Aniela Graczyk is a champion Ice Optimist sailor from Poland who competes in the annual Junior World Ice Sailing regatta held in Europe. Watch and listen as she explains in an entertaining 2 minutes why she is passionate about ice sailing. Consider introducing your kids to ice sailing this winter. The Ice Optimist is the perfect boat for junior sailors. Learn more about youth ice sailing here. Questions about Ice Optimists or ice sailing for kids? Please email to us!
Michal Skawinski/Kornik P339, Laura Taggu C4, and Aniela Graczyk P375 push off to race at the 2020 Junior World Championship in Sweden.
Aniela Graczyk listens as her father, Robert, coaches her on the upcoming race at the 2020 Junior World Championship.
The World and European Junior Ice Sailing Championship concluded on February 20, 2020. It was one of the most amazing regattas I’ve ever seen for many reasons. Some of them include the first time being around so many young people who iceboat and the commitment and support their parents and coaches make to get them there and have a good experience. You can tell from the photos that the ice was fast. Both the DNs and Ice Optimist fleets showed a high level of sailing skill. The Lithuanian DN Ice Sailing club, organizers of the event, provided hot tea and cookies on the ice every day and the Uppsala, Sweden contingent organized hot lunch every day as well.
One of the best memories I’ll take away from the regatta ironically took place on a day without sailing. Boredom is not a bad thing. The kids played soccer on the ice, skated, and generally horsed around for hours before being excused for the day. That evening, Estonian coach and DN sailor Mikhal Kosk organized a bowling tournament between countries at regatta headquarters. I have no idea who won but it was a blast to watch them having fun.
Here are some photos from the regatta.
Sorry for the light posting but I’ve been in Europe for the 2020 DN Worlds and now Junior Worlds. Good morning from near Furudal, Sweden, site of the 2020 Junior World DN & Ice Optimist championship. A few quick pictures before heading off to the sailing site. Racing will begin today.
The 2019 Junior DN and Ice Optimist World Championships are complete. Congratulations to all who competed including the 4LIYC’s Thor Rosten who kept his DN moving in some sticky, light conditions. The European Championship began today and will be completed on Friday.
It’s heartening to see these kids racing iceboats and gives us all hope for the future of this always fragile sport. North Americans may be wondering how the Europeans can field an 80 boat youth regatta on ice. 4LIYC member and North American Junior Secretary Ron Rosten has written about why he thinks the Europeans are miles ahead of North America in youth iceboat sailing. Read his article, “The State of Youth Sailing” in the September 2018 issue of the DN newsletter, Runner Tracks.
Europeans are also leading the way to encourage more women to compete in the sport. One sailor who has benefited from such a strong youth program is Polish DN sailor Zuzanna Rybicka -she has had quite an ice sailing season. Someday we will see her compete in North America. I took the liberty of posting (with a bit of correcting and guessing on the translation) her thoughts from Facebook today:
Yay! Today ended the junior world championship where I took 2th place in the DN fleet and 1st place in the women’s division. 🏆
It’s a great goodbye with age junior, and at the same time successful year greeting with age
This year I got a lot of support from a lot of people and I would like to thank everyone Awesome starts having such great fans like you guys.
Summary of my results in season 2018/19:
🥇 1st Women, European championship
🥈 1st. Women, Polish junior championship
🥈 2nd Junior World Championship
🥇 1st Women, Junior World Championship
[In today’s] European Junior Championship, after the first day I am on lead among women and second place in DN. Open. Keep your fingers crossed, tomorrow decisive races 💪
The 2019 Junior World DN & Ice Optimist Championships got underway today on Lake Siemianowka in light air and sticky ice. Ron Rosten reported that the wind shut off during the day’s last race and they tore down their boats in the dark. Ron also praised Estonian DNer Rasmus Maalen C20, currently in first, who “went out of his way to give Thor [Rosten] advice and offer encouragement.”
Rasmus Maalen, it should be noted, won the first race of the European Championship 2 weeks ago and finished 6th overall. Another junior who competed at the Europeans, Zuzanna Rybicka P119, is in second place just 2 points behind Rasmus tonight.
In the Ice Optimist fleet, Estonian sailor Lisbeth Taggu C1 holds first with Poles Mateusz Gigielewicz P89 and Anielka Graczyk P375 tied for second. Aneilka’s father, Robert Graczyk, won the Polish Championship last Saturday. There are a combined total of 80 skippers registered for the regatta. Youth iceboating is doing well in Europe.