Yearly Archives: 2012
We have finished Sailbook Cup 2012 just a few days ago, and a clock is already counting for the next edition. And I have to say, that I’m not surprised, because such a successful event makes you think of next one.
It wasn’t easy for me to be right on time, but it was a great opportunity to start testing my boat, so I couldn’t miss it. This is the largest (and the most ambitious) event in Poland – I would love to see single sailors at the start line – it would be the icing on the Sailbook Cup cake.
The race took place in an extremely friendly and welcoming atmosphere – from beginning to the end – thanks to the great organisation and overall “fair play” rule, which was very important. Everything was based on mutual support (when it was necessary).
The beginning of Corsair Cup, for some of us a little warm-up before SB Cup, was almost idyllic. But till the evening of day first, it has changed into a serious sea sailing. Afternoon, spectacular clouds appeared in the sky and just stayed there for a long, long time. During the next few hours, the wind increased and the waves became larger, but our ambition was to stay on course and to fight for some good speed – which leads to termination of equipment and damages.
As a result of our error, while reefing in the 32 knot squall, we lost our first sail. After that, it wasn’t so bad and we could do some small running repairs. The next day the weather gods rewarded us with beautiful weather and almost 12 hours of spinnaker ride straight to our goal.
We received a warm welcome from the Quick Livener’s crew in Visby. There’s a lot to say about the atmosphere during our Visby stopover: we supported each other while preparing yachts for the next stage and, of course, had great fun.
The next morning, three yachts, that left in the game, headed together to the northern tip of Gotland.
But in the evening, after restart we couldn’t see each other – we took our own strategies while heading to target. Of course, under the wind again, but we already got used to it. We had to reduce our sails at night because of forestay failure – so we’we lost our speed. Forenoon, we were thinking about our chances in the race, but it wasn’t so important anyway, cause we achieved a lot, considering that it was the first test for our yacht in heavy weather conditions.
Just imagine our surprise when we turned out, that we’re getting to the Gdansk at the same time (we saw Quick Livener just a mile away). After hundreds of miles of fighting in the open sea, we’re going head to head to the finish line – isn’t that nice?
The boat, after some serious repairs, is ready for further challenges thanks to organisers support.
Amazing race, amazing atmosphere and some warm memories – I’m already counting time for the next challenge.
Captain Krystian Szypka, s/y Sunrise
I’m writing this in the Quick’s chartroom. We’re on the way to Gdansk – our position N55.55.355, E019.44.299. My crew is tired, but happy – as usual after 3/3 watch, and there’s just two of them :)
I have to say it was a bit surprise when I received notification from Sunrise and Femtan from West Pomerania, and Facil of the Vistula Bay, which means that sailors eager for adrenaline are all over the place :).
Mr Andrzej Szrubkowski of Gdansk Sailing Federation have told me, just before the first edition of SailBook Cup, that no more than 6-7 boats may appear on the route of the race (which will be a great success). Well, we had eight boats on Friday’s training before second regatta. I don’t know if it’s because of adventure, or because of our mate – boar. Sunrise’s crew claimed it’s because of the boar :)
An abatement of the fighting spirit among the crews started, when SailBook Cup and Corsaie Cup races began.
At 4.46 p.m. we headed to Hel as third, then went straight to the north, just after the beautiful Asterion and brave team on Słoni. We had to sail using our spinnaker, the worst option for us, so we had to try to save ourselves by using the 45m gennaker and 2 genoas. But Słoni was already getting out of our reach. 6-7 miles after we passed Hel, we’ve heard forecast from Witowo radio: north wind 7-8 knots, and beautiful cumulonimbus growing on the larboard.
Unfortunately, Zbyszek from Słoni reported, that those conditions aren’t good for the Pegaz’s construction, so they made a turn and headed back to Hel – they will try again next year. I must admit that I envied them.
It was hard for me too, we had to prepare the boat and ourselves for the bad weather – we were anxiously watching the horrifying spectacle of lightning over Wejherowo, and then around us. The situation does not inspire a great optimism, and the crew members started to ask, if the boat has a lightning protection… As if that wasn’t enough, Witowo started to broadcast PAN-PAN message: diver surfaced, look for the yellow bottle…
July 29th, Quick crew has no choice, we have to start an unequal fight with Neptune and, while tacking north, wade through the Baltic waves. At 4.00 a.m. autopilot fails, and the crew members have no idea about the steering wheel, what to do? We continue… 2 reefs with mainsail and 2 genoa (it’s too big, but you have to ramble into the wind), regular and weak 8°B gusting to strong 8°B. Because of the rocking of the boat, half of the crew had first signs of seasickness:)
At 1.30 a.m. on July 30, we saw the lights of a lighthouse flashing in the distance – which means we’re getting close to the Gotland. GSM coverage appeared, so one by one we received text messages from skippers who decided to stop the race: Lady Octet – headed to the Bornholm, Hayka and Asterion – ports on the east coast of Gotland, Anitra – Hel.
