“A cup of coffee with…” – Waldemar Biały, helmsman of the getsix® Sailing Team in the Omega Class regatta
At getsix® it is not only about the company and its employees. It is first and foremost people who build and develop the organization and share their passions, often unusual ones. This time we get to know the inspiring story of Waldemar Biały. He is the owner of a taxi company and after work – together with his crew – he jumps on a boat and competes for the Polish championship in sailing regattas of the Omega class. He has been supported by getsix® for many years in the development of this passion, and from 2022 his team will be branded the getsix® Sailing Team.
Please tell us more about yourself and the Omega Class.
Waldemar Biały, skipper of the getsix® Sailing Team: We all work in our professions. I run the Taxi S Class company. After working hours we represent Wroclaw as a sailing team. It is our life passion. The core of the crew – besides me – are Wojciech Kubas and his wife Kamila. Recently we were also joined by Filip Wróbel, son of the Georgian consul, Wojciech Wróbel. Before that, Mateusz Patrzałek and Wiktoria Kuter were also members of our crew. Omega is the most popular sailing class in Poland. Each year we take part in over a dozen regattas, competing for the Polish Cup and Polish Championship. It is worth mentioning that even though Omega is a semi-amateur class, we often compete with the best: Polish sailors, national representatives and Olympic athletes. They consider these races as training base and platform.
How did your sailing adventure start?
I have been interested in this sport since I was a child. My dad was a sailing instructor and I had trained other sports before, like football and karate. But when I was 8 years old I took up sailing. I started in Omega Class Races for the first time in 1996, with my dad. We had an old tourist boat, those were completely different times. And so the adventure has continued uninterrupted for 25 years. We have been sailing with our current crew for five years. Wojtek had sailing experience, but his wife, for example, started from scratch. Nowadays she is doing great and winning competitions with our crew.
The biggest success on your account is…
Winning the vice-championship of Poland in 2018. We also won the Wrocław championships. We are currently ranked fourth in Polish Cup. This year we were just short of third place. We know what went wrong and we strongly aim to improve.
Besides the crew, the most important aspect of this passion has to be the boat and the equipment. Please tell us more.
Our boat was designed by Romuald Krasiecki. In my opinion it has the best construction in the entire Omega class. Although, it is one of the oldest in the class (built in 2006) it is very durable, and we accomplish some of the best results. Boats from other manufacturers are usually built within 2-3 weeks, and ours was built for over six months which makes it unique. In 2020 it underwent a thorough overhaul. Just like with a car a boat must be screened at least once a year, in this case by a shipwright. In extreme conditions even more frequently as some elements go through excessive wear. The annual maintenance of our boat reaches out for at least several thousand zlotys, and its market value ranges between 40 to 50 thousand Polish zlotys.
Do you need special preparation to go sailing?
Sailing is a sport for everyone, however the Omega class does require appropriate certificates and permits. Additionally, it is best to be in a good general shape and of course not scared of the water. Agility or strength is important, but endurance is crucial. There are races under difficult weather conditions, where one is glad to finish, regardless of the rank.
How does getsix® support your passion?
At first, we were sponsored by the city of Wroclaw, then we represented PGE Turow Zgorzelec and for the last four years we have been actively endorsed by getsix®. So far, the sponsorship covered equipment costs: such as sails or outfits for the races. From 2022 on this support will get even more substantial. getsix® will cover our travel expenses which until now have been the biggest cost we have incurred. We have also changed our name, previously we competed as Monster Sailing Team and now we are branded getsix® Sailing Team. We are happy that our partnership is getting better every year.
What are your goals for the 2022’ season?
We always strive to win so it is no secret that our goal for this year is winning both, the championships and Polish Cup. We are confident in our abilities. Our results are stable and we are ranked top five in Poland. But now we have upgraded our equipment and these changes should open the way to the top for us.