"Dar Młodzieży" Wins Sultan Qaboos Sailing Trophy"

Gdynia Maritime University's sail training ship has been honoured with one of the most prestigious sailing awards in the world. Rafał Szymański, the captain of the "Dar Młodzieży", was presented with the Sultan Qaboos Sailing Trophy at the closing of the International Sail Training & Tall Ships Conference 2023 in Dunkirk.

The trophy is funded by the Sultan and the Government of Oman in collaboration with the International Sail Training Association. The award was presented by Azza Hamoud Al Busaidi, the Chargé d'Affaires at the Embassy of Oman in Paris, together with representatives of the Oman Navy.

The history of the Sultan Qaboos Sailing Trophy dates back to 2011. The award has been awarded to organisations, individuals or persons that have an outstanding impact on the training of young people in sailing. Before the Dar Młodzieży, the trophy was won by the Norwegian frigate "Christian Radich," the Belgian frigate "Rupel," and the Danish frigate "Skonnerten Jylland."

"It was a great surprise and an honour, as after the Janki Bielak medal, this is the most valuable award for sailing training," said  Rafał Szymański - Captain of the Dar Młodzieży.

"It is amazing that after many years, our frigate the "Dar Młodzieży" has been appreciated for the work it does in educating young students of the art of sailing, ", commented Captain  Dariusz Jellonek, Director of the Maritime Operations Department. "The State of Oman is one of the main sponsors of sailing training for young people around the world. It is estimated that around half of the institutions responsible for the education of sailing amateurs benefit from the funds allocated by the Sultan of Oman."

The Director of the Maritime Operations Department, Captain  Dariusz Jellonnek and the Captain of the "Dar Młodzieży", Captain Rafał Szymański, took part in the three-day conference "International Sail Training & Tall Ships Conference 2023" in Dunkirk, France. The principal theme of this year's conference was "Training Young People at the Heart of Sail Training and The Tall Ships Races". Among the topics discussed were the possibilities for sailing training for young people from all over Europe and the problems faced by organisations involved in the education of young people. 

"One of the main topics of the meeting was the organisation of next year's Tall Ship Races and a summary of the passing season. During the conference, we also discussed the safety of sailing ships ", added Director Dariusz Jellonnek.   

In 2023, the Dar Młodzieży took part in two Tall Ships Races events,  finishing second place in the general classification. The training ship was also awarded the "Bermuda Trophy" - the award for the fastest sailing ship in the Tall Ship Races. During the current 248-day season, 118 secondary school pupils and 361 students from Poland, Belgium and Ukraine have taken part in seafarer training onboard the "Dar Młodzieży."



Laudation for the Award of the Sultan Qaboos Trophy

By Vanessa Mori, Commercial Director at Sail Training International


The final and most prestigious of our Annual Awards, is the Sultan Qaboos Trophy.

This Award is always presented to an organisation, vessel, or individual who we consider has made an exceptional contribution to Sail Training and this year I am pleased to say that it was a very easy and unanimous decision as to who it should go to.

A regular participant in The Tall Ships Races and Regattas since she was first built in 1982, this majestic Class A vessel this summer took part in both of our Race Series: The Tall Ships Races 2023 and the Tall Ships Races Magellan Elcano.  She played a significant part in the success of all the in-port Events – 9 of them in total starting from Den Helder at the end of June and finishing in Cadiz in the middle of September.

During this summer’s events, in addition to her permanent crew of 32, she welcomed 230 different young cadets on board.

These young people were able to benefit from the excellent sail training programme she runs, learn about life at sea, meet other young people from all over the world; they made wonderful and colourful contributions to all the in-port Events and picked up several race prizes along the way.

This ship and her crew this year once again provided invaluable support to Sail Training International by hosting our communication officers for all the race legs and assisted the Race Committee in all manner of ways, ensuring that everyone taking part in The Tall Ships Races was safe and well informed. 

A particular mention must go to the Captain of the ship, who simply epitomises all that Sail Training is about; a true gentleman, he leads by example; encouraging young people to benefit from all that life on board has to offer and to broaden their horizons by forging lifelong friendships with the crews of other ships from all over the world. Always honest and direct, with a flexible can-do attitude, skilled in diplomacy, with a great sense of humour and willing to help in any way possible, we are unanimous in expressing our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to this much-loved and valued member of the Sail Training family.

Owned by the Gdynia Maritime Academy, the winner of the Sultan Qaboos 2023 Trophy is the Polish Sail Training Vessel “Dar Mlodziezy".



Providing entity: 

GMU/Gdynia Maritime University

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