Start   19 September 2021 at 12:00

Fierce fight at the finish and escape from the storm

15 September 2020

The second day of the regatta, the Great Sailing Battle of Gotland, led the sailors to the eastern side of the island. The competitors follow a stable course to the south, taking advantage of the last hours of the favorable west wind. There are 13 yachts left in the race, and the competition in this edition is very even.

The director of the regatta, Krystian Szypka, tells about what happens on the water. “The race entered its second phase after all the boats had passed the Salvorev North Mark. Despite the calm conditions, the yachts are moving at a fairly high speed and in an even formation, unprecedented in the Battle. “

The regatta tracking shows the main group of the 6 fastest yachts, clearly detached from the rest. A tactical duel will take place between these units within the next 24 hours. The wind will soon change its direction to the south, which will force the competitors to tack against the wind and the need to decide on the route variant. Who will choose the best? This group includes Jacek Chabowski on Blue Horizon, defender of the title Zenon Jankowski on Oceanna, Witold Małecki on Good Speed, Tomasz Ładyko on Odyssey, Ryszard Drzymalski on Konsal 2 and Piotr Falk on BLUESinA. The latter, reported yesterday the possibility of withdrawing from the race. Fortunately, the sailor managed to fix the mainsail failure and as you can see, he is still at the forefront for a good result.

Salvorev buoyancy buoy seen from the deck of the Double Scotch in the photo. Photo Maciej Hejna

The slowest of the yachts, Double Scotch with Maciej Hejna, passed the turning buoy at 11.30 and also began sailing south. The captain had minor technical problems the first night. “I lost the gennaker halyard block that allowed me to set this sail. Unfortunately, it fell off the mast. So later in the race I will have to do without it. Interestingly, in the port or even on the water, if someone had to help me, the repair would take no more than 2 hours. When I am alone, I found it too risky to climb the mast. Race a race, but “safety first”.” – reports the sailor.

The first and last yacht on the water are only 75 miles apart, which is a very short distance in the conditions of the Battle. The stake is extremely tight and each of the yachts can emerge victorious from this duel. How does this happen and why is the first yacht at the finish not necessarily a regatta winner? Explains the main judge of the Battle of Gotland, Tomasz Konnak – “In the ORC regatta it is fascinating that we will only know the result when the last participant hits the finish line. If the yachts are well prepared for the regatta, each of them, even the smallest and the slowest, has a chance to win and until the last moment of the race it is not known what the order will be after conversion. Yachts have the right to be in far positions because it results from their length and design speed. In the end, the differences between them will be compensated by calculations. What does the method of counting the results in the ORC formula take into account? Conditions on the route, especially the direction and strength of the wind, and most importantly, the performance of the yacht in a given wind. You have to remember that what we see on Yellow Brick is a simplified version of such calculations. We will know the full details only after the last competitor has finished the race.”

The slower part of the regatta fleet has spread along the northeast coast of Gotland, and these yachts may still be caught by the forecast for tomorrow night’s stormy northward winds. A storm is always a risk for sailors, but the forecast change in weather can also make yachts behind the pack significantly improve their ORC overall score. At the same time, the time differences between race-leading units are very small. It is worth remembering all this and not enjoying the yachts at the finish too quickly. The race is on and the fight is exceptionally even this year.

All yachts are within the range of shielding units, the so-called “Angels” who work in positions consistent with the guidelines of the shield coordinator. Anioły Mokotów and General Zaruski accompany the yachts from the top, Marco Polo watches over and assists the slowest vessels.

The first competitors at the finish line can be expected tomorrow, September 16, around noon.

The positions of competitors can be tracked in real time via the website https://yb.tl/gotland2020 or using the YB Races telephone application, as well as on the regatta website: https://bitwaogotland.pl/tracking/.

Strategic partners of the Battle of Gotland 2020 are: Miasto Gdańsk and Farby jachtowe Teknos Oliva.  Sponsors: Delta, Bogmar, OceanTEAM, Konsal, Kompas i Marina Przełom. Partners: Województwo pomorskie oraz Województwo Warmińsko Mazurskie. The organizers of the regatta: OceanTEAM oraz MARISTO.PL.