Mateusz Kusznierewicz is among the most successful Polish athletes, with two medals at the Olympic Games, 20 ISAF titles and for these he received the Order of Polonia Restitutaâ€™s Knightâ€™s Cross and Officerâ€™s Cross.
â€œIâ€™ve been sailing for more than thirty years. I when from theÂ sailing in my Country level, then the international level to the Olympics and also I did some big boat racing. I went through different organizations and different formats and most of all I always represented the Polish Olympic sailing team.â€
Regardind Star Sailors League Mateusz has his view: â€œSSL fills a gap whichÂ thereÂ was in sailing organization for everyone. I donâ€™t mean only the Star sailors but all of the top athletes who are looking for a project which will go towards their needs, something that they are really looking for.
What is this project? Itâ€™s an organization which never existed before in sailing. Itâ€™s not based on Olympics or World Championships or European championships, World Cup regattas. No, itâ€™s a professional circuit and what I like about it is that thereâ€™s a plan that will come to fruition. The plan is the events and the tools that we use are going to use are written and we can be prepared. Everyone can do their own job in sailing, we can be good ocean racers, good in Olympic Classes, good big boat racers and then we can use those skills in one event with everyone. This has never been done before and this is what I like about SSL. SSL is one Grand Slam which is unbelievable, I love the thought, like I loved the Olympics, the World Championships which I have competed in. It is exceptional. We have sailors from different Classes, sailors who deserve to be here, who have fought for it, but in a limited number. The ranking should be done in different Classes, not just Star. Weâ€™ll have sailors from 470s, from Lasers, Stings, Americaâ€™s Cup, VOR, Star because this is the principle, but suddenly you can see that sailors with other background can perform very well, they just have to have a good crew. And the crew does a great job and they win against world champions. The concept is good.â€
â€œI wish that we had more regattas like this, I think that five Grand Slams during the year, or 4 plus the finals, would be a perfect combination. And then, of course, the Star Class has its own regattas so it would beÂ good to have a connection with ISCYRAso that people get the point. Then there would be the Grand Slams and then the final.Â Today there is a big need for Countries, cities and individuals to have this kind of exceptional event on their turf, Iâ€™m talking about Abu Dhabi, Italy, Brazil, Poland, France, New Zealand, China, big sailing countries that will invest and get the people behind it to host this kind of event. Itâ€™s like RC44, they had their cities where they organized the events and they kept coming back because they liked it and kept organizing it and put money behind it and the Class accepted it. So we can use the same fundamentals: get the countries who have an interest, do it right under the conditions of the contract who like it and we stay there. If there is another one that offers more, weâ€™ll see later. Weâ€™ve already had two editions and the cover is the organization. Everything was exceptional.â€
â€œI love the format, sailors from all over the world would like to sail that way. What I like best is that itâ€™s fresh, itâ€™s clear for us and the spectators. With internet coverage I was chatting with about 50/ 60 people following me who had no clue about sailing, but it was easy for them to follow the format. Three races, the first one is the winner, the loser goes home. We donâ€™t care about them, itâ€™s so clear that I like it. I think this is the right moment. Of course you have to be lucky and have good conditions. There has to be wind, thatâ€™s sailing but still I think its; better than just one race, double points thatâ€™s hard to understand. I would have liked to have had this before.â€
â€œThere has to be a kind of application, a qualification. Like in Wimbledon. It would bring more interest if the winners of every class had to do an application. Even lifeguards could do it.
I have decide that London was going to be last Olympics, I have done 5 and wanted to do something else with my life. I stopped training and had a family. When you sail you are away from home and I wanted to stay home. Another reason is that Iâ€™m getting older. I got everything I wanted, gold medals in the Olympics, World Championships and the European Championships. Iâ€™m very satisfied and complete, now I want to see if I can use my skills in a different way. Thatâ€™s why I opened a couple of companies, an electronics a team that makes a device that forwards the pictures you are taking with your smart phones. You take the picture and touch a button and it sends it automatically. There was nothing like this on the market so weâ€™re starting to distribute it in Italy then Poland and the Czech Republic. A new challenge.â€
â€œI could keep sailing on big boats but I don’t want to mix. When I do something I do it 100%. I have been thinking about sailing and a new project. Iâ€™m going to train and race in Star again, not right away, but in a year or two. I will create a new Polish sailing project thatâ€™s going to be quite big. For big boats, ocean sailing, but not competing in the Volvo Ocean Race. The project is going to last two years and will be to sail the Polish team around the world, competing in top 600 mile races. So the Sydney/Hobart, the Fastnet, the Caribbean 600, the Trans Atlantic and so on. I would like to have more experience in ocean sailing, a new challenge. This is my goal, to create this kind of project thatâ€™s different from the Olympics but that I would like to enjoy. This is my next goal for sailing. My plan is to come back to sailing in a different way in one or two tears. It has been three years since the London Olympics, so thatâ€™s a good break.â€
Mateusz Kusznierewicz will be in Grandson for the first ever SSL Lake Grand Slam.