Finishing top 10 at two of the biggest international 49er regattas of 2017, Dominik Buksak and Szymon Wierzbicki are a Polish team on the rise. They placed 8th in Palma and Hyères and are focused on the next step – the Sailing World Cup Final in Santander.
This team trains off the northern coast of Poland in Gdańsk, where Dominik grew up sailing. Szymon is from central Poland where he currently is studying Biomedical Engineering in Poznan. Logically, central Poland is not bussing with sailors as a coastal town might, so he was the first to sail in his family but has worked his way from Optimists, Cadets, Europes, and 470s until he found the 49er. Dominik learned sailing from his father and found his way through 420s, 470s, 29ers, before settling into 49ers.
They are a team that is driven by improvement. Szymon explains, “The thing about 49ers is that your sailing skills are reflecting those thousands of hours spent on the water… I love to compete and improve myself so that I’m making progress.” The two defining moments for this Polish pair revolve around training towards success. First, when they were selected to train with the Polish Olympic team in Rio, and the second was the addition of their new coach, Paweł Kacprowski, who has largely impacted their sailing for the better. Dominik also added that teaming up with Szymon was a key moment because he “is the right person to sail with if you want to do it 100%.” He says, “Sailing is a great sport which requires many skills to succeed, so to master all of them is a great challenge… Moreover, training is great fun, because every day is different and there is always something to improve.”
Most skiff sailors will probably agree with Dominik, “49ers are very fast boats so it is very important to stay calm and think quickly. Boat handling on a 49er is really difficult so I like the challenge,” and a challenge it is, indeed. “Finishing top 10 in two biggest regatta of 2017 so far was for sure a big thing for us, but of course European and World Championships are the most important events of the season.” Another team to watch as the season continues!