LIVING THE DREAM
Hello all, the winter training has been full on for quite some time and Tenerife, Canary Islands, has become a solid training spot for the slalom crew. We took the opportunity and met with Maciek Rutkowski (Patrik / Point-7) to talk about the PWA and specially to share some of his pictures with you, although you will see that the pictures are not taken recently... So Maciek, how are you? We just found this picture on your facebook fanpage of you 11 years ago standing next to a PWA flag. Can you talk us through the situation when it was taken?
MR: “I’m good! It was at probably one of the first, and one of the only PWA events in Leba, Poland, back in 2002. I’m obviously the smaller one and my brother Leszek is on the right. I think that was one of our first international contests and the PWA came right to the place where we grew up windsurfing all the summer! I was so stoked, coz before those guys only existed on posters and magazines and now I was actually “competing” against them. Probably didn’t finish half of the races and for sure finished outside of the top100, but this didn’t matter. I took part in a PWA event!”
PWA: How old where you?
MR : “I was more or less 10 years and seven months old.”
PWA: When you look at this picture, now that you’re going to begin your second full year on the PWA tour, how do you feel?
MR: “I feel funny, but quite stoked actually. Back then it seemed unreal to even talk to those guys and ask them for a picture together. Today I just ask the same guys “how’s it going mate?” and that feels natural, but to them it really has to feel weird when they saw that 10 year old kid and all of a sudden, 8 years later the same “kid” comes to Costa Brava for his first real PWA. There I shared a house with Kevin Pritchard who was a huge idol to me growing up and I was actually a bit scared of those big names how they’re going to treat the rookie, but Pritch was great, even though I tested his parenting skills (and his patience!) to the fullest! Now I feel like home on tour and it’s just sooo funny to recall what was going through the head of that 10 year-old and how he dreamed to be one of “those” guys. Well, dreams DO come true, so come on kids!”
PWA: It’s been quite a while until you fully came “back” into PWA racing – what happened along the way?
MR: “Well, first of all coming from Poland you have just two options – RS:X (or IMCO back in that time) or formula, because there’s never any wind! Formula was the more fun so my brother and I started doing this. By the time we reached a solid international level, formula was already out of the PWA and slalom was coming back. We made a couple of trips to Sylt to do the slalom events, but we sucked! So the tour never really felt achievable. We kept on doing formula and doing pretty good in it (my brother was top 15 in Europe and I was winning some junior stuff), but it kept getting smaller and less professional, so we didn’t really know what to do. Until I went to Youth Slalom Europeans in 2009 and won those by a fair bit, thanks to a fin borrowed from Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde) (funny, how different it could have been without that!) and a couple of month later won the Youth Worlds as well. From there, the choice was simple – I had the chance to give it a shot at my childhood dreams or go back to Poland and face grey reality. For sure I chose the first one...and got my ass absolutely kicked in the 3 events I did in 2010! That really changed me and made me serious and focused and put me on the path I am today – training freaking hard and slooowly making some progress, step by step.”
PWA: So, what are you exactly up to now?
MR: “I just came back from an amazing Patrik photoshoot wave trip to Western Australia and am currently in Tenerife training super hard for the upcoming slalom season. We have a great setup here together with the rest of The Point-7 Black Team, and I feel like we’re making progress on daily basis. I just hope we’ll not run out of time before the first event happens!”
PWA: Well, we wish you good luck for the 2013 season and keep up the good work.
If you want to have a look at some more photos from young Maciek you can do so here.