International Season Opening: Cross-border Meet-up
Porsche Club Event in Poland
19th to 21st of May 2017, Ryn, Poland
Bartek Trzebiński, Vice President of the Porsche Club Poland, smiles: “What an event! What a great success! We had a fantastic number of participants! More than we would ever have expected. Simply phenomenal!” What Bartek is talking about here so exuberantly is something that took place in this form for the first time: a joint event involving the Porsche Clubs from Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Organisers of the whole event were the Porsche Club Poland and it took place in Ryn, which is located in the heart of the fascinating landscape of the Masurian Lake District. On the 19th of May, a Friday, the Latvian Club drove to Lithuania. The next day, they then headed for Poland, to Ryn.
A great mix
In total, almost 150 Porsche enthusiasts and more than 70 cars were in attendance: from the 944 and 928, plus a few 911 G models, all the way to the current 991 GT3 RS, Turbo S, Panamera and Cayenne, there was plenty on offer. “Lithuania took part with 42 cars, Latvia with 10. From the Porsche Club Poland we had 20 cars there. That was a fantastic number from our side, too, as various other events were taking place at the same time and our Club members unfortunately had to decide which event they would rather attend.”
The cooperation between the three Clubs had already begun five years previously, when Club members from the Porsche Club Poland occasionally took part in events run by the Porsche Club Lithuania. The two Presidents had remained in touch ever since. Edvinas Mamedovas, the President of the Club in Lithuania, and Marats Blate of the Porsche Club Latvia then had the idea this past March of organising a joint event. “And straight away we thought: that's a fantastic idea,” adds Bartek Trzebiński.
For young and old
The event was not a case of testing themselves on a race track, as the Polish Club otherwise likes to do: “These three days were a nice excursion and a sociable get-together for young and old. We drove our fabulous cars, met new people and saw lovely towns and countryside,” recounts Bartek Trzebiński. In everything that the group did, provision was made for fun and play and there was something for everyone. There was a go-kart race, a paintball competition and an outsize football for the kids to let off steam. As a driving event the participants enjoyed a 150-kilometre course along winding Masurian roads in northern Poland, using their own cars.
Bartek Trzebiński was responsible for the event – and without a strong team behind him including fellow board members Marcin Filipowicz and Michał Błaszczyk would not have been able to run it so well: “Every Club member involved with the event was very helpful – even my two boys, at just 11 and 13.” The Porsche Centre Warsaw was also able to showcase themselves and sponsored the prizes for the winners of the go-kart race and paintball competition.
Going beyond your own horizon
Lithuania and Latvia are small countries with relatively limited roads. Especially if you're sitting in a Porsche, you quickly notice that the journey soon stops, when the country comes to an end. The route for the cross-border meet-up began with a half-day's drive from Latvia to Lithuania and then from Lithuania to northern Poland. A further 150 kilometres then led via picturesque Polish roads between lakes and past fascinating hills and countryside. A unique experience for many participants, who in some cases covered over 1,000 kilometres that weekend.
One particular challenge for Bartek and his team was to find an event hotel for so many people in this northern part of Poland. The organisers came up trumps with the Zamek Ryn Castle Hotel, which is housed within a medieval castle. The group recharged their batteries here, had a joint meal – and those who wanted to were able to hire the appropriate costumes and slip into the role of priests, knights or other characters from the Middle Ages. Bartek: “We thought it would be a great contrast to switch from the seat of a modern Porsche into the life of people who lived here over 500 years ago. And I think everyone found it great fun.”
New friends and new traditions
Bartek describes the event as being characterised by comradeship and as an excellent example for cross-board events among Porsche enthusiasts: “With our International Season Opening we want to create a new tradition and have already spoken about repeating the event annually. That would make us all very, very happy!”
Given so many highlights, which moment was the best for Bartek? “I think at the end as we were all saying our goodbyes, that's when the best moment happened for me. Everybody laughed, was happy and grateful to the organisers and to us, the three Presidents, that we had made this idea of a cross-border meet-up a reality. Thoroughly contented, smiling faces are for me the greatest sign of appreciation.”