About the fact that sailing is pleasant…

Even the ancients had the conviction that “navigare necesse est”. Ration! As the sea wolves say, this blue is addictive, and if you add the views, you have a way to perfect relaxation. That’s probably why flapping sails quickly became her greatest passion. Despite the fact that there are blood-curdling adventures, high waves and resistance of matter in the form of an engine, the world from the perspective of water is wonderful, emphasizes Magda Śmigiel from the Yazgot agency, residing at O4 Coworking on a daily basis, a graduate of the sailing patent course organized by Olivia Sports.

Did you come up with sailing weekends by accident?

The sailing adventure begins in Sweden aboard his cousin’s newly bought motorboat. He took us for a ride on the beautiful waters of Gothenburg, with lots of deserted islands where you can eat, sit and relax in the company of crabs in solitude (laughs). In beautiful natural surroundings and in perfect weather. What more could you want?

Your own boat?

First, my husband and I realized that we live by the sea and we don’t take advantage of it at all. The second thought was a sailing course, which I decided to take without being sure that I would be very interested in it. Rather, I wanted to see what it looked like.

Was it a difficult debut?

The first time I went down the water, I couldn’t do anything, although I had a brush with sailing as a child. I got a patent at the camp and it was gathering dust in the basement for years. Now everything turned out to be different, new. First of all, the boat, on which I was only able to handle one jib line (laughs).

But you’ve come to another class!

For such fabulous views I had to! Step by step, I started to take advantage of the classes conducted by Mateusz Kusznierewicz as part of Olivia Sports. Last October we had our last swim and it was time to get ready over the winter to decide whether or not to continue with the classes. After this break, I approached Mateusz with the intention that it would be my hobby.

What do the classes with master Mateusz Kusznierewicz look like as part of Olivia Sports?

The meetings began with a theoretical part, during which Mateusz or another person discusses what exactly we will do on the water. There are interesting questions about sailing. Then people with sailing qualifications or who know how to sail apply, who are joined by amateurs like me. Then a regatta or, in the case of a complete flurry, other sea games (laughs).

What did the beginning of the patent course look like?

First, during the classes, we received information that a course would be organized in 2019. Then we received an invitation and all the necessary information by e-mail. So I applied. The course was organized as part of the Sailing Academy, but the theoretical classes were held at the OBC, which was very helpful. It saved travel time.

Fig. Private archive of Magda Śmigiel. Thank you!

When is a patent within reach?

After a month of swimming, the course – 4 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday plus 4 hours of theory per week – culminated in an exam.

I can’t believe it went smoothly!

It wasn’t without its adventures. I even had a bath, which – to my surprise – motivated me even more to keep playing. Anyway, it’s not easy so far, because it’s not like you’re standing still and the boat is moving on its own. The number of “strings” that need to be controlled is complicated, so it is a challenge in itself to try to sail, return and moor while mooring where you should. Nothing is simple, from the wind that pushes you down, to starting the engine, which I usually ask my husband to do, because it requires a lot of strength, to setting the sails. Really, you can get off the boat evenly swung – your hands hurt, your hands ache, soreness, wherever you can, because you do everything in a squatting position. On larger, more automated boats, it’s simpler, but there’s less fun. The question is what you like.

Is it sport or relaxation?

It’s hard to say. A discipline that, contrary to appearances, requires commitment and in return provides amazing experiences. A bomb for me, because I like to work hard!

That famous bath was a baptism of fire?

Do I know? I think there are many who have never been overboard. I came out of it unscathed, with only wounded pride. I’ve had the problem of being afraid of big water for years, so sailing is also a way for me to demystify this problem. Despite several dozen hours of swimming, I still remember that water is an element that requires reason, experience and humility. During the course, I learned that nothing can be underestimated, even seemingly trivial elements can lead to an accident. Like a rope wound around a winch. All you have to do is put your fingers in and the sail will suddenly take on wind – then there is a powerful “ouch”.

Do you think a patent is for everyone?

For those who want to. If you approach the subject seriously and work diligently on the course, you will not have any trouble passing the exam. It consists of two parts – a written one in the form of a test and a practical one, where we go out to sea and perform the indicated manoeuvres in the presence of an examiner. They are understanding, because we pass the patent on a boat that is completely new to us, and as you know, the most important thing is to get to know the equipment well. You start the exam with the feeling that you don’t know anything, fortunately the impression of failure passes very quickly, because the examiner gives you a lot of support, and at the same time assesses the way you behave at sea, the degree of mastery of the basics and the degree of mastery of nerves in general (laughs).

What does the patent allow?

It allows you to rent a boat and cruise to e.g. Władysławowo or Szczecin! According to the rules, do not move away from the shore for more than 2 nautical miles with a yacht with a hull length of up to 12 meters. I also can’t swim in the sea waters at night.

Then there is another level of initiation?

Yes, the helmsman, for whose course I am slowly getting ready.




Interviewed by: Dagmara Rybicka, Olivia Business Centre

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