This is the story of Easy Swissa. A boy who become the sailor. Who become a leader and a winner in the world of sailing. Today’s Easy Swissa is a well known sailor and racer.
I never thought I would have my very own website, let alone that I would sit and write out my life story. In keeping up with the times, I had to push the boundaries of my comfort zone and embrace today’s social media platforms as a way to share that which is very important to me: my history, knowledge and experience in sailing that may be an inspiration to someone out there!
For me to write about myself or even to talking about myself is not something I feel very comfortable in doing, but what I noticed is that, by sharing our life stories, we open doors to discussions. Discussions that give place to ideas, that expand our minds and that make our lives more fulfilling. I am lucky to have found Sailing which is not just a sport or passion of mine but it’s also my business, my family’s DNA and our lifestyle. Through sailing I have been able to travel a lot and meet fantastic people from all around the world. I’ve witnessed many times that by sharing our life stories and experiences, we truly connect as people. Each one’s story is unique and bares in it treasures of information, lessons learned and inspiration.
So here I am, sharing my story and hoping that it will open doors for more discussions. Discussions about the life-changing impact of Sailing, about Dreams, about the Nature, the Sea, about Life and it’s Beauty. I hope you enjoy the read, and I hope to hear your story when we meet, whether it’s on the Sea or on the Shore.
From my boat,
My family’s roots Going back to the Atlantic sea, to Portugal. On some point my ancestors moved to Mediterranean Sea and ends up in Egypt, which is where my parents were born.
Around 1948 with the establishing of the state of Israel my parents moved to Israel and in 1965 I entered this world. I was born in Bat Yam, a city nuzzled by Israel’s Mediterranean Coast.
For many generations, my family lived by the water. From the Portuguese South Coast, to the Nile to the Mediterranean Coast, the element of water was always present in our family’s DNA. My grandfather used to have a Felucca boat on which he sailed the Nile and our original family name was Suasso meaning two words: South & Wind.
“I find it somewhat predestined that the Wind and Sailing was always part of my name, as if it was
‘calling me into the sea”.
Growing up in Bat Yam, there were lots of beach sailing activity with a small boats, wave surfing and a winning spirit . There was a small Sailing Club "Zevulun" which I eventually joined when I was 10 years old. It started as a hobby, as something to do, but very soon it became a serious part of my life. I developed my Sailing career along side the Club’s development as it started dynamically expanding and getting involved with the local Sailing community.
Soon enough, our Club became so successful that in 1983, in the “World Championship”, in the 420 International Class, within the top 10 winners of the world , 5 teams come from a small club in Bat-Yam .
This proved to me that when having strong beliefs, pursuing excellence, right positive mix of energy between people, there is no limit to how much you can achieve as a person and a Sailor, no matter where you start. As a result of these aspects, our Club truly managed to achieve the unbelievable. Until this day, most of the friends that I started sailing with together in this Club, are very successful people in many ways and are lead by commitment and pursuit of excellence.
I have joined the national Israel sailing team first in 1882 and stayed representing Israel in many years to come in many races all over the world in different type of boats and classes.
Able to participate in International Races, Regattas, European Championships and World Championships. Racing became an inevitable part of my life, which remains as such to this day!
I had the opportunity to Coach an Olympic Class - the "laser" this was a time for me to look and learn about other sailor's challenges and to realise that my time as an Olympic sailor are over and I'm ready to move on to the big boats world .
When I began to sail, I was transformed for ever and I knew that Sailing was going to be a very big part of my life, if not my life entirely. But it wasn’t until I was 17 years old that this was completely set in stone for me through an interesting encounter with a man who ended setting a definitive course of my life. This man was Bob Mann. A Jewish who moved to Israel to help develop the sailing racing scene in the Country. He used to make Sails for some of the best boats in the world and due to the aerodynamic shape of the sails which was his unique design, he was known to make ‘Sails that Win’.
I was approached by Bob Mann when I was 17 with an offer to be his test pilot. Back in those days we didn't have computers to design the wind/aerodynamics of sails, so we had to manually shape and built and test each sail, to see how it worked with the wind and in practice. Working as a test pilot meant that I really had a chance to learn the different dynamics and behavior of different sails’ shapes and most importantly, learned to truly understand the wind better. I was start to look at the wind.
After four years of working for Bob, not only did I grow as a Sailor and as a person, but I was also able to witness first hand the amazing development of the Sailing Community that was happening in Israel, much of it thanks to this man. Having completed his mission in Israel, eventually the time came for Bob to move back to America. One morning he called me and asked me to meet him, just few days before his departure.
