Richard Konkolski


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Born in Czechoslovakia on July 6, 1943. During my study years I was involved in many sports like running, skiing, shooting, gymnastics, judo, but primarily sailing. From 1959 trough 1966 I won over forty different sailing races, and I held championship titles of the Karvina District and North Moravia District in my native homeland for seven consecutive years.

From 1963 to 1972, I worked as a civil engineer, supervising and coordinating the construction of several chemical plants.

For the next ten years, I developed a growing reputation as a world class sailor, earning honor upon honor. I became a celebrity and hero in my homeland. In June 1982, after two years of futile attempts to obtain government permission for my next international sailing activities, and expecting further restrictions on my publishing work, as well as radio and television appearances, I decided to leave from Czechoslovakia. With my family we crossed the border between Czechoslovakia and Poland during Poland's Marshal Law, and we managed to set sail from Szczecin, Poland, bound for Newport, RI. We arrived in Newport just a few days before the start of the first Solo Around the World Sailing Race - The BOC Challenge. Requesting political asylum in the United States for my family, I set sail for this world class competition, for which I was already getting ready for the past two years.

Despite the complications caused by our defection, which left me without sponsorship and virtually penniless, I pressed on regardless, finishing third (winning two of four legs) in my class with five world records against almost insurmountable odds.

The Race took 10 months and shortly after finishing it, our political asylum was granted by U.S. Government and we settled in Newport, Rhode Island. Limited by our status at that time, I started work for a building company but three months later I started my own construction business doing remodeling, redesign and general maintenance. Almost immediately we purchased two family house, the repair and remodeling of which absorbed a lot of my free time.

Soon after, I started a second business, Seven Oceans Sailing, doing marine survey, consulting, lecturing, and boat design and teaching sailing. For some time I was also teaching sailing at the private St. George School in Newport.

In 1985 I was involved in promotion of Stroh's beer Signature. My sailing achievements were a base for 8-page color picture insert. More than 17,000,000 copies were part of magazines like Time, Newsweek, Esquire, Golf, Tennis, Runner, Field & Stream and many others.

In 1986/87 I took part in second BOC Challenge - Solo Around the World Sailing Race. Despite great achievements and exposure during the previous race, I was unable to find sponsorship. In the end I sailed on my old boat and on my family’s budged. The race lasted 10 months.

The boat was the heaviest in the fleet and shortest on the water line with next to impossible chance at winning. Despite this, I cut 41 days off my previous solo-circumnavigation time and improved all my previous five world records in sailing. I finished fifth with good material for my future books.

During this race I was pioneering computer-to-computer communication via radio and satellite. My stories were accessible on CompuServe. Over 300 schools were using them for educational purposes. Data General, Inc donated basic computer equipment.

By the end of 1987 I created Seven Oceans Video mail ordering business with over 900 video titles on boating and sailing, still active on few webs.

In 1990 I finished the construction of video and multimedia production studio. My business was changing more to production if instructional videos and commercials. My major clients were Westinghouse, S.A.I.C., US Navy, Tourinwest, Salve University, J-Boats, Media Pro, some TV Stations, mainly in Europe, and other local businesses.

Early 1992 a gas explosion and fire liquidated our residence and business. The loss was very hard due to inadequate insurance of the business. Therefore I had no different choice, than to recover solely by my own hard work and my family’s helping hand. It took four years to get back on track.

In 1994 I had again fully equipped video and multimedia production studio. I was again capable of creating TV programs, instructional videos, commercials, interactive CD-ROM, 3-D animations and so on. I was always at the top of new technology and today I have full capacity in filming and editing in the latest and highest quality of High Definition video – live.

 Also, I am working on rewriting and translating my old published books and I am writing a new as well. For this I am using traditional desktop publishing as well as the latest electronic technology like CD-ROM, DVD and WWW publishing.