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Sweet Success for Sanna

Chris Davies on 24th January 2022

When Sanna Aaslav-Kaasik followed not only her Grandfather Lembit Aaslav-Kaasik but also her father Uku into hydro racing she knew that she would be the only female racer competing in the highly competitive F125 class.

I don’t think that as woman that I should be treated somehow differently because of that. When I started, I was the only girl in the youth boating class in Estonia, but I have always been attracted to adrenaline-filled sports.

Ever since she can remember she has accompanied her mother and father to the competitions throughout Europe. At the age of ten she sat in a junior class competition boat for the first time. Since that moment she has set her goal of competing in F-500 where her father once raced.


Back in June at the first round of the Hydro GP series staged in Boretto, Italy, Aaslav-Kaasik had set the fastest time in qualifying but was disqualified in the first heat for safety reasons after rounding a mark the wrong way. Not put off by this she then went onto win the next two heats and take the twenty maximum championship points available.


Ternopil in Ukraine hosted the second round of the championship but yet again Aaslav-Kaasik had an early setback to her race weekend.

Following a crash in the opening heat the Estonian knew that her weekend was now all about damage limitation and just how many championship points she could end up with. Sixth place overall meant the answer would be ten valuable points.

Going into the final round at Jedovnice in the Czech Republic the Bulgarian Viktor Lyubenov held a seven-point lead over Aaslav-Kaasik at the top of the championship table. This time though her main threat would come from her fellow compatriot Marek Peeba who topped the timing sheets in the initial stages. Peeba, who would win the F125 European Championship just a few weeks later certainly wasn’t about to make Aaslav-Kaasik life easy, especially when he won the second heat.

Crucially though Lyubenov was having a weekend to forget. The championship leader had failed to finish two out of the three heats and any thoughts of a gold medal had by now disappeared. As they set off for the final heat Peeba faulted and didn’t finish. Unaware of this Aaslav-Kaasik crossed the finish line to become the first female F125 World Champion in Hydro GP.

After the finish, as she approached the shore, she heard loud clapping and when she stepped out of the boat her emotions took over and burst into tears, her father Uku had a smile though from ear to ear.

When she was asked about winning the world title she said

Don’t be afraid to compete in a sport that requires physical strength and a technical aptitude that is more commonly seen in men. If you are brave and determined, then you can succeed. I respect my fellow competitors and believe that because of that they also respect me as an equal competitor and not because I’m also a woman. If competing in this kind of competition also brings success, then victory is the sweeter.

UIM F125 Class – Hydro GP 2022 World Championship

13-15 May – Jedovnice, Czech Republic.

10-12 June – Boretto, Italy.

29-30 July – Mora, Sweden.

27-28 August – Ternopil, Ukraine.

F125 European Championship

16-18 September – Cremona, Italy.

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