The Baltic Classic Rally 2017

28 May - 10 June


JUNE 8, 2017

Mikolajki to Sopot

If you go down to the woods today


After the hectic schedule of the last two days we took our foot off the gas somewhat today and enjoyed a half day run to a fish restaurant for lunch before tackling the road to Sopot, a seaside resort neighbouring Gdansk, which like Mikolajki itself, we also visited in 2007.

Before departure this morning we were pleased to see that Sharlie Goddard and Suzy Harvey were back with us. Their Morgan has been reassembled and both it and the crew are keen to enjoy the remaining two days to Berlin.

On a beautiful blue sky morning, the Mayor of Mikolajki himself, was kind enough to flag the cars away from the main square this morning and, as the town is famous for world class rallying, a test had been planned at the Super Special track but, after a last minute inspection, Mark Appleton, the Clerk of the Course, decided that the surface was too rough for us to use after the long hard winter the region has endured. Safety first being the watchword, we pressed on, via a set of three regularities on some heavily wooded tracks which are used on the WRC event for which this town is famous. They were in turn; narrow, overgrown, loose and had plenty of changes of direction to make them just a bit more challenging. When the route did burst out onto open ground, clumps of poppies and cornflowers brushed against the bodywork as tractors and mowers went about the important business of haymaking.

This was rural Poland at its very best and, on the way to the time control in Nowe Bagienice where a quick coffee was called for, we counted more than 20 storks nesting along a 1km stretch of road. Easily the highest density of Ciconiidae since the rally landed in Estonia.

The run to lunch, via Dobre Miasto, thundered along traffic free and tree lined tarmac. The sun was shining, the temperature was rising and with a big (and necessarily hot) V8 in front of them, Steve and Julia Robertson proclaimed that they were glad of the shade.

Fish was on the lunch menu in Paslek Okon fish bar. We'd been missing it since we left Finland, but this was the local freshwater speciality, pike perch (or zander if you prefer) served with fries and a salad.

Once they'd eaten their fill, the crews remounted and were free to make their way to the chic seaside resort of Sopot along the fast and free flowing Polish motorway network and most of them checked in just in time for a stroll along the beach and a quick ice cream before turning in.

Despite the morning’s regularities, none of the leaders have changed and maybe they’re just beginning to think that there’ll be some silverware with them on the way home.

Syd Stelvio



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