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Planet Baltic SUP Race 2023: Results and Event Recap with Athletes

With record participation (80 athletes from 11 countries) and riveting feedback from SUP riders, sport enthusiasts and spectators, the 6th edition of the Planet Baltic SUP Race 2023 in Kolobrzeg, Poland is one for the books!

Photo by: Robert Hajduk / Planet Baltic 2023

The country’s longest running SUP competition offers a unique ocean racing event with Sprints, Technical and Long Distance formats on the often unforgiving Baltic Sea.

The event also welcomed a super strong Junior Division with young SUP athletes and groms (as young as 7!) competing together with elite paddlers, proving that the next generation of riders is ready to take over. It also reassuringly shows the direction in which the sport of stand-up paddleboarding is heading.

Centre: Tije von Bakel | Photo by Robert Hajduk

TotalSUP caught up with the athletes and the Founder and CEO, Marcin Koc, to find out more about the success of Planet Baltic 2023.

Marcin Koc, Planet Baltic Founder and Race Director

From left: Mikołaj Majdan, Marcin Koc, Marta Apanasewicz | Photo by Robert Hajduk

Marcin Koc said: Planet Baltic SUP Race 2023 – two days, as it turned out, of extreme battles in unpredictable weather conditions –  it’s a wrap! On Saturday we caught the weather window and managed to carry out two competitions on the beach (Sprints and the Technical race). The sea was not as gnarly and wavy as last year but still  forced many participants to take a “refreshing” dunk.

Mikołaj Majdan’s amazing Sprint and Linus Karlsson’s lead in the Technical Race provided an unforgettable dose of sports emotions.

Photo by: Robert Hajduk / Planet Baltic 2023

Due to weather alerts we had a set of alternative courses prepared both in the port and on the river. At 8 am on the Sunday morning, the Head Judge, Marek Rowiński and I were still in favour of running the Long Distance race on the sea. But an hour later the weather broke down within and the wind reached a speed of about 35 knots (70km per hour) and the waves began to break. To ensure safety of the competitors we implemented plan B and took the course in the port and on the river. As it’s an ocean race the first buoy was still placed at the entrance of the port so that the competitors could get the real feel the “sea breeze” and rocking.

At this stage, many participants struggled to make it to the buoy and pulled out. It only seemed to be easier from there but to be honest all athletes gave their all in and I haven’t seen a more extreme paddling to date in any world SUP race coverage. The Long Distance culminated with Marton Kover (Hungary) win followed Joep van Bakel’s Silver and Majdan’s Bronze. Due to ilness, Linus Karlsson (Sweden) could not compete.

Marta Apanasewicz (Poland) was the star of all three competitions repeating her own success from last year. Both Marta and Mikołaj defended their respective MVP Titles.

Photo by: Robert Hajduk / Planet Baltic 2023

Summing up, we were amazed by the numbers this year (80 athletes from 11 countries). We put every effort to look after the athletes and provide the highest level of services. We’re truly grateful for their part in making this event a success and the amount of hard work and grit they put into each competition. We’d like to thank our partners and sponsors for supporting us and sharing the same vision and passion that turn acquaintances into friendships.

Photo by: Robert Hajduk / Planet Baltic 2023

What’s next? We’d like to extend Planet Baltic 2024 to three days which will allow us more flexibility in planning the competition and more time for the participants to recover in-between the races. We’re chilling now because in two months time we kick off the preps for the 7th edition!

Marta Apanasewicz, Poland: Gold Medal in Sprints, Technical and Long Distance / Overall MVP

Marta Apanasewicz | Photo by: Robert Hajduk / Planet Baltic 2023

Marta Apanasewicz said: It was my second time on the Kołobrzeg waves and recalling the first one where I won all three competitions and was honoured with the MVP Title. That’s why this year’s event had caused me a lot of stress, weeks before the competition. Racing with many equally good athletes in the yellow MVP vest forced me to show that I still and actually deserve it.

Despite the gnarly and unpredictable weather which surely impacted everyone differently, I managed to defend this year’s most important title and the privilege to wear the leader’s vest again. But what’s even more important than winning was to be surrounded by many supporting friends (even among my competitors) that kept bringing that smile. It wouldn’t be possible without my parents, my boyfriend (*Mikolaj Majdan, who also defended his MVP Title), Coaches, fellow competitors, organisers and the newly met athletes from across Europe. I’m truly grateful for each kind word and reassurance.

