Helsingfors Segelklubb (HSK) was founded in 1899 and is one of the oldest sailing clubs in Finland. With 1.600 members and 600 registered boats, HSK is also one of Finland’s largest and most successful sailing clubs. Club is located centrally on the west side of Helsinki in Lauttasaari, with excellent harbor facilities, services and traffic connections nearby.
In 1899, sailing enthusiasts in the western part of Helsinki founded an association called Helsingfors Arbetare Segelklubb. Already in its first year, the association had over 100 members and 21 sailing boats. Several of the founding members were Swedish-speaking and many of them worked in the printing industry. At that time, you could become a boat owner by building your own boat.
In 1919, two years after Finland gained its independence, the association was one of the first to be entered in the new register of associations, now with the name Helsingfors Segelklubb. The association’s home harbors have always been located on the west side of Helsinki. The former harbors, Kellosaari and Iso-Pässi, for which past generations worked, have been left to be filled in, under urban logistics or under construction of new neighborhoods.
The current home harbor on the eastern shore of Lauttasaari has been in use by the club since 1959 and reached almost its present size by the early 1990. There are currently over 550 for boats and several hundred for light boats. A new clubhouse was completed in 2010.
Club harbor and its surroundings offer a wide range of services for yachting, such as the Blue Peter restaurant, greatest concentration of chandleries and boat shops, service station, and various yacht repair and service facilities.
HSK has a long tradition of sail racing. Some of our well-known members include olympic medalists Tuuli Petäjä-Sirén (London 2012, silver in RS:X), Esko Rechardt (Moscow 1980, sailed in Tallinn, gold in Finn) and Jouko Lindgren (Moscow 1980, bronze in 470).
Current national sailing team members and Olympic hopes for Paris / Marseille 2024 include Kaarle Tapper and Valtteri Uusitalo (ILCA 7) as well as Aleksandra Blinnikka (iQFoil). Sofia Hämäläinen and Siri Kaskeala (iQFoil) are members of the national B-team. Youth (U21) national team members are Joel Kiiski, Aatos Kylävainio, Onni Kylävainio, Samuel Rikala, Katariina Roihu and Remu Seppä.
HSK is also the official training center for the Finnish Sailing Team.
Representing HSK, Ari Huusela was the first Finnish and Nordic sailor to compete and successfully complete the Vendée Globe in 2021.
Samuli Leisti’s ZeroEmission TP52 team was an active participant in offshore races in the Baltic Sea and Mediterranean circuit in 2020-2021.
Junior and Youth Sailing
The HSK Academy aims to introduce sailing as a sport and coach junior sailors from the Opti School all the way to the Olympics. The Academy consists of several Opti training groups at different levels, as well as 29er, Techno windsurfing and ILCA groups.
Whether one’s goal is international success in racing or just to have fun sailing, HSK Academy is the right sailing club to join. HSK’s harbor is easy to get to and the club offers a comprehensive range of services and top level coaching for junior sailors of all levels.
Some of the Academy’s success includes bronze medals in the International Optimist Team Sailing Competition organized by The Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) in 2017 among 16 successful teams from 14 different countries from all over Europe.
HSK has organized several high-profile international sailing competitions, including the following:
- 1980 Finn
- 1987 Dragon
- 1993 Tornado
- 1998 49er
- 1999 Star
- 2003 Melges 24
- 2009 Laser 4.7
- 2011 470-dinghy
- 1980 E-dinghy
- 1985 Optimist
- 1986 505-dinghy
- 1994 470-dinghy
- 2006 2.4 mR
- 2016 H-boat World Championship
- 2016 Folkboat Gold Cup
- 2017 Melges 24 World Championship
- 2018 Dragon Gold Cup
- 2022 Finn Masters
Cruising has been a strong part of the club’s activities from the very beginning. Traditionally the neighboring Nordic countries were early destinations, but in 1992, when the Baltic borders re-opened, boaters got more than a third of new destinations to sail in the Baltic Sea area.
Squadron voyages have always been enjoyable social events when setting out on new and unknown waters. First escaders were headed to Tallinn in Estonia and some years later expanded to Pärnu and Riga in Latvia, as well as several small harbors around the Gulf of Riga.
Our long-distance sailors had started in the 1970s with fiberglass boats sailing in the Mediterranean and some headed even North to Svalbard. About ten boats have already done circumnavigation and some are on their tour at the time of writing.
Our Honorary Commodore Seppo Seljavaara was one of the founders 1985 of International Council of Cruising Yachts, ICCY. Many of our members have participated in the annual meetings around the Baltic Sea and HSK has already organized five meetings in Finland. The latest, ICCY 2022 Mariehamn, was awarded as the Cruising Act of the Year.
Sailing abroad is often expansive and creates nice contacts, which is why HSK have many friendship clubs; in Estonia Kalevi Jahtklubi in Tallinn and Pärnu Jahtklubi, in Sweden Kungliga Motorbåt Klubben, KMK and in UK Cruising Association, CA. Every summer several boats from these familiar clubs visit our HSK harbour and some even our four private islands. Only limitation for visitors is the second half of August, when HSK hosts the largest floating boat show in Finland. This great event has been promoting yachting since 1998.