At that time I lived 3 hours away from him and had to take a bus, train and another bus just to reach his sail loft up on the mountains, but somehow I didn’t hesitate for a minute. The second I put down the phone, I hopped on the first bus to meet him.
When I arrived at Bob’s door, he was waiting for me there with two keys in his hand.
The first key was to his car – full of machines and sail cloth, materials and sails templates we have worked so hard to design together. He just gave it to me – free of charge out of his generosity, so i can have a good kick-start for me professional life – and it was a great way to start.
The second key, was not only a physical key, but it was also a key to my future. This gesture from him really was the ‘push’ that I needed to confirm that I am heading in the right direction and that it was time to develop my Sailing passion into a business. To this day, I feel very lucky and grateful to Bob for giving me this opportunity. That day he gave me those keys was a lifechanging moment, and I grabbed it with both hands and never looked back. I was 21 years old, having just completed my Army Service and truly, had the world as an empty canvas upon which to draw the life of my dreams.
EASY SAILS: THE EARLY DAYS
I started my business ‘Easy Sails’ in 1985 and at that time it was really a one-man show. Eventually, my wife Orit, started helping me with the administrative and financial management of the business. Being also a passionate Sailor, eventually she started getting involved with other areas of the business. Easy Sails started purely as a Sail Making company but eventually grew to have 3 main areas of activities: Sail Making, Boat Trading and Cover making. As Orit became more and more specialized in the luxury additions of the boat such as ownings, cushions etc, she eventually took over that part of the activities, and we hired a few more people and kept going strong.
Despite my time being very consumed by Easy Sails and our growing family, I never stopped racing. Of course, I could no longer extend the same level of commitment as was required for Olympic Class Racing on 470m boats, so I found alternative options. I started racing on Big Boats and I would be hired by teams and people to instruct and share my skills as a racer. This opened always wonderful conversations, cross-exchanging of expertise and was also, good for business.
Friends, colleges and opponents, Sailors, people you meet along the way become our network. Many of them are become good friends of mine, some of them clients and business partners. And some are people I can cross the oceans with. That is the beauty of the Sailing community – it has so many layers to it that you never know in how many ways you will interact and connect with the Sailors you meet on your path.
We lived some amazing years with Easy Sails and business was booming whilst the Sailing community in Israel was growing. A big milestone for our company was joining North Sails, a globally recognized brand and a leader in the Sail Making business in 2000. When North Sails first approached us and offered us to join them, at first we hesitated. We were happy with the way business was going and the quality of our Sails. However, once we got to find out more about North Sails, we recognized many opportunities that this synergy would open. Not only would it allow us to expand our company on an International Level, but we would also have the amazing chance of learning and expanding our knowledge of the art of Sail Making through North Sail’s expertise and the brilliant minds of the team.
NORTH SAILS: JOINING THE FAMILY
We joined North Sails Family in 2002 and got more involved in Sail Designing. Whilst we learned we tried to share our knowledge and experiences . it was truly a win-win arrangement. We were able to produce some amazing sails, eventually renamed our company to North Sails Israel and our markets enlarged, our production facilities advanced and our team become committed and knowledgeable. We are building small racing sails for kids sailing on Optimist and at the same time we build big monsters of boats of 150ft. We have No limits and that's the way we like it !
As fate would have it, as a family we bought a beautiful sailing yacht 45 boat and made the decision to start living on the boat. Two of our children where practically raised on that boat and we sailed a lot across the world together. With the years however, living on the boat became tiresome as our children grew up and had to have a more stable location in order to proceed with their studies and keep up with their friendship groups. The determining factor for us to stop living on the boat was when we faced a difficult accident by crashing with a container ship in the middle of the ocean.
X-YACHTS: ALIGNING FORCES WITH ONE OF THE LEADING YACHT MANUFACTURERS IN THE WORLD
We had to choose a new boat to buy, and we decided that our next boat would be something special, boat that can take our sailing Sean far and beyond, boat that will inspired other sailors for high standards, . That is when my paths crossed with X-Yachts. In my search for the perfect boat, I have discovered a Danish manufacturer " X-Yachts" and truly, could not find any better committed manufacturer than them. After some time, CEO Niels Jespersen from Denmark, extremely talented sailor and a boat designer, said "why don’t you be Our dealer"? and since then, 2001m we are working with x-Yachts, Building fast, strong, luxury and unique best boats to our customers. We have built cruising boats that sailed around the world and we have built high end racing boats which have won the world championship. We are very proud.