The „Global Mega-Boss“ met the Reminder team on a raft in Belgrade so that, as he originally said, we could do an article on sailing. Actually, as has transpired since, he had invited us to the river so we would fall in love with the sport, and all it brings, for life.
A white poodle opened the door of the freshly painted raft. The party was already in progress. Boys and girls carried ropes, cotton shirts and coffees. A curly-haired woman was talking on her cell-phone. Everyone tried to hide away from the scorching noon sun to a certain extent, but they didn’t let it bother them. The river, after all, is the river. Sailing boats were the only ones to sit still, secured to the raft, even though being still is not what they were made for.
Antonije Pušić, better known as Rambo Amadeus, and even better known as the „Global Mega-Boss“, is probably a favourite treat for any journalist. As a songwriter whose lyrics and quotes are accurate diagnoses of the state of society, the readers literally hang on every word he says and the journalists battle for exclusives in which, for the god-knows-which-time, Rambo will say something genius and entirely unusually phrased.
However, Rambo is not just a songwriter, he is also a serious sailing connoisseur and, as it turned out, a connoisseur of enjoying life. When he asked us over to join him at the river, where he was to take part at the Sava sailing meet with his crew, it was a huge honour. And the river… Again, it is the river. Its very presence steers the conversation to beautiful topics and to those things in life that truly matter.
„Sailing is the poetry of motion. When I sail, I feel as if I am riding on the wings of a huge sea-gull. A white one.“ Rambo uses the few free minutes before the race to welcome us. „I live by the water, both in Herceg Novi and in Belgrade. The only time I am not looking at water is when I am travelling between Belgrade and Herceg Novi.“
As he explained, they had prepared for the race, which ranks in the championship, in the microtonner class. „This class is well represented in Belgrade. There are over 50 microtonners registered in Serbia and up to 25 show up at regattas, which is a formidable force in monotype regatta racing. It is difficult to gather 20 monotype sailboats at the Adriatic, except in the Olympic juniors’ classes. So we, the seniors, actually have quite an interesting league here in the heart of Belgrade. Microtonners are wonderful, they allow all generations to sail, so there are even parents sailing with their children. We’ve had situations with three generations aboard the same boat, so this noble skill is being passed down from generation to generation.“
Since he competes, it’s all the same to him whether he is sailing a river or a sea. „Only, the sea comes with waves. There are no waves here, so it is that much easier to sail. But again, the river has its current that you have to calculate into your sailing… Both are beautiful. The sea is bluer, this here is greener, so it is pretty again. Water is beautiful.“
While other sports have categories, in the sailing terminology, there are classes. Microtonner class is sailed by adults, with each sailboat manned by three crew members. At Pomidora sailboat, under the command of Captain Rambo Amadeus, many rules apply but one is paramount – no talking on the boat. The boat is for sailing.
„Sailing is good for two reasons,“ continues Rambo. „On one hand, you sail in cooperation with nature, using the wind to move. On the other hand, since you can sail in the opposite direction from the wind, this lets you learn a lesson for life. Especially since there is this unpleasant circumstance, the force that is coming… but you can use it to still get to where you wanted to go.“
At high noon, the race begins. While the sails take in the wind over the river, I splash my feet in the water, sitting on the edge of the raft. Of course, I wanted to know how long it would take a total beginner to master the basics of this wonderful sport.
„During a 15-day training, anyone can learn the basics of sailing,“ explained Radovan Rezga from the Academic Sailing Club Belgrade, the coach of the sailing crew of Stefan Yill, 2017 European Champion in the „Optimist“ class. „I think that sailing is getting increasingly popular in Belgrade, as the city comes down to the river banks. Sailing Club Ada, within its activities, also organizes a sailing school for those interested. Sava Cup is a race in recreational sailing, for adults. We, on the other hand, sail on sports sail boats of Olympic and Non-Olympic classes.“
After the river current gives the competitors some trouble, the race comes to an end. The man we are here to interview and his crew arrive fourth. But, the day was such that everyone, who had been lucky enough to find themselves at the river, was a winner.
Sailors will often say that if you spend seven days on a boat with someone, it means that you can spend your whole life with them. Rambo confirms this view. „This is true, but those you can spend seven days on a boat are very rare. The space is limited. Nowhere to run.“
Rambo’s quotes are especially popular on social networks – by the number of shares he could rub elbows with Ivo Andrić and Confucius. We touch upon this phenomenon too, as soon as he cools himself and his crew off with a splash of water from a hose, after the race.
„This thing with social networks, it’s not a subculture. Literature was a subculture too, until printers came. Social networks are a culture, nowadays they are a mainstream culture“, he explains, then pauses. „And culture… well, urine culture is also culture. You can’t talk about whether culture is good or not. It just is, and something good will certainly come out of it.“
Still, on that day, social networks were not mainstream. The raft, surrounded by verdant greenery, with a view of the Ada bridge, breathed serenity and spontaneity. It was jam packed, the Global Mega-Boss walked around, „in person and his own sailing hat“ and in all his charisma, but not a single Insta Story was filmed nor a single photo taken for Facebook. Everyone enjoyed nature, good company and life, in general. Of course, we stayed on that raft till the sunset called the last round.
By: Miljana Nešković