Estonian Tatjana Jaanson becomes first woman to row across Gulf of Finland
Over the weekend, Tatjana Jaanson, a 49-year-old rowing coach from the Southwestern Estonian coastal city of Pärnu, became the first woman to row across the Gulf of Finland solo.
According to regional Estonian newspaper Pärnu Postimees, Jaanson departed from Pirita Marina in Tallinn at 11:10 p.m. on Saturda and reached the island of Lauttassaari, west of Helsinki, eight hours and 53 minutes later. This is the first known instance of a woman crossing of the Gulf of Finland by rowing.
Jaanson noted tht she made the trip at night because ship traffic would have posed too much of a proble during the daytime.
"We only met two frighters," said the Pärnu native. "I got lucky with the weather — the wind was blowing at 2-3 meters per second [4.5mph]. It was a fantastic experience."
She found that the most difficult part of the crossing came up when she was a little over halfway across the gulf toward Finland, at approximately the 50-kilometer (31-mile) mark. "But I never thought about giving up," she added.
The crossing was part of Jaanson's charity project "My Everest," which is aimed at promoting sports as well as raising funds to buy new boats for the young members of the Pärnu Rowing Club.
Tallinn and Helsinki are separated by approximately 90 kilometers, or just over 55 miles.