What do the Nobel prize winner Albert Einstein, the dictator Adolf Hitler and the President JFK have in common?
It is not so evident to guess it, but beyond all the assumptions, surprisingly we rediscover them great sailing lovers. Let’s proceed step by step.
Albert Einstein is passionate about sailing since he was young on Lake Zurich. For him it is the perfect condition to isolate himself, think, reflect and take notes. Sailing makes him peaceful. However, it is well known that he was not an expert sailor either an experienced meteorologist or even an expert swimmer. In fact there are several anecdotes seeing him as the protagonist about incredible capsizals, sand ups and rescues in the lake or in the river. Luckily all happy-ending and apparently not traumatizing accidents and as proof of this, after each fall into the water, Albert promptly takes the sea route again.
His first boat is named Tümmler, a 7-m sloop seized by the Gestapo before his expatriation to the USA. He tries in vain to get it back in the following years, since every trace is lost, but Albert does not despair and, once arrived in the States, he buys Tinnef.
On the other hand, for the Führer sailing is one of the several ways to confirm his prestige. It is no coincidence that in 1928 he bought the elegant and powerful racing boat Sybillan of the Hohenzollerns, launched 15 years before in Norway, to give it to the Duce who renamed it Dux. However, we have no definite proof of this gift. Certainly, however, we know that Hitler loves to spend his free time with his fiancée Eva Braun aboard Skagerrak, the sailing boat used by Deutsche Marine (German navy) and built in the 40s by Abeking & Rasmussen.
Even President JFK and his family are great boat lovers and enthusiasts. In fact the president owns six sailing and motor yachts of which two are still in Italian waters and the remaining four in US waters.
In Italy you find the m/y Marlin owned by Della Valle since 1998 and on which JFK heard about the Berlin wall construction, and the s/y Royono, his largest vessel, a sort of box for his most intimate moments.
Abroad, in the USA, you find Flash II, protagonist of the famous regattas of JFK and his brother, and Honey Fitz, dedicated to his grandfather.
But the most dear and significant boat to him is Victura, received as a gift from his parents at the age of 15 and symbol of the passion for sailing and more widely for the sports disciplines that teach to be competitive, win and lead a healthy lifestyle of which JFK is a fervent supporter.
To confirm that sailing is a passion he will never abandon, in spite of his political commitments, while reassessing the America’s Cup –during that occasion he hosts Gianni Agnelli aboard his Manitou- JFK holds the famous speech that best describes his deep-rooted passion for sailing:
“All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.”