If you thought you needed a massive yacht for big, blue water sailing, take a leaf out of Polish skipper Szymon Kuczyński’s book – he’s just won the British Ocean Cruising Club’s Jester Award in recognition of his 270-day, non-stop, single-handed circumnavigation via the three Great Capes in his 6.36-metre Atlantic Puffin.
Szymon set a new world record for the smallest vessel to circumnavigate single-handed and unaided, with no engine, when he returned to Mayflower Marina in Plymouth, UK on Thursday 17 May 2018.
The 37-year-old had spent 270 days, 10 hours and 29 minutes alone at sea, living in a space of only four square metres. His self-funded “Call of the Ocean” voyage covered around 29,000 miles.
Szymon said: “This award, of course, pleases me. You might say that we do not sail for awards, but it’s nice when we’re appreciated for what we do. However, I am most pleased that this award, which is important in the international sailing community, was granted by a British club. It is their recognition of Polish achievements, and this is important”.
An OCC statement said: “Szymon is the image of what the OCC Jester Award is intended to recognise – he self-funded an around the world single-handed voyage in a small boat, with no help or assistance along the way and without stopping for nine months and close to 29,000 miles. From the great sailing nation of Poland, the OCC is delighted to honour the achievement of this adventurous 37-year-old blue water sailor”.
The OCC award is just one of three that Szymon has won for his voyage. He was also honoured with the Polish Silver Sextant 2018, and the German Association for Trans-Ocean Sailing Trans-Ocean-Preis.
For a full list of the latest OCC award winners, read the official announcement on the website here.