Farewell to Krystyna Chojnowska – Liskiewicz (1936-2021)

Ocean-going Yachtmaster, Gdańsk University of Technology graduate, naval engineer. She became the first woman to have sailed single-handed around the World (1976-1978). 

The voyage lead from Las Palmas crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Panama Canal, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and passing the Cape of Good Hope. It was a spectacular achievement which contributed to the development and popularization of sailing in Poland. 

Captain Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz was well-known for her struggle for the right position of women in the sailing community. As an expression of this, she organized cruiser for women. She was a part of the jury of the Cruise of the Year („Rejs Roku”) and the “Kolos” awards. She was a member of the Sea Sailing Commission of the Polish Sailing Association. For her activity, she was honored the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, and the Gold Medal for Sports Achievements as well as the Silver Medal of Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of France. For her 1978 voyage, she received the highest Polish sailing award – Silver Sextant and for a lifetime of sailing achievements – Super Kolos of 2008.  Her achievement was also entered in the Guinness Book of Records. Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz was one of the founders of the Polish Chapter of The Explorers Club in 1993.

Personally, I remember Mrs. Captain as a person who was kind to young sailors, who was breaking stereotypes, was young at heart. She supported expeditions organized by my team many times. It was at time when support for 20-year-olds going on a cruise around the Cape Horn or into the distant Canadian Arctic was not obvious. For my generation, Mrs. Krystyna’s cruises were and will remain an important inspiration. The person of Mrs. Captain with a huge contribution to the development and popularization of sailing, openness to the world, will remain in our memory forever.

On behalf of the members of the Polish Chapter of the Explorers Club

Jacek Wacławski, MD, sailor, FI’07