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Estonian Olympic Windsurfer Crosses Baltic Sea on RS:X Board
Posted On:  27/09/2016 15:44:40

The Estonian Olympic windsurfer Ingrid Puusta (EST 215) sailed alone 100 nautical miles (185 km) when crossing the Baltic Sea by using the RS:X Olympic windsurfing equipment.

Ingrid started from Swedish island Faro near Gotland on Sunday morning 0737 UTC+3 and finished 2125 UTC+3 at Turju in Saaremaa, Estonia.

Weak wind extended her crossing time to nearly 14 hours. The Yellow Brick global Iridium satellite tracking system allowed viewers to follow the Baltic Sea crossing via the web link http://yb.tl/bsc-rsx

"The last hours were extremely hard," Puusta's coach Jaak Lukk told the Baltic News Service. "Due to overstrain, Ingrid wanted to break off the crossing. However, we managed to keep her motivated and she surpassed the deadlock. We are thrice happy."

To ensure the long journey would be safe, the windsurfer was escorted by a safety boat with coaches Ainar Annus, her personal coach Matthew Rickard and Jaak Lukk  from the Noblessner Yacht Club Sailing School, who were also behind that idea.

"Having to stand in one position for a long time and big waves are the main factors which made my trip really hard.  I'm taking this cool challenge to help people with disabilities and benefit society," Puusta commented on the oncoming crossing a few days before the start.

With this act, Ingrid attempted to bring attention to handicapped athletes and raise money, so that disabled sailors would be able to start regular sail trainings for the first time in Estonia.

The Baltic Sea crossing was supported by Rand & Tuulberg Grupp, Alexela, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Paralympic Committee, Rae district, YellowBrick Tracking, Sportland, Haljastuskeskus and Telia Eesti.

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