This second time round, the level of competition at Planet Baltic was much higher. I’m stoked that the organisers keep coming up with new courses, rules and conditions tailored to us, those competing and involved in the sport of stand-up paddleboarding. You can tell how much hard work and effort was put into it, to make it what it was – a brilliant event. We were all looked after and treated with all that amazing food.

Promoting and expanding the knowledge of SUP culture and its growth its an important aspect of delivering a great competition. I would like to take this opportunity and thank you Planet Baltic, especially Marcin and Ewa Koc, Maciej Koc and the Head Judge Marek Bracuru! The prizes were also rad!

Mikołaj Majdan, Gold Medal in Sprints, Silver in Technical, Bronze in Long Distance / Overall MVP

Mikolaj Majdan | Photo by: Robert Hajduk / Planet Baltic 2023

Mikołaj Majdan said: Planet Baltic 2023 once again is an example of how SUP competitions should be planned and organised. The quality of all of elements, from the courses, precision, clear procedures, presence of international riders, to details such as the quality of catering and great music throughout the event. All of it was there!

I am stoked with my results. Getting first place in Sprints is my first international win ever. I couldn’t be more happy to claim it wearing the Number 1 golden jersey as last year’s MVP. I am super glad that my recent intense training has paid off and proud to know that I will get the opportunity to wear that MVP badge next year!

The level of this year’s event is incomparable to any competition I’ve participated in or heard about it Poland. Marcin Koc and the whole team involved deserve a huge thank you for their hard work.

It’s exciting to watch the development of the Polish SUP scene and competitions. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the future brings.

Lastly, it would be a shame not to mention how proud I am of Marta Apanasewicz and her incredible results but I suppose she will mention it in her part of the interview 😉

Martyna Drobny, Poland: Gold Medal in Technical Race (Junior Division), Silver Medal in Technical (Women Elite), Gold Medal in Long Distance (Junior Division) and Silver Medal in Long Distance (Women Elite)

Photo credit: Kite Cup via Martyna Drobny

Martyna Drobny said: From my point of view, the delivery of Planet Baltic was outstanding! Highest level of organisation, perfect location, the people and an amazing atmosphere – it’s hard to describe. It all went so smooth.

As for racing, it was one of the toughest competition due to the weather conditions (still slightly better compared to last year) and the fact that I’m a flat water rider. I’m really looking forward to the next year edition!

Hanna Kaminska, Poland: Gold Medal in Sprints (Junior Division), Silver Medal in Sprints (Women Elite), Bronze Medal in Long Distance and Technical (Junior Division)

Hanna Kaminska | Photo by: Robert Hajduk / Planet Baltic 2023

Hanna Kaminska said: I had a fabulous time! The whole event will be for sure one of the most memorable for me this season! I’m really happy about my sprint results, it’s an incredible achievement to be the 2nd woman in category with almost 30 women and being only sixteen at the same time I’m also satisfied about the rest of my results even though I feel that I could have done better job in the rest of the distances. I will for sure return next year and fight for the MVP Title!

Linus Karlsson, Sweden: Gold Medal in Technical, Silver Medal in Sprints

Linus Karlsson | Photo by: Robert Hajduk / Planet Baltic 2023

Linus Karlsson said: I had a really good time here! Super well organized, everything on time with a professional touch from signing up until finishing the race! Definitely a race I will recommend for the upcoming years.

Joep van Bakel, The Netherlands: Silver Medal in Long Distance and Bronze Medal in Technical

From left: Mylo, Joep and Tije van Bakel / Photo courtesy of Joep van Bakel

Joep van Bakel said: It’s summer Holiday for my family and me that means it’s time for SUP adventures all over Europe. Planet Baltic SUP Race – Two days full of action on the Baltic Sea and on the Parsęta River.

On Saturday morning competitions started with the Sprint races (over 200 m) with 5 heats with 10 paddlers per each heat. Kids, juniors, men and masters all together. After the heats I made it to the A (Golden) final. While catching a run the paddler next to me went down for a swim and his board blocked mine. Unlucky but it’s all part of racing. The Sprint races where really challenging with the start 200 meter from the beach and the waves you needed to use to get the best result.

On Saturday afternoon it was time for the Technical race (over 2km). We had to go around the pier in challenging conditions. Specially my 7-year young son Tije had a battle with the sea on his Fanatic 12.6 inflatable board. For him the 2km was like a long distance race 🙂

Mylo had a challenging fight with another 10-year young boy from Poland, Mikołaj Miczek.

