The PWA prepares to enter unchartered waters with an exciting new event for 2014

In July this year the PWA will be venturing into unchartered waters as the male and female slalom fleets head to Turkmenistan for the first time ever. At first glance Turkmenistan wouldn’t necessarily be a country which you would associate with windsurfing, however, as a country on the rise both economically and educationally, Turkmenistan is eager to show the world what a great sporting venue it really is. 

As an exciting new event on the 2014 PWA World Tour we caught up with Yulia Pekdag to find out more about the event, Turkmenistan itself and what the PWA and sailors can expect when they arrive for the event which begins on the 1st July and runs until the 6th July. Read the interview below:

PWA: What does it mean for the local community to be hosting a PWA Event? 

YP: “Turkmenistan is a rapidly developing country in many aspects: economy, education and, of course, sport. Nowadays Turkmenistan is getting ready for very important event – Asian Olympic Games which will take place in 2017. Thus, hosting PWA WORLD CUP this year is a very important step in our country’s preparation for big international sporting activities.”  

“The President  of Turkmenistan is paying a lot of attention to sport  development  demonstrating  by  his  lifestyle & is very healthy & fit.  Thus  the  interest  is  among  everyone  as well as  from  Government.”   

“Since recently it became public the information about  Avaza World Cup & we are getting a lot of questions  from everyone.  We can tell you that interest is very big. Now we are starting to promote the event on television and mass media, online as well. We  prepare  on television some  educational programs that people  can have more information and we are sure that it will increase peoples interest and curiosity.” 

PWA: Turkmenistan isn't instantly a country associated with windsurfing; can you tell us a bit more about the local windsurfing? Is it mainly slalom or are there locations that also offer potential for waves or freestyle as well?

YP: “It is really so, we  can’t  call Turkmenistan as the country where windsurfing is widely spread. But it is a country of the Caspian Sea. This is the Caspian Sea and no doubt after the event we will associate Turkmenistan with windsurfing as well.” 

“About the conditions: Very often there are storms and waves of 3-4 meters in the open sea.
On the beach we have amazing wind/wave direction side-off from the right side.”

PWA: How is the local level of windsurfing? 

YP: “Local people are creative and are subject to training/learning windsurfing and sailing very quickly, but let us bear in mind that windsurfing is an expensive sport not everyone can afford it. There are several Turkmen that make good windsurfing but they are all in Turkey or elsewhere in the  world.”

“At this stage in Turkmenistan people have a desire for learning and a potential market that is for beginners training. Yelken Yacht club with company POLIMEKS is investing in the development of windsurfing. Actually Yacht Club Yelken, which has as well a windsurf station with  JP/NeilPryde equipment  is  the  first resort  in Turkmenistan where you can learn windsurfing and as Yelken Yacht Club was just a previous year in July opened it’s very new activities here.”  

“But from this year with AVAZA PWA World Cup & Yelken Kids Camp with windsurfing lessons we are sure we will see more & more enthusiasts on the Caspian Sea as well.”   

PWA: Can you tell us a bit more about the conditions? Wind strength? Onshore? Offshore? Etc...

YP: “Wind: Amazing wind direction side-off from the right side and waves 1 to 3 meters with real possibility to make wave riding and double front loops (on windy days). Very often we have 12-15 m/s wind (24-30 knots). Light wind days the water is flat and not more then 20 degrees.” 

PWA: If someone wants to go windsurfing where the PWA is going to be hosted, what do you suggest they do? Flights / Accommodation / equipment rental? Etc.

YP: “For windsurf fans who want to witness the AVAZA  PWA WORLD CUP TURKMENISTAN 2014 we would recommend to apply to us, to Yelken Yacht Club (begin a part of POLIMEKS company) in order to get  visas as Turkmenistan is a visa country. You can fly from Istanbul to Turkmenbasi where AVAZA is located in summer two times per week, or through Ashhabad – every day three flights to Turkmenbasi.” 

“In AVAZA  there are 26 hotels now, all within a very comfortable walk or 5-10 minutes ride to Yelken Yacht Club which will host the Event. All equipment can be rented in our windsurf station with JP/NP gear on offer.”  

PWA: Thanks Yulia, everyone at the PWA is very excited about the upcoming event and can’t wait for it to begin.