Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mini-Transat sailor Radek Kowalczyk

Radek Kowalczyk is sailing his little boat "Calbud" in the Mini-Transat single-handed race that is currently being sailed between France and Brazil. He is the third Polish sailor to sail in this event. His boat is built from radius chine plywood, to the first version of our Didi Mini design. Radek is proving to be a resilient sailor.

Radek Kowalczyk arriving in Madeira

Radek was unlucky, on the first leg, to hit a whale. The inpact damaged his keel, necessitating heading into a small harbour in Portugal to make repairs. The damage appears to have been primarily delamination of the carbon skin that he applied over the outside of my aluminium keel design. The repair kept him in port for a few days before he could resume his voyage.

Radek and "Calbud" arrived in Madeira yesterday to a massive welcome from fellow competitors, family and friends. He and his boat were both given a clean bill of health by doctors and the Mini 650 class inspectors respectively. Today they set off on the second leg of the race, more than 3000 miles to Brazil.

"Calbud" undergoing inspection in Madeira.

Radek is a great example of what this race is all about. He is resilient in the face of adversity and does whatever is needed to achieve his goal of sailing this race. He is part of an ever-growing group of single-handed sailors who treat each other with great respect. They support each other like family, to help each other through these events.

Radek, you have earned our respect and I wish you the best of sailing for the rest of this race.


  1. Awesome Stuff!

    @Dudley: Can tell me more about the boat and the changes Radek made to make the boat capable of sailing the MiniTransat?

  2. Hi Gaurav,

    As far as I know it is a standard Didi Mini Mk1 with canting keel. All boats have custom aspects to suit the ideas and preferences of the owner. The only change that I have seen was the non-standard sheathing of the aluminium keel. This is not a good change because the two materials are too different in strength and stiffness.

    I revised the rudder linkage design for these boats years ago to a much better geometry but he still has the original version on his boat. The new geometry improves both control and boat speed.