The Baltic Classic Rally 2017

28 May - 10 June


JUNE 3, 2017

Helsinki to Tallinn

Capital ideas

Today saw us enjoy a free morning in cosmopolitan Helsinki, the capital of Finland, where most crews took the opportunity to do a little shopping and sightseeing in the quayside market which had handicrafts, fresh fruit and seafood delicacies on offer. The Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral loomed impressively over the wharves and piers and some crews made the effort  to walk up the hill to take a closer look.

There was no such downtime for Jim Smith and Pete Stone though. They had stepped in manfully to tow Charlie and Nellie Bishop’s stricken Vauxhall to the ferry terminal  and then onward to Tallinn where a crew of mechanics from Blakeney Motorsport had flown in with the requisite bits and pieces.

For the rest of the rally though it was as if they had not a care in the world and, after a mid morning coffee or perhaps an early lunch it was time to make the short drive to the docks board the boat for the second crossing of the Baltic to Tallinn, the Estonian capital, and our fourth country of the rally.

Luckily, the sun was shining, the sea was calm and while it was brisk it wasn’t at all cold. After the last few days of epic battles against the elements and the clock, the change of weather and the change of pace were more than welcome. The on board eateries did a good trade during the two hour crossing and one or two cigars were either smoked - or chomped.

From the docks to the Swisshotel it was less than 1.5km which left a few hours to explore another town before dinner.

Our Classics leaders, Gavin and Diana Henderson tell us that they’re both enjoying the rally and the pressure that leading it has brought while not taking anything for granted. They’ve got many long distance events under their wheels now, and a combination of a reliable car, sharp navigation and consistent driving could be the key to a maiden win in Berlin.

Similarly, Bill Cleyndert and Jacqui Norman are still looking cool under pressure but, as they took a win in the Sahara Challenge in 2015 they know all about judging the pace and applying just the right amount of pressure.

We’re at the halfway point of the rally now and tomorrow, the restart sees the Baltic Classic head to Riga in Latvia for the second half.

Syd Stelvio



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