Years of dreaming, and months of intensive preparation, both in terms of sport and logistics. A historic moment for Polish sailing is upon us. On 8 January, after half a century, the white and red flag will once again flatter at The Ocean Race starting line. The crew of the Polish yacht WindWhisper is a perfect combination.
The final countdown is underway for the start of the 15th edition of The Ocean Race – one of the world’s most famous sailing’s toughest team challenge. All the teams taking part in the race have already gathered at Ocean Live Park in Alicante. The white-and-red yacht WindWhisper and its crew are also already there.
Let the Ocean Race starts
The Ocean Race will kick off on 8 January with a spectacular harbour race in Alicante. Although the results of the harbour races do not count towards the overall standings, in the event of a tie between the teams they can determine the final order.
The start of the first ocean leg of the race from Alicante to Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands is scheduled for 15 January. The Polish team is competing against five others, i.e., Portugal’s Mirpuri, the Netherlands’ Team JAJO, Mexico’s Viva Mexico, Lithuania’s Ambersail 2 and Austrian-Italian Ocean Racing – Team Genova.
The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup will be won by the best team after three stages: Alicante – Mindelo, Aarhus – the Hague, and the Hague – Genoa.
WindWhisper Racing Team:
- Pablo Arrarte – skipper
- Liz Wardley
- Neal McDonald
- Aksel Magdahl
- Antonii „Ñeti” Cuervas-Mons
- Magdalena Kwaśna
- Szymon Cierzan
- Stanisław Bajerski
- Guillermo Altadill Fischer
- Arianne van de Loosdrecht
- Mateusz Gwóźdź
- Kacper Gwóźdź
Poland takes part after 50 years
It is worth noting that WindWhisper’s participation in The Ocean Race is the first appearance of a Polish yacht in this prestigious event for 50 years. In 1973, two Polish yachts sailed in the race – Copernicus under the command of Zygfryd Perlicki (11th place) and Otago, led by Zdzisław Pieńkawa (14th place).
“Since 1973, The Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team and a human adventure like no other. Over four decades it has kept an almost mythical hold over some of the greatest sailors and been the proving ground for the legends of our sport. The Ocean Race is often described as the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, sailing’s toughest team challenge and one of the sport’s Big Three events, alongside the Olympic Games and America’s Cup (…) The race’s concept is simple: it’s a round-the-clock pursuit of competitive edge and the ultimate ocean marathon, pitting the sport’s best sailors against each other across the world’s toughest waters. It’s relentless: the importance of winning, the adventure of life on board, the transformative effect on the sailors — all of these combine to give the race its power and depth,” one can read on the official The Ocean Race website.