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Not so long ago, many in our country perceived windsurfing as something distant, fabulously beautiful from another life, another world. Beautifully built, tanned young people against the background of blue waves and the ocean breeze turned this sport into something inaccessible, beyond the control of a simple person. And what was the surprise when the name of our compatriot – St. Petersburg guy Yegor Popretinsky was found in the top ten windsurfers of the planet.

First steps

Egor was born in Leningrad on October 8, 1986. The ordinary life of a simple St. Petersburg teenager made a sharp turn at the age of twelve. The craving for sports was founded from an early age, but instead of the traditional football, hockey or basketball for Leningrad at that time, little Egor made his choice in favor of extreme sports. The search for himself in sports affected both martial arts and skateboarding, but everything was changed by one simple trip to his grandmother. On Vasilievsky Island, where Yegor’s grandmother lived, the station of Mikhail Ershov has been operating for a long time, where the school of domestic windsurfers took its first steps. Among these athletes was Yegor’s older brother, Ivan, who led the future champion to look at his own training.

The first couple of years were spent on running in the basic elements. The lack of an elementary coaching school in our country forced Yegor himself, through trial and error, to seek to increase his own skills. At the age of 15, the first trips to domestic competitions went – Zelenogorsk, Yeysk, Anapa. And only in 2003, the first trip to foreign competitions in Egypt and a disappointing 11th place. With the first international failure, the first experience came. The very next year, at competitions of the same rank, Yegor Popretinsky became a bronze medalist.

Overcoming difficulties

Despite the external beauty and apparent ease, windsurfing is an extremely energy-intensive sport. In addition to physical activity, athletes are faced with quite serious financial expenses. This should include the cost of equipment and travel to the competition. Therefore, from the age of fifteen, Yegor had to enter adulthood, independently financially providing his expensive hobby.

Another problem was the lack of any windsurfing school in our country. Studying at the station of Mikhail Ershov, Egor adopted the experience of senior comrades, while all of them were self-taught. The way out was the banal video camera, with the help of which Yegor shot his speeches, and then analyzed, analyzing the mistakes made. In fact, Yegor Popretinsky was in one person and an athlete – a windsurfer and his own coach. Within a few years, the work of a kind of “tandem” began to bear fruit.

Professional career

The starting point of Yegor Popretinsky’s professional career was graduation. The presence of free time allowed the young man to spend much more time in the Egyptian Dahab, where nature created all the conditions for full-fledged windsurfing. The results were not long in coming, in 2006 Egor made his debut in professional windsurfing at the world stage of EFPT in Greece. Already in his first performance, Yegor made it clear that in Russia there are world-class windsurfers. By 2008, just two years after appearing at professional competitions, Yegor was already among the elite of the world windsurfing, successfully speaking at the largest international competitions.

Sports success

Already now, by the age of thirty, Yegor Popretinsky has a large number of achievements that make him the leading Russian windsurfer:
Repeated victories in the national championship in the discipline of freestyle
Hit the top eight according to the results of 2009 and 2010 in the world ranking according to PWA
In the European ranking 6th place in 2008
Fifth place on the stage of the world tour in Lanzarote
Sixth place in the finals of the 2009 Sylt World Tour
Fifth place on the Eurotour in Vassiliki (Greece)

Future plans

Currently, Yegor, together with his wife Maria, have opened their own windsurfing school, where Yegor conducts the main coaching work, and Maria is a general physical training coach. In addition to coaching, Egor continues his career as an active athlete, and by his own admission, he is eager to enter the top five of the world’s most powerful windsurfers by the end of the year.

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