Taking on the Atlantic
The brotherhood of Dickerson sailboats stretches far and wide.
Built on the Eastern Shore under three owners from 1946 to 1987, Dickersons became so beloved that afficionados compete in the Find a Lost Dickerson Sailboat contest to complete the registry of every Dickerson ever built.
So it’s big news that Polish Sailor Krystian Szypka plans to race one of the Chesapeake-built boats across the Atlantic in OSTAR 2013. The challenging single-handed race starts on May 27 in Plymouth, England, and finishes 3,000 miles away in Newport, Rhode Island (www.ostar.rwyc.org ).
Szypka’s sloop Sunrise is a third-generation Dickerson. From 1983 to 1985, Dickerson built 13 of these high-performance fiberglass boats for Bruce Farr of Annapolis. When introduced in Annapolis, the Dickerson Farr 37 won many local and international races.
Sunrise “is the only Dickerson Farr 37 in Poland, and I believe maybe in the whole of Europe,” Szypka told Dickerson owner Joe Slavin. “Many people are green with envy looking at her.”
Sunrise is an experienced boat, bought in 2010 from an owner who was returning to Poland after sailing from the Great Lakes to southern Spain.
Szypka has added to her experience, sailing from Gibraltar to Poland through Biscay Bay, the English Channel, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. He’s competed in Baltic regattas, qualifying this past October for the OSTAR 2013.
“When single-handed, it is not so easy without the crew,” he says of Sunrise. “But when working the sails properly it is fantastic, and I manage to win with many young and modern boats even with old sails.”
Szypka is now doing rigging modifications, upgrading his electronics and seeking to obtain new sails to handle the strong oceanic winds.
His OSTAR for the Dydek project is a tribute to Polish and WNBA basketball player Malgorzata-Margo Dydek. The project is supported by the Helios Foundation in Gdynia, Poland.
The Dickerson owners hope to meet him at this year’s Dickerson Rendezvous (http://dickersonowners.org) June 14-16 in Oxford, Maryland.
“Of course, much depends on his arrival time in Newport, Rhode Island,” says Slavin. “But we are hoping to see him personally or have him talk to us electronically.”
Help Sunrise fly a new suit of sails to win OSTAR 2013: firstname.lastname@example.org.