12 Apr Tallinn & Estonia
Welcome to Tallinn, capital of Estonia and the host of the Nordic Folkboat Gold Cup 2023!
This article gives you just a glimpse of what to expect when you come to Tallinn and Estonia. You can always use Google and Wikipedia to read about our history and culture and places of interest but we believe that the best way to learn about us is to know how we see the homelands of our fellow competitors. Let’s start with the nearest countries.
Fellow Finno-Ugric country on the other side of the Gulf of Finland. We share many common features with Finns (similar language, love for sauna etc) but maybe the most important is the national anthem: different lyrics but same melody, composed by Fredrik Pacius. Whenever and wherever Finns win a sports event (hockey tournament or a rally or Formula 1) (and they do win a lot of them) or they have a national celebration they play Estonian anthem! We love it when the Finns are doing great! And vice versa – when Estonians are winning, Finns can listen to their anthem and feel good about that.
P.S. Estonian folkboat sailors cross the Gulf of Finland at least once a year to take part of their championships and a major wooden boat race Viaporin Tuoppi. Every year.
We share many centuries of common history with Sweden dating back to the 11-12th century. Throughout the centuries Estonians and Swedes have sailed repeatedly across the Baltic Sea (Western Sea in Estonian and Eastern Sea in Swedish) for different reasons – trading, conquering, fleeing etc. In the beginning of the 21st century a strange anomaly was noted there – Estonians sailed mostly from Sweden to Estonia. The reason: they bought used sailing yachts (including wooden folkboats) via blocket.se to start sailing, some of them for the first time. Sweden has contributed remarkably to the revival of sailing in Estonia. Long before that, in 1632 Swedes founded Academia Gustaviana, today known as University of Tartu.
Of course, every Estonian knows the origin of Dannebrog, the national flag of Denmark. In the early 13th century, the Danish king Valdemar led his army on a crusade in present-day Estonia. During a battle on June 15, 1219, the Danes were on the defensive when suddenly a red banner with a white cross fell from the sky. As a result, the luck changed, the Danish army won and Denmark got its flag. Nowadays the Danes are paying us back by providing the wisdom of its world-class folkboat sailors who come here to teach us trim sails and reveal other useful knowledge.
Estonia introduced to the world many great men of German origin – the Baltic Germans, who played leading roles in the society of what are now Estonia and Latvia throughout most of the period from 13th to mid-20th century, with many of them becoming noted scientists, including Karl Ernst von Baer and Emil Lenz, and explorers, such as Adam Johann von Krusenstern, Ferdinand von Wrangel and Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen. Bellingshausen became the first explorer to see the land of Antarctica on 27 January 1820. 200 years later Estonians sailed to Antarctica with a sailing yacht Admiral Bellingshausen to commemorate the discovery of the white continent.
In the movie „Snatch“ (2000) directed by Guy Ritchie there is one phrase uttered by a New York diamond trader: „Yes, London. You know, fish, chips, cup ‘o tea, bad food, worse weather, Mary fucking Poppins… LONDON!“. We don’t know how accurate the data of this film director is, but UK can’t beat Estonia with its bad weather – ours is much worse than UKs. We have two sayings – „Don’t worry! Estonia’s summer is cold, but luckily it is short!“ and „Estonia’s climate is 12 months of shitty skiing weather!“. Talking about bad weather, don’t believe this Guy Ritchie guy… The weather here is much worse.
P.S. Unfortunately you won’t get to see this shitty weather, because the first week of August is the best weather you can find. Sorry!
In 1997 David Bowie had a song „I’m Afraid of Americans“. Fast forward more than a quarter of a century. The members of the Estonian Folkboat Flotilla can sing it again in chorus with a particular Californian guy Eric Kaiser and his team in mind… We are afraid because You never know how our American friends sail when there is almost no current compared to San Francisco Bay.
P.S. Eric, please bring a new hat for Mikk. It was bright red in Helsinki, now it is grey.
Everybody knows that paprika was invented in Hungary. As was apricot jam. But Hungary is not about paprika and aprikot jam alone… It is a hidden gem of folkboat sailors, whose representative Balázs Herczeg is a shining diamond with his wooden folkboat among the Estonian Folkboat Flotilla in Kalev Yacht Club