Polish windsurfers are dominating the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères and have made a stand in the international RS:X circuit with strong teams in both the men and women's fleet.
"Sailing is a young sport in Poland and it is developing fast,"
explained Polish team Sport manager Tomasz Chamera. "Since Mateusz Kusznierewicz's Gold medal in the Finn in 1996, our first sailing medal ever, sailing became popular in Poland and the youth started to be attracted to this sport.
"Every good result helps developing sailing in Poland. We have a good structure with our yacht clubs and coaches working together. We are helping young sailors access training programmes and work with coaches, it has resulted in many medals at ISAF Youth Worlds over the years. Last year our girls took the top three places at the RS:X Youth Worlds."
One of the best examples is the performance in Hyères of young Maja Dziarnowska. The 22 years old is dominating the fleet in the strong breeze. She said, "I started windsurfing when I was 12 years old, I had easy access to a training programme and could also learn from the top sailors.
"It is very motivating and it is why we stay in the sport. I also love sailing as a sport and lifestyle with the travelling all over the world."
Maja is the training partner and spare for Zofia Noceti Klepacka for the Olympic Games, "She is helping me with tactics and tuning the equipment, we learn from each other, I help her with good speed in the breeze."
In the men's division, it was a hard choice to select the Olympic representative. Both Przemek Miarczynski "Pont" and Piotr Myszka are among the world's best in the RS:X. "It's a shame there is just one place per nation"
admits Tomazs Chamera, "They both deserve to go! Despite the Olympic selection and the place going to Pont, they are still good friends, work together and make each other better all the time. It is part of their success!"
Poland is this year the biggest international team in Hyères with 48 boats. "We like to come to Hyères, we always have all of our teams here. It is not too far, the weather is nice and have good sailing conditions. It is a good event and also we like to spend time in France,"
When asked about the objectives at the Olympic Games, Tomazs Chamera remains prudent, "In sailing it is always hard to predict the results. We have some good teams and they are all well prepared, but anything can happen. We will see."
Semaine Olympique Francaise Website
ISAF Sailing World Cup Website