It was an exciting year for Lithuanians celebrating the Millennium of Lithuania in 2009. The crew of the yacht “Ambersail” created the event “Odisėja 1000“, sparking enthusiasm and making headlines by sailing around the world, visiting various Lithuanian communities, and landing in Klaipėda on July 6, 2009, the main event of the year.
What happened afterward? The organizers continued to sail and signed on for competitions. After the “Odyssey”, the boat still seemed to be in good condition for offshore racing. Their goal was to gather more boat racing experience, train and test young and able Lithuanian sailors to take part in the races like the Volvo Ocean Race.
The current Ambersail-2 crew is based around a core group of Lithuanian sailors with the collective goal of promoting their country on the international sporting stage. Headed by Lithuanian London 2012 Olympian skipper Rokas Milevičius, the team says its strength lies in the collective unity and enthusiasm of its team members. As well as striving for the best possible result in “The Ocean Race Europe”, the Ambersail-2 squad also raced for a sustainable and green future for our planet.
The fleet of 12 high-performance ocean-going yachts set off from Lorient, France on the opening leg to Cascais in Portugal. The new three-stage European race was created to showcase professional fully-crewed offshore racing, and the fleet of 12 teams representing nine countries stopped off in Cascais and Alicante, Spain on the way to the finish in Genova, Italy, on June 19.
After two intense months, on June 19, the Ambersail-2 crew was happy to finish this year’s “Ocean Race Europe”. It was the first time in history that Lithuania participated in that race, and the crew was proud to promote Lithuania and sustainable oceans. Before the race, the team organized an international conference in Klaipėda on May 7, and in cooperation with the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, carried scientific equipment aboard to collect various water samples during the race.
There were eight permanent crew members – Captain Rokas Milevičius, sailors Tomas Ivanauskas, Linas Ivanauskas, Domantas Juškevičius, Conradas Colmanas, Deimantė Jarmalavičiūtė, Arnas Eimutis, and Aistė Ridikaitė. Other members were rotated in at each stage of the race.
Raimundas Daubaras, Head of the “Ambersail-2“ Project, said “We are not a very large country, and we have barely 90 kilometres of coastline, but we have been able to put together a team for one of the three most important World Sailing Organizations events, “The Ocean Race”, and one of only seven countries in the world to do this. It is a colossal achievement, providing invaluable experience and new possibilities for Lithuania. This race was a first step, but who knows – in a few years, offshore racing may become the new Dakar for Lithuania.