For an adventurous "delicacy" we all like to rise early -- and that's exactly what many of the 2018 Baltic Sea Circle participants had to do for this year's winter edition. At the end of February, the 16-day rally from Hamburg to the Estonian capital Tallin started at 11am. To arrive in time, some had to get out of bed at the crack of dawn. This was true for Olaf Ebeling and Berthold Litjes, who started their journey to the Hanseatic city at 6am -- and after their vehicle was literally only ready in the 11th hour.
Some of the off-road lovers from the 47 participating teams would probably have liked to stay in bed a little longer -- but the unforgettable experience that followed definitely compensated for the early rise!
Already the stops along the way sound like an adventure in themselves -- and delivered what they promised: Särna, the Lofoten, Hammerfest, the most northern city in the world, Inari, the Finnish capital Helsinki and, finally Tallin, a true pearl of the Baltic.
While the "sister tour" in the summer saw 200 teams at the start, the number of participants for the winter version was much lower. For this northern tour, it was essential to be winterproofed as temperatures dipped as low as -30 °C -- and that was true for, both, the participants and the cars, which were at least 20-years-old. This was also confirmed by Olaf Ebeling, who spotted many "highly equipped off-road vehicles from Asia and the island in the channel" among the participants.
The duo consisting of Ebeling and Litjes was comparatively humble, traveling in their 1993 Chevrolet Blazer. Here's a fitting quote by Olad Ebeling: "5.7 Litre V8, around 200 HP and an engine speed matching the heartbeat of a phlegmatic elephant."
The one thing that wasn't old: the HELLA auxiliary lamps on their vehicle. For the high-end LED Light Bars 470 and the Luminator Compact LED optimally equipped the two racers for the long dark winter days -- and allowed them to have maximum road illumination even at night. It’s better to be safe!
In addition to the fun factor, the Baltic Sea Tour also had a charitable cause -- in fact, two: the event organizer gave a part of the starting fee to charitable organizations while the teams themselves collected donations for associations and organizations of their choice. Olaf Ebeling and Berthold Litjes collected a grand total of 3,000 euros, which went to the Düsseldorfer Kindertafel (children's food bank).
This is what the Baltic Sea Tour participants is all about: ice-cold adventurers -- warm hearts!
You can see some tour impressions in this video