Vilnius Hitch-hiking Club

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Vilnius Hitch-hiking Club (VHHC, Vilniaus autostopo klubas (VAK) in Lith.) was one of the leading hitchhiking organizations in Europe, and a a member of the International Hitch-hiking Association. It was founded in October 2nd, 1996, and was based in Vilnius, Lithuania. Some of the most prominent club's hitchhikers were Vladas Sapranavičius, Dainius Kinderis, Robert Prins, Augustas Kligys, Andrius Jankaitis, Andrius Sytas, Audronė Rukšaitė, Egidijus Surma, Lina Ratkevičiūtė, Inga Garnytė, Vilmantas Trumpickas, Katja Lachmann, Asta Gulijeva, Laurynas Ivinskis, Aistė Kesminaitė, Domas Dumšė, Lina Jokubauskaitė, Giedrė Matačiūnaitė, Marija Karpickaja, Vita Vadoklytė, Andžej Miloš, Irma Urbonavičiūtė, Marius Sugentaitis.

The club organized local and international hitchhiking expeditions, competitions, conferences, gatherings, lectures and used to prepare various publications for internet and mass media. It has regular member meetings and a governing board. The club existed till the year 2013. The most famous events organized by the club were four International Hitch-hiking Conferences, organized in 1997 - 2000 in Vilnius and Warsaw, annual public hitch-hiking race "Baltics", organized every year, Baltic Hitch-hiking Gathering in Ventspils.

Club members used to wear a special yellow-red VHHC uniform when traveling.

History

  • Founding day - October 2nd, 1996
  • Official registration in the Municipality of Vilnius - December 16, 1996
  • The first hitchhiking race with 11 participants - 8 February, 1997
  • The first organized group hitchhiking trip. 13 hitchhikers travelled to Riga and Tallinn on 8-11 March, 1997
  • Club's delegation visits some other hitchhiking club for the first time. It was Saint Petersburg Autostop League visited on 27 March, 1997
  • The first international hitchhiking race together with members of Saint Petersburg Autostop League in mixed teams on 29-30 March, 1997
  • The first club's hitch-hiking gathering on 27-28 June, 1997
  • The first selection stage (3000 km in Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Czechia) to The World Hitch-hiking Trophy (Hitch-hiking race around the World) on 21-27 July 1997
  • 3 members of VHHC participated in the 4th Russian hitchhikers gathering "Elba" in Pustoshka, Russia on 14-16 February, 1998
  • Two pairs from VHHC participated in the second selection stage (11000 km, 15 countries) to The World Hitch-hiking Trophy (Hitch-hiking race around the World) on 15 March - 1 April, 1998
  • The first foreigner joins VHHC - Portuguese Carlos Sequeira-Jose on 24 April, 1998
  • VHHC joins Association of Youth NGOs of Vilnius "Round Table" on 28 November, 1998
  • VHHC gets funding from state for the 3rd International Hitch-hiking Conference on 24 February, 1999
  • Domain name autostop.lt activated for the website of VHHC on April 1, 1999
  • The last (the 5th) internal (for VHHC's members only) professional hitchhiking race organized on 11 September, 1999
  • The only Baltic Hitch-hikers gathering has been organized on 28-29 June, 2003 in Ventspils, Latvia. 42 hitch-hikers from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Norway took part
  • Three members of VHHC participated in the 5th International Hitch-hiking Conference in Riga, Latvia, organized by Latvian hitch-hiking club "E67" on 5-7 December, 2003
  • 10th anniversary of the club has been celebrated on October 5, 2006 in Vilnius and on October 6-8, 2006 in Kupiškis district. 70 participants took part in celebration in Vilnius and 64 participants from 9 countries came to Kupiškis district. Three members of the club were awarded with the awards of the decade: Augustas Kligys for the largest distance hitch-hiked while being member of the club, Dainius Kinderis for the largest amount of countries hitch-hiked while being a member of VHHC and Vladas Sapranavičius for the largest amount of time hitch-hiked while being a member of VHHC.
  • Members of the club Augustas Kligys and Katja Lachmann got a lift in a plane in Peru on March 18, 2008.
  • Facebook page of the club launched on July 5, 2009.
  • Traditional 15th annual public hitch-hiking competition "Baltics" attracted the largest amount of participants - 44 pairs on 24-25 April, 2010.
  • Members of VHHC participated in the first Hitchgathering organized in Lithuania on 3-6 August, 2012. About 150 hitch-hikers took part in the event.

Presidents

  • Vladas Sapranavičius (from 1996 to 2000)
  • Aistė Kesminaitė (from 2000 to 2001)
  • Vytautas Kraujalis (from 2001 to 2002)
  • Vilma Nevulytė (from 2002 to 2003)
  • Dainius Kinderis (from 2003 to 2004)
  • Andrius Jankaitis (from 2004 to 2013)

Main Events Organized by the Club

  • The 1st International Hitch-hiking Conference in Warsaw, Poland on 15 February, 1997
  • The first selection stage (3000 km in Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Czechia) to The World Hitch-hiking Trophy (Hitch-hiking race around the World) on 21-27 July 1997
  • The second International Hitch-hiking Conference in Warsaw, Poland on 7 March, 1998
  • The third International Hitch-hiking Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania on 6-7 March, 1999
  • The fourth International Hitch-hiking Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania on 4-5 March, 2000
  • The only Baltic Hitch-hikers gathering has been organized on 28-29 June, 2003 in Ventspils, Latvia. 42 hitch-hikers from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Norway took part

Hitch-hikers of The Year

One male and one female hitch-hikers used to be selected every year as the hitch-hikers of the year by the amount of kilometres hitchhiked from one anniversary of the club till the next anniversary.

  • 1997 - Augustas Kligys (25000 km) and Violeta Kazokaitytė
  • 1998 - Augustas Kligys (30500 km) and Audronė Rukšaitė (20000 km)
  • 1999 - Vladas Sapranavičius (27000 km) and Inga Garnytė
  • 2000 - Andrius Sytas and Asta Gulijeva
  • 2001 - Mindaugas Budrys and Asta Gulijeva
  • 2002 - Robert Prins and Lina Jokubauskaitė
  • 2003 - Dainius Kinderis and Jūratė Žygelytė
  • 2004 - Marius Sugentaitis and Marija Karpickaja
  • 2005 - Dainius Kinderis and Marija Karpickaja
  • 2006 - Dainius Kinderis and Katja Lachmann
  • 2007 - Dainius Kinderis and Katja Lachmann
  • 2008 - Robert Prins and Katja Lachmann (both foreigners)
  • 2009 - Augustas Kligys (21000 km) and Katja Lachmann (18000 km)
  • 2010 - Vilmantas Trumpickas (56000 km) and Irma Urbonavičiūtė (5700 km)
  • 2011 - Vilmantas Trumpickas (39000 km) and Katja Lachmann (13325 km)
  • 2012 - Robert Prins (28000 km) and Irma Urbonavičiūtė

Honourable Members

These non-members of the club have been recognized as the biggest supporters of the club, who contributed the most for the club's development:

  • Rytis Alekna
  • Aivaras Cibulskas
  • Alexander Netuzhilov

Websites