Facil, Femtan and Sunrise are missing…
Southwestern wind blows in the afternoon; boat under the Polish flag is catching us (it was Hobart from Gdansk Shipyard Yacht Club) crew’s asking if we’re taking part in SailBook Cup, and than they fly further, straight to the Visby:)
We entered Visby at 7.26 p.m. Femtan is already here (boat took part only in SailBook Cup) and we moor near Hobart (the race is the maiden voyage of a boat, just like Asterions), at longside to the quay.
Only two of eight yachts made it? We didn’t have information from Facil and Sunrise.
About 10.22 p.m. Sunrise finally crossed the heads! Krystian, my friend from KŻS, by taking part in the regatta prepared a boat, and himself, to the OSTAR 2013. Warm, joint supper on Quick, stories about our failures and we fell asleep.
Visby. Exploring the cliffs, city, meeting in the evening with Hobart’s crew, Sunrise’s skipper playing on his guitar, and pilot book from Jurek Kuliński (the author gave me one copy with a dedication – we will draw other items at the end of the race:))…What can I say, it’s just priceless…
We started the second stage at 6.45 a.m.! Southwestern wind, around 4B, beautiful weather. Femtan puts the spinnaker instantly, Sunrise is heading more west (according to “shaman” instruction). Quick is flying with its gennaker, Femtan with its spinnaker – straight to the Fårösund! Almost side by side! Speed 6-8 knots, high level of adrenaline!
We were only 20m away from each other, when we entered the channel (we agreed before the start, that ride on the engine through the channel is acceptable, for safety reasons, but under the condition of not exceeding VMG or average speed).
There was no such need! Wind from the port side and Quick still attacks Femtan! It wasn’t easy, but we finally made it and we left channel with 20m advantage! Sunrise is 2 miles behind, we’re on the right tack – still head to head until the morning. I woke up at 12.00 and I found out, that we’re in Liepaja:/ eh, autopilot…
24 hours pass as we cannot run the engine to charge the battery, so we have to still save energy. Forestay return, we put a tack on left and head to the Hel. Quite a nice wind 5-6B, it’s almost half way, perfect conditions for Quick! We’re heading to the Hel 6-8 miles per hour, we have a chance for some tour in Liepaja! We’re on the way, the GPS shows arrival around 7.29 a.m.!
At 2.37 a.m. on Friday, August 3, 2012: 6-7 miles left to Hel, 19.7 miles to the finish line, and silence… it’s probably some tradition of the regatta;/ (we had a similar situation last year). The wind went down and we stuck! We saw white sails near to the cape in the morning, but it was too far to recognize its name. We’re guessing that the engine is dead and the poor guy is tired and just drifting ashore….
13 hours took us to reach the heads of the Port of Gdansk (from Hel) – in the heat!
That mysterious “white sail” came 1 hour and 46 minutes before us – it was Femtan! After 300 miles just get stuck in one place? It is unlikely! It is a pleasure to fight with great opponent, even if you lose. Sunrise came after the old and brave Quick (a boat also stuck).
I would like to thank all skippers and their crews for taking part in this challenging event. I’m glad to have met you all, that we could dine together, and feel that I’m not alone and there are other sailors, that want to do something more.
Jacek Zieliński, s/y Quick Livener
The closing ceremony of the longest and – some would even say – the toughest regatta in Poland, took place on August 11, Gdansk Shipyard Yacht Club during the first day of the Mayor of Gdansk Cup race. On this occasion we set up the Brotherhood of Gotland– for those, who completed the entire route of the race. The first members of the Brotherhood were honored with medals and assigned to the memorial book.
Because of other responsibilities, many contestants couldn’t stay at the closing ceremony (Facil was at the Lagoon, Sunrise and Femtan headed to the Unity Line), but every skipper had his own representative.
The winner of the first place – Ryszard Żełudziewicz at Femtan – took the trophy and brand new oilskin, prize funded by Henri Lloyd. It is an honor to fail a fight with such an opponent, but it doesn’t mean that I will let this happen next year!
Second place belongs to me and my Quick Livener – I won Raymarine radio, funded by Eljacht – yacht electronics leader in our market.
The winner of the third place is Krystian Szypka at Sunrise, and SailBook Cup race was his warm-up before OSTAR 2013. Krystian, who continued the fight despite loss of equipment, deserves special congratulation. Ocean Sails (Sailmakery) took care of the boat and thanks to that, Sunrise was able to check-in at the Unity Line start line.
