Maciek Rutkowski – POL23 meet him

2013 is your first season on point-7 as a pro and you are currently in El Medano taking part in the slalom training. To many you might be a little of an unknown, but you do have a very extensive windsurfing career behind you already at the age of just 21.

How did it all start and do you have some highlights to share? 
I don’t really know the exact moment when I stepped on a windsurfer. I just remember I was always around the local lake with my dad and older brother and one day I was just sailing around on my 1.7 minibic. Our dad signed us on to a camp that was side by side with a competitor’s camp. After a year we advanced into the latter and started competing in Formula. My brother was very quick at the top of the youth category in Poland and top3 in the world so it was a big part of my development as a competitor. I really wanted to finally kick his ass one day!
I went from being a mascot and the youngest guy, to slowly winning some Junior National events and then Youth and then International. Then I managed to win a Youth European title in slalom, followed by a World title next year and that’s when I decided I wanted to go further – onto the PWA.  Waves were also calling me very strong, so as for my personal highlights I would chose my wave trips to Cabo Verde, South Africa and this year’s to Western Australia. Competitive highlight would be winning the PWA youth world title.

 
We know you had an extremely good season last year on the PWA tour, But still you chose to change one of your gear sponsors. What made you go Black? 
I wouldn’t say extremely good as had a lot of up’s and down’s. There were many factors that came into play when I chose to change my sail sponsor, but the biggest factor was definitely Andrea Cucchi’s vision and the brand of point-7. Creating the team concept, training super professionally here in Tenerife with a full on race course and a personal trainer off the water, great support throughout the season by having the team manager ever present at the event sites – all things I believe will work very well and drive me into being a better competitor and better windsurfer, which is exactly what I want do and become at this moment in life.
You’ve now had a few weeks in Tenerife with the team and we imagine you are now getting to know the AC-1 2013. How are the sails performing for you? They are a lot different to what I was using before, so it has actually taken me a while to get used to them! But now that I know the sail and understand what are the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of the ac-1 and let me tell you – the pros outdo the cons!!
 
As mentioned earlier then you are quite young, but still pack a lot of experience. How is the team slalom training helping you to prepare?
Wow, this is even hard to describe. Basically it helps me to improve in every aspect. From gear tuning and testing, through behaviour on the racecourse to the psychological aspect and life off the water – I’m learning heaps every day and feel like I’m constantly improving. Hope I can also give some back to the guys, not only milk them for everything they have to pass on!
 
What are your objectives from this training camp?
Get my gear in tune, be spot-on with the starts, supercomfortable on the race course and stronger and fitter than ever.
 
How are finding the organisation for the whole training set-up?
It’s great! First of all El Medano is such a compact place so you don’t need a car and everything you need is in town.  So that cuts a lot of the logistic issues out of the equation. We can store our gear right on the beach in a designated storage facility. The slalom training also got a lot more organized after the first couple of days. Now we’re running the show like a army with each knowing his responsibility; pumping air in the flotation marks to set the course, bringing them in the water, rigging on time etc etc. Everything is super efficient and we’re also training hard off the water, so there’s nothing more that we could have needed.
 
Do you already see that you are benefiting from the training, compared with the training you have done previously?
It’s hard to compare as those things you only see in the results sheet, but I feel that since I came to the island I’ve become like double the competitor than I was before already so I guess it’s pretty good!
 
How is the team spirit between you riders? 
It’s great!! Everybody’s relaxed, laughing the whole time, giving every team rider new nicknames all the time and although everybody’s coming from a different place we all seem to bond pretty good and understand where we’re all heading. So despite the laughs on the water everybody has their game faces on. The only difference is that when we crash we ask each other if everyone’s ok and then laugh for like 5 minutes, reliving the whole situation, before waterstarting and going back to the startline.
 
Any funny moments you want to share? 
Definitely some situations with the team captain – Andrea Cucchi. In one race he was leading, but then the wind dropped and shifted. I was closely behind him and about to pass from below. He start pumping and in the same moment as I was overtaking him, his hand slipped and his sail dropped straight on my back, leaving a huge 60cm scar! Other funny moments have to be while training with Mark, Pascal and Adam. All the moaning, bad smells and the off balance crashes – mostly performed by me haha! There was just too much laughing going on this trip!
 
Nice one, when will you go back to Europe? 
Not sure yet, probably around beginning of April.

First event? 
That will probably the IFCA World Championships in Sylt beginning of May. I will try to get a few smaller events in before that, but we’ll see how that goes!

Thanks Maciek. 
Sounds like you are having a great time on the island with all the other pirates. Do enjoy your next couple of weeks down there and we will try to catch up with you later in the season again. Best of wind and keep your head down for the training!

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