(Photo courtesy of Matias Capizzano)
Gustavo Abdulklech, current Snipe Junior World Champion (with his crew Leonardo Motta)
– 1) Your first time on a sailing boat?
I don’t remember precisely the date but it was probably 2006 when was still 6 with my father on a Dingue.
– 2) Your first time on a Snipe?
My first time on a snipe was in 2018 at the Octanorm Regatta. I was invited by Chico Viana to be his crew. At that time I was sailing Laser and Chico need a light person used to hike. It was a good introduction to what the class was, looking already forwards the Worlds that would take place in Brazil next year.
– 3) The most bizarre thing that happened in a regatta?
It happened at the 2018 Snipe Challenge Regatta here in Rio, that was a championship alike Star Sailor’s League, in which there were qualifying rounds. Me and Leonardo Motta qualified for the finals with other 4 teams. But at this last round, which would consist in a mini championship of 3 races, only two boat(me and Paulo Santos) went sailing for the first race because it was early and at the same time Brazil was playing an exhibition match, and also because the other 3 competitions didn’t believe the Race Comittee would start the race without less then half of the fleet. I won the first race and Paulo finished second while the other 3 boats receive and DNS.
– 4) What is the thing that most angers you in a race/regatta?
A considerable shift that keeps for the entire race, when I am at wrong side of the course.
– 5) Which is the race/regatta that you remember with the most pleasure?
The race from which I have my best memories is the fourth race of the Snipe Junior Worlds, in which we were coming third at the second up wind. Although third was a good place, the two other boats that were leading, were both also competing for the title and we should take advantage of the high wind conditions in which we were very trained to increase our point distance to other competitors. As the course is very tendentious to the right side, the only way to pass the other sailors was by hiking harder and focusing on the boat’s speed. Fortunately we manage to win the race and it was a very grateful feeling.
– 6) And the race/regatta you would like to forget?
The 2019 Octanorm is a Regatta that i would like to forget. I was sailing again after a bit more than 2 months away from any boat and me and Leo have sailed very badly at this championship, committing a lot of silly mistakes..
– 7) Your “dream in the peak”? (Your sailing dream?)
Become an olympic champion.
-8) Sailing goals for 2020, and beyond?
Train hard for the time being. But my long-term sailing goal is to improve and become capable of contesting an Olympic Medal.
– 9) The most important people for you in sailing and in the Snipe?
My idol is Robert Scheidt for sure. But there are other several Olympic champions that inspire me such as Tom Burton, Peter Burling and Torben Grael. But only in the Snipe I can tell two names that are very important for me and they are Bruno Bethlem and Alexandre Paradeda. Both of them helped me and Leonardo Motta a lot to improve and become capable of winning the Juniors World Championship.
– 10) Why the Snipe?
Because it’s a very competitive class here in Brazil, it’s very tactical as the boat’s speeds are practically the same and also because the Worlds would be here in Brazil. Another very important reason is that the Snipe is a very welcoming class with sailors that are concerned in helping young sailors and include then at the social part.
– 11) Your perfect sailing venue and your perfect sailing conditions?
My perfect sailing venue is Búzios and windy and sunny conditions are the perfect ones.
– 12) Besides sailing which other sport do you practice?
I enjoy playing volleyball, soccer, “altinha” and many others sports, still I practically just have time to sail and go to the gym.
– 13) Are you superstitious?
A little bit, usually with clothing.
– 14) Your perfect holiday?