Iconic and innovative, just two of the words which describe Gollito Estredo and Ricardo Campello, stars of El Yaque - Town of Champions

Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) and Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North) are two of the most iconic and innovative windsurfers in the world. Campello won three PWA Freestyle World Championships between 2003 and 2005, inventing moves such as the funnel, named in memory of Andy Funnel, as well as the pippa and shaka to name a few. Campello has now set his sights on the PWA Wave World Title after conquering the freestlye world. With Campello of the freestyle scene it was time for Gollito to take centre stage and he duly obliged. The Venezuelan has since gone on to win an incredible five PWA Freestyle World Titles, with his first title coming in 2006. Gollito, like Campello, has been one of the biggest innovators in windsurfing, his monumental efforts on the water have pushed freestyle windsurfing into a whole new era, which no-one would’ve believed 5-10 ten years ago. The duo continue to push the limits of windsurfing each time they are on the water and now Tom Brendt has caught up with them to gain their perceptions about “El Yaque - Town of Champions”.

Gollito Estredo

El Yaque - Pueblo de Campeones celebrated it’s premiere on the 8th February. How did you feel knowing that the venezuelans now enter a cinema to watch Gollito Estredo instead of James Bond?

“It is really a big satisfaction and kind of happiness that my country, Venezuela, will finally get to know me, my life and all the things I had to go through to finally end up where I am now and of course that I am always representing our country.” 

How was the reaction of those who have seen the movie, the trailer or just heard the stories about the movie until now? 

“The reactions of those who have already seen the movie were amazing, with a touch of sadness at the same time, that no one in our country knew about our talents and achievements before now.”

How do you see your part in the movie, as the people talk a lot about the beauty of Yoli, the sad story of Cheo and the big achievements of Ricardo and yourself? 

“My part has been sad, strong, emotional and funny. All our achievements came after a long time of hard work and lots of very difficult situations I had to handle and get over.”

How was your work with the production crew?

“In the beginning it wasn´t easy at all for me, as I am kind of shy to new things in the beginning, but after a while and until today it has become just excellent and great.”

Do you think your life might change after this movie, why?

“Of course, because from now on I know I will have the moral support of my country, of the Venezuelan’s which I never had before, this will make me feel much better and even more motivated to win more competitions and more championships.”

Ricardo Campello

Proud to be on the big screen? or how do you feel with this movie project? 

“Yes, actually I feel really happy about appearing at the big cinema screens and that finally the country, the people will get to know that we won 9 World Championship Titles in windsurfing to offer in El Yaque and that besides baseball and football there are more sports and many more talents in Venezuela, most think or thought that we compete on a junior or amateur level, which is not really the fact!”

How did you feel during the big premiere in Caracas, with this huge amount of people, the movie in 8 cinema show rooms at a time and the people watching YOU?

“There were really lots of people, like 1400 persons, all my friends, family and lots of media members and all of them were super happy with the movie and this entire project.”

How was the work with the production team?

“They were absolutely excellent, we really became kind of a family, very charismatic people, some were unknown for us and most we knew already and were already friends before and I am really grateful to every single one of them.”

The world wide web filled up quickly with almost too positive comments and critics about the four of you. Would you have expected that before the premiere of the movie?

“I haven´t heard or read a single negative comment about the documentary and this realy is unbelievable and we are absolutely achieving what we were hoping for.”

How do you the think your life might change after all this? 

“I don´t know, actually I hope it doesn´t change too much but that our country, the Venezuelan government, people, companies will be there for us and support us in the future.”

What is the most impressive of this whole project for you?  

“That we all managed to realize this project without any financial support or help, from anybody and that it all was done with a lot of enthusiasm and every single one put his little sandcorn to make the project work.”