Big Puffs in Sopot. Michael Korneszczuk roports on the POL Nationals, their last event before the big one.
As we all learnt at 2017 Worlds UKS Navigo hospitality is great. It was no different during freshly finished A-Class Polish Nationals.
20 sailors made it to the start line including NZL Dave Shaw, who arrived in Sopot early July to polish his form before 2019 Worlds as well as CZE Vladislav Ptasnik who is regular Sopot visitor. The full polish squad was obviously present except of Kuba Surowiec, who had his Nacra 17 duties at that time, and included 2017 vice World Champion Tymo Bendyk, 2018 Europeans bronze medalist Maciej Żarnowski and father of polish A-cat sailing Jacek Noetzel.
Weather was also one of the key players and added additional flavor into the competition. Day one saw classic Sopot weather with westerly breeze, big 20 knot puffs, some luls and 20 degrees shifts, making this day a bit more than just a speed race. Tymo Bendyk came on top of that day with 2 points lead over Dave Shaw, who showed great upwind foiling skills.
Day two was however, a complete surprise. All weather models were promising a rather softer southeasterly breeze of 10knots. Reality was a bit different though and only direction was true. After morning rain, wind began to fil with skewed swell. As soon as in middle of race 2 race officers were recording gust up to 30 knots and 1m waves. Most of the fleet was handling the conditions bravely, though boat park after racing was a repair shop until late evening. Dave closed the gap on Tymo to one point. Maciej Żarnowski settled to comfortable 3rd. Jacek Noetzel after unlucky capsize finished the day in 5th after Michal Korneszczuk.
Day three as predicted was all about southwesterly breeze that was promising flat water. However big puffs up to 25knots with even bigger shifts did not make sailors life easy and even leaders had to use righting rope. Again upwind filing was possible, but occasionally one could cruise very fast into bad corner. Dave Shaw learned that in last race of the regatta that could change leaderboard. All in all the regatta was very though both physically and mentally with huge accelerations and occasional ducks.
Photos ;Rafał Czepułkowski - FotoSurf
1st Tymo Bendyk – 11pts
2nd Dave Shaw – 14pts
3rd Maciej Żarnowski - 26pts
1st Classic – Marek Żebrowski
1st Woman – Ewa Górska
1st Grand Grand Master – Vladislav Ptasnik
1st Grand Master – Jacek Noetzel
1st Master - Seweryn Krajewski
1st Junior – Andrzej Senkus