It seems like 2020 could be without any windsurfing events at all, as the Covid 19 virus slowly eats into the calendar and competitions are cancelled months in advance. With the world shutting down including a temporary halt to all action in Barbados, Brian Talma decided enough was enough and saw early in the game an opportunity to come up with the one event that will go ahead: The Beach Culture World Tour Virtual Games! Windsurf Magazine reached out to Brian to find out what is the Action and how and when these games will take place!
Photos: John Carter
WS: Tell us what has been happening in Barbados over the past few months?
BT: Yeah man, the condition in deAction Island have been amazing for the season so far with good wind and nice waves. It was especially good for anybody who wants to get into the waves. I did do my Waterman Festival in January and during the dates of the event in January the wind was bad but we still had fun, surfing, SUP and had the Beach Culture carnival. The funniest thing was during the major lock down in April the wind was turned on.
WS: How have you been keeping busy?
BT: Before I went to Master of the Ocean in the Dominican Republic to compete in late February, I was in the water almost every day doing something in the water and running my deAction Apartments & Surf Shop. Once I returned from Master of the Ocean in early March, the world was changing quick from the COVID-19 virus. Then all my businesses shut down and I was spending a lot of time in the water, windsurfing, kiting and on the SUP. Then it was total LOCK DOWN and we could not go outside, and I could only watch the conditions from my house.
WS: Are you allowed on the water?
BT: At first, we were only allowed in the water in the mornings from 6-9 am. Now it’s 6-9am then 4-6pm in the evenings.
WS: Do you have the place all to yourself?
BT: I’ve shut deAction Beach Apartment/shop at Silver Rock Beach and I am based on Long Beach. It’s has onshore wind and rolling waves and I am the only windsurfer on the water.
WS: How bad has tourism been affected by the lockdown in Barbados?
BT: My businesses have shut down, there are no tourist in Barbados or very, very few.
WS: We heard you are running a Virtual Beach Culture World Tour Games?
BT: The vision is to use the BCWT Virtual Game as a template for future action water sport, to continue having professional action water sport events. Also, to create value for riders, sponsors and destinations to either participate or contribute financially to events. The goal is to do it virtually in 2020 and then the real thing in 2021. But I also think this is an opportunity for the IWT & the PWA could collaborate of create a competition model so professional windsurfing could continue virtually. I think we could approach a lot of event which have been cancelled and do them virtually. By doing them virtually we maintain the sponsorship and the destinations can continue to promote their new product for the NEW WORLD.
WS: Tell us how that is going to work?
BT: The pro section I will welcome the pros on @briantalma & @bcworldtour on Instagram and on Facebook Brian Talma, show their path and then by June 13th a clip of their action on the water & lifestyle.
The amateur section is a lot broader, as the entrants can send clip, pictures, I will include art / music / action water sports showcasing beach culture. I will post these on Facebook on Brian Talma.
The judging format will be combination of likes, activity, created on social media, voting and a judging panel. As with COVID-19 virus things are changing constantly. As I started this project when the world was going into full lock down, now we can slowly get back into the water. And different places have different situations. I think in the new world, event/organization have to be able to change quickly depending on the situation.
WS: What do you have planned?
BT: By June 13th, I will have all the project in and on June 14th we will go LIVE (Instagram / maybe zoom) at 2:30 eastern time / Bajan Time. We will be streaming all the projects and highlighting all the riders; we will also have interviews with the riders. At the end of the day we will crown a BCWT Virtual Game, Champion of Champions in Pro and an amateur too.
WS: Who is taking part?
BT: I’ve gotten a lot amateurs, about 30 and anybody can enter this section women, men or children.
The pros I will enter all past BCWT World Champions which includes: Hope LeVin, Airton Cozzolini, Diony Guadagnino, Robby Naish, Kevin Pritchard, Fiona Wylde, Bernd Roediger, Josh Stone, Savanna Stone, Kai Lenny, Zane Schweitzer, Antoine Martin and other Pro who have done the BCWT
Championships like Gollito Estredo, Ricardo Campello, etc and I have some new comer such as 2 time SUP World Champion Luiz Diniz, Jeremie Tronet just to name a few.
As I’ve always said, to be part of the BCWT Championship on the pro side, you have to be an up and coming pro, a past or present world champion of your water sport or a legend.
WS: Anything else interesting to tell us about?
BT: The ultimate goal of the BCWT Virtual Games is for everybody to reflect on their past and create a direction forward. I am using the Game to inspire and motivate people to be creative and to produce a project which truly reflects who they are and where they wish to go. Also, to create a beginning model for maintain sporting events and slowly create a business environment so we all can get back to business. I strong believe professional sport will change and become on your ability to entertain people on the water and land and communicate this through social media. It will also be much more connection to the end consumers and community (Organic Tourism) project which will drive business active in the locations of the different pros around the world. The job of a professional athlete will change in this future world. along will professional events in the new year and beyond.
WS: How did you get the idea?
BT: After returning from Master of the Ocean in the ‘DR’ in early March and the approaching COVID-19, I realized tourism was going to stop. I shut my apartment / shop on Silver Rock Beach on March 15th and my last guest left on March 23rd. Although the world was still opened up and the Barbados Government were still trying to encourage internal tourism my focus was preparing for this wave, and getting my family in as safe environment as possible. I started to isolate from people on another
beach close to my home called long Beach.
I saw all the sporting events in the world cancelling. Although things were extremely bad financially and I was very concerned for the health of my family and everybody, I realized it was an opportunity to create a format to help save and continue events. Then in late March I started promoting the BCWT Virtual Game with the goal of maintaining the present of the BCWT / action water sport, athletes, destinations and create a medium for potential sponsors to sponsor events. I also believe in creating a barter system and cryptocurrency within the windsurfing world.
WS: Why do you love windsurfing?
BT: I LOVE windsurfing because I am able to ride the waves and jump them too. I also love them windsurfing community and the sport has given me the opportunity to develop as a waterman by getting into other action water sport. It also gave me the financial possibilities to build all
deAction in Barbados and travel around the world. If it wasn’t for windsurfing I could have found the path to get paid to play.
WS: Three words to live by?
BT: This what I live by: “Life isn’t perfect it’s perfect”