A Finnish water sports professional attempts a world record powered by solar energy

Erkka Lehtonen, a Finnish wakeboarding professional, aims for a 12-hour continuous performance in wakeboarding. The attempt will take place in water sports centre Laguuni. Laguuni’s cable wakeboarding track is powered by a solar electricity system with 20 solar panels, provided by the Finnish clean-energy company Fortum.

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There is only a handful of wakeboarding world records made in Finland, the last one done in 2001. The situation might change on May 4th when 27-year-old Erkka Lehtonen attempts to wakeboard for 12 hours straight. His record attempt starts at six in the morning.

Lehtonen is aiming high as the world record at the moment is 10 hours and 5 seconds. The ­water will be around +5–8°C during the attempt.

“The thought about attempting a world record has been there for a long time, now I just have to jump in and try it. Spring isn’t really the ideal season for this as there isn’t much practice possibilities during the winter. This adds to the challenge and brings a right amount of excitement to the attempt,” says Lehtonen.

Wakeboarding is both a hobby and a profession for Lehtonen. The young man is a co-founder at Laguuni, the cable wakeboarding park and recreational centre in Espoo, Finland. In addition to a world record, Lehtonen wants to raise awareness for wakeboarding.

“It is especially cool to make the attempt in our own centre, Laguuni. We established the centre last year to bring water sports closer to people living in the city and that’s what this attempt is about too,” says Lehtonen.

Together towards cleaner water sports

Laguuni is mostly powered by solar energy. The neighboring clean-energy company Fortum is a main partner of Laguuni and has delivered a solar electricity system with 20 panels to the centre. Both Fortum and Laguuni want to drive the change for a cleaner world.

“We have a 5,6 kWp solar power system at Laguuni, which produces around 5000 kWh electricity during a season,” says Fortum’s Product Manager Olli-Pekka Raatikainen.

A 12-hour world record attempt will use around 24 kWh electricity, which on a sunny day is produced by the centre’s own panels. On a cloudier day the park can utilize a battery that is charged with surplus solar energy production from Laguuni.

“Laguuni’s cable moves wakeboarders with clean solar energy. It doesn’t produce any emissions or noise,” says Raatikainen.

He emphasizes the balance between the environment and hobbies.

“The beautiful archipelago around the Finnish capital area offers beautiful surroundings for water sports. We want to nurture the coastal nature and lifestyle consistent with sustainable development,” says Raatikainen.

The world record attempt can be followed via a live stream May 4th starting from 6 AM EEST (GMT+2) at Fortum’s web page: fortum.com/wake