RED BULL STORM CHASE
An interview with the RBSC sports & athletes manager Klaas Voget
Hello all, as you probably know already, this year the Red Bull Storm Chase (RBSC) is being held in association with the PWA. We wanted to tell you more about the RBSC so we have been talking with Klaas Voget (Fanatic / Simmer), who is not only one of the top PWA wave sailors, but he is also the Red Bull Storm Chase sports & athletes manager.
Hi Klaas, how did you become involved in this project?
The guys organizing the event are friends of mine and when Red Bull pushed for this project, they asked me to get involved in the organization of it. The downside is that I will not be participating as a rider, the upside is, I will be joining all three missions. I think I can help a lot to ensure the event is a great success and spread some very radical images of our sport to the world.
Can you tell us more about the RBSC, (any secrets or gossip)?
Well so far we are still in the stage of scouting it all, but I’m sure we’ll get to see some exciting destinations sailed. It’s not going to be a walk in the park for the riders...
It sounds really interesting, I am sure you will have hundreds of riders wanting to take part, how are you going to choose the riders that will take part in the event?
We have a panel of experts, that will reduce all applicants to the “Top 50” riders with the level and experience to handle super rough conditions and make it a great show. Those 50 riders will then be included in an online voting system, which will see the top 10 riders selected to ride in the event.
That´s good, and I believe that RBSC will cover the riders expenses to attend the missions any where in the world? This will open the door to all riders out there..
Exactly. The participating riders will not have any costs, but they have the potential to receive excellent prize money if they make it to the final storm... Without Red Bull this would never be possible. If you only add the travelling costs of everyone involved for all three missions, this is a massive commitment to our sport.
You are obviously looking for tough conditions, how are you planning to deal with the safety and rescue issues?
We’ll reduce the risk to the minimum for the riders, with Jetski rescue, a specially designed impact vest by our partner ION that includes a GPS safety system with a worldwide rescue alarm. Also the riders will have to wear helmets depending on the conditions and we’ll try to have helicopters in reach of all the competitors at all times.
What are you looking for in terms of locations for the missions?
The Location part is very tricky. We need to find locations that get frequently battered by huge storms, are reachable within a maximum 40 hours total travelling time for all riders, offer spot options for changing wind directions and don’t get too tricky to predict. As I mentioned earlier, the travelling is expensive and we don’t want to show up to find the storm has decided to change it’s path or strength.
Can anybody suggest a location or only the riders?
Yes, anyone can suggest spots at www.redbullstormchase.com. You can win some great prizes if your suggested location is sailed. We want to be as open as possible and we would like to invite every windsurfer out there to be part of this project.
The missions period is from 1st of August until the 30th of November, why not extend into the winter and add December, January and February to the waiting period?
We hope to get all three missions done within those 4 months, as it will also be a bit of a waiting game for the riders. In case we don’t get lucky with the storms for our chosen locations, I guess we’ll extend the waiting period, but I think with a worldwide spread of locations, we’ll have a pretty good chance to get at least three proper storms in those 4 months.
We have all seen the images from the previous RBSC, are you planning to use helicopters again in order to showcase more awesome images of our sport?
For sure helicopters are planned for the 2012 RBSC. It might not work out for every location, but i’m pretty sure we’ll all get to see some insane footage by the end.
Do you think you will find someone crazy enough to get in the water to take photos?
I wouldn’t recommend to take a bath in the conditions we’re looking for, but we’ll have jetskis, so i think there’s no need for a swim.
Would you like to say anything to the riders out there that have not registered yet?
I can only say GO FOR IT! It’s an opportunity of a lifetime that will not come back so soon!
Thanks for your time and good luck for the missions and the PWA events.