Polish industry giants raise money for sick children

In Gdynia, the city considered the Polish sailing capital, the charity regatta "PGNiG Challenge” will be held. Jacek Kwiatkowski

Polish industry giants are set to go to sea for a noble purpose.

In Gdynia, the city considered the Polish sailing capital, the charity regatta "PGNiG Challenge” will be held. This year it will be organised by PGNiG - the state-run Polish oil & gas company.

8 yachts of the Balt Amor 25 type, each with a crew of 4 or 5 members, will sail off into the waters of the Gulf of Gdańsk. Apart from the organiser itself, the race will be attended by the representatives of other major Polish companies like PZU (the insurance giant) and Enea (the power utility company).

"It's not so much about winning, it's about instilling a sailing bug - and to promote the sport. This is the goal of the event, next to the most noble one - to help those who are in greatest need", says the President of the Polish Shipping Association Tomasz Chamera to “The First News”. The Polish Shipping Association provides technical support to the event organiser.

The entire income from the event will be donated to the "Amber Harbour" hospice for children, run by the St. Wawrzyniec Hospice Association in Gdynia, which looks after a group of some 45 terminally ill children on a 'round-the-clock basis. Most of the young patients who live permanently in the facility have been abandoned by their parents. The hospice staff also takes care of sick children staying at home, supporting their parents, who often are mentally or physically not able to cope with the challenge.

"It is the 3rd edition of the race and we are very grateful that the event has developed into a tradition. This is a huge help for our hospice. We need to maintain not only a large team of doctors, nurses and physiotherapists, but also to buy specialist equipment like inhalers or respirators. I hope they stay with us in the future and don't just 'sail away'..." says the director of the hospice, Father Grzegorz Miloch.

Last year, the event was organised by the Polish Real Estate Holding (Polski Holding Nieruchomości) and raised 168,000 zlotys.

"The premise of that campaign was so honourable that PGNiG decided to join it this year as the organiser," says Marcin Poznań, PGNiG's spokesman.

The terms and conditions for participation, however, remain unchanged: a donation of at least PLN 6,000 per attendee will go towards the hospice.

The businessmen will set off out into Gulf this Saturday. In the city of Gdynia, thanks to exceptional wind conditions and well-prepared infrastructure, a number of sailing events take place every year, both on a national and international scale. The crews will obtain professional support from the PGNiG Challenge Regatta – each boat attending the PGNiG Challenge Regatta will be given an experienced sailor, who will be put in charge of the crew.

One of the yachts will be captained by Maciej Grabowski, a sailor who participated in the Olympic games in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. Grabowski was the first Polish sailor who in one season (2012) won gold medals at the Polish Championships in two different Olympic classes: Laser and Star.