Torbole PWA World Cup

Reigning World Champion Maciek Rutkowski raring to go ahead of the season opener in Lake Garda

The clock is rapidly counting down for the start of the 2023 Torbole PWA World Cup, which sees the world tour return to Italy for the first time in just over a decade and an exciting 5 days of racing lies ahead in beautiful Lake Garda. Undoubtedly all the racers will be chomping at the bit to start competing again, but none more so than defending Men’s Slalom World Champion - Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails) - who sounds like he can’t wait to get the new campaign underway. With just a couple of days to go before the start of the season opener we caught up with Maciek for a quick interview:

Hey Maciek, how’s it going and how has your winter of training been?

All good all good! Here in Garda, been here a week, went home for a week and came back now a few days ago, so I'm amped up and hungry!
Obviously you secured your first world title in Japan in dramatic circumstances at the end of last year - how are you feeling ahead of the start of the season and does it feel any different approaching it as the defending champion?

Of course it feels great to have one in the bag, but considering this upcoming season I personally don't think it changes much. Its zero-zero again, total clean slate. Hopefully less pressure on results and better focus on the process of actually getting there, but i guess I’ll tell you in a week!
How did your winter training go?

It's been good. My “vacation” trip was Cape Town, then back to Tenerife, the usual, Tarifa, France and now Garda. I’ve had plenty of time to train and set my gear up in different conditions so I’m really looking forward to the fullest slalom season in years!
Lake Garda is first stop on the tour, a destination the PWA hasn’t been to for many years, are you happy to see Lake Garda back on the map?

Very happy. It’s been a training and testing destination for years now and a very unique place not only conditions wise, but also the scenery is something out of Succession or something!  
This will obviously be your first PWA contest in Garda, but you’ve competed in different competitions in Garda before, right? How are the conditions and what can we expect?

It’s gonna be a dogfight! The conditions here are very different than any other place on tour and are often a bit of an equaliser in terms of equipment, what works, what doesn't etc. Due to the fresh water and quite easy conditions everybody can go relatively fast so i think its gonna be super tight racing!!

Thanks, Maciek and all the best for the event!