Enes Yilmazer – Interview
The Slalom season is over for the 22 year old Enes Yilmazer from Turkey. After hurting his ankle two years ago, the injury came back and he needed to undergo surgery. For the young Turk, who won the Youth World Championships in Slalom twice and who already finished PWA Slalom events in top positions, this is a huge step back in his Slalom career. He has more time now to focus on his studies in Texas (USA) though and he already announced to be back stronger than before: “I have no doubt in my mind that I will be back with much more motivation and stronger body that will charge through PWA events!”
Read our interview with Enes below.
C7: After two Youth Slalom World Championship titles and finishing PWA slalom races regularly within the top 25, your results this year were not better than a 39th place in South Korea. What happened?
Enes Yilmazer: Two years ago, I injured my ankle really bad by falling from 8-9 feet to shallow water and damaged my ankle really bad. After 2 months of bracelets, cold and physical therapy I got it back to working condition. But it was never perfect, I had some minor problems but it was never healed %100 percent. Last 6 months, it started became a big issue, and more problems started to appear on my ankle according to my first injury. And the entire time racing this season, I was in so much pain (especially in Korea with the big swells).
C7: How did you then manage to sail in South Korea?
Enes Yilmazer: During the Korea event, I got the worst out of my injury. I strapped it hard with ankle bracelet and tried to hold on to the pain, but it was absoloutly terrible. Then I got some rest in Turkey, and in the mean time we were seeing some doctors, but non of them really figured anything out. Then after the Costa Brava event , I flew to Houston, Texas to meet with the doctor we arranged and after diagnoses, it showed that my ankle needed a surgery from 3 different parts.
C7: The sounds pretty complicated.
Enes Yilmazer: After exemination, I went to surgery and what they did is, they opened front side of my ankle and take the nerve out and relocated because it was getting stuck between my bones. Then they opened back side of my ankle and cleaned the broken pieces of small bone tissue, and last but the most important part of my surgery – they opened my deltoid ligamnet (the ligament that holds your leg and ankle together) and shorthened it and stiched together so that my torn deltoid ligament will get tight again and hold my ankle stronger and much more stable.
C7: When will you start with your training off and on the water again?
Enes Yilmazer: I am definetly not rushing through my steps to recovery. But around end of September I should be able to start walking comfortably again, and with that I will start to work out at gym. Hopefully around decemeber I should be able to hit the water withouth pushing much and around end of February, I should be able to race again no problem.
C7: After stopping in the middle of the slalom season, how do you motivate yourself?
Enes Yilmazer: Everything in life pretty much motivates me. I have been blessed to have a great family that supports me through everything I do in life, I have been fortunate to have a great racing career which lead me to so much oppurtunuties in life and I have sponsors that supported me so many years and all these things make me remember that I would do WHATEVER it takes to get back on water and enjoy windsurfing and start racing again
C7: You will not be able to compete at your beloved homespot Alacati this year. How can you stand this ?
Enes Yilmazer: Nothing in life comes without consequences, for that I am paying my dues for my injury. I would´ve loved to be racing this year but I know I gotta take my time to get better. Since my university started at 22nd of August- I had to flew back on 21st for my classes – so I won´t be able to watch the action this year.
C7: You are a very young athlete in the age of 22 and this is now probably the longest break of windsurfing in your career. How do you handle this?
Enes Yilmazer: This is the most far away I have ever got from windsurfing since the last 8 years, so it´s definitely something new for me. In the mean time I am doing great – sometimes people are saying that “they were expecting me a lot more down mentally” but I am actually excited about the outcome – because once I am done with the rehab, I will be able to windsurf again like normal racers with no pain and no ankle bracelets and I JUST CAN´T WAIT for that. In the mean time I am still getting my education and working on my projects for future – so can´t complain on anything.
C7: You are a multitasking guy: you study in the States, run some business there, handle the windsurfing tour, travel a lot. Now you won some spare time. Do you now concentrate more on studying?
Enes Yilmazer: Rather than looking my injury as a bad luck – I see it as an opportunity to to focus on other things in life, I am definitely gonna put more time on school now and pick up few more classes, and focus on some of the projects that I have been involed in Corpus Christi, Texas
C7: To not be able to be on the water, do you feel a lot of pressure from your sponsors now? Just saw a very nice article in the Turkish Sky Life inflight magazine. Perhaps this is even a higher value than an intermediate result with a half fit ankle.
Enes Yilmazer: So far with my all my sponsors, they have been really understanding on my case and know the fact that sometimes things go wrong; so I have been really lucky to have sponsors like that and wanna thank all my sponsors , my sport club: Arkas Sport Club, Turkish Airlines, Quiksilver, JP Australia and Neilpryde. In the mean time I had some articles published in Turkey – it´s because I try to pay my dues to my sponsors no matter what kinda conditions I am in.
C7: Let´s have a look on the PWA event at Alacati. Who will win Alacati in the men and ladies category?
Enes Yilmazer: My top 3 guesses for PWA Alacati are Micah Buzianis, Antoine Albeu and Björn Dunkerback and for ladies Sarah Quita is definitely one of the top competitor and either Cagla Kubat or Lena Erdil will make top 3 this year, they both seemed to have really good speed this year.
C7: Will we see a much stronger Enes Yilmazer in 2013?
Enes Yilmazer: Since the day one, my goal with windsurfing, my education life and my vision for future is to push myself and improve my qualities; for that I have no doubt in my mind that I will be back with much more motivation and stronger body that will charge through PWA events.
Continentseven.com wishes you a very fast recovery and a great comeback!