Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 6

Velux 5 Oceans skipper Gutek second Overall

by Velux 5 Oceans on 29 May 2011
Gutek secures his 2nd place overall, on the final leg of the Velux 5 Oceans, Ocean Sprint 5,arriving into La Rochelle, France today. Ainhoa Sanchez/Velux 5 Oceans
Velux 5 Oceans Polish skipper Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski finished the race at at 1507 local time (1307 UTC) earning him second place overall. The Operon skipper has now made it into the record books as the very first Polish skipper to race single-handed around the world.

Gutkowski ended up taking the third place spot in ocean sprint five from Charleston to La Rochelle, arriving only four hours behind second placed Chris Stanmore-Major. He ended up accumulating just enough points to beat his nearest rival Derek Hatfield.

'I still can’t believe it’s real,' Gutek said as he stepped onto the dock. 'I am tired, but if I had to make my decision again, I would go for it again. I am very happy – I just sailed round the world on my own! I knew my boat would not be the fastest one in the fleet but I was surprised at how well she could do.'

The 36-year-old displayed incredible skill and seamanship throughout the race, overcoming a catalogue of disasters including two serious injuries and major boat damage. During the first leg from La Rochelle to Cape Town, Gutek suffered a nasty cut to his head after being hit by the wind generator on the stern of Operon Racing and was forced to perform surgery on the wound.

He was to take another blow to the body during ocean sprint four when he fell from the cockpit of Operon Racing breaking two ribs. The injury required him to stop in Fortaleza for ten days to recover.

Although it was Gutek’s first circumnavigation, for his 20-year-old yacht Operon Racing it was the third time completing a successful trip around the world having been sailed to glory by Alain Gautier in the 1992 Vendée Globe as Bagages Superior and to fourth place in the 1996 Vendée as Eric Dumont’s Café Legal.

Operon Racing’s age took its toll on Gutek’s campaign, with breakages hindering his attempt to snatch the top spot from overall winner Brad Van Liew.

During the first leg Gutek had to climb the mast three times to replace broken halyards, while on leg two he spent three weeks battling autopilot problems which starved him of rest.

Rounding Cape Horn Operon Racing developed keel problems after a composite part surrounding the keel pins shattered. Despite the setbacks Gutek held it together to beat race rival CSM into Punta del Este by just 40 seconds.
As well as dealing with broken ribs during ocean sprint four, Gutek also had to contend with a broken alternator as well as a bowsprit that snapped twice during the leg.

Keel problems resurfaced during the final 300 miles of the final sprint when one of the rams which operate the canting keel broke after the fleet was pummeled by heavy seas. Gutek used his emergency tillers plus a heavy duty strap to create a temporary fix and continued to push right until the end of the race.

Born in Gdansk, Poland, the father of one Gutek comes from a national dingy-racing background and has also completed one circumnavigation of the world in a crewed boat in 'The Race' in 2000. During ocean sprint five Gutek sailed 3,894 miles from Charleston in South Carolina to La Rochelle in 13 days, 18 hours and seven minutes at an average speed of 11.8 knots.

Positions at 1200 UTC

Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to next boat (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)

Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: finished 27.05.11
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: finished 28.05.11 - 0906 UTC
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: finished 28.05.11 – 1307 UTC
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 124.6 / NA / 188.7 / 7.9

Safety at Sea - Baltic - 3Southern Spars - 100Hamilton Island Luxury

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Hoisted on their own petard
Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear... Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear in World Sailing’s premier event, the Sailing World Cup. In that time, a flurry of material has espoused all manner of joyous points including travel grants and prize money. That’s terrific and the hope is that somehow this will overcome the tyranny of distance for Melbourne
Posted on 9 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
So, thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 4 May