Hundreads of sailboats and surfboards were competing during 9-days-long Timberland Nord CUP 2012 – part of a great maritime fete – Baltic Sail in Gdańsk, Poland. All was a success: organization, turnout and participants level. Only one thing lacked: the wind.
The weather during Nord CUP was capricious: heavy storms or no wind at all. The head judge Barbara Grabarz many times had to postpone the start, rearrange routs or even stop the run. – Safety’s first! – she said, looking at the approaching dark clouds.
From 17 to 700
Only during the opening weekend over 80 boats were fighting for Eastern Europe Cup in the Snipe class and Polish Championship in classes: 470, Nautica 450 (divisions: Race and Fun), Hornet, Europe (winning which secured start in the world championship), OK Dinghy, Finn and catamarans Hobie 16. How many competed the entire event? – We’re not sure, but we had 700 T-shirts for the participants – all handed out! – Said Zuzia, a volunteer working at the race office.
– It’s hard to believe that it is the same sailing event, which we’d launched seven years ago with only 17 boats – said Michał Korneszczuk, founder and organizer of Nord CUP. This year racing crews came from all over Poland and also from Russia, Germany and Austria.
During the first weekend crews entered into rivalry for Eastern Europe Cup of the Snipe class and Polish Championships of classes: 470, Nautica 450 (divisions: Race and Fun), Hornet, OK Dinghy, Finn, catamarans Hobie 16 with colourfull sails and Europe. Marek Kaczmarek from Poznań was the best amongst Europe class what asserted his start in wold championships. Nicole Rydz from Gdynia was the best from among girls and fourth in the general classifications.
Emotions aroused with the race of Nautica 450 class: First in division Nautica 450 Race were Paweł Nawrocki i Jakub Mendys from Warsaw. Florian Kuke and Felix Hoff from Germany won the rivalry in division Nautica 450 Fun. Second were Dorota Dajkowska and Mateusz Żmudziński from Gdańsk.
Optimists and windsurfers
112 sailing units: 12 tiny optimists and 100 surfingboards (classes 293 and Techno Windsurfing UKS) were competing for Gdansk Presidents’ Cup for three days. For windsurfers in the Techno 293 class at the same time it was selection for the National Junior Olympics in this class. And it was not easy – the first day the wind was strong (4-5 on the Beaufort scale), and although ceased a bit later, left high wave.
Match racing: students and “Gutek”
During Nord CUP, also selection to Academic World Championships in match racing were held. Crews of two technical universities(in Warsaw and Gdansk) met in the finals. The winners from Warsaw will take part in the Championships in Nice, France, in September this year.
– Match racing is specific, more “aggressive” than other types of racing- the judge Zbigniew Czubek comented – speed counts less here than a tactical game and good knowledge of the rules; crew is trying to take the best position and force opponents to make mistakes, for which the judges give them a penalty. Firs “round robin” is held, when everybody fights each others. The finals finish with two victories of the same crew- explained the judge.
One-day match racing Sail Baltic Nations Cup was held at the Vistula Śmiała River on Friday 6 July. Last years’ trumphator Zbigniew “Gutek” Gutkowski, who in 2011 was second in Round-the-world Race “5 Oceans”, had to give away the champion title to the German crew with skipper Ingo Kohn.
Neptune’s Amber Cup
Neptune’s Amber Cup, in which all wind-driven water units could take part, coloured the waters of the Gdańsk Bay with all kinds of sails. A dozen-meters-long racing boats along tiny dinghies, tourist sea yachts and the Olympic national team were all visible for hours from city beaches.
Catamaran “Oiler” with skipper Marek Kowalski was the first to cross the finish line. Second was just as powerful “Fujimo” led by Zbigniew Skoczylas. The third place went to Krzysztof Paul’s team of the “Big Bird”.
Who’s first at the bar?
Three days of struggles in Polish Open Championships in class Micro finished with the victory of Piotr Ogrodnik’s crew from Kraków. Second was a multiple world champion Piotr Tarnacki with the crew of “Dr. Witt.
Struggles in the divisions: Omega, Delphia 24, Sail 500, 505, ORC, KWR and Open looked spectacular during the last weekend of Nord Cup: PG Racing team from the University of Gdansk with Tymon Sadowski won the Omega Race division. In Standard the laurels went to the team of Radosław Stachurski from KWS Fregata.
An interesting rivalry took place in the marine yachts of ORC and KWR classes, in which special conversion allow yachts of all sizes compete with each other fair.
-It is not necessarily, as in usual races, that “first at the finish line is first in the bar” – laughed Peter Harasimowicz of the winner (in the ORC) “Big Bird” from the Polish Naval Academy, led by skipper Christopher Paul. – It might be the opposite in our case!
“Exocet” (i.e. flying fish, and the water-water missile) from Szczecin with skipper Michał Jabłoński the best was among the KWR boats. Catamaran “Oiler” with Captain Mark Kowalski won the Open.