FIRST EUROPEAN GP33 UNDER SAIL
New Ceccarelli-designed Stocznia Ustka Boatbuilders 3 launched and sail tuning for upcoming Baltic season
Gydnia, Poland – Konrad Smolen’s new GP 33 Stocznia Ustka Boatbuilders 3 has just been launched and is getting ready for a busy season of racing on the Baltic Sea. This Ceccarelli design is the first European boat built and launched to the ORC’s GP33 box rule.
“I am very satisfied with the boatyard – our main builder Andrzej Glebow built her very strong and light weight – and our sails and mast work very well,” said an elated Smolen. “So it is up to us to sail her properly which means a lot of work ahead!”
Sails for Stocznia were designed and built by North Sails Argentina, with the carbon fibre spar also coming from Argentina at King Composites.
Smolen is a seasoned offshore competitor, having placed well over the past decade in several international races and regattas in the Baltic region. But he describes sailing his new GP 33 as being much easier than his previous boats.
“On all the boats I have helmed (Quarter-tonner, Two-tonner, ILC 40) we had trouble with surfing – big forces, big resistance, rolling, etc. The GP 33 glides easily and is very stable and hopefully we will learn how to sail her in heavy winds.”
Of the first test sails, Smolen said “It was like a dream come true. The boat was easy to steer, no problem with big gennaker, very good pointing ability, and very fast: over 7 knots upwind in 14 knots of wind and a fantastic ride down wind, with 10 to 11 knots on the speedometer.”
“We choose GP 33 concept for several reasons,” said Smolen. “First, because the boat looks very fast for its size and strong enough to race in rough conditions; second, the GP 33 box rule gives you some room for technical development which is not allowed in one design classes; third, it is the perfect size for Baltic waters; and fourth, we are sure that another construction will follow, since we started in a sort of competition between us and our friend designer and sailor Gienek Ginter whose boat is well
advanced and scheduled to launch in September 2009.”
Among the high-calibre events Smolen plans to enter this season are the Eurocard Gotland Runt Race in Sandhamn, Sweden at the end of June, and the ORC European Championship in Ystad, Sweden in August.