Saturday, 26 February 2011

Argo Challenge: Karol Jablonski Joins Agro Challenge

Karol Jablonski - has joined Argo Challenge. Image copyright Alexander Peshnyak/Synergy.

by Lynn Fitzpatrick

Karol Jablonski, one of the most formidable match racing helmsman in the world over the past two decades, has joined the Argo Challenge. Jablonski led Desafio Espanol to a third place finish in the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup and was a force to be reckoned with in the RC44, Audi MedCup and Louis Vuitton Trophy series during 2009 and 2010.

In addition to being a top keelboat sailor, Jablonski has sailed multihulls. Addicted to speed, the well-rounded sailor is the best DN iceboat sailor in history. He has won the DN world championship seven times and is attempting to secure his third European championship this month.

"I have raced all kinds of boats and have held different positions on them. I was even an Olympic coach. I am happy to contribute in every way that I can to the Argo Challenge. It is important to work together to make sure that the team is successful," said Jablonski. "The Argo Challenge team will set an example for everyone who has ever had anything go wrong that perseverance is an important quality."

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Lars Grael as a person and as a sailor. His accident was devastating. He demonstrated his tenacity throughout his recovery and with all of his achievements since the accident." Jablonski continued, "It has been my dream to sail the Star. When I sailed it last year, I realized how talented Lars is. He is one of the best Star sailors in the world and I would respect him for that accomplishment alone, but to do all that he has done with only one leg is an incomprehensible achievement."

Argo Challenge skipper, Lars Grael stated, "It is a pleasure to have someone as talented as Karol join the team. His match racing tactics are the best. He is a great starting helmsman, driver and tactician. I am delighted by his enthusiasm and have learned many impressive match racing moves by watching him over the years. He is a master and I can’t wait to work closely with him."

The Argo Challenge is an international team of athletes and sailors of varying disabilities and able-bodied sailors. As it prepares to win the America’s Cup, its additional objectives are to educate the public about and enhance the public perception of the significant contributions the disabled members of each community can make to the whole, to advance the adaptive technologies available to support and assist disabled individuals more effectively as contributing members in a larger inclusive society, to inspire disabled individuals to set their goals as high as possible in their personal, professional and recreational lives, and to foster a more diverse, inclusive sense of community in which all are welcome to participate on all levels. Argo Challenge anticipates directly and indirectly financially supporting other nonprofit, charitable organizations, which promote disabled adaptive recreational, artistic, educational, and scientific programs.

Antonio Spinelli, Argo’s founder commented, "Argo’s momentum and following continue to grow. Having Karol join our team is a vote of confidence from one of the world’s best match racers. Karol is a very popular sports figure in Poland and it will add to our international fan base that is already strong throughout South America, Europe and the US. Given the international composition of the team, our universal message and the power of social media, we will have support form all areas of the globe."

Karol Jablonski - Accomplishments

2010 Louis Vuitton Trophy - La Maddalena; Team Synergy - 2 place
2010 TP 52 MedCup; Team Synergy - 6 place
2009 Louis Vuitton Trophy - Nice; Team Synergy - 3 place
2009 RC 44 overall match racing; Team Organika - 3 place
2009 RC 44 Portoroz Cup match racing; Team Organika - 2 place
2009 RC 44 Austria Cup match racing; Team Organika - 2 place
2008 Swan 45 Int. Italian Championship; Team Early Bird - 3 place
2007 LOUIS VUITTON CUP; Desafio Espanol - 3 place
2005 Maxi Yachts Rolex Cup; Team Y3K - 1 place
2004 Match racing world championship; Team Jablonski - 2 place
2003 Match racing world championship; Team Jablonski - 3 place
2003 Match racing European championship; Team Jablonski - 1 place
2002 Match racing world championship; Team Jablonski - 1 place
2001 Maxi Yachts Rolex Cup; Team Y3K - 2 place
2001 IMS 600 European championship; Team Extasy - 2 place
1999 Sydney’40 world championship; Team Thomas I Punkt - 2 place
1999 Mumm 36 world championship; Team Thomas I Punkt - 1 place
1999 Match racing European championship; Team MK Cafe - 2 place
1997 ILC’40 world championship; Team Pinta - 2 place
1994 Mumm 36 - Commodores Cup; Team Thomas I Punkt - 1 place
1993 50 Admiral’s Cup; Team Container - 2 place
1992 One ton class world championship; Team Thomas I Punkt - 2 place

2002 - 2004 International Sailing Federation (ISAF) #1 ranked Match Racing skipper for 18 months.

Winner of:
Admirals Cup, Commodores Cup, Copa del Rey, Kiel Week, Sardinia’s Cup, SORC, Palmavella, Zegna Trophy.

DN / ICE Sailing - DN class:
World Champion - 7 times, 2nd place - 4 times

Argo Challenge