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Päitsi – race around lake Päijänne

Päitsi, formally Päijänteen ympäriajo – race around lake Päijänne – is one of Finlands oldest continuously
organized sport events. It is held in early spring time/late winter when weather conditions might still be
quite challenging in southern Finland.

The competition has been driven almost every year since 1927. Only in the war years in 1940-1948 it
wasn’t held. In 2023 it will be the 87th birthday of Päitsi.

In the peak year in 1991 the competition started with 264 riders, but only 42 per cent of them reached
the finish line. In year 2005 the road conditions were quite favourable and 90 percent of the participants
crossed the finishing line.

This “great Finnish adventure” attracts both experienced enduro riders and also novices.

Päitsi is a unique two-day competition – “the great Finnish adventure”. During the race, riders drive
around 800 kilometers and about 10 hours per day. Back in the old days riders were driving throughout
the night but these days they are having a night break for safety reasons. But still Päitsi is the most difficult
competition that an enduro driver may experience. The victory of Päitsi has been the biggest dream of all
Finnish drivers for decades.

Päitsi consists of 20-30 special stages (more than 200 km, driving time totally more than 6 hours in two days).
Between them there are transport stages that can be up to tens of kilometers per shift. So the riders must
both compete intensively in the special stages and also endure the long transport stages.

Video: Päijänneajo 1956 (Yle areena)

Video: Race around lake Päijänne 2016

Video: Päijänne 1990

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