Zbigniew “Gutek” Gutkowski and Maciej “Magic” Marczewski kick off registration process for the Barcelona World Race
The Polish duo have presented their pre-inscription pack, confirming their intention to take the starting line on the 31st of December. Their boat is a powerful Finot-Conq design launched in 2007, which finished second in the first edition of the double-handed round the world race.
Polish skippers Zbigniew “Gutek” Gutkowski and Maciej “Magic” Marczewski have handed over their pre-inscription pack to the Barcelona World Race organisers. In doing so, the Polish duo have confirmed their intention to take part in the third edition of the double-handed, non-stop round the world regatta, which sets off from Barcelona (Spain) on the 31st of December. The team is set to finalise its registration for the race over the coming weeks when the sponsor and boat name will also be announced.
The boat itself comes with guarantees. Under the Hugo Boss colours Alex Thomson and Andrew Cape took second place in the Barcelona World Race 2007-08. It was also during that regatta that the pair smashed the 24 hour World Speed Record at 501.3 miles at average speeds of 20.9 knots that stood until 2011. The yacht is a Finot-Conq design build by Neville Hutton at Lymington (UK) and launched in 2007. Gutek and Magic have already tried the boat out during the last year, taking seventh place in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Gutek also attempted the North Atlantic Record (Ambrose Light to Lizard Point) in 2013. The Polish sailor beat Alex Thomson's record but was surpassed by Marc Guillemot. He therefore holds the second best time for the route (8 days, 18 hours and 50 minutes). Gutek also took this boat to the 2012 Vendée Globe, although he was forced to retire with technical issues.
A seasoned partnership
Zbigniew Gutkowski, 41 years old, has developed his career through both dinghy and offshore sailing. His experience includes a role as watch captain on Warta-Polpharma in The Race in 2000 and as skipper of the ORMA 60 Bonduelle in the Nokia Oops Cup 2005.
As a solo sailor he became the first Polish sailor to complete a Velux 5 Oceans, finishing in second place in 2010-2011; he was also the first Polish skipper to take part in a Vendée Globe, although he was forced to retire from the event.
Gutek and Magic have sailed thousands of miles together, including a record from Las Palmas to Guadalupe (9 d 11h 28 min), the RORC Caribbean 600, the Saint Maarten Heineken Regatta, Miami - New York and a Lizard – Cherbourg crossing. Magic, 39 years old, was boat captain on Energa in the Vendée Globe 2012-2013 and prepared Operon Racing for the Velux 5 Oceans 2010-11. He was also a member of the crew and helped to prepare the ORMA 60 Bonduelle for the Nokia OOPS Cup 2005.
The team is following an intense preparation plan and has sailed almost daily during the past four months to test, modify and optimise the boat configuration, the mast and the rigging. The boat will spend the next 30 days at the Sunreef shipyard in Gdansk (Poland) where it will undergo a comprehensive refit (paintwork, electronics, lines and rigging, new sails and a general inspection). The pair of skippers have also begun an intensive schedule of physical training for the regatta including cycling, crossfit and running.