One of the most traditional windsurfing events ever will host some of the best freestyle windsurfers of Europe and beyond. The Engadinwind that happens every year at the beautiful scenery of lake Silvaplana in Switzerland, will feature an EFPT tow-in only competition with € 3.000,- prize-money up for grabs. Apart from eight invited riders, every EFPT sailor who wants to put up a fight for the money and a position in the EFPT tow-in overall ranking, is welcome to join. We spoke to Christian Müller, co-founder of the EFPT and head of the organisation team of Engadinwind about it’s history, the characteristics of lake Silvanplana and it’s surroundings and what we can expect from the Engadinwind 2018. Save the date: 16th of August – 19th of August 2018.
EFPT: Christian, can you tell us a little bit about the history of the Engadinwind?
CM: The history started back in the seventies with the first competitions on lake Silvaplana. 1978 Nicolo Holinger founded the Engadin Surf Marathon. The first ever winner of the marathon in 1978 was Robby Naish. The following years, every season there were several competitions organized on the lake, like the mistral World Championship in 1986 or the Jet Set PWA Worldcup in 1994.
The ENGADINWIND was founded in 1999. We organized different disciplines in the following years like the Freestyle Invitational in 2002. Back then, the winner was Antoine Albeau. In the following years (2003-2006) we hosted an EFPT stop. 2007 we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the marathon. Beside the Freestyle contest we always hosted different Federations and Disziplines like Slalom, Racing and also Kitesurfing Worldcups.
2011 we created a new format called ‘BEST of 3’. The simple idea behing was to find out one thing: who is the fastest on the lake. Windsurfers, kiters and sailers competed against eachother in three disciplines (slalom, racing and speed).
Last year we had an epic 40th anniversary of the Engadin Surf Marathon and decided to continue with an international strategy of the ENGADINWIND with different watersports and disciplines.
EFPT: What is so special about the Silvaplana lake?
CM: Lake Silvaplana is located 1’800 meters above sealevel in the wunderful valley of Engadin in the Swiss Alps. During the summer month it offers the famous thermal wind called «Malojawind» which kicks in almost every day around noon with 4-6 Bft. The Lake is surrounded by high Mountains, like Mount Corvatsch (3303 m).
EFPT: What is your best memory connected with Engadinwind?
CM: There are so many positive memories connected with the event like:
- Surfing the Engadin Surf Marathon on the tandem together with Josh Stone many years ago. On the first leg half way up to the mark, we decided not to finish the marathon and the adventure turned into a freestyle session on the lake with the tandem.
- The 40th Anniversary of the worlds oldest still existing windsurfing competition: the famous Engadin Surf Marathon. We invited all the winners from the last 40 years. Almost all of them showed up last season. During the preparation of the event I was in contact with all of them and so many stories came up from the ‘good old glory years of windsurfing’. It was a very special moment to see them all competing on the original windsurfing gear. Former world champions from the seventies together with some of the PWA worldcupper- it was just amazing to watch all these heroes on lake Silvaplana
- and last but not least all the legendary Engadinwind parties on mount Corvatsch with a lot of ROCK n’ROLL!
EFPT: You have been one of the founders of the EFPT. What do you think about the recent developments?
CM: At the beginning of the EFPT 2003 and the following years we had already more events on the tour. This is good in general, because not all of the riders can travel to all of the events. So they can plan their seasons a bit better- with contests, photoshoots etc. I think it’s important for the tour to have a ‘good flow’, so that riders can travel directly from one event to the other. This can reduce the travelcosts! The EFPT is anyway the strongest freestyle tour world-wide. No other federation had that many events over the last 15 years. So it should be the other way around: the riders can qualify on other tours – to become an EFPT rider!
EFPT: How will the Engadin Wind event look this year? What is the format?
CM: Lake Silvaplana is the perfect location for foiling and freestyle tow-in. The highlighst of the ENGADINWIND 2018 are the FOIL MANIA event. Windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing only on foils and of course the freestyle Tow-in EFPT action in an abolutely unique and wonderful scenery.
This is how the schedule will look this year:
13.-16. Aug. Swiss Championship Slalom, Racing and Foiling
16. – 19. Aug. FOIL MANIA
16. – 19. Aug. EFPT Freestyle Tow-in
18. Aug. 41st Engadin Surf Marathon
EFPT: Which riders do you wish to invite there?
CM: I contacted most of the riders during the EFPT event in Austria, that I visited. We will confirm the names very soon! 8 out of the top 10 should be present – so you know the names of the riders more or less.
EFPT: How important do you think tow-in is for the freestyle windsurfing discipline?
CM: It is another way to show windsurfing action without wind and in the cities. The riders improve every year and the show they put on is stunning! It is a very important tool of windsurfing to promote our sport to the ‘normal world’.