Unfortunately, lots of the yachts couldn’t complete the race – cause of several conditions, beyond our reach, so I hope that the conditions will be much better in the next year. You can see those, who decided to take a challenge below:
s/y Słoni, skipper Zbigniew Rębiewski, Warsaw
s/y Facil, skipper Łukasz Politański, Elblag
s/y Asterion, skipper Ryszard Unton, Gdansk
s/y Anitra, skipper Andrzej Grzejszczak, Gdansk
s/y Lady Octet, skipper Szymon Bąk
Jerzy Kuliński donated prizes for skippers – his pilot books – priceless, for all Baltic explorers. Ocean Sails owner, also active sailor, awarded participants with bags full of gadgets, straight from his Sailmakery.
Eljacht donated bags and Musto fleece for bootsman Kate from Marina Gdansk – thanks to her Marek Wilczek, photographer from Szczecin, had an opportunity to show his skills while sitting on a pontoon (borrowed from the MOSiR of Gdansk) and taking photos of the yachts.
Sailing schools – Junga and Morka – funded prizes and provide referees for the race.
Thanks to City of Pruszcz Gdanski, Minucipality of Pruszcz Gdanski and Factoria of Pruszcz Gdański we’ve had food and drinks for the opening and closing ceremony of the SailBook Cup (including famous boar).
Polish Maritime Club and Commander Piotr Mroczek made very charming marina in Wisłoujście Fortress available. We were guests of the Gdansk Shipyard Yacht Club, captain Grzegorz Czarniawski and Mr. Andrzej Szrubkowski during the closing ceremony.
Sailing Federation of Gdansk has provided free measurements to obtain KWR rating, and gave our contestants full support (I hope that Sailbook Cup deserves to put it permanently in the Bay of Gdank Cup calendar). The Pomerianian District Sailing Association, in accordance with its mission, gave us organisational and financial support.
I would like to thank everyone for the support.
Eight boats, eight skippers and eight crew took part in this edition of the race. There were no incidents (despite of adverse conditions). What is worth to say, is that all of the boats are private yachts, and participants are amateurs – as you can see, there are real sailors between amateurs too. The good sign for the next edition of Sailbook Cup is the fact, that we had really a high turnout this year (other events in the Bay were not so popular).
For the future
According to the clock only 346 days left to the next edition of the race, that’s why we already started prepares and we are looking for sponsors: thanks to the funding we will be able to initiate tracking – which will increase the value of the event in the media and, undoubtedly, add some special emotions – it’s a different thing to take part in the race, when you know that everyone can see where you are, how fast you go, and they keep their fingers crossed for you.
Our participants came from all over the coast, so maybe it’s time to invite our neighbours form east and north too? Maybe there are some fans of the long-distance adventures?
What I have in my mind, thanks to Krystian Szypka by oceanTEAM advice, is to join a group of solo sailors, or add some time bonus for individual contestants.
Captain Jacek Zieliński
This year we will face the 600 miles of sailing around the Isle of Gotland and our journey will be extended by Gdansk Bay – the route of the Corsair Cup race.
Main trophy – the Cup –has been reconstructed with large help from the Pomeranian Sailing Association. POZŻ also decided to fund this precious trophy for 90. anniversary of Polish Maritime Club. This award will go from hand to hand, and will be exhibited in Baszta Łabędź – headquarter of PKM.
We also decided to dedicate Corsair Cup Race to Grzegorz Pettke (Polish sailor) who died recently. It’s our way (all sailors and PKM) to express our respect for the late colleague.
For the first time, round-the-Gotland race participants will have an opportunity to take part in both races at the same time: one start line, two finish lines. And what’s more important – it’s going to be circa 100 hours of heavy fights between opponents.
This edition of SailBook Cup is also supported by our sponsors: Henri Lloyd, Sailmakery Ocean Sails, Morka, Pomeranian District Sailing Association, Grzegorz Kuliński, Eljacht, Junga, City of Pruszcz Gdański, Faktoria Pruszcz Gdański and Municipality of Pruszcz Gdański. Of course, we have also great support from the Gdansk Shipyard Yacht Club and Gdansk Sailing Federation.
I would like to thank our supporters for helping us to restore real sea regatta, and I hope that together we will create a new quality of Baltic Sea races.
The opening will take place on Friday at 6.00 p.m., July 27, at PNC headquarters, near Wisłoujście Fortress.
Our special guest at the opening ceremony will be a boar (filled with buckwheat and potatoes) and infamous Q/L barrel.
All sailing enthusiasts are welcome to join us!
Captain Jacek Zieliński