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      Dar Szczecina – the fastest D-class yacht in the first TSR race!

      Robert Duchowski

      Robert Duchowski

      Dar Szczecina – the fastest D-class yacht in the first TSR race!

      It was a short but very demanding race – a real struggle in the wind and rain. The rally, with ships sailing their first race of this year’s The TallShipsRaces (TSR), started in Helsinki, and the fastest D-class yacht was our Dar Szczecina.

      The section from Klaipeda to Helsinki, although it was quite short, proved very demanding. As the captain of the Dar Szczecin, Wojciech “Bolo” Maleika, told us, it was certainly not a boring race.

      - The first stage of The TallShipsRaces has just ended. The crew of Dar Szczecina competed in D (spinnaker) class. The route of the race was almost 300 nautical miles long, and winds blowing from the stern or halfway along the side made us sail really fast.  However, it was not a boring race. Strong wind gusts, a thunderstorm resulting in a 40-knot gale, and frequent changes in wind direction made the crew change sails as many as fifteen times. There was also a night of high-speed sail under the spinnaker and a constant battle with much newer and faster D-class vessels. In the end, although still unofficially, Dar Szczecina took the first place in its class, which brought a smile on its crew’s (and the captain’s, too) faces - added “Bolo.

      The fastest sailing ship of the first race was Frederic Chopin. Our second crew on Zryw arrived at the finish line a little later, taking the fifth place in its class.

      - The start went super cool, in the initial phase of the race we sailed at a maximum speed of 10.01 knots. Then, a storm began and all the vessels had to slow down. It was the first time the crew had seen a storm at sea and it will probably stay with them for the rest of their lives, but the mood was good both during the storm and for the rest of the race. During the whole race, there were a lot of sail changes, much practice on how to steer upwind and opportunities to gain racing knowledge. At the finish line, we were unofficially fifth in class, having defeated a lot of very fast yachts, including Tornado which sails comparably to Dar Szczecina. Currently, the crew is preparing for tomorrow’s crew parade and crew party -  said Jędrzej Owczarski, Zryw’s captain.

      The official results and the award ceremony are yet to come. The crews now have a few days of rest and good fun. The vessels will then take part in a friendship cruise to Tallinn, from where they will embark on a second race to Turku.

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