In Poland last Saturday (11 February), nine countries took part in the Sixth International Ice Yachting championships.
In Poland last Saturday (11 February), nine countries took part in the Sixth International Ice Yachting championships. The winner of the world title was a Polish yachtsman, Bogdan Kramer who was among 88 competitors who braved sub-zero conditions on the frozen Vistula river.
SYNOPSIS: An icy expanse of the river near the Polish summer holiday resort of Krynica Morska was the scene of the championships which attracted a number of american ice-yachtsmen. including Evert van Berberg seen here preparing his craft. Most of the field, however, came from Europe, particularly from Poland.
The line up at the start of the finals of 88 competitors who entered the championships, 21 had been eliminated by this stage. Those left, paid special attention to their sails.
As unsuccessful yachtsmen watched from the sidelines in freezing weather, the field was started with a pistol shot.
Getting going is half the problem as Zygmunt Wozniak of Poland demonstrated. Once the yachts are underway, however, they can reach high speeds, several times that of the prevailing wind. The record is held by an American craft which reached 143 miles per hour (230 kilometres per hour).
Speed, however, brings dangers. If a yacht overturns, the rider runs the risk of being smashed up on the hard ice.
Alternatively, he can be badly cut by the ice-yacht's sharp-edged steel runners.
According to officials, conditions for the finals were good. The ice was flat with little snow. And the wind was constant.
Making the best of it, Enn Normak of the Soviet Union. He however, was less successful than two of his countrymen, Vaiko Vooremaa and Vell??? Kuusk who came in second and third.