Interview with Polish ace Tymoteusz Bendyk
Tymoteusz Bendyk (32), one of the best A-Class sailors in previous years, gives us some insights about preparing for the European Championships at Lake Garda. The 2022 Euro championships organising crew met „Tymek“ at Circolo Vela Arco and got a chance for a chat up. He is a professional catamaran sailor (A-class, F-18, Nacra 17) and his prime achievements till now are 2nd and 3rd places in A-Class World Championships (2017, 2019).
Tymek on his professional life in sailing:
I try to stay in sailing and make my living from it. I am extremely lucky to be in a development team with the eXploder boats and Bryt sails. As well I have my own sailing company (addition see: https://sailandscience.com), where I do coaching, selling sailing equipment, and do 3D printing and designing custom equipment for the A-Class and other boats.
I hope my wife is happy with me (laughing), I think I somehow manage it. Recently we got a little girl, she is 5 months old now. Until now I have managed to be home quite a lot, we will see how it works during the season. I’m fortunate that my wife is a great mother, and the grandparents are also happy to help with the newborn when I’m out. I hope to bring them all to Garda for the regatta.
About his plan for the season and his goals:
I was thinking about going to US for the Worlds, but eventually I decided not to. Too many unpredictable variables. So, my main goal in this season are the European Championships here in Arco. And I want to prepare for it well. Not sure if it is good to talk about concrete goals, but I aim to be in the TOP 3. There will be many good guys here, and the result will also depend on the training during the season, there is still a long way to go. E.g. last year, as I wanted to prepare for the Polish Championships and the Dutch Nationals, I’ve reserved two weeks of my time for the training. On the first day I had a big accident- my trapeze broke while upwind foiling and I hit the rudder with my leg. After that I was not able to sail for two months, - so anything can happen… Overall, I am pretty happy with my boat handling and technique already, but there is for sure potential to get some speed advantage from mast/sail and boat setup.
About his eXploder, Model 2020:
The main difference in these boats compared to the older version are the newer daggerboards. They are going to the maximum width, that gives a lot more stability. Of course, the profiles, shape and the construction of the main boards are very important too- eXploder and design team made a great job.
Now it is also 100% clear that for upwind foiling you need to have a differential system on the rudders. Only then you are getting great VMG gains.
Best preparation for the European Championships as average sailor:
As the event is going to be on Lake Garda, it is pretty certain that it will be windy… so get prepared for windy conditions and some choppy waves! It is the best, to come here and if possible sail a few weeks here. Perhaps joining the Spring Regatta could help a lot… If you only sail on light wind lakes somewhere else, it could be really hard to get well prepared. Come to Garda, maybe gain a few kilos (laughing).
Joy in sailing the A:
Sailing the A-Class is pretty special, the boat is not like others- it is so light and responsive. Every thing depends on you and your boat handling. So, the lightness of the boat, and having the feeling of a kind of connection with it – every little thing you do or adjust, makes the boat slower or faster, – that direct response of the boat is giving me a lot of fun.
Possible future in the Moth Class:
A switch to the Moth Class after the season came into my mind. But there are also a few things stopping me yet, e.g. I am sailing most of the time in Sopot, and it is pretty hard there to get the Moth into the water; – if it is wavy it is almost impossible…, what is a big disadvantage of the Moth. As well having really strong A-class fleet there is a big advantage. I leave the decision for after the season. But yes, I got it in my mind as a new challenge and learning new skills on a different boat. That is also a something that gives me joy in sailing, you could always learn something new, after every sailing session you could analyze and find something you could do better.
Situation in the A-Class:
I am not sure if the numbers are supporting me, but I guess the boom of the A-Class a few years ago is over now and some people are leaving. So, I think some decisions should be done to make people stay and to invite new ones to the class, – maybe also to change the boat slightly. The boat now is pretty physical and the average age of A-Class sailors is not so young. Now, I think, it is pretty hard for the older A-Class sailors to stay in such a good shape to have pleasure out of sailing. So maybe there is a way to make the boat less physical demanding and easier to foil. I think the smart guys, who are designing the boats could find a way to improve things. E.g. we have some complex shaped and therefore also expensive boards, as we have to be within the 2,3 m max. width even when putting the boards in and out. For the foiling discipline it could be smarter to decide, boards must always be fully down while sailing and measure them only in sailing position…
The 2022 Euros start Sept 12th. It is a closed regatta, so entries only via your National Associations. (Ed)
Photo - Rafał Czepułkowski - FotoSurf