Yearly Archives: 2013
Yesterday, August 16, we officially ended SailBook Cup 2013 and our competition “Write and swim” in the Pomeranian Sailing Association (POZŻ) headquarters. The sailors, media, guests, partners and winners of the competition with their parents honoured us with their presence.
The climax of the ceremony was the results announcement, made by the referee Bogusław Kibort, as it follows:
First place in KWR – Jacek Zieliński on Quick Livener;
Second place – Zbigniew Rembiewski on Słoni;
Third place – Łukasz Politański on Facil;
First place in ORC – Sergei Pavlienko on Blagodarnost;
Second place – Zbigniew Rembiewski on Słoni;
Third place – Jan Kozarzewski on Sea Bee.
The leader of the Open division was Eugeniusz Jadczuk on Barnaba;
Second place – Artur Sykson on Bystrze;
Third – Andrzej Grzejszczak on Anitra.
Trophies for the winner were funded by Jacek Protas, Marshal of Warmia and Masuria and Bogusław Witkowski, Chairman of POZŻ.
The boat which accompanied the crews on their way to Visby for the longest period of time was Wareg, owned by Mariusz Kowalski. We awarded him with plotter holder, funded by Navslide. Thank you for your companionship and support on VHF.
And we decided to also award the captains of Czarodziejka and Major with Mobri radars, for their brave support.
Now we can easily convey all those things, that Jacek Zieliński (excited about his hosting role) omitted. We would like to thank all participants of such demanding race, that they devoted and took a challenge in this race around the Gotland.
Special thanks go to colleagues from Elblag, who took another try in their smallest yacht, they finished the race and even won 3rd place. Also, we would like to congratulate to Zbigniew, who crossed the finish line in Visby as 2nd. Robert and Eugeniusz – we are pleased that both of you began your adventure with this regatta, you brought a new quality to SailBook Cup and we hope that you will join us in the next editions of the race.
Thank you for amazing fight at the sea in the nearly Masurian aura.
Our sponsors appreciate the struggle of battle on the Baltic, and we’re hoping that, thanks to the amazing prizes, it was worth the effort. So, the main prize, Selden Roller furling GX 15 went to Andrzej Kruszyński. Solar panels from Solbian received Łukasz Politański and Jan Kozarzewski. Andrzej Grzejszczak and Zbigniew Rembiewski took oilskins founded by Henri Lloyd. Robert Niewiński received plotter holder from Navslide. Artur Sykson was awarded with headlights from Mobri and some gifts from OceanSails. A fate decided, that tiller – real masterpiece from Aero-Vaerft – went to Eugeniusz Jadczuk, Barnaba owner.
During the drawing, the winner of ORC and KWR class – Sergei Pavlienko (Blagodarnost II) and Jacek Zieliński (Quick Livener) – picked vouchers about the value of 1000 pln and they can use them in Ocean Sails Sailmakery (the sails of Błagodarnost and Quick were made by Ocean Sails, does that mean that they will be much faster now?).
All participants signed in to the Brotherhood of Gotland book (memorial of all participants from 2012 edition, who managed to take a lap of Gotland during SailBook Cup). During the event we had an opportunity to see photos and footage from Quick Livener.
By the way, we also handed awards for the “Write and Swim” contest. Our brave crew members, Monika and Szymon, received cards of the cruise and the third winner, which couldn’t sail with us, received oilskin founded by Henri Lloyd.
The winners of the second place were awarded with sailing bags from Wioletta and Stanisław Sawko and books from Fabryka Słów, and the prize for third place was founded by the Marshal of Warmia and Masuria. Also, all participants received certificates and gifts from Henri Lloyd.
Unfortunately, we’re not sure if there will be another edition of “Write and Swim”, because of lack of support from our co-organisers, apparently maritime education should be left for the favourites…
Once again, huge “thank you” to our partners, especially POZŻ, JSF, MOSiR of Gdansk and generous sponsors of those amazing awards.
Those sailors, who don’t have enough of sailing yet, we would like to invite for Battle of Gotland, the winter is coming, and for the next edition of SailBook Cup. We started to count down!
Patronage: Marszałek Województwa Pomorskiego Mieczysław Struk, Konsul Generalny Szwecji w Gdańsku Tadeusz Iwanowski
Sponsors: Henri Lloyd, Solbian, Selden, Ocean Sails, Aero-Vaerft, Mobri, Navslide
Media Patronage: SSI Jerzy Kuliński, Radio Gdańsk, Trójmiasto.pl, Baatsans.no, SVN
Partners: POZŻ, Jachtklub Stoczni Gdańskiej, PZŻ, PBP, PKM, Miasto Pruszcz Gdański, Gmina Pruszcz Gdański, Miasto Cedry Wielkie, OceanTEAM, MOSiR Gdańsk, VBW, ARBOS Poland, Vector Sails, JUNGA
So here we go… Fortunately, despite our concerns, all participants were ready to take the challenge as they arrived at the start line (it wasn’t so obvious after the feast), and just before 12.00, without any needless delay, we took a course toward Gotland. Finally, 11 boats showed up at the start line (Albacora retired). After starting procedure (from the race Committee vessel – Aramis), accompanied by Major, Czarodziejka, Wareg and RIB from MOSiR, which had insured the regatta – regatta has started!
The weather is beautiful, just perfect for sailing – at least for the layman – the sun is shining, we have small waves, stable and quite strong wind. It has begun – I can’t believe this is for real. The last few months of preparation have gone very quickly, it was a very intense time, we had to buttoned everything up. Now, it feels like the time has stopped, I’m looking around and I’m really surprised when I notice that it’s happening right now. I’m going to the sea for the very first time.
I started to doubt, if I’m ready for this (or maybe it’s just the “yesterday training” effect), but my fear seems to be real: how do I manage the lack of the land in the horizon, what if the wave catch me up? But, in the same time, I’m very excited – I’m going to the sea for the first time and straight away, to the 500 miles of the race!
My collegue Rafał on the RIB, from our Gdansk Marina, cheers me up with his smile. We’ve talked a lot about the regattas and his previous cruising lately, so his smile insures me – it’s gonna be alright!
