You might have read of Acqua dell’Elba’s sponsorship of the windsurfer Malte Reuscher already last summer, in the blog published by SEIF – Sea Essence International Festival, in which he spoke about the misfortune he experienced when a plastic bag stopped his participation to the Japanese leg of the World Windsurfing Championship. Since then Malte’s journey has continued, regardless of a small injury he suffered to his ankle which slowed him down a little bit. Our short interview started at this point.
How’s your ankle, Malte?
A little better, thankfully I didn’t lose much strength and I only seem to feel a little pain, but I can bear that. The period of relative inactivity I have had to endure upon medical recommendation was much, much harder to bear than the pain in the ankle.
You have always enjoyed riding the waves…Notwithstanding my German surname, I was born in Hamburg from a German mother and an Italian father and I grew up in Capoliveri where my parents, who have always been surfers themselves, manage a windsurfing school and a beach bar. For me it was therefore natural to start surfing very early: the first time I was six years old, and by thirteen I was already taking part in my first competitions around Italy.
These days, you compete all around the world: how’s the championship going?
Actually, I’m currently taking part in two different championships. In the world slalom championship, for 64 athletes from all over the world, I am currently in 23rd position: let’s see how the last race in New Caledonia goes, at the end of November.
The other championship I’m taking part in is in the Foil discipline, a special race in which a fin underneath our boards allows us to raise ourselves above the surface of the water, so that it feels like flying, transported by the wind. These days I’m in Germany specifically to race in the last leg of this circuit, from the 28th of September to the 6th of October.
Of course, we will carefully follow your endeavours, even more so considering that you’re one of our testimonials. How did your working relationship with Acqua dell’Elba develop?
I was still a kid when all over the island shops started opening, with the typical scent and colour of these products. Throughout the years, I saw the brand grow alongside myself, and when last year I saw the slogan “The Essence of the Sea” I understood we had something else in common, as well as the place we were born. So, I offered myself up for sponsorship, and now I notice that the logo on my sail attracts more and more recognition. I can see it when I travel around the world with what I love to call my windsurfing family: we are rivals in the water, but friends on shore. When you travel together you also dine together, train together. In windsurfing there is no jealousy or technical secrets to be kept about the construction of sails or boards, the only things making a difference are the wind and the athlete.
People we interview for our blog are usually asked two habitual questions, so here’s the first of them for you: what does the sea represent for you?
The sea is very important, it has been my friend since I was born and still now it is part of my daily life. I cannot live without the sea, every morning the first thing I do is go check the sea: if there’s wind, I can go fly between the waves with my board…The sea, as well as the wind, are the engine of my sport and my passion, literally the two things that drive me forward, always faster.
Now the most difficult question everyone is asked: what’s your truest essence?
I’d have to think about it a little longer, but I’ll do my best. I think my essence is sport, movement, the will to go forward enjoying every moment of freedom when the wind propels my body as I fly over the waves of the sea, my dearest childhood friend.