A successful athlete is often a product of many people’s efforts. The Estonian top Laser sailor is no different, having had lots of support from his home communities growing up with competitive sailing. Harba met the accomplished man shortly after he qualified for the Olympics in 2020.
Text, video and image by Rasmus Bonde Stouby, Harba
Karl-Martin Rammo is a happy man today, as he can relax in the knowledge that he just secured his qualification for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Rammo has had the same coach since 1998 and is now a semi-professional sailor. Up until the Rio Olympics he was a full time pro – now he has a job on the side, but still trains full time.
Becoming a successful athlete is rarely just one man’s work, however, and 29 years old Rammo has enjoyed support from both his community and the ROPK Sailing School.
“The sailing school helped me the most, but also my community. Not economically, but in getting me in contact with sponsors and other things”, says the Tallinn sailor to Harba about some of the support that’s helped him become the competitive sailor he is today.
“I hope my values are valuable to them and they see perspective in me because of that,” says Karl-Martin Rammo about his supporters.
Though Rammo hopes for more Estonian Olympic sailors in the future, he is more interested in seeing kids in Optis, learning to sail safely and enjoying the fun it is to be on the water.
Cruising in Estonia
Rammo likes to cruise in his free time. Sometimes he and his wife get on a 470 and take a sail for fun, but it often gets too competitive, so it is more likely to meet him relaxing on the water in a motorboat.
“I always end up pushing it, when we go by sail. That’s why I like to go out on a motorboat because I don’t care about motors, so then I can relax,” says Rammo to Harba.
Cruising in keel boats is growing in Estonia, he says, though it is still under development in many places.
“The coastline is without a lot of small islands and such, so you quickly get into open water and that is a bit more challenging. But over the last five years we have seen immense growth,” says the successful athlete.
And if one should decide to plot a course including Estonia, that would be a chance to visit Karl-Martin Rammo’s hometown, Tallinn. He loves the place because it is “small – yet big”. Like the World Cup host city of Aarhus, which brands itself as “the world’s largest small city” (like so many others do), small – yet big, means that there is a lot to do, but distances are short.
“Whenever I have friends/competitors visiting, I always take them to the old town. It’s nice and the restaurants have very good food,” says Karl-Martin Rammos to Harba.