Zbigniew Gutkowski


Zbigniew Gutkowski is the perfect example of dreams coming true. Determination, passion and faith enable the achievement of what seems impossible.

How did Zbigniew Gutkowski begin his adventure with sailing? Gutek was born in Gdansk and as a child he lived with his parents not far from the Gdansk Shipyard Yacht Club. He loved watching the ships, boats and white sails. He was only 10 when he decided that he would spend his life sailing. There was a geography club in his school which organised sailing for its members and he enrolled as soon as he could. He sailed initially on tiny sailing boats, called “Optymist” and ”Kadet”. Later, he moved on to larger vessels. His life today revolves entirely around sailing. In 1987-1995 he was a member of the class 470 Polish National Olympic sailing team, representing the Gdansk Shipyard Yacht Club. During this time he succeeded in events on a Polish Championship level. For several years he competed in the 49-er class regatta, as a member of one of the best Polish teams.

In 2000 Gutek began his ocean sailing adventures by joining Roman Paszke in the famous global non-stop millennium regatta called The Race, using multihull sailing boats. In 2005, he participated in the Nokia Oops Cup regatta. He also tried to beat the world record for circumnavigation without calling at any ports on a monohull sailing boat. Unfortunately, damage sustained by the yacht forced the crew to give up their attempt to break the record and call at Cape Town, having travelled for 9500 nautical miles. Gutkowski is a member of the MK Cafe Sailing Team and, since 1998, RACE TEAM 2000.

His wife Eliza supports his passion for sailing, although she is not such a keen sailor as Gutek. She encourages him in his new projects and helps in the preparations. Eliza and the couple’s 13-year-old daughter Zuzia are Gutek’s greatest fans.

The VELUX 5 OCEANS regatta on the OPERON RACING yacht is Gutkowski’s first solo race. Until now he has only sailed alone for a maximum of two days. Participation in the regatta had always been a big dream for Gutek but it was only this year, as the new class of boats were accepted in the race, that he could finally take part. The ECO 60 class allows the participation of boats manufactured before 2003. They are much cheaper than newer vessels, which means that less affluent people can also enjoy the competition.

Gutkowski’s dream of participation in the regatta has been fulfilled. How about the dream of winning it?
Well, Gutek has been doing a fantastic job so far on OPERON RACING yacht!


Zbigniew Gutkowski is the first Polish sailor to take part in the around the globe VELUX 5 OCEANS race!