Boardseeker were lucky enough to get hold of the offical EFPT Aqualeto Cup Movie right after its release yesterday night. The movie certainly turned a lot of heads as it highlighted Russia as a windsurfing nation worthy of recognition. The event they held there looks to be pretty much set on the 2014 calendar and many of the top pros have already confirmed their place. So what’s this movie all about and why does it deserve 35 minutes of your attention. We caught up with the event organiser and one of Russia’s top windsurfing stars to find out more…
Boardseeker: You released the official event movie today, many of the competitors who were competing got to see the premiere last night, were you happy with the final production and how the event went?
Katya: We are super happy about the event, we are super happy about the movie. The premiere in Russia already happened on the 11th October, in Europe we made it last night, the premiere in Russia was in Moscow during the after party of the Aqualeto season, so all our guests, Russian windsurfers and customers got to see it for the first time. We had about 1,000 people at our premiere. Here in Europe we had a few hundred watching at the EFPT event finale in France, to ideally involve the riders that came to our event.
Vladimir: We are super happy about our event because we met a lot of excellent people and top professional windsurfers from Europe. And, you know, it was the first time the EFPT ran an event in Russia, so we were stoked to be the first hotel to run it in our country.
Boardseeker: What about you guys, what are your professions, do you just windsurf?
Vladimir: Yeah, I’m a professional windsurfer, I worked in Aqualeto for a few seasons and travelled in between, training, etc… Now I do a lot of surf camps for Russian windsurfers all over the world. I’ve been to Rhodes quite a few times but also to Vietnam, Margarita, Cabo Verde, Brazil and Dahab.
Katya: I’m art director of the Aqualeto hotel, I helped set up and organise the event. In between I write articles on our website about all the sports the we do in our hotel; windsurfing, sailing, climibgin, etc… I found windsurfing and it became a part of my life, I learnt a lot of English and I travelled a lot because of this sport. So I travel with my friends, like Vladimir, Dima and Alex during the winter to Vietnam, Brazil, Dahab, etc.. and at the same time write travel articles and more for magazines in Russia.
Boardseeker: So, Vladimir you are a bit more than just a professional windsurfer?
Katya: Vladimir is really the top professional Russian windsurfing coach, he is really the one that people choose to got to from all over Russia. Taking his clients to the best spots in the world for coaching and to experience the windsurfing lifestyle, he is certainly good at his job.
Boardseeker: How often do you get to windsurf in Russia/abroad, where?
Katya: In Russia we don’t windsurf so much, Vladimir tends to come here just to get a new visa and flights, but twice a year he visits his parents and has time to sail at his home-spot or Aqualeto. We try to windsurf a bit more at home, when the wind is good we are out. Just recently we found a new spot, which is really close to Aqualeto, perfect for freestyle, freesride and slalom – the Russian Blue Lagoon.
Boardseeker: Who is behind the sport the most in Russia, is it a big sport there, how could it become more famous to the whole nation?
Katya: It’s a very interesting question, we have two big names, either Yegor, that many already now for years or Vladimir who is quite fresh to the international scene but already known for years in Russia by most of the Russian windsurfers. The sport itself in Russia is quite big, we have a few spots, the biggest is probably Eysk where you can have up to 300 people on the water, it’s where they hold the Russian championships.
We think more people could know about it purely by the EFPT event, promoting this to all of Russia, we could get a much greater following for the sport and more people coming to our windsurf spots.
Boardseeker: How did the event change things at Aqualeto?
Katya: I think we suddenly became a lot more European, we were suddenly recognised as a nation where windsurfing really happens quite a lot. After the EFPT we created a lot of things at the hotel to promote the event, the EFPT and the Riders further, we had rooms created for the riders, we had pictures put up everywhere from the EFPT Aqualeto cup, all over the hotel in our magazines, in our beach bar at our surf station, in Moscow. We created stars from the riders, the guests can come to us and stay in their rooms and ask to stay there again.
Boardseeker: Do you plan to run it again in the future and are there any surprises next year?
Vladimir: Yes we for sure want to run it again next year, we are already preparing for it, we plan to offer the same event but much better for both the Russian windsurfing community and the European windsurfing community. We have a lot of surprises purely for the European riders who will come to compete at the Aqualeto cup, we can give away one surprise… If the wind is in the right direction, we will run the event at this new spot, the Russian Blue Lagoon, the water is super flat, the wind is constant, it will be the perfect ground for the ultimate competition.