Mateusz Kusznierewicz – born 1975, double Olympic medalist in the Finn class, Finn and Star world champion, fivefold European champion and multiple Polish champion, vice president of the Polish Sailing Association since April 2017.
For the new Vice President of Polish Sailing Association, this year will not only be a time of intensive work in the association structures, but his sailing calendar is also filled with the terms of the regattas in which he will take part.
– When we talked last time, you were preparing for a start at Heineken Regatta with the Yacht Club Sopot team. You can say that with that regatta you have returned to the sport rivalry …
– After the London Games I took a few years off from racing sailing to have time for family and business projects. A year ago I made a decision to return to sailing and since then I have been training and increasingly often taking part in the regattas. I spend a lot of time on the water on various yachts. I race not only with Dominik Życki in the Stars Sailors League Finals, but also on the big yachts. I am learning, gaining knowledge and experience. We all know that large yachts require a different practice.
– What is the most important for you in team sailing and what are you most working on now?
– On large yachts the key to success is the optimal work and cooperation of the entire crew. Each member should be specialized in his/ her field and focused on this task. It is very important to have proper communication on the yacht. I strive for perfection. The success of a day does not mean that one person has to be the best. The best must be everyone, the whole team. I talk, consult, do a lot of notes. I talk with Karol Jabloński and also with foreign sailors, who have mastered the art of teamwork to perfection. I’m fascinated with learning from the best and I’ve noticed that with this knowledge I am making progress.
– You will gather experience during the forthcoming Rolex Fastnet Race, but it is not the only your racing this year …
– Yes, this year I’m going to sail a lot on different yachts. Even before Fastnet, in the Mediterranean Sea, on a magnificent 50 feet yacht, taking part in a new international, very professional project. So far, we haven’t revealed details, but soon I can say more about the whole venture. This is a fascinating task for three years. I have the opportunity to take part in the role of tactics and sports director.
– But these are not the only this year’s regattas …
– In July I will start in the Open ORC Polish Championships with the international crew, and then in the Dr Irena Eris ORC European Championship with the Yacht Club Sopot team. These regattas will be held in Gdańsk, we will start under the Polish flag and I will be in the role of a helmsman. Two weeks later, in August we will start in the famous Rolex Fastnet Race. This will be a completely different race than the previous one. My first six hundred years old classic. In the role of skipper and helmsman. I’m very excited to be taking on the 70 feet ocean yacht in such a great crew. At Yacht Club Sopot has a great atmosphere, the club is growing and the team that runs it has already confirmed some very interesting plans for the second part of this year and 2018 season.
– What sports goals do you set for this year?
– This year I’m going to spend primarily on learning and gathering experience. I do not focus on results. I want to develop my skills, learn sailing in different teams, in different conditions and on different yachts, to have good results in the regattas next years. And my biggest success this year is the full calendar and projects in which I am involved. I will have the opportunity to sail on 30, 50 and 70 feet boats with very experienced trimmers, foremen, pitmen and navigators. That is why I am very pleased with my sailing plans for this year.
– The regattas schedule is full, but is there an event you could say today that it’s your dream regatta?
– We’ve talked about it before, I’m dreaming of a race around the world and I’m working on it. This is one of the most important elements of my sailing plans. And a dream event? The Admiral’s Cup will be rebuilt in October in Majorca as the Swan Nations Trophy. There will be amazing yachts and very good sailors from all over the world. Participation in this regatta is one of my goals and dreams, and everything shows that I will be able to achieve them.
– You are racing in the regattas, fulfilling duties in the Polish Sailing Asocciation, you are involved in maritime education projects for youth, you are doing business, and, of course, you have a family. How do you find time to reconcile all responsibilities? You must be a very organized person …
– Indeed, it is my strength. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to do all these things. Sometimes I have a plan scheduled to the minute. Of course there can be is something that surprises me, but it is impossible to completely eliminate unforeseen situations. But I have to say that although I have everything well arranged and consistently realize all the plans, it is not only my merit. I do not work alone, I am supported by great people. I am fortunate to have very good people in all my teams and projects. Adding to this good and systematic operational work, it is easier to repeat successes. The effects give a lot of satisfaction and are very pleasant, which makes me even more motivated.