On-board, we have two winners of our competition, associated with regattas -“Write and Swim” – Monika and Szymon. They’re both ambitious and just starting to fulfill they sailing dream.
At the beginning we couldn’t stop smiling. But after we passed Hel, Monika felt the first symptoms of seasickness. She found out very soon, that it would be better for her to stay recumbent, so she spent her watch also recumbent, whole way to Visby.
We (our captain Jacek Zieliński and I) were sleepy after yesterday, so we started to consider to give up our watch. Suddenly, we saw a storm on the west and we started to wonder, if the storm can reach us, or not?
Storm on the sea is not very pleasant, especially for the layman, so I decided to reconsider it by hiding myself in the cabin for a short time, to be honest I had to get some rest. Fortunately, our male part of the crew was fighting very bravely and we made it – without a single scratch. Maybe I shouldn’t say it, but the storm moved sideways ;)
The first night just passed. Apparently – I don’t remember that, but captians says so – when he tried to wake me up, when it was my turn to take a watch, I just smiled at him tellingly.
During the next few days it turns out that it’s quite normal for me – during the holiday I used to wake up with a huge smile on my face. And now I’m smiling all the time, maybe it’s because my mobile drowned in the sink, or because my laptop is turned off or perhaps because I still have maritime adventure in my mind?
I woke up at 4.00 a.m. and I saw Szymon (his expression was very telling), who had enough of the service for sure, so we swapped with each other.
And now we have come to the point, where the most terrifying moments of the race has began.
I go out and see, that s/y Słoni just passed us by on the left. I look at our sails and see only Genoa (it was there since the storm). My fighting spirit took control and I called: Jaaaaaceeeeek! Our skipper drags himself out of the cabin, he assesses the situation, and still sleepy he ordered to put our mainsail up, straight into the wind. Our plan looked good when it was in our heads, but when we tried to accomplish it… it was worse. I was barely awake when I set the rudder on the port side, Jacek’s eyes are at the top, he’s waiting for the right moment, and the boom is swinging.
– Watch out! – First avoidance – Watch out! – Second avoidance. There was no third avoidance (or warning). We heard a clunk when the boom hit Jacek’s head. Blood covered Jacek’s neck, ropes, capstans and white laminate turned into red.
There was no need to say a word, it was all written in our eyes – Jacek: the kids, Ola, Quick, how they will handle without me, I have to set everything up before I lose my consciousness. Ola: oh my God, he bleeds firmly, he’s going to pass out, what will I do without him with the kids and all that stuff, but I cannot show him how bad it looks.
We tried to overwhelm this situation, so we started to do something just to have time for mulled it.
Fortunately, Jacek has very hard head and swinging boom (when there’s no wind) is not a killer. We managed to regain control of the boat – Jacek took Ibuprom (analgetic), I took care of his wound, we cleaned the deck and some jokes broke the ice. Phew! We can go on.
If the winds blows, you will go further – it’s rather obvious. Our speed seems to be very very good, so we started to think, that maybe we will be able to reach Visby even today? But.. No way… Apparently Baltic wanted to give us some lesson, and we crossed the finish line in Visby 18 hours later..
In the meantime, we hit the calm. We felt the need to enjoy the moment of silence, the amazing flat sea around us, so we turned off the radio. I was lying in the stern and thinking about everything and completely nothing at the same time, capturing the smallest changes in the sky and the sea. As an award for my patience I saw two seals, only 50 meters from our Quick. Later we heard from our colleagues from Resumee, that those seals were very mean and they tried to take control over their boat :p
I have to admit that we’ve had a lot of luck on our way to Visby. Master of navigation, our captain, chose wrong harbour at the GPS, so we’re heading in the wrong one. We realized that after we turned there. As the time had shown, that error had some benefits. While other boats stuck in windless zone, sea currents pushed us straight to the target.
We saw the right harbour around the 12.00. The whole crew was very excited, so we crossed the entrance of the harbor prepared. Quick check-in, cleaning of the deck and we hit the city – straight during the Middle Ages Week. The city looked like in XIV century for a few days: ladies in long dresses, knights in full armor, braids, ring mails, swords, axes and bow, roast and Nordic music.
In the evening, we organised some Polish Day in Visby, vol. 1, which has finished about 5.00 a.m. We were talking, discussing about our strategies, problems, adventures and so on.
And, of course, jokes about Jacek, who apparently was secretly hit byMarina Gdansk bootsman with a crank, because he was late with his fee – what can I say? I’m not going to argue with those stupid talks, but I would recommended to pay the Marina fee on time ;)
We rent a car next day to look around and see those amazing cliffs along the coast of Gotland.
Another brilliant show of skills of our “master of navigation & orientation” – he tried six times before he found the largest cliff (the one he had an opportunity to see during the last edition of Sailbook Cup). Finally, we found the way and we stayed there for a few hours: swimming, sunbathing, taking photos – perfect chill-out.
After we paid 350 pln (sic!) for dinner, there was some time for shopping, and Polish Day in Visby, vol. 2 could began.
We were suppose to leave the next morning, but after we tossed a coin we decided to announce the start at 00.00. Charming boatswain form the Marina tricked me and we had to wait until the ferry Gotland came through. Anyway, about 00.30 all six boats headed safely to the sea course, which was astonished for Swedes who were neighbouring the quay.
We’re trying not to fall asleep after we left Visby – who the hell is starting at night…I cursed.
There’s no wind, so there’s no chance of racing. We were gloomily during the whole day. I didn’t even noticed that we passed by Faro, I probably missed the headland because of yawning and short snooze. Or maybe it’s because of sadness that we were going back already? We were all very lazy, so our guys arranged “Men Day”. I don’t remember what that’s supposed to mean to them, but the message was clear for girls: guys are doing everything, Monika and I can lounge – and so it was.
Finally came the night: deep and black, and terrifying depth. Three green lights ahead. The sky is covered with stars, the rustle of spinnaker on the light breath of breeze – we could hear it well, because of ubiquitous silence. Just great. I cannot stop myself and I decided to spend that night on the bow (I slept already on both lockers, stern, sides, almost every buck, next time I will have to hang myself on braces over the mast and boom;))
I woke up in the morning when Genoa started to tickle my nose and then I discovered that I lost captain’s red pillow forever. Hmm… maybe that’s the reason why he picked on me all the time?
