Sailing and European politics, do they really go hand in hand?

Ariane, based between Hampshire and Berlin, is one of fifteen Europeans that has received a scholarship from the Hans-Farmont foundation to partake in one of three ten-day summer sailing school trips.

On these trips, three groups of five Europeans will sail between Greece and Turkey, whilst discussing European politics. This year, their theme for discussion is ‘Europe is lost’.

Ariane, one of 15 Europeans awarded a scholarship for the foundation’s summer school
Picture used with permission.

The summer school is an annual project that gives the opportunity to discuss European politics onboard a boat to fifteen young Europeans every year. Their aim is to ‘strengthen the connections and unity of young people in Europe.’

The three separate trips take place from June to August and the participants are encouraged to get hands-on and participate in the sailing of the boats, tying knots and manoeuvring .

How did you find out about the project, and was it something you wanted to do immediately, or did you have to think about it?

Well I’d never really considered sailing, I can’t even swim! it definitely wasn’t something I sought out. I heard about it from an alumni through a network I’m in.

I clicked on the link they sent and thought ‘well I love European politics, but I’ve never sailed and I’m afraid of water, so why not challenge myself?’ So I applied and got through!

Do you know what route you’ll be taking?

It’ll be between turkey and Greek islands, obviously it’ll depend on the weather and any possible Coronavirus restrictions.

What will the discussion panels involve?

Because of contact restrictions, it will be a bit different to normal years, so we’ll be making a documentary on what it means to be European, and putting that out on social media.

Are you more excited for the discussion or the sailing?

It’s about 70/30, I’m definitely more excited for the sailing, even though its a new experience so I’m a bit hesitant to be on the water for that long.

I’m also really excited to meet the others on my trip, we’ve been talking for a year now, as the trip was pushed back from 2020 to this year, due to the pandemic.

Ariane and her fellow Europeans that will be also taking part in the summer sailing school: Jasmin, Nuno, Elena, and Marco. Used with permission from Ariane.

Do you think that after this trip you’ll pursue more sailing?

I haven’t really thought about it, it could definitely be something to explore, depending on how accessible it is. I’m sure I’ll know if I want to take sailing further after the trip.

What do you hope to achieve and experience from this trip?

Pushing myself out of my boundaries, really. I’m a landlocked person and venturing into the deep seas between Greece and Turkey will definitely be interesting.

The discussion side of it too, as I come from a consultancy, politics and healthcare world, getting to understand what everyday people that might not necessarily like these kinds of discussions think, is something different and exciting to look forwards to.


You can keep up to date with Ariane on Twitter or Clubhouse, where her username is @_arianex


Please note-this interview may have been edited for ease of understanding.

Author: Rosa-May Bown

I study BA(Hons) Multimedia Journalism at Manchester Metropolitan University ⛵ my hobbies include listening to Norwegian pop, writing poetry, sleeping in and sailing whenever I can.

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