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Nearly 30 teams enter Admiral Pitka challenge

Photo: Karmen Vesselov
Participants in an annual military navigation race, scheduled for August 4-7, currently number 27, four-member teams, from nine countries. The race is returning to the calendar after a year's absence resulting from the pandemic.
This year's Admiral Pitka Recon challenge will kick off at the Monument to the War of Independence in Kuressaare, on Saaremaa, at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, August 4, to finish on the morning of Saturday, August 7.

Each year, the race is held in a different location within Estonia, to prevent any advantage to any local teams which holding it in the same place every year would engender.

The contest requires teams to traverse a long-distance course of about 100 km in four days, moving covertly, from checkpoint to checkpoint.

At present, 29 four-strong teams from nine states have registered, including two from Finland, and one each from Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, France, Denmark and the U.S. A joint U.S.-Estonian team is also taking part, while on the domestic front, teams representing the Naiskodukaitse, the Women's Defense League, are to take part, along with teams from the Harju, Järva, Pärnu, Rapla, Tallinn, Tartu, Jõgeva and Valga Defence League districts.

Regular Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) teams will also take part, as well as one from the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA).

While last year's contest was canceled due to the pandemic, participants need only provide vaccine or negative test proof, or agree to a rapid test on arrival

Admiral Johan Pitka was commander of the Estonian Navy (Merevägi) during the 1918-1920 War of Independence.