Finn World Master Championship 2014
Report of the visit to Poland for a candidacy for the Finn World Masters 2014
In Punta Ala, last June, I was invited for a meeting with Boguslaw "Bob" Nowakowski (POL 26) and Jan Okulicz (POL 13). They indicated that Poland is willing to host the Finn World Masters in 2014, which will be held from June 6th till 13th. They also indicated that it would help when I brought a visit to the venues they had in mind. The view on Poland by many Western European people is maybe not correct and influenced by what we know from the past.
I stated that I only make visits on serious and official candidacies. After they informed me, in July, that they are preparing a serious candidacy for 2014 we made an appointment for a visit.
On September 30th and October 1st and 2nd me and my wife Janny visited Poland. We were welcomed on Gdansk Airport by Pjotr Hlavaty, who is president of the Sopot Sailing Club, Vice President of the Polish Sailing Federation and member of ISAF. We also met Jan, Boguslaw and Tomi Mikulski (a Polish Finnster), the Mayors of the cities of Sopot and of Puck and many others.
We were invited to visit four venues: Puck (pronounce: Poosjk), Gdynia, Sopot and Gdansk. I stated that my task would not be to choose one of the venues, but just to look at them and see if they meet the Masters Guidelines and to look at positive and negative points for each venue. Then we could discuss the plusses and minuses and then the Polish people could take the decision which venue will be the candidate. Venues are situated close to each other at a bay, called Gdansk Basin, which is part of the Baltic Sea. This bay is protected from the big waves of the Baltic Sea by a peninsula on the North side. The distance from the end of the peninsula to the main land is about 20 km. See these maps for more details:
The visit to the venue near Gdansk was deleted after I heard that the nearest accommodation is on a 30 minutes drive from the marina.
That would kill the social part of the Masters, so we skipped this venue.
We visited the Sopot Sailing Club, the marina of Gdynia and the Puck Sailing Club.
The sailing conditions are almost the same in all venues, so we mainly paid attention to the details ashore.
The marina of Gdynia is an area with many commercial activities, so we will not be amongst Masters only. There is not much room for parking campers, trailers and cars.
The marina of Puck looked good, but the city of Puck is very small and there are not many accommodations and restaurants. The nearest city (Gdynia) is on a 30 minutes drive.
In the end we concluded that, out of the offered venues, Sopot would be the best one, so our Polish Finn friends (Pjotr Hlavaty, being the Sopot Sailing Club’s President, did not take part in the evaluation) decided this will be the candidate for 2014. The club has enough room for the Finns and campers (in the club area and for the Finns also on the beach), a camping is next door and hotels are in the direct neighborhood. Launching will be from the beach, but without waves. There is a long paved slipway from the club area to the shore side of the beach. From this slipway you can bring your boat on the beach.
Although the Gdansk Basin is part of the Baltic Sea and the water is supposed to be salt there is hardly salt in it.
I tasted it in order to be convinced! The city is on walking distance via a walking path. There are many good restaurants. It has a large pier with a bar/restaurant and a marina at the end.
The Sopot Sailing Club will prepare a pre-presentation which will be published on this website and later a presentation which will be shown in Pwllheli, in May next year, prior to the voting for the venue in 2014.
Attached to this report are some pictures of the Sopot venue.
Fons van Gent, President Finn World Masters Fleet
Beach at Sopot Sailing Club Club area Sopot Sailing Club - 1
Club area Sopot Sailing Club - 2
Sopot Sailing Club - Path to the beach