On Sunday the wind picked up and with around 30 knots it was to rough to go out to the sea. The Long Distance race kicked off in the Harbour and we had to paddle out to the harbour mouth so we could see and feel the rough conditions out there! Than we turned 180 degrees to head into the River for the last part of the 8 km race.

The first 2 km were challenging with waves bouncing off the harbour walls. I was really struggling on my Starboard Sprint Zero 20.75 but after a swim I was so happy that I was able to catch up on the river with the leaders of the race Márton Kövèr and Mikołaj Majdan. On this section of the race I felt really strong, being more of a flat water racer than an ocean man, and I took the lead and by putting up the pace I managed to get passed Mikołaj. Márton, the multiple canoe marathon World Champ, raced smart. We had a great battle and he won the sprint to the the finish line.

After the Long Distance race I had the chance to join the mixed team relay. A 60 meter sprint with a buoy turn. Stoked to take the win together with Emilia Daszewska.

Bartłomiej Kleinschmidt, Poland, Member of SKZ ERGO Hestia Sopot

Photo by Darek Swosinski

Bartek said: Another edition of the Planet Baltic SUP Race is behind us and year on year it’s on a bigger scale.  This year we had 80 participants of which 34 came from abroad and not only from Europe but also from Australia. It all proves the high level of this competition.

The organisation of the event is also top-tier. The Planet Baltic Team has a back up plan for each weather condition preparing alternative courses depending on the strength and direction of the wind and waves. On the competitive level there’s a family-like atmosphere to be honest. The Organisers thought-through every little detail, from the parking spots to scrumptious meals.

Each start and participation in Planet Baltic brings a wealth of experience and to quote our Head Judge – ‘The sea is a living and breathing beast!’

I would also like to mention our Coach Andrzej Siewierski and take this opportunity to thank him!

Photo by: Robert Hajduk / Planet Baltic 2023

Planet Baltic SUP Race 2023 – Results

Women Sprints – Top 5

 1st Marta Apanasewicz (Poland) 
 2nd Hanna Kaminska-Dziedzicka  (Poland) 
3rd Linda Syrovatkova (Czech Republic) 
4th Tereza Hulswit-Sazavska (Czech Republic) 
5th Emilia Daszewska  (Poland)  

Men Sprints – Top 5

 1st Mikolaj Majdan (Poland)  
2nd Linus Karrlson  (Sweden)
3rd Damodara Mokhniuk (Ukraine) 
4th Matyas Soukup (Czech Republic) 
5th Ruslan Huseinov (Poland)  

Women Technical – Top 5

1st Marta Apanasewicz (Poland) 
2nd  Martyna Drobny (Poland) 
 3rd Emilia Daszewska (Poland) 
4th Hanna Kaminska-Dziedzicka (Poland) 
5th Malgorzata Cieplinska (Poland) 

Men Technical – Top 5

 1st Linus Karlsson (Sweden) 
 2nd Mikolaj Majdan (Poland)  
3rd Joep Van Bakel (The Netherlands) 
4th Damodara Mokhniuk  (Ukraine) 
5th Márton Kövér  (Hungary) 

Women Long Distance – Top 5

 1st Marta Apanasewicz (Poland)
 2nd Martyna Drobny (Poland)
3rd Emilia Daszewska  (Poland)
4th Tereza Hulswit-Sazavska (Czech Republic)
5th Malgorzata Cieplinska (Poland)

Men Long Distance – Top 5

 1st Márton Kövér (Hungary) 
 2nd Joep Van Bakel (The Netherlands) 
 3rd Mikolaj Majdan  (Poland) 
4th Grzegorz Szpynda (Poland) 
5th Jaroslav Soukup (Czech Republic)

For all result tables, click here

To find out more about the event and register, visit planetbaltic.pl

Follow Planet Baltic on social media – FacebookInstagram and YouTube 

*Head image by Marek Los

About the Author

Anna Nadolna

Anna is the Founder of SUPer Whale, a Cambridge(UK!)-based emerging watersports brand and a stand-up paddleboarding community. She is a certified SUP Flat Water Instructor accredited by International Surfing Association (ISA). Anna is also a digital marketing, storytelling aficionado and a growth hacking enthusiast.

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