Know the Sailors: Pavlos Kontides
Pavlos Kontides, Limassol Cyprus. Highest SSL Ranking: VIP
Pavlos has been sailing since he was nine and at 17 years of age won his first Gold Medal at the ISAF Youth World Championship. At just 18 years of age, Pavlos competed in the Laser Class for Cyprus in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing placing 13th. In the same year, Pavlos won the gold medal at the ISAF Youth World Championship for the second time, the only athlete ever to have done so. In 2012, Pavlos represented Cyprus at the London Olympic Games, taking Silver, the first Cypriot athlete to win an Olympic medal and in 2013 won the Silver Medal at the Laser World Championship. Pavlos will be represent his country for at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in the Laser Class. This December, Pavlos will compete in his first SSL