2021 Polish Championships

The Polish fleet in bed on the eve of the National Championship in Krynica Morska, Poland. Photo: Henryk Kuczma

The Polish Championships start tomorrow, Saturday, 20 February, in Krynica Morska near Gdansk. This two-day event will be very competitive and have a Gold Cup-like atmosphere. The Poles take up about one-third of the list of 30 sailors with an international IDNIYRA ranking of 10 or less. If you’d like to follow along, check out these sites: 


Gmina Miasta Krynica Morska Facebook Page

Polish DN Class Facebook Page 

Polish DN Class Website
Now is an excellent time to review Robert Gracyk’s P31 short video on runner sharpening techniques from Lake Pepin in Minnesota in 2013.

Aniela Graczyk: All Around Champion

Meet Aniela Gracyk of Poland.  She’s an accomplished Ice Optimist sailor who is following in the runner tracks of her father, Robert Gracyk P31.  This coming winter could be the perfect opportunity to introduce your kids to ice sailing. Ice Optimists are specifically designed for junior sailors. Buy a used one or you could easily build an Ice Optimist as a family project. Learn more about the Ice Optimist and ice sailing for kids here. 

Video filmed and edited by Tomek Zakrzewsk P55.

“Daniel Hearn honored by PZŻ for the Fair Play gesture”

Via the Polish Sailing Federation:

Daniel Hearn, an American ice sailor, received today at the headquarters of the Polish Yachting Association a commemorative diploma of recognition for the unique fair play gesture, thanks to which Michał Burczyński won the title of the world champion.

February 2019. Indian Lake in Ohio. There are only two days left to the first races of the world championships, meanwhile Polish representatives find out that their equipment is stuck at the airport in Paris and there is no chance that it will reach the venue. Some Poles resign from the start and come back to Poland, others are looking for a solution. Among the latter is Michał Burczyński, one of the best ice sailors in the world and one of the favorites for the world championship medal.

– Since I was already in the US, it was a shame to come back, especially since I felt the atmosphere of the upcoming competition. I wrote to Daniel Hearn that I don’t think I will start because I have nothing to use. Meanwhile, he told me not to worry, because I can borrow his equipment, choose what I want, I can change in skids, sails. I was very happy, but I did not think that I would be able to fight for gold on a foreign boat, I aimed at the place around 10. The equipment turned out to be phenomenal, and I was very mobilized, I did my best and won the world title on the borrowed equipment. All thanks to the amazing gesture of an American colleague – says Michał Burczyński.

– I wrote to Michał not to worry, I have a lot of equipment and I will gladly lend him my best set. At first Michał didn’t want to take my best equipment, but I told him not to be embarrassed. He is a professional, I race more for fun. He was one of the favorites of this championship, he came to fight for the title of world champion and I just wanted to enable him. And so it happened, Michał won the regatta, and now I at least know how high my speed can be – says Daniel Hearn with a laugh.

The American gesture and the Polish result were widely commented on in the sailing world. Tomasz Chamera, president of the Polish Yachting Association, decided to express his gratitude and appreciation for the attitude of the American sailor on behalf of the entire Polish sailing community. Taking the opportunity that Daniel Hearn has been in Poland for several days, he invited him to the PZŻ headquarters and gave him an occasional diploma of recognition. Michał Burczyński and representatives of the Polish Fleet DN Association also participated in the meeting.

– Taking advantage of the opportunity that Daniel Hearn stopped in Poland on his way to next week’s world ice-skating championships in Sweden, we invited him to the headquarters of the Polish Yachting Association to give him a gift, but above all to thank him for this amazing fair play gesture. Giving your rivals the best equipment is unique in sport. I would like to emphasize the importance of this event and the fact that fair play in sport is extremely important and, unfortunately, less and less common. Fortunately, sailing is different and I hope it will always be like this – says Tomasz Chamera, president of the Polish Sailing Association.

By the way, there was the opportunity to talk about the unusual atmosphere that accompanies the regatta. It is not without reason that it is said that militants are one large family.

– We have known and supported ourselves with Daniel Hearn for many years. The world championships are played in both Europe and America. When Americans come to Europe, I look after them, pick them up from the airport, organize transport, we often travel together. They, in turn, revenge the same. Bojerowcy is a cool environment, we stick together, support each other. At this point I would like to thank the Polish Yachting Association for such a nice ceremony and appreciation of Daniel’s gesture. I know that Daniel is pleasantly surprised by this and it means a lot to him, me and the boating community – adds Michał Burczyński.

Polish and American fighters are currently in Gdynia, from where they set off for the next world championships this weekend, which will be played in Sweden this time. Michał Burczyński will defend the championship title, and Daniel Hearn sets himself goals to advance to the so-called golden fleet, in which the 25 best championship players will be racing. It is worth adding that Michał Burczyński is a multimedia player at the world championships – he has won three gold medals (2006, 2010, 2019), three silver (2011, 2014 and 2016) and four bronze (1999, 2002, 2015 and 2017).


Looking Back: 1984 IDNIYRA Gold Cup in Poland

A look back 35 years ago through the lens of Henry Bossett’s camera at the 1984 DN Worlds in Krynica Morska, Poland. The IDNIYRA Yearbook entry for that year reads: “The Gold Cup was sailed at Krynica Morska, Poland. The race was extremely well organized. Hot soup was served on the ice at noon. The ice was good quality salt ice. The winds were moderate.”  T. Haagma of the USSR won the Gold Cup in 1984.
Henry writes:

With Worlds and NA’s just completed, this came up as a memory of mine today [on Facebook]. Ten, either World or European Champions show up, as well as Wim VanAcker and Skip Boston – Piotr Burczynski, Ron Sherry, Endel Vooremaa, Vaiko Voorermaa, Bogdan Kramer, Matti Kullmann, Vello Kuusk, T. Haagma, Ain Vilde, Henry Bossett.  Also a Polish business introduction of a Junior DN that never gained traction.

Junior European Championship Results

The Junior DN & Ice Optimist European Championship concluded on Friday at the Siemianówka Reservoir in Poland.. Congratulations to all juniors who sailed in this event including  Anton Didenko R166 of Vladivostok, Russia winner of the DN class and Estonia’s Andrias Sepp C3 winner of the Ice Optimist Class. Top placing female sailors were Anielke Graczyk P1581 in the Ice Optimist Class (8th) and Zuzanna Rybicka P119 in the DN Class (2nd).

Congratulations to the race organizers DN Jégvitorlás Osztályszövetség / Hungarian DN Ice Yacht Racing Class and Idniyra Europe, the race committee, and European Junior Sailing Secretary Stan Macur for running such a successful event for 80 junior ice sailors.
Photos below from the Giżycka Grupa Regatowa Facebook page.