This fine looking Polish gentleman is Max Wojcik, a 24-year-old sailor on the Polish Olympic Team.
Max lives in Gdansk, a beautiful city on the Baltic coast of Poland. He is a really special guy for many reasons. First of all, he is a great sailor. In the talent-deep Polish fleet of boardsailors, he is currently ranked third on their Olympic team, which is an amazing accomplishment. He has had some really great regattas, the most notable being the 2007 ISAF World Championships in Cascais, Portugal, in which he finished 12th overall.
When you see Max sail, you can tell that he really loves the sport. There isn’t a moment on the water when he isn’t having fun, and it carries through to his great attitude. In fact, I’ve never seen him when he isn’t smiling and laughing, or performing crazy antics. He keeps the entire team entertained on a regular basis. I’ve even heard that he can perform backflips from a motorboat sitting on a trailer, above hard concrete. Check out Max in action at http://www.rsxteam.pl/menu/team/maks/wideo2.html.
Max has many other talents besides windsurfing and back-flipping. He is full of great stories, which he is good at telling. Many interesting things happen to him, and he writes about it all. His writing is excellent (just check out his home page, http://www.rsx.nazwa.pl/max/frameset.htm) and remember that English is his second language. His perspective of the world is interesting and enlightening and sometimes I seek him out just to have a good conversation. While living in Poland last summer, I experienced a lot of loneliness. Just talking to Max for a few minutes would change my whole outlook on the day. Max is one of my favorite Polish sailors not only for these reasons, but because he was the first sailor to ever approach me, and introduce himself to me, on my first European spring regatta circuit in 2006. I was feeling a little stressed out on the ferry from Palma de Mallorca back to Barcelona, when Max came up to me and sat himself down. “Hi, I’m Max, from Poland,” he said. Who was this friendly guy? We talked about sailing and training, and then he said, “Maybe you should come to Poland to train with us.” Little did I know how long I would end up living there! Out of my first experiences at the Palma regatta (Princess Sofia Trophy), this ferry ride stands out the most in my memory, thanks to Max.