After the traditional street parade of crews in Fredrikstad, Norway, the award ceremony for the second leg of The Tall Ships Races 2023 took place. The unqualified victory of the Dar Młodzieży on the Hartlepool – Fredrikstad route meant that Commander Rafał Szymański was able to raise two cups: for first place in Class A and ‘Line Honours’ – an award for the first ship at the finish line.
– I received congratulations even before the official announcement of the results, and the members of the other teams expressed their admiration for our crew, who gave their all at this stage,” says Captain Rafał Szymański, commander of the Dar Młodzieży. – The average speed of the 12 hours was above 14 knots, I think this is one of the best results of the ship in recent years. We took advantage of the optimal conditions and it is a success for the whole crew, although I have to admit that after the first stage I thought about withdrawing from the regatta. There are 56 apprentices in total and they got a solid beating. A big tribute from me to the second-year students of the UMG Mechanical Faculty and 23 Ukrainian students of the Navigation Faculty from the Odessa Maritime Academy. They form one harmonious team.
As Commander Szymanski emphasises, it is nice to win, but training is the most important thing.
From Fredrikstad, the Dar Młodzieży (Gift of Youth) is setting course for Shetland, with a two-day stopover in Sirevåg on the west coast of Norway. The fleet of vessels, which will arrive in Lerwick, will be welcomed by Princess Anne. A sailing festival will take place there from 26-29 July 2023, after which the vessels taking part in The Tall Ships Races 2023 will set sail for the third and final leg of this year’s race between Lerwick and Arendal.