A magical sight: More than 600 boats have started the 54th Blue Ribbon Raiffeisen Grand Prix sailing race from Balatonfüred.
The Blue Ribbon, Europe’s longest and oldest lake sailing race is not only a competition for professionals. According to Zoltán Gerendy, the president of the Hungarian Sailing Association (MVSZ), the race is also for so-called semi-professionals. Moreover, some participants just simply enjoy the closeness of nature. During these few days, Balaton will be packed with more than 600 boats. Participants will have to sail a distance of 155 kilometers. – reports foldjaro.hu.
Hamu és Gyémánt has asked Attilla Lichtenberger, team leader of the Prospex Team about the start of the Blue Ribbon. “Everyone is preparing for the event, the excitement is understandable, but this race is very long! The situation is quite different for a short track race than the some 170-kilometer distance of the Blue Ribbon. In our case, the race really starts after the pipe (the Tihanyi Strait), we have to get through it as soon as possible, and there we have to make the important decision, for example, whether to approach the Keszthely buoy from the south or the north shore.”
Róbert Vándor, the helmsman of the two-time defending champion RSM, emphasised the importance of participating in the race with a modern sailing boat. To invest in an updated model is essential to achieve victory and high ranking, he says. Jóka Gémesi, representing the top Fifty-Fifty team, also highlighted that continuous modernisation plays a big role in getting good results. In 2014, the catamaran steered by Márton Józsa broke a record of 7 hours 13 minutes and 57 seconds around the lake. According to nlc.hu, Zsombor Berecz, an Olympic silver medalist sailor is also setting off on the Blue Ribbon with his 69F boat. He said that his goal was not to win but to introduce the latest technology to as many young people as possible.
Source: foldjaro.hu, nlc.hu, hamuesgyemant.hu