June 2007

Silja Lehtinen (FIN)

ISAF World No1 Claire Leroy (FRA) came to the JP Morgan match race winter challenge as clear favourite, but left having been seen off 3-0 in the final by Yngling racer and former 29er World Champion Silja Lehtinen. The talented young Finn is a busy girl, racing the Yngling and match racing ‘for real’, racing a 49er (fast) ‘for fun and for publicity’ and studying medicine the rest of the time (sic) to qualify as a doctor…
 Why they won
Damn, Seahorse’s grapevine works fast. No sooner did Silja’s name go up than the fan mail started. As well as climbing the ISAF rankings with her Audi-sponsored match race team this 21-year-old former figure skater (sic) has a rack of dinghy titles including Finnish Optimist and world Byte champion, plus world and Australian championships in the 29er.