OTS Turkmenistan Adventure – Day 1 & 2
The German slalom sailor Oliver-Tom Schliemann reports from his journey to the 2014 Awaza PWA World Cup in Turkmenistan on the Caspian Sea. And it is a journey into the unknown, a blind spot on the windsurfing spot map, which gets discovered.
They say it is the first international sports event ever hosted in Awaza, Turkmenistan. Awaza is a modern tourism zone and one of the favorite projects of the president of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The plan is to build 60 hotels until 2020, even a skiing center and a bike racing center are planned, with a total investment volume of 5 billion US$. While Turkmenistan remains one of the world’s most repressive and isolated countries, this newly built region should be the window to the world in the future. But until this region will be a flourishing tourism zone a lot of things need to happen and we hope that not only the environmental issues in the Caspian Sea will be solved until then.
Oliver-Tom is 23 years old and has won already several Youth World and Vice World Champion titles in different classes (Aloha, Formula, Mistral One Design, etc.). He has been on the PWA tour for some years and at the moment he concentrates, besides studying and working in his father’s windsurfing center in Eckernförde, on organizing his Beginner2Winner Academy for the summer.
Text by Oliver-Tom Schliemann
DAY 1 – OPENING
One day before the start of the PWA event in Turkmenistan we had an amazing sand storm going on here. You couldn’t see 50 meters and the wind was blowing with gusts up to 40knots. We had wind all day long but the conditions were so crazy that only a bunch of guys tried it. Today there was the official opening ceremony with the president of Turkmenistan. Hundreds of people were working day and night to make this opening as perfect as possible. The president was planing to come around 11am but the organization didn’t know for sure, so they let everybody wake up at 6:30 so that we were ready, if the president would show up earlier.