Launched today, the Helsinki Boat Show will commemorate the legendary Swan 51 S/Y Belmont. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the homecoming of S/Y Belmont after a solo circumnavigation by Hjallis Harkimo. This still remains one of the most significant achievements in the history of Finnish sailing.
Now refurbished for chartered cruises, the sailing yacht will contribute towards a cleaner Baltic Sea; the owner of the boat, Venevuokraamo Jahti Oy boat rental agency, will donate 10% of its profits during the anniversary year to the John Nurminen Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects.
“All sailors consider a clean sea and archipelago of the utmost importance. We were convinced by the concrete results of the John Nurminen Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects and their long-term action plan, and that’s why we decided to make this donation. Our goal is also to raise awareness of the Baltic Sea and the opportunities for protecting it, and to encourage other organisations and seafarers to join us in our efforts to promote a clean Baltic Sea,” explains Joakim Hildén, CEO of Venevuokraamo Jahti Oy.
The John Nurminen Foundation has worked to protect the Baltic Sea for more than 10 years. During these years, the Foundation has launched 25 Clean Baltic Sea projects and completed 17. These projects and other Baltic Sea co-operation projects have succeeded in reducing the annual input of phosphorus, which causes eutrophication in the Gulf of Finland, by approximately 75 per cent. The Foundation has several ongoing waste water treatment plant projects in the Baltic Sea catchment area.
“Besides our participation in several waste water treatment plant projects, we also support gypsum treatment of farming fields to reduce agricultural runoff, and lead the Local Fishing Project on the Archipelago Sea, which involves fishing of bream and cyprinids, to recycle nutrients,” explains Annamari Arrakoski-Engardt, Secretary General of the John Nurminen Foundation. ”The S/Y Belmont is a magnificent figurehead for the Baltic Sea protection work. We are very pleased that our work is deemed meaningful, and that such a large portion of the anniversary revenues will be donated to the protection of the Baltic Sea.”
Hjallis Harkimo’s solo sailing around the world in 1986-1987 still remains one of the most significant achievements in the history of Finnish sailing. Only 16 of the 25 participants in the challenging BOC Challenge Around the World competition crossed the finish line. Harkimo ranked third in his class; an achievement that no other competitive sailor has been able to surpass since.
In June 2017, in honour of the anniversary, Harkimo will perform one more solo sailing on the S/Y Belmont, to the dockside at Helsinki’s Market Square.
“A similar home-coming celebration was held 30 years ago when I returned from the competition. I am very honoured for all the attention, and I think it’s wonderful that revenues collected during the anniversary year will be donated to work to protect the Baltic Sea. I hope this sets an example, and that other organisations will adopt similar practices,” Harkimo commented.
One of the large boating industry companies, Iisiveneily Oy, has accepted the challenge. “Baltic Sea protection plays a major role in our company’s operational development. We are pleased to know that by supporting the S/Y Belmont we are contributing to the protection of the Baltic Sea,” says Eero Ukkonen from Iisiveneily.
The anniversary of the S/Y Belmont is scheduled to begin with a restoration project, which will take place in Ostrobothnia, where the boat was originally made. After the restoration, several events will be organised to celebrate the anniversary, the most prominent being the homecoming celebration in June.
Founded in 1992, the John Nurminen Foundation works for the benefit of the Baltic Sea and marine cultural heritage, to deliver results with greatest possible impact. The goal of the foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects is to improve the condition of the Baltic Sea with tangible measures that will reduce the load and environmental risks directed at the sea. The Clean Baltic Sea projects are funded from private donations and public funds.
CEO, S/Y Belmont, Venevuokraamo Jahti Oy
+358 40 5093813
Secretary General, John Nurminen Foundation
+358 400 477 878