"If I was alone right now, I'd cry with joy. It's crazy. I usually get seasick just by looking at the water. So it's great to sit here. I would never have thought that I could do that."
A very happy Stefan Czartoryski enjoyed every second of Wednesday's sailing off Tuborg Harbour in Copenhagen. A light autumn breeze fuelled the sails of the two Farr 40 boats that The Royal Danish Yacht Club kindly had made available to Sailing Sclerosis and the 45 adventurous MS patients who had turned up.
The event was visited by several delegates from the international sclerosis conference ECTRIMS, which opened yesterday and runs until Saturday. And the foreign guests were impressed by the project that still needs some funding.
”Today's Open Water Day was an important event. We showed some of the delegates of the ECTRIMS, including potential sponsors, what Sailing Sclerosis is all about. Everybody present today could feel the enthusiasm. This is what we’re going to do around the world: Make MS patients go out sailing – creating communities to enduce empowerment of the individual changing the mindset from disabilityto ability,” Mikkel Anthonisen, MD and founder of Sailing Sclerosis, said.
Ready for the big adventure
It was the first time in many years that Stefan Czartoryski was at sea. And the one-hour trip on the Copenhagen coastline whetted his appetite for sailing around the world with Sailing Sclerosis.
“I have a newborn baby and a child of four at home. But if it’s possible, I would definitely like to go for a few weeks. I’m sure that it will be a great experience”, said the 38-year-old psychologist who retired from his job after he was diagnosed in 2010.
Both he and the other MS patients on board listened attentively to the match-race professional Phillip Guhle who talked about the different tasks on a boat and showed them how things were done. On the way back to the harbour lots of questions were asked, and Stefan Czartoryski had a big smile on his face as he left the rocking boat and headed for a cup of warm coffee in the yacht club’s restaurant.
"I will try this again. That’s for sure," he said.