Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with the International Maxi Association & Yacht Club de France
Calero Marinas - Marina Lanzarote, Arrecife, Canary Islands to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada
Image: Monohull Line Honours victory for the young team on the Polish National Foundation's I Love Poland © Arthur Daniel/RORC
The Polish National Foundation’s Volvo 70 I Love Poland (POL), skippered by Grzegorz Baranowski crossed the finish line outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada on Tuesday 17th January 2023. Taking Monohull Line Honours in under nine days, the all-Polish team lifted the IMA Transatlantic Trophy.
I Love Poland Crew: Grzegorz Baranowski, Mateusz Byrski, Arkadiusz Fedusio, Adam Glogowski, Grzegorz Gozdzik, Robert Hajduk, Dominik Janowczyk, Pacyfik Koseski, Konrad Lipski, Borys Michniewicz, Bartosz Nowicki, Filip Pietrzak, Patryk Richter, Jakub Surowiec.
Nine of the I Love Poland crew are under 35 years of age and skipper Grzegorz Baranowski is the leader and oldest member of the team. A highly accomplished match racer, Baranowski became involved in the Polish National Foundation programme in the early stages. I Love Poland is successfully producing top class Polish offshore sailors.
“I am very proud of the team. Last year was our first Transatlantic Race and our aim was to complete the race safely. This year, safety was still the top priority but with more experienced sailors on board, and some new youngsters, we could push harder. To win this race flying the Polish flag, with an all-Polish crew is just perfect. I Love Poland race with a lot of passion and emotion; you can feel the power on board. A Volvo 70 was made for ocean racing and in 15-20 knots of wind speed it is really wet on deck, but she really starts to fly. The RORC Transatlantic Race is the perfect start to our Caribbean programme and next we will sail to Antigua to race in the RORC Caribbean 600,” commented Grzegorz Baranowski dockside.
I Love Poland navigator is Konrad Lipski, who is just 27 years old but has the experience and maturity way beyond his years. Not many navigators of that age can have taken Monohull Line Honours in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, Roschier Baltic Sea Race, and now the RORC Transatlantic Race.
“From the beginning we knew that it was likely to be an almost classic trade winds race,” commented Konrad Lipski. “However, it was a bit shiftier than usual and there was a variety of sailing conditions, from over 20 knots to very light winds. We had a plan at the beginning and we stuck to it. I was a bit nervous when we were very far south and the shift was late in coming, but by then we had built up a good lead and we could be a bit more conservative, so we gybed back towards the rhumb line. For me personally, I had to withdraw from the crew last year because of Covid, and you never know if you will get another chance. So, it is fantastic to do this race again and to win Monohull Line Honours makes me very proud.”
I Love Poland was met dockside by Zara Tremlett and the Port Louis team with two cases of cold beer. The Grenada Tourism Authority representative Alyssa Bierzynski, whose father is Polish, presented I Love Poland with a gift basket of Grenadian goods. After safely mooring up on the Superyacht Dock at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, the I Love Poland team went to the Victory Bar & Restaurant; 14 burgers and fries were very much devoured and appreciated!