The Snipe Class in Poland: an Overview

By Zibi Rakocy An history of the Snipe Class in Poland, the fleet activities and many beautiful photos from the "old days" to the recent times. And also the 2014 racing schedule with the Open European Championship in August. ...

The Snipe Class in Poland: an Overview Image

By Zibi Rakocy

An history of the Snipe Class in Poland, the fleet activities and many beautiful photos from the “old days” to the recent times.

And also the 2014 racing schedule with the Open European Championship in August.

Snipe is one of the oldest world racing classes. It was developed in 1931 by an American – William Crosby. In Poland it was very popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Unfortunately, it soon ceased to exist due to decisions of the Polish Sailing Association. The decisions from the Cold War period were politically motivated and the American class did not match the then reality. In the sailing circles there still live people who share their nostalgic reminiscences about Snipe (Polish: Słonka). I know a lot of them and we often talk about those years when they were juniors. This especially concerns such sportsmen as Jan Głazek, Eugeniusz Blaszka, Jan Szymański, Krzysztof Baranowski, Janka Kwaśniewska, Mirek Cwojdzinski, Janusz Knasiecki as well as many other.

Let me quote some figures from those years:
• May 1952: Snipe was approved as a sport-tourist class by the Ministry of Sport (sailing section “GKKF” – for those who still remember those names) ;
• 1953: the first National Championship in the Snipe class with 13 participating teams;
• 1954: the participation in the Polish Championship increased to 37 teams;
• 1956: 24 teams took part in the Polish Championship, 27 teams in Junior category, and Women Junior
• 1967 the Winner of the last Polish Championship was the team of Janusz Knasiecki and Bogdan Ratajczak; after that the class disappeared from Poland for a long time…

Many years later, in 2001 Jacek Błoch and his brother Mirek met Mechtild and Jacques Romain who helped them bring several Snipe boats to Poland. Afterwards, they established the Polish Snipe Class Association ( and Snipe Class Poland on FB), initiating a new Snipe era in Poland. Accompanied by a few active people with a vision for the future, they have satisfactorily managed to develop the Snipe class. Nowadays Poland is a full member of SCIRA and Zbigniew Rakocy (Zibi) holds the position of the European General Secretary.

Similarly to the 1950s, the Snipe fleet mainly operates in Poznań and the western Poland. We also have some class members and fellows in Warsaw and Świebodzin. Our regattas and events are organized in Poznań on the beautiful Kiekrz Lake which hosts a number of sailing clubs, including our supporters:,poi,2574/jezioro-kierskie,41236.html and .

Our sailing clubs associate 25 Snipes and 40 sailors. Unfortunately, some of our colleagues do not own proper boats, thus only 15-20 boats take part in regattas. The Kiekrz Lake, located in the city of Poznań, hosts numerous regattas throughout the summer; during the sailing season some regattas are, in fact, organized every Sunday.

As a Snipe class we organize annually the Open Polish Championship. Interestingly, the first new Polish Championship was won by the champion of the 1967 regatta: the team of Janusz Knasiecki- Bogdan Ratajczak.

Except for this regatta, we have organized European Cup in 2011, and, on numerous occasions, the Primavera Polish Cup as well as the East European Cup, which is currently organized annually on the Baltic Sea in Gdańsk.

The full list of this year’s regattas is available further in this document.

During our regattas we do our best to follow our motto: “Serious sailing, serious fun”. Along with regattas, we organize social events accompanied by music, beer, and lots of fun. At the moment, it appears hard to us to acquire sponsors but I believe that our main event – Snipe European Championship 2014 – will plentiful in attractions (see: and European Championship 2014 on FB) .

As we are organizing Open European Championship 2014 for the first time, let me invite all the Snipe sailors worldwide. Good fun guaranteed!

1. Opening of 2014 Regatta: 26.04.2014/Yacht Club AZS, Poznań

2. The Spring Cup of YKW: 3-4.05.2014/Yacht Club of Great Poland, Poznań

3. Poznan Cup of Classes: 17-18.05.2014/Yacht Club ZLKS, Poznań

4. Cup 80th anniversary AZS Poznań: 31.05-1.06. 2014/Yacht Club AZS, Poznań

5. Poznań Open Championship: 14-15.06 2014/ Yacht Club MEWA, Poznań

6. Nord Cup : 27-29.06. 2014/AZS Galion Górki Zachodnie, Gdańsk

7. Memorial of Knasiecki Cup: 4-6.07.2014/Yacht Club ZLKS, Poznań

8. Polish Championship/ East European Cup: 11-13.07.2014/Yacht Club MEWA, Poznań

9. Cup of Commodore’s YC MEWA: 19-20.07.2014/Yacht Club MEWA, Poznań

10. Cup of Chairman YC AZS: 9-10.08.2014/Yacht Club AZS, Poznań

11. Snipe Open Junior Championship: 13-17 .08 .2014/Yacht Club, Kamień Pomorski

12. Snipe Senior Open Championship: 17-23.08. 2014/Yacht Club, Kamień Pomorski

13.Memorial of Sobkowiak Cup: 6-7.09. 2014/Yacht Club JKW, Poznań

14. Great Poland Province Championship: 13-14.09.2014/Poznan

15. Commodore’s PKM LOK Cup: 14.09.2014/Yacht Club PKM LOK, Poznań

16. Memorial Jankowski Cup: 20-21.09.2014/Yacht Club AZS, Poznan

17. City of Wolsztyn Cup: 27-28.09.2014/ Wolsztyn’s Yacht Club, Wolsztyn



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