Erkka Lehtonen: he will try to ride his wakeboard for 12 hours straight

Erkka Lehtonen will try to ride a wakeboard for 12 hours in a solar-powered cable wakeboarding park.

The attempt will take place at Laguuni, a water sports center in Finland. The local cable wakeboarding track is powered by a solar electricity system with 20 solar panels, provided by the Finnish clean-energy company Fortum.

There is only a handful of wakeboarding world records made in Finland, the last one done in 2001.

The situation might change on May 4, when 27-year-old Lehtonen begins wakeboarding for 12 hours straight. His record attempt starts at six in the morning, local time.

Lehtonen, 27, is aiming high as the world record at the moment is set at 10 hours and 5 seconds. The water will be around 41-46 °F (5-8 °C) during the challenge.

"The thought about attempting a world record has been there for a long time; now I just have to jump in and try it," notes Erkka Lehtonen.

"Spring isn't really the ideal season for this as there aren't many training opportunities during the winter. This adds to the challenge and brings a right amount of excitement to the attempt."

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

"It is especially cool to make an attempt at our own facility. We established the center last year to bring water sports closer to people living in the city, and that's what this attempt is about too," adds 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. Both Fortum and Laguuni want to drive the change for a cleaner world.

"We have a 5,6 kW solar power system at Laguuni, which produces around 5000 kWh electricity during each season,” says Olli-Pekka Raatikainen, Fortum's product manager.

A 12-hour world record attempt will use around 24 kWh electricity, which on a sunny day is produced by the center's own panels.

On a cloudier day, the park can use a battery that is charged with surplus solar energy production from Laguuni.

"Laguuni's cable gets wakeboarders moving using clean solar energy. It doesn't produce any emissions or noise," says Raatikainen.

The athlete also emphasizes the balance between the environment and hobbies. In Laguuni, you can find a restaurant and a variety of activities like stand up paddleboarding, wakeboarding, kayaking and a water trampoline.

"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 on May 4, starting at 4am (GMT) at fortum.com/wake.

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