Risto Piispa is aiming to raise €100,000 euros to help build a children’s hospital in Helsinki. :: A. B.
A Marbella resident is planning to jet-ski from Finland to Marbella this summer
A Finnish Costa del Sol resident is hoping to raise €100,000 for charity and set a new world record by riding a jet-ski from Finland to Marbella this July.
Risto Piispa will ride for up to eight hours a day along rivers, canals and the sea during his two-week aquatic adventure.
The 33-year-old will travel more than 4,000km (2,485 miles) through Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and France before ending up in Barcelona.
From there he will continue along the Mediterranean coast until he reaches Puerto Banús, where a big welcoming party awaits him.
The Riviera del Sol resident told SUR in English he decided to do the jaunt after being diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in 2008.
“This changed my life and I stopped to think, what is really important in life?” said the construction company owner, from Huva.
“I realized life can be very short and this kind of thing could happen to anyone, but nobody would expect anything like this to happen to themselves.
“I decided you should always try to fulfil your dreams because one day it might be too late. It’s such a pity that people only discover this when something bad happens.”
For the last three years the tumour has not grown and doctors are now confident that Risto will live a long life.
The money raised through his epic European adventure will speed up the building of a children’s hospital in Helsinki city centre.
He explained: “This is the biggest reason for attempting this world record. The children’s hospital in Finland at the moment is very old and in a very bad condition. There is not enough space for the patients and their families. There is also a major problem with damp and humidity.
“The children don’t get the treatment that they should get because of the problems with not having enough space in the hospital to treat them.”
Along the journey Risto will be accompanied by a support driver in a camper van who can refuel the jet-ski and repair any damaged parts - this will also double up as his accommodation for the two week trip.
A Finnish TV station is planning to follow the young Finn as he will have a digital camera transmitting live video footage from his jet ski along the route.