RS700 sailing in Czech Republic
by Mark Pollington on 28 Jun 2012
RS700 Regatta was held on lake Lipno in the Czech Republic over the weekend. The Czech Republic lies equidistant from the North Sea and Mediterranean coasts. It is as far as you can get from the sea in Europe! Yet the Czechs have a fascination with sailing giving this weekend’s regatta prime time coverage on National TV. David Knžek, the weekend's winner is a celebrity, ERSTE sponsoring his RS700 campaign, and the nation following his Minitransat campaign.
RS700 sailing in the Czech Republic Mark Pollington
Lake Lipno is a long, narrow, picturesque lake in the fir tree lined hills near the Austrian border. It has become a winter and summer holiday destination offering a range of other sports. The local Major, Zdenek Zídek is a massive sailing enthusiast and can be found most evenings out on the lake practicing tacking and gybing his RS700. He owns the local purpose built yacht club where the collection of RS700’s, RS100’s and Fevas gather. Jan Myslík, the Czech RS dealer has imported the boats and nurtured an enthusiastic group of RS700 sailors; eleven competitors await the wind in the relaxed, congenial atmosphere of the club. Later in the evening we gather round for a BBQ while a singer with acoustic guitar entertains another group using the club for a team-building event.
I spent two very enjoyable days coaching the fleet ahead of the regatta. The fleet is similar to the early days in the UK with a wide variety of skill levels; from guys converting Fireball skills to skiff sailing through to ex 49er Olympic campaigners Jan Myslík and David K?ížek for whom the boat was quite natural - expect them to be challenging the UK hopefuls soon! Zdenek is also putting more time into the boat than anyone in the UK and is built like an Arnold Schwarzenegger powerhouse, perfect for Garda! It will be interesting to see how David Knžek and Zdenek Zídek fair in the stronger wind conditions of Garda Europeans. There is also interest in chartering boats for the HISC Nationals in September if you know of a free boat.
The Czech Nationals are at the end of August. If you enjoy inland sailing, particularly with a family to amuse, Lipno would be perfect. (There are plenty of other sporting activities and the local medieval town of Ceský Krumlov is quite special). The Czechs would certainly give you a warm welcome and Jan should be able to fix you up with a boat! I will certainly be returning next year to meet up with new RS friends RS700 Class website