Windsurfing can be considered as one of the most beautiful sports; wind, adrenaline, sea, sun, and all of this combined with the art of sailing. Watching windsurfers ride the blue and furious waves sometimes seems like watching butterflies with their colorful wings.
But windsurfing is not only a pleasure for one’s interested eyes; this is actually a pretty tough sport which gets you to train in any weather conditions – no matter how wild – using expensive and fragile equipment.
As windsurfing becomes more popular in Kazakhstan, there’s a handful of the sport’s practitioners who are directing their ambitions with the aim to represent our landlocked nation in the Olympics. One such person is seventeen year old, Nikita Chetvernya. Originally from Astana, Nikita has been living in Turkey for the last six years, spending all but one of those years windsurfing.
There are plenty of sailing sport clubs, including for windsurfing, such as in Izmir, where Nikita lives. Nikita was very lucky to become the member of Çeşmealtı Windsurf ve Yelken Spor Kulübü (Çeşmealtı Sailing Sport Club). The club organises training for both children and adults, but there are only teams for juniors and students. Çeşmealtı is considered to be a strong club and two of its members are part of Turkey’s national windsurfing team, which participated in Rio de Janeiro’s recent Olympic Games.
Nikita started his windsurfing career from the smallest of available sails, a single square meter, and went through several age categories over the years. Previously competing with the Techno sail, he now rides an RS:One – a sail which has almost 8 square meters of surface area.
Three years previously this young and driven Kazakhstani-Turkish windsurfer won the third place in his age category and since then he has never stepped down from the podium. Each competition has helped him to become more confident, with permanent training on the open sea contributing to Nikita’s strength and mastery. For the last two years there hasn’t been a single time that he has lost to another competing club; achieving first place positions in all Turkish Sailing Federation competitions. The most recent one, the Winter Cup of the Turkish Sailing Federation in Cheshma, earlier this year saw him again victorious. The competition took place in variable weather conditions characterised by cold temperatures and stormy winds. But this didn’t stop the hardy participants from all over Turkey showing off their professional levels of sailing skill.
Despite Nikita’s success, there is an unlikely twist to this story; as Nikita isn’t a Turkish citizen he isn’t able to join the country’s national windsurfing team and neither is he able to represent Kazakhstan because so far there is no national team!
Nevertheless, every time we see Nikita standing high on the first step of the podium, clasping the winner’s trophy in his hands, we can still feel proud to know that Kazakhstan is his motherland and hope to one day see him and others of his nation in the Olympics!