From Hamburg around the Baltic with Superschnitzel Team

Baltic Sea Circle 2017 – all the way to the Arctic Circle in the hamburg ahoi rally car

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7,500 kilometres, 10 countries, 16 days, no GPS, no fast, multi-lane roads. More than 250 teams are to race in the Baltic Sea Circle 2017 rally – "Team Superschnitzel" from Hamburg will be driving around the Baltic for hamburg ahoi. They're running in the rally from the Hamburg Metropolitan Region to the North Cape and back for a good cause. Here's the logbook.

Author

Malte Brenneisen

Malte Brenneisen is a journalist, lecturer and co-editor of the English-language city magazine "gentle rain".

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Steaming, simmering, roaring from the car park between the Beachclub Strand Pauli and Hamburg's fish market. Modern classic cars lined in three rows, like beads on a string. Jam-parked old buses with bright-coloured sponsor stickers, pick-up trucks with barbecues and tents in the back – even an old East German Trabant and an estate car with a man-tall sailing boat on the roof are ranged on the bank of the River Elbe. The hamburg ahoi rally car, crewed by Superschnitzel Team, is parked between two old Volvos.

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250 teams under starter's orders. There have never been this many before.

Laden with cassettes of music by Hamburg cult band Tomte, tent, food supplies and thick-enough socks, Christian Willner and Daria Tölle gear up for the race to the Arctic Circle. They're wearing Superman capes, one of them carries a stuffed schnitzel under an arm. “That's our Superschnitzel cushion,” says Christian, and climbs up the railings behind the car. He poses for the camera between the Blohm und Voss shipyard cranes on the horizon. Superschnitzel ahoi!

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Sadly, the BMW only has one cassette deck. Good thing Daria's taped her favourite numbers.

They'll be running the circuit around the Baltic in the next 16 days. You can more or less choose your own route for the Baltic Sea Circle, only the checkpoints on the Lofoten Islands (Norway) and Raudsilla (Estonia) are fixed. “We'll leave Hamburg north-bound, through the Hamburg Metropolitan Region – then up through Denmark as fast as possible, because you're only allowed to use the motorway on the first and last days.

“But nothing's going to stop us from jumping right into the water in Copenhagen,” says Daria. Shortly before the start, the event organisers from the Superlative Adventure Club announce the total donated so far: “More than 398,000 euros!” booms through the speakers, and the car-horn concerto vibrates back from the houses in neighbouring Hafenstraße like an echo. The starting signal.

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The start! Only another 7500 kilometres to go!

Christian and Daria are in the rally car to support the Knack den Krebs initiative, whose activities include holding fund-raising concerts for cancer research. Daria and Christian are also raising money for the Autonome Jugendwerkstätten. At the Workshop in Hamburg-Barmbek, young people who crashed out of the conventional educational route are trained as mechanics.

“We're racing for a good cause and would like people outside the city boundaries to get enthused by the projects, whether in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, Scandinavia or Russia,” says 29-year-old Daria, who is a physician. In her day job, she's a human genetics specialist in the Hamburg district of Eimsbüttel. They've already collected just short of 1,000 euros, the accounts are open until 2 July.

After road trips through Iceland, the USA, Namibia and Spain, the northernmost rally in the world is now on their bucket list. “While one of us eats up kilometre after kilometre and admires the scenery ahead, the other will be responsible for navigation and entertainment,” says mechanical engineer Christian, 31.

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The sun is shining on the North Pole. Daria and the hamburg-ahoi-rally-car at the polar circle.

If everything goes to plan and they don't break down anywhere, this is the route that Superschnitzel Team will follow in their BMW: Hamburg, Malmö, Karlstad, Östersund, Bodo, Lofoten Islands, North Cape, Murmansk, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Riga, Kaliningrad, Danzig, Rügen, Hamburg. You can look at the two adventurers' current position and progress here. We'll report on the Schnitzel's route around the Baltic and over the finish line in the picture gallery at the bottom of this article and on Instagram.

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  • Baltic BiGa 7 EN
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  • The Baltic Sea Circle 2017

  • The Elbphilharmonie at the horizon. The teams are expected to be back on July 2nd.

  • Christian stows a few last-minute gifts from Hamburg in the boot – for friends and partners of the City of Hamburg. They want to present them in St. Petersburg on 26 June, for example, to mark the 60th anniversary of the cities' sisterhood.

  • The hamburg-ahoi-rallye-car at the start in Hamburg.

  • "Amazing how fast you can get to the water from Hamburg," says Daria.

  • Picnic on the ahoi roof at Ivö Lake in Sweden

  • Superschnitzel team's night quarter close to Lake Vänern in Sweden.

  • Made it to the Arctic Circle!

  • Mountains and boats. Welcome to the Lofoten in Norway!

  • Arrival in Narvik, Norway: Cheers to that - with a cheese sandwich!

  • Jetty-break in Ivalo, Finland.

  • The North Cape from the bird's eye perspective.

  • Russian road life near Kandalaksha.

  • In St. Petersburg, Christian and Daria handed over gifts to General Consul Eltje Aderhold on the occasion of the 60th partnership anniversary between Hamburg and St. Petersburg.

Support Superschnitzel Team on their trip. For full details see:

https://superschnitzelt.wordpress.com/

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