The day was windy, with endless turns. In the evening, the wind increases, the waves are growing, forecast: 7-8 B – it’s going to hurt. The kids went to sleep, and we’re waiting what will happen, sitting in our sleeping bags.
The captain was undecided if we should reef or not, and now it’s too late. Because of the wave we have to fight for the couch on leeward. Finally, I hear the order to give mine back to the captain. Ok, that means that my watch is just finished and I can go to the cabin and fall asleep “properly”. “Properly” means my face was pinned to the right side, and when the wave is a little bit calmer, I fly with all our stuff over a bunk.
In the morning, between two snooze alerts, I exchanged places with our captain, he took off my bunk, I don’t know how, so now I became the skipper. The boat rocked completely, waves had 2 meters at least, I thought that my gifts for Neptune are just a matter of time. I decided to focus on taking photos, making video and all that would help me to forget that I have a stomach. Somehow I made it, but all is unequal fight and not everyone was able to win it…
And by the way, we’ve had a various meals during our journey. At first, we didn’t eat any dinner, then we had something very light, jelly, apples and sausages. We had our first real dinner in Visby. But in our way back home, our dinners were almost first class of food. The captain and I tried to guess what our kids would like to eat, so we started to prepare more fanciful meals (we wanted to catch Anitra, with their pancakes). Vegetarian meals and sandwiches were common in our menu, though our captain complains.
I didn’t get used to the sea, and to navigating without any help, but after few watches, I started to appreciate all electronics on the boat: thanks to autopilot I was able to forget myself at night, between 19 minutes of snooze (there was no chance to fall asleep, I need much more time than 19 minutes for that), and thanks to the aggregate I could take a warm shower in the middle of the sea. Of course, all devices was beeping sometimes without any reason or not in time, but it’s a cost we have to pay for our comfort.
Just a few hours before the finish of the race, our aggregate breaks down and we have to use our muscles at the helm. We’re sailing with full set of sails, and we don’t even have much time for any summary.
Longing parents are waiting on the shore, so we decided that the kids don’t have to clean on the boat. We can do this alone, though I feel a little bit dizzy during the next hour. We are excited that our journey was so successful, that we decided to welcome the rest of the crew, so hm.. vol. 3 – Polish Day in Poland?
In the end I found out, that the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen is water that surrounds me. Water and sky, that amazing play-of-colours, freedom and unbridled force of nature.
It was perfect cruise, we could both relax and could see the fascinating world of sailing. I’m going to go on a course this year, and for all those undecided – it’s definitely worth it!
PS. Our captain allowed us to help, especially when he was asleep (extremely often) – it’s that type of a person… I’m writing ironically, because it goes deeper that that. The truth is, that Jacek did everything alone on-board, and we just tried not to disturb. Of course, trim used to tempt us, but we were helpless when it comes to Jacek’s ambition (though we admire it). He was always ready to fix something, when there was such a need – even if he was in the centre of the boat or asleep (?!), he heard, or maybe he felt, that something was wrong with the sails and we’re not on a right course. He was born with it, and he and Quick are working together perfectly, he deserves recognitions.
Thank you, Jacek, for the trip and that you brought us home safely.
Saturday, at noon, start of the race, all boats are leaving the harbour, heading straight to the starting buoys. Unfortunately, except us. Anitra returns to the quays, because one of our crew members forgot the pouch with cables. Later we turned out, that we made the right decision, when we came back.
The wind was moderate and slowly we moved after the fleet.
At the sunset, the lower pressure system started to show on the shoreline. In the darkness, we saw great, silver-white lightning appearing on the black sky. After we came in the range of two, we heard Mariusz from Wareg on the radio (he accompanied contestants during 51 miles). He was close to Hel and he informed us, that these storms are over the peninsula, but one of them stared to chase us. Four people were stuck on a small, 8 metres boat, in the middle of the storm, surrounded by lightnings and thunders. It was unforgettable!
At the dawn there was sun and we were pushed by the wind straight to the Gotland. We thought that we were close to the target, but the first calm reached us near the south tip of the island. We had to struggle with this till the next day. During the calm also fog came along. Visibility: null. We were catching the white fog in spider webs.
And then we saw some marvelous white rainbow, that looked like a gateway to another world! We ate pancakes made by Magda, and we started to getting bored. Andrzej, Anitra’s captain, used his own muscles to move the boat a little bit forward, and I must say, he made it.
Around the noon, success! Anitra is moving forward in the right direction! We saw the island and eureka! We saw three sailboats in front of us, hooray! We caught up the others!
But, unfortunately, it just took a while and once again we got stuck (on the radio someone said it’s “aggressive zero”). But we didn’t waste the time, we rehearsed “man overboard” maneuver and saved big wheel, which looked like a huge pink donut with colored sprinkles. We tied it up to the helm, like a trophy, and later we came into the harbour with it.
We were tired of this wagging so we decided to use our colorful spinnaker and shortly after that we came into the harbour – we were the last team – but hooray! We made it!
On the shore we shared stories with other crews, there was a time to integrate with each other etc.
During the briefing we all decided to start at 8.00 a.m. on Thursday, but on the Wednesday evening, during the party at the quay, one of the teams decided to go at 11.00 p.m. on Wednesday, so the rest of the teams made a quick decision to restart at 00.00 from Wednesday to Thursday. 11.45 p.m. – we’re still sitting and chatting, when suddenly someone yells: “15 minutes left!”.
All teams in a rush jumped to their yachts, and we sailed away from the quay with the applause of the Swedish sailors. All boats were flying on their spinnakers on the top of the Gotland – it was a lovely view and a time was also not bad.
But hey, no one promised it would be easy all the way – the third calm, again, amazing zero. We saw the herd of white horses on the shore, great view.
Thursday evening, 4-6 knots of speed, still forward – boredom. During the night the wind increased and in the morning we’ve had an impression that Neptune got mad. Fortunately, we managed to reef. The waves became larger, from 3 to 4 meters, the wind was strange, as it was its punishment to blow, it didn’t rain at least.
Our GPS was broken, we had no idea about our position, but then we thought about our pouch with cables – we found manual GPS, we plugged it into the radio and we were saved! We can see the ships! We have the satellite coordinates!
But the local squall still continues, and it doesn’t care about our damages. One time, we saw two waves and we felt like in “The Perfect storm”. We were afraid and we were far away from home… God, what am I doing here?!
To make things worse, our boat started to ship water, toilet stopped working, bilges were full of water – that was awful, and the wind was still blowing – 12 hours of horror. Fortunately, we could hear Endorphine.
Finally the calm, we can see Hel, and it was raining in the bay.
We crossed the finish line on Saturday morning. We survived! We can’t wait for ne next edition of Sailbook Cup. It was great.
Renia i Andrzej from s/y Anitra
It was August 7th at 7.00 p.m., when Russian skipper Sergei Pavlienko at s/y Blagodamost II was the first one to cross the finish line in this edition of Sailbook Cup Regatta. The Błagodamost’s crew is international, there’s also two Poles on board. The boat is a type of Eljot 45, fastest yacht floating in our parts of the Baltic Sea, which contains water tanks on the boards – thanks to that, the yacht is more stable in strong winds. It’s a typical racing yacht.
Yesterday, 16th August 2013, at the headquarters of the POZŻ held a end ceremony of Regatta SailBook Cup 2013 and the “Write and Swim” competition. The meeting was attended in large numbers both sailors and the media, guests, partners and competition winners with their parents.
It was obvious from the begging of the season – we had to take the SailBook Cup challenge.
The longest, sea racing, from Tri-City… – we’ll be there. Rabastan and Resumee combined their forces and we created double-handed crew.
You know all about boar and QL from other articles, so I would like to mention about the start. Our boat is a little bit small, so we could not afford for even tiny loss. We were hoping that our chance is routing, technique and, of course, our spinnaker (called by Quick crew “Hello Kitty”, and by Endorphine “Beate Use” – you know: shocking pink), because in a close reach our chances were slight.
After successful start the close reach was equal. At last – Hel! Spinnaker goes up, and we stopped to drop back. We chose to go more west, we didn’t want to tack all the way to the Gotland.
We were fighting with Sea Bee at night – using our spinnakers. Spinnaker halyard is breaking and we tore it when we tried to pull the sail out. Fortunately, we can still use it, but we will have to repair it in Visby. We’re using staysail halyard, but just for 30 minutes. The side load is too high and roller at the mainsail is cutting halyard. Only mainsail topping had left.
We put spare spinnaker halyard thins time at forestay – ad it was good decision. The crew members are joking: so many halyards at the mast? What for? One effective should be enough to pull the blocks.
It’s Sunday and we are on the west side of Gotland. First, we could hear our opponents on the radio, then we could even see them. It is a success – although the race is long, they could get rid of us anytime. But our hopes are to reach the target very fast, proved in vain. Here it comes: Monday and lack of wind – I guess that the winner of the stage would be rather glider pilot.
I woke up at the dawn, I’m looking around – a seal is near the side. Tomek says that the seal plunders him for a long time by knocking on the side and sniffing autopilot. Fortunately, animal didn’t join us on-board. We are searching for some wind almost the whole day. Afternoon, we had an amazing view of the sun-soaked cliffs. We decided to go closer to the shore – maybe we will find some breeze out there. Wind has disappeared with the sunset, but we were in the fortunate position to catch some landward breeze.
In silence, we set the spinnaker and mainsail, to get ready for starboard tack. I hear mean question: “At what time Gotland evening breeze begins?” I answered: “At 8.00 p.m., of course”. We felt it at 7.59 p.m. We finished with full breeze, and Zbyszek from Słoni was watching us from from the rock in Visby bay. We entered the harbour just after Sea Bee.
We were very happy for the stage, Polish Day, Middle Ages Week in Visby.
Fresh steaks, olives and wine are perfect finish. We got full access to the Internet and forecasts in the library of the local university. It’s time to prepare for the return, our main opponent has already sailed away. We bonded our spinnaker, installed new halyards, now we are ready to go.
We wanted to start at 10.00 p.m., but we accepted equal start for other boats at midnight. We are in fighting mood, but we agree to let the ferry pass us by, and we started a few minutes later – we didn’t want to argue with the bigger one.
It was a great start at night, a great spinnakers fight between us and our opponents straight to Faro.
The next day we passed the east coast of Gotland and we tried to figure out further strategy.
Forecasts: wind blows from everywhere, silence, blows again, it’s stable and strong, from the south to the west. Latest news from Robert from Endorphine: 25 knots. It’s too much for us to tack under the waves, so we decided to go west again.
And it was another good choice for Resumee. The boat was flying so fast with the full set of sails and autopilot – till 4.30 a.m. aprox. 20 knots – so whole crew decided to go to sleep, to gather some strength for later. After every 28 minutes we had to check the situation on board.
Before 5.00 a.m. the wind is getting stronger – 23-25 knots, more western (according to Endorphine even 32 knots). We achieved 8,5 knots in beam reach. We guessed that the waves were between 2-3 metres. Now this is sailing. Traverse near Władysławowo, spinnaker and straight to the finish line.
There’s only bay on the western left. Who’s been there, knows the issue. Boat comes straight from the sea in spinning and variable winds. Fortunately, we reached the Górki Zachodnie safe and sound, and we’re not arguing with anybody, which is not very common:)
We are fully satisfied with the race, that showed all aspects of sea sailing.
Huge thanks for the organisers, “gentelmen’s agreement” is a great idea, and huge thanks to all, who joined us in our journey.
We would like to invite you to read a report from cpt. Jacek Zieliński about SailBook Cup 2013, published by the media patron of the regatta – SSI Jerzy Kuliński.
So, this is the end of the third long-distance (over 500 miles) sea regatta for “typical” boats. Even for the old ones. No professionals, none of those chasing the triangle, no herrings (except those on the plate in Visby). Truly amateur fun in sea racing. The course of the race showed, that the participants are able to have fun. Yachts started from Gdańsk next day after I devoured boar with other contestants (you can find it in the SSI). The route ran around Gotland. The halfway point in Visby, because it would be the unpardonable sin not to feel the wonderful and special atmosphere of the capital of the largest island of the Baltic Sea. Report wrote Jacek Zieliński – the main organiser of the event.
Congratulations to all!
Zbigniew Rembiewski wrote about vests separately.
This is the third edition of the race, and we’re receiving more and more notifications year after year. It is heartening J Once again the budget entities of Pomerania failed me, apparently you have to be Olympian to get any higher support than patronage and consent to put logo on our releases… If we compare a city of Gdansk and Pomerania’s support for different events, we get a null pln for SailBook Cup, and a few thousands for weekend regattas, e.g. Tri-City Sailing Cup.
We lose our willing to organise anything for anyone. Is there any better, or more simple way of maritime education than “Write and Swim” competition? Real sea sailing, jump in at the deep end, adventure, fear, challenge and a huge satisfaction!
Well, c’est la vie… I think that we could not utilize our work and financial contribution any better (although my wife does not agree with it, but she doesn’t read the SSI ;))
Thanks to generous support from sailing world, mostly from abroad, the founders of such great prizes (definitely worth those 500 miles struggling in the Baltic Sea), and Pomeranian Sailing Association benevolence – owning to the fact we could realize this project.
HUGE “THANK YOU” FOR OUR SPONSORS!
HUGE “THANK YOU” FOR KASIA AND OLA!
HUGE “THANK YOU” FOR POZŻ, JSG AND MOSIR OF GDAŃSK!
I couldn’t make it without you, without your help and benevolence there would be no Sailbook Cup regatta at all. Thank you very much.
Friday, August 2
Not everyone arrived at JSG on time, apparently meat must be held, but boar may stay, and indeed, we didn’t run off it till 2.00 a.m., when the others arrived. Perhaps we should have punished crews, who didn’t participate in training, but we agreed that it would be much harder for them without our punishment.
Saturday, August 3
Contestants, all brave and eager for a real adventure, came up at the briefing – it was going to be at least 4 days of heavy fighting.
Cpt. Łukasz Politański, s/y Facil/Elblag,
Cpt. Andrzej Grzejszczak, s/y Anitra/PMC,
Cpt. Adam Walczukiewicz, s/y Manjana/PMC,
Cpt. Siergiej Pavlenko, s/y Blagodarnost/NW,
Cpt. Zbigniew Rembiewski, s/y Słoni/JSG,
Cpt. Jan Kozarzewski, s/y SeaBee/AZS Gdansk,
Cpt. Andrzej Kruszczyński, s/y Resumee/ YKP Gdynia,
Cpt. Artur Sykson, s/y Bystrze,
Cpt. Eugeniusz Jadczuk, s/y Barnaba/ JK Conrad,
Cpt. Robert Niewiński, s/y Endorphine
And me, s/y Quick Livener/PMC.
After briefing and handshakes we had to move on fast, because the start was planned at 12.00, and weather forecasts weren’t very optimistic. At Quick were Szymon and Monika, two winners of “Write and Swim” competition, Aleksandra, our editor in chief, and one evil captain – me.
None of them was at sea yet (only Szymon has experience in racing on the water of the bay and various lakes). In for an inch, in for a mile.
Czarodziejka, Major and Wareg, winner of the Navslide adjustable tubing amount, accompanied us from the start line to the Visby. We are happy that you supported us for such a long time.
As for me, and probably other contestens, Barnaba were a real dark horse – the 37 tones followed after Pavlenko to the Visby almost like a locomotive.
1.30 p.m. – two miles to Hel, Endorphine is getting closer to us, Słoni at left, so the decision was clear – we empty one of water tanks and pray, that getting rid of 120 liters of water is going to help. We’re flying 7 knots, maximum, and straight to the north.
3.42 p.m. – gentle waves are causing sleepiness in entire crew, 127 miles separating us from the Isle of Gotland, 7,3 knots of speed, skippers started to realize their strategies. I’m still working with trim of the sails.
6.40 p.m. – I fell asleep, still on the course, we can see that Endorphina is still close to us – we feel the adrenaline rush, average speed – 7 knots. Wareg and Mariusz probably turned at 6.00 p.m.
8.30 p.m. – Monika from “Write and Swim” doesn’t feel very well; our maximum speed: 7,7 knots!
10.30 p.m. – Green tops and the left – is that so, Słoni? I rigged the gennaker, crew members are taking a bath in the evening – more liters of water overboard, it will be easier for Quick! Speed: 7,6 knots.
10.45 p.m. – Somehow, I don’t want to fight with aggregate, so we use the engine, N55.36 E018.39.
11.20 p.m. – The engine stops: N55.40 E018.38. The crew report about approaching storm and lightnings somewhere fat at the south. My instructions: we all stuck in the cockpit and we’re exhausting ourselves to the death – this is the only way to fall asleep without sicknesses. To calm them I explained that I will reduce mainsail, and we will wait for the squall only with genoa (which is easy to furl). Later I had to pay for this decision – lack of swimming skills in the team.
Sunday, August 4
5.00 a.m. – Ola wakes me up and reports that the Słoni just passed us by on yellow spinnaker with huge speed. I jump into the cockpit without morning shower – I must admit that I overslept (as rigging mainsail, squall, that didn’t hit us and we’re still with genoa!).
Ola is at the helm, autopilot is on standby, and we need to set us to the wind. There was not time to think about a vest than. I didn’t want to lose just because I overslept. And it was an error after error: I knew that my crew is untrained and I could do it by myself, as always, but it’s all about being team – each and every one of us can do something to win, or lose.
So anyway, Ola slowly started to stand up to the wind, she didn’t select the mainsheet, so it almost hit me twice. Ready to select the halyard, I glanced at to top, if it’s time and suddenly, shot in the head. Capstan was in my blood, a million thoughts ran through my head, when I lose my consciousness, what will they do without me? I didn’t say how to start the engine yet, how to roll genoa, ok, maybe they call for help using radio or phone, but what about Quick? I tried not to look at Ola, she was scared and I knew that she thought it’s her fault. I set the course on autopilot, I took mainsail, and only blood on my neck was getting on my nerves.
I am a hypochondriac, so I was afraid to touch the wound and check if there’s a hole made by boom or just a cut… I took a towel from the railing and made an inspection.
But we were on the right course!
6.09 a.m. – 41 miles left to Gotland, weather forecast came true, there’s a lack of wind.
8.00 a.m. – We’re passing by Słoni, Sea Bee is right behind us for sure, but Endorphina is 5 miles ahead! I feel sort of sore, a little bit scared and I’m losing faith that we can ever regain this loss. I have never sailed by one sail during the regatta, so I guess that’s the punishment :).
12.30 – 3 miles left to turn to the west.
3.43 p.m. – Lack of wind – 8 knots, it’s still wavy and we’re slowly breaking forward. Speed – 3,5 knots, and after hitting every wave it drops to 0,8. It’s annoying, my head hurts and we’re crawling:/ We’re going to eat broccoli, so we need something to them:)
4.50 p.m – Speed: 3,5 knots. It’s hot, so we’re catching some suntan, while waiting for broccoli. Someone is acting as a cook, so we will eat sandwiches and sausages with our broccoli, that’s nice. And there goes Słoni – larger and longer boat is not always faster on the wave, every hull has his own wave and wind, and we saw Słoni’s hull (typical for lake) as it simply flew straight to Visby!
6.20 p.m. – Headache is a great excuse not to carry the aggregate, but if not me, then who? The weight of the rest of the crew is around 104 kg:) Our position – N57.01 E018.03. The wind blows from the west, speed from 3,6 to 3,9 knots, we trim the sails gently and we move on slowly… We can hear Anitra and Bystrze on the radio, so it’s too late now, but I’m motivated to catch some dying wind.
6.40 p.m. – I discontinue to use the engine. Position: N57.03 E018.04. Włodzimierz Machnikowski from Radio Gdańsk is calling, and I gave him the wrong names of my crew members – though we sail together nearly 1,5 days. I’m not very proud of myself.
8.36 p.m. – I’ve dragged out the aggregate, we’ll have some warm water for a bath, and another liters of water will go overboard. Amazing sunset, no sign of Słoni, but from the years of practice I know, that it’s presents would be better result for Quick. The wind is getting weaker and weaker… Captain Kruchy from Resumee used to say: “We slowly stay ahead” :)
9.45 p.m. – 10 miles left for the island! Sergei had been already in Visby (from 2.00 p.m.). Słoni went more to the west, so we have advantage! News from 72. channel: Anitra has some problems with the currents, Endorphine at the autopilot, Resumee with pink spinnaker – straight from Beata Use. I’m listening to our power eater and I’m thinking about the future: I would like to install the wind autopilot. Now our speed is 0,3 knots.
11.20 p.m. – Night is beautiful and hot, the crew is sleeping, and I started to dance with spinnaker, gennaker, genoa – all possible configurations on the Baltic, near Gotland. Is there something more beautiful? DEFINITELY NOT! Speed: 2,5 knots, I feel tired but there were rocks everywhere… 22 miles left to the Visby.
Monday, August 5
00.31 – Lilia Karlskro on the starboard. I turned the engine on, because the gas from aggregate don’t want to leave Quick somehow. N57.18 E018.05, I raise spinnaker once again and – 2,5 knots of speed.
1.27 a.m. – I turned off the engine, N57.20 E018.05.
3.24 a.m. – I am exhausted, it’s dawn, fog… I’m waking up Ola for her first watch, and she smiles at me weirdly! She probably thought I was joking, and I’m going back to the cockpit, alone.
4.30 a.m. – Another try: the effect is the same – I received a huge Slavic smile from Ola! I felt like a fool and I went for the last 19 minutes of snooze in Małachowski’s wet sleeping bag, proven during the Battle of Gotland. In the morning I asked Ola, what is that insubordination supposed to mean. Her response was that she always smiles in the morning unconsciously, and she didn’t get up, because I didn’t wake her up. Well… There will be time to sleep off.
6.00 a.m. – Great news, according to tracking report Słoni and Barnaba are ahead! These are true friends – they’we waited :) Barnaba, with its 37 tons, need some steam, and Słoni use this immediately. I must admit, that the morning breeze will allow us to welcome Barnaba in Visby, but from the far west with one tack Barnaba reach the entrance of the harbour. We made it a few minutes after: at 11.12.55.
Considering the first stage, Zbyszek Rembiewski with Słoni deserves for huge applause: he crossed the finish line as second in general, with Pegaz 800, three crew members and without the autopilot. That’s amazing! And Zbyszek is an amazing guy!
In Visby after claring we were walking down the charming streets and just admire how other people are having fun: people dressed in costumes – it was the Middle Ages Week.
The rest of the boats anchored in the Baltic Sea, while waiting for some wind. The last boat – Anitra – hit the finish line at 2 a.m. Of course, we welcomed the skipper and his crew. We exchanged our experience, stories, strategies, what went wrong and so on. We were proud that we finished the race – that’s what’s all about!
Tuesday, August 8
The next day we woke up at 10.00 a.m. – Barnaba was already starting its way back home – the crew was afraid that they get stuck somewhere without any wind (according to the weather forecast). But life is life, and they could not avoid small stopover on the Baltic :)
In accordance with the sailing instruction, there was no obligation to start the second stage at the same time. Me, Ola and our winners took a trip in rented car and we admired the cliffs and Gotland beaches full of rocks. There was a briefing for skippers in the evening. There we decided to organise “Polish Day in Visby”, and start again at 00.00. Unfortunately, we had to start at 00.20, because of the ferry Gotland. Six boats moved together along the shore to go around Gotland and straight to home.
Wednesday, August 7
This was the half point of the adventure, and now we’re going back home.
We were last before and after Faro, so there’s not much to write about – we were a little bit sad. I tried to console my crew, that each boat has its own wind and it’s definitely not for Quick and moreover, this is not proper when organiser wins. The participation in the regatta is based at ability to lose (with honor). I was a little bit annoyed when I was listening at 72. channel how my opponents were making jokes but their good mood only gave me strength to fight. Endorphine has only 20 miles of advantage, and the weather is very tricky…
11.31 a.m. – We’re passing Faro, average speed – 2 knots.
12.25 p.m. – The engine stops – N57.59 E019.22
4.14 p.m. – Skipper’s stuff, and we began to feel wind, speed: 3,0 knots. Only the crackling of sails is irritating.
4.40 p.m. – Another snooze in sleeping bag, speed: 5 knots.
5.26 p.m. – 196 miles to Hel. We can hear Sea Bee on 72. channel, but they can’t hear us, guess they are somewhere around.
8.41 p.m. – 186 miles to the target, speed: 3-4 knots. Dinner, shanties – we decided together with Szymon the “Men Day” and as a gesture of good will, we promised our ladies the “Women Day” that will take place for in two weeks (if we will continue the race). They were delighted!
9.45 p.m. – The wind blows from the east, my favourite one, so spinnaker goes up! Speed: 3 knots.
Thursday, August 8
00.05 – Amazing hot night, stars, no wave, sleep on the bow, we fly with basic sails… I must admit it happens the first time in my life. It’s hard to describe, so you just need to imagine that.
00.38 – The calm.
1.00 a.m. – The southwest wind blows, straight to Hel, our speed: 3 knots:)
3.00 a.m. – The wind has changed again, no time for sleep… Quick settings changeover, the course stays unchanged.
12.00 – I woke up and saw some mysterious cakes made by Ola. She is a vegetarian, so I have to forget about a meat near her. I look at the cakes, there’s something strange about them… is this some kind of trick? Apparently everyone had eaten and they are still alive, but they’re watching me and it’s suspicious! Yesterday we had “Men Day”, so I need to be wary. It was short decision – I threw them overboard when I had a chance. I thanked politely and gave back a clean plate. I am writing about this, because it’s already got out. The other results of our “Men Day”: Ola initiated “historical changes”, that mean if she cooks, I will have to wash the dishes;/ My crew is so vindictive, but the race is not done yet.
We can hear the chatting between Barnaba, Sea Bee and Endorphina, so they are well moored :)
4.00 p.m. – It’s ok, apparently night settings and choosing a shorter route was a good idea, Endorphine is far on our 8. We can hear the storm in the distance.
5.30 p.m. – A fresh breeze from the east gives us 5,8 knots of speed, but we have to trim the sails, because of constant changes. It feels like the weather is going to change.
8.43 p.m. – Lack of the wind and another change, speed: 1,6 knots (only!)
10.30 p.m. – Speed: 3 knots, Endorphine reported that west wind between 20 knots is getting close, Szymon i Monika are sleeping, Ola and I started to hide food and everything that is not attached to the deck. We’re thinking about the reef. I had no desire to reef, and I thought it was of Ola’s presence on board – you know, Ola + boom = … maybe later? My final decision was to postpone the kip genoa back, and loose boom vang.
This is the race, not maritime education program.
11.39 p.m. – The wind started to blow faster, the wave is slowly growing, we’re waiting for 20 knots of the wind.
Friday, August 9
00.40 – Lack of visibility, the course is perfect, speed: 5,4 knots. According to the GPS, our time of arrival to Hel is 4.30 p.m.
2.24 a.m. – No more games! Speed of the wind: 6,7 knots. When autopilot goes mad and it drops off and the water is seeping into the cockpit, it’s scary, dark, and now I definitely have no inspiration to reef.
6.10 am – The aggregate is flooded and I cannot turn it on and I am not a big fan of turning on the engine in such a large inclination, but I have no other choice – it’s turning off in a while. Lack of oil and heeling resulted as aeration of the fuel, and I was so proud of Honda aggregate, still in Visby… I should have kept my mouth shut. It seems that I have to use batteries to the end, but in case it wouldn’t work, I will have to teach my exhausted crew manual navigation.
I’m not used to sail with such a large crew, so we have some problems with sleeping logistics. Three double bunks, three people – last free bunk is on the windward and without a storm cover, so it doesn’t count, cockpit… I am not a seal. I’m sure the wind is stronger than 20 knots, we’re diving into the waves again and again, and this full set of sails…
This is my only chance to improve our results after serious pounding on our way from Visby.
So I have no choice and I have to share a bunk with the first officer. Of course, sleepy Ola answered for my request with her “Slavic smile”. I wasn’t sure if she sleeps and smiles, or she agrees and smiles or whatever… Exhausted, I lay down at the end of a bunk, and after few 19 minutes of snooze I heard, that it is not pleasant to be pinned by 90 kilos of muscles, and pushed at the pile of clothes, bags and shoes…
It’s all about my first officer! I wasn’t in a mood so I just muttered that we’ll talk about it tomorrow:) She couldn’t stand it so she took the watch! She has a big heart :D
12.30 – The wind turns into 20 knots and it stood still, so we were able to put the correct course, speed: 7,4 knots. I took care of aggregate, the crew took care of navigation – quite large zigzags, as for regattas :)
Aggregate was still silent, heeling decreased, so we could turn on the engine. I was content and started to sing: “I won’t go back to the sea…”. Speed: 8,4 knots!
1.17 p.m. – Our position: N54.57 E18.48.
5.52 p.m. – The bay! The Szymon’s nausea passed, Monika finally got up. And speed: 8 knots!
6.43’55 p.m. – The FINISH LINE!
I know that Quick has more potential, but the safety of our first, and probably last winners was more important. It was something new for both of us, and not so good choice of insurer – Pantaenius Poland – didn’t encourage to take the risk and pay higher insurance premium:)
I know that the regatta is difficult, but only that kind of race can bring so much satisfaction to all participants and those, who completed the race. I would like to thank to all colleagues, friends, sailors for taking the challenge. I don’t know the result of the race yet, because we are waiting for the rest of time results – accordance with the most important principle of the regatta: “gentlemen’s agreement”.
We will check how many mistakes were made among out 10 boats – I have honestly confessed mine:)
As I look at the start list I am certain that this is not battle of famous names, but this is the race for ambitious amateurs – I invite only those ;)
The closing ceremony of regatta starts at 5.00 p.m. on this Friday (August 16) at POZŻ headquarters. All participants are invited.
This is the first report of the longest, most challenging regatta in Poland – straight from the smallest participating boat – Słoni, under the command of Zbyszek Rembiewski.
Pegaz 800 certainly was not designed for typical sea racing: without autopilot, with three people on-board, but it was the second boat overall which crossed the finish line in Visby, just after Pavlenko! As a competitor, I must admit: Zbyszek, great job! The second stage, nice weather, and a little clap for our typical marine yachts.
I wrote that on Saturday just after the last boast crossed the finish line. I guess that everyone has his own “happy ending” of the regatta, but I would like to share with you my own.
Why I decided to start, if Słoni was not made for long-distance regatta (because of its length), in the open sea, when it’s huge probability (almost certainly), that we will have to fight against some opposite waves? Well, it was kind of revenge for me after the last season, when I had to retire from the race. But, and maybe foremost, I was my inner need to check myself in the longest regatta in Poland.
Sztaudynger, author of epigrams and philosopher, wrote a prayer for those at my age: “Oh Lord, omniscient helmsman, don’t let us be nuts and let every old gaffer beat his own kinks.” I still pretend that it’s not about me.
In my opinion the race, with a lap around Gotland, increase to one of the most prestigious regatta on the coast, despite its very short history. You want a proof? See how the number of participants increased. This year, 10 boats have finished 500 miles of the route.
So, let’s start from the beginning. We were able to run from Warsaw on Friday, so we reached Górki Zachodnie after 10.00 p.m. and we thought, that won’t have an opportunity to try that famous boar. Surprise! Boar didn’t disappear and we could taste it. We were thinking about the taste of buckwheat with sauce during the whole first stage. Our crew: me (undersigned), Ania (Słoni’s strength during the race since MP 2009) and Artur (it is his “come back”, since he left Optimist). Perfect, just enough to make it, and not to poach on one’s preserve.
Some cleaning stuff, last checking, and time for the briefing.
The briefing was short and factual. In a few words: start at 12.00, you should write it down, when you enter to Visby, get some rest (not less than 12 hours) and go ahead, if you want, but you have to write down the time when you left the harbour, take a lap around the island and when you reach the finish line in Górki Zachodnie, write it down. It’s simple. Yeah, but considering the whole week – nothing more, nothing less.
Our fleet looked like greyhounds let loose when we moved forward, the wind was nice and favourable, beautiful sunshine…
We felt the value of the challenge thanks to the presence of Czarodziejka and Major, which escorted us.
The beginning was great, average speed during the first 12 hours: 6,9 knots. We could use our spinnaker in the evening and we started to fly with 7-8 knots, while the wind was getting stronger, and we saw the storm is coming all over the southern horizon.
It was already dark when the spectacle turned into a drama – we saw lightnings and when they got bigger, it was a sign that the storm is getting closer. But in the morning it was clear that it couldn’t reach us – it was too weak. Unfortunately, just like the wind.
The day first ended at the southern tip of Gotland and we thought that we will reach Visby soon. But the wind was very tricky and we crossed the entrance to the harbour (barely) at second day. We didn’t have any idea how our opponents are getting along, so it was a big, and nice, surprise, when we found that only Sergei from Blagodarnost II arrived to the harbour. Barnaba and Quick Livener came shortly after us.
We began official stopover and we waited for the other participants. There were a lot of things to do. We found out that the Middle Ages Week is running on in the city, and there were a lot of fans all over the Europe. We rented some bikes and we took part in it.
Sea Bee, Resumee and Facil came in the evening. We watched them from the cliffs over the bay. The sun, the wavy sea, yachts under the spinnakers – unforgettable view, almost from bird’s eye.
We decided to start at midnight from Monday to Thursday, so we were first. We thought it was a great time for the start when at 00.07 in the fresh breeze we were passing by harbour entrance (we’ve heard forecast an ice-cream parlour).
But during the next few hours we saw how our coming back is going to be.
It was a castling: moderate wind, calm, new fresh breeze, high wind so we had to drop our spinnaker and go on. We had about 6 such a castling’s during the route, including two long-lasting calms in the morning. There was also some short calm at night.
In the morning we started to take a lap around Faro, to reach the highest point of the route circa 11.00 a.m. I had a “slip-up” while navigating – it was unnecessary to sail shallows limit, and I cottoned on when we saw how Blagodarnost is cutting the depths near the headland.
We lost about 1-1,5 hour. After we passed the headland by we started a ride to the south under the strong wind, which caused huge wave and we had to reef. Our speed was 5-6 knots, but after hitting wave it decreased to 3 knots. It was not so bad after all, the course was along the island, and we had some progress.
The situation changed until the evening, the wind was stronger, so it paid off to change tack and go to SSE, but then the wind went more weak and with no waves, our speed was 2-3 knots, and finally we got stuck. That’s how we passed the first day and the first night. The next day, on Wednesday August 7, we repeated castling with our spinnaker (look above). But we reached to the platform somehow. We passed it after midnight and the wind forgot to blow, again… Fortunately, there was no wave so the feeble blow moved us slowly forward.
In the morning our phones were again at the service area, so we thought that we were close to the coast, but we couldn’t see it because of the fog. Our GPS confirmed us in our thoughts, although with my settings we had some 10 miles extra. When the sun came along and the fog disappeared, the bay welcomed us with wind and full sun. Unfortunately, we had two wind cycles.
We reached the entrance at 4.07 p.m., on Thursday. Just after crossing the finish line we forgot about the nerves and we enjoyed the moment. 500 miles behind us and the result? We will see..
In the afterword, I would like to write about the highest level of security, that we all implemented in the regatta. We were obligated always to wear vest on-board. Walking on the bow at night only with security lines, there had to be always two people on-board, when third is sleeping, the helmsman had to wear security line at night. During those three days we had to keep an eye on our sleeping time. It would be unacceptable that we all have a great time during the day, and during the night we fight with a need to fall asleep.
And something from the crew:
I thought that would be worth to mention, that we had those yellowbricks and about support from the land just after the coverage appeared. It was great, our friends told us yesterday, that they turned on their computers in the morning to check the situation and they involved their colleagues from work etc. We found out, that we were followed by huge number of supporters from land, and not only by such fanatics like my father (Jacek Nejman), who kept score of each and every boat, and interrupted his work every 30 minutes to check the tracking, and our friends, who started their day with the checking situaton at sea.