Dinghy, Laser and 29er Associations which made the event to grow into the biggest annual youth regatta in Finland. By 2011 the oldest HSS Optimist sailors had progressed into the Finnish European and World Championship teams. In order to help the sailors to develop up to the international top level HSS started to hire coaches from Brazil and followed by many more from Argentina, Spain, New Zealand etc. The further development from just a race into a combination of a training clinic followed by a race was inspired by the annual CISA youth clinic organised in California – a combination of a training clinic with top coaches and sailors gathered from around the US with the week ending in a regatta. So the DTR was further developed into HSS Downtown Clinic and Race. The aim of the HSS is to provide an annual international level training clinic followed by a tough international regatta in home waters prior to the Nordics, Europeans and the Worlds. By offering the event in Helsinki, the youth sailors get the experience without the expense of travelling to Central or Southern Europe or Florida as had been the case earlier.