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Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Polish Extravaganza, 2014 BCT Gdynia Marathon

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Tomasz Pąchalski is a young man with a passion for open water swimming.

The manager of the professional-amateur BCT Gdynia Marathon has really helped develop open water swimming in Poland at all levels.

He has also brought a number of world-class pro swimmers to Poland for the 19.5 km race including Petar Stoychev.

By bringing in the world's best to Poland, the domestic community is striving to rise to the high level of competition.

There are great hopes for the young Polish swimmers. Andrzej Kowalski, President of Polish Swimming Union, said, "The BCT Gdynia Marathon is a great event, not only by the organizational means, but also in sporting sense. We need more races like this, especially if we are to prepare a strong national team for Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.”

Leading American Christine Jennings finished third in last year's race, but she was the first woman by a comfortable margin.

Her American teammate and 2012 Olympian Alex Meyer handily won the men's division in the 19.5 km Marathon, likewise earning US$10,000 for his dominating effort.

Under less than ideal conditions, the swimmers impressed the sponsors, organization, fans and media.

Krzysztof Szymborski, CEO of Baltic Container Terminal in Gdynia, summed up the competition, "Last year level of competition was very high. What Alex Meyer [shown below] achieved today in much more extreme conditions is almost unbelievable."

Andrzej Kowalski, President of Polish Swimming Union, was similarly pleased with the outcome, "The BCT Gdynia Marathon is a great event, not only by the organizational means, but also in sporting sense. It should be an example for all events in Poland.

We need more races like this, especially if we are to prepare a strong national team for Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016
.”

With the seeds sown for a bright future, Meyer will definitely be back in 2014, "It is my first time in Poland, even though my grandparents were Polish. It is such a great event, I will definitely come back to Gdynia.”

The 2013 BCT Gdynia Marathon results are shown below:

1. Alexander Meyer (USA) 3:53:32
2. Vladimir Dyatchin (Russia) 4:07:24
3. Sebastian Karaś (Poland) 4:14:48
4. Chris Bryan (Ireland) 4:15:37
5. Jan Urbaniak (Poland) 4:15:43
6. Arseniy Lavrentyev (Portugal) 4:27:00
7. Daniel Jimenez Ponce (Spain) 4:33:28
8. Benjamin Konschak (Germany) 4;33:50
DNF Jose Luis Larrosa Chorro
1. Christine Jennings (USA) 4:13:57
2. Alexandra Sokolova (Russia) 4:15:46
3. Ines Hahn (Germany) 4:24:24
4. Olga Beresnyeva (Ukraine) 4:31:48
DNF Emily Brunemann (USA)

The window for the 2014 BCT Gdynia Marathon will be August 1st through 3rd.

The inaugural race in 2012 was won by Petar Stoychev and Christine Jennings with competitors coming from around the world like Trent Grimsey (Australia), Benjamin Konschak (Germany), and Megan Melgaard (USA) to compete in the 18ºC (64ºF) sea.

BCT Gdynia Marathon recalls the tradition of open water swimming marathons that took place in the 1960's and 1970's in Poland's Bay of Gdansk...and is taking the sport to a whole new level.

Mikołaj Nałęcz-Nieniewski and Tomasz Pąchalski explain the 19.5 km BCT Gdynia Marathon, "The contestants swim 19.5 km from the Hel Peninsula to a beach of the City of Gdynia while competing for a total cash prize of US$ 28,000, including two checks for US$10,000 for the overall female and male winners.

BCT Gdynia Marathon brings back the history of open water swimming in Poland. The tradition of open water swimming marathons in Poland began in the 1960's and early 1970's in the waters of the Bay of Gdansk. In 2011, the inaugural edition was held with 50 swimmers competing in a 3.5 km course. In 2012, professional marathon swimmers Petar Stoychev and Christine Jennings won."

This year will undoubtedly see the upscale race continue to become even more grand.

"Specifics of the basin and a distance of nearly 20 kilometres makes the competition one of the most difficult ones held in Europe," says Dagmara Łuczka, spokesperson for BCT Gdynia Marathon.

"We are convinced that the fourth edition of BCT Gdynia Marathon will contribute to the promotion of the city and to the popularisation of long distance swimming in open waters. We do hope that during those three days we will succeed in getting all aquatic sports lovers focus on the host city of the event – Gdynia, and in involving city inhabitants and tourists in joint fun, says Krzysztof Szymborski, President of title sponsor Baltic Container Terminal.

For more information, visit here.

We changed the date of both races because of more stable atmospheric and water conditions prevailing in the middle of summer. Thanks to this, we minimize the probability of cancelling our competition which is always possible while holding open water event,” explained Dagmara Łuczka, spokesperson for BCT Gdynia Marathon. “Once again we invited every top open water swimmer to compete in the marathon. We’re intent on keeping standards but we don’t limit ourselves only to the pro swimmers, so we encourage everyone, who sees his chance to cover this distance, to apply. Every application will be examined,” she added.

The application form to the Hel-Gdynia marathon is available at “For competitors” section (www.bctgdyniamarathon.pl), the deadline for applications is June 27th 2014. The entry form to the Open race can be found here.

The 2012 edition results are as follows:

1. Petar Stoychev 57:42, 1:52:41, 2:51:46, 3:51:49
2. Trent Grimsey 57:45, 1:53:13, 2:53:44, 3:53:27
3. Christine Jennings 57:54, 1:57:54, 3:01:01, 4:00:40
4. Natalia Charlos 57:56, 1:57:55, 3:01:02, 4:02:29
5. Benjamin Konschak 59:23, 2:00:51, 3:05:30, 4:07:08,65
6. Pilar Geijo 59:24, 2:00:54, 3:06:30, 4:10:30
7. Chris Bryan 57:35, 1:54:26, 3:04:41, 4:13:28
8. Krzysztof Pielowski 57:52, 1:58:19, 3:06:56, 4:14:44
9. Sebastian Karaś 59:23, 2:00:52,3:08:31, 4:18:35
10. Megan Melgaard 1:02:31, 2:07:00, 3:16:03, 4:21:34
11. Jan Urbaniak 1:02:31, 2:07:01, 3:16:04, 4:30:06
12. Mallory Mead 1:03:11, 2:10:16, 3:22:19, 4:30:14
13. Grzegorz Radomski 1:09:27, 2:18:19, 3:32:36, 4:46:14
14. Grzegorz Monczak 1:11:24, 2:24:57, 3:48:25, 5:21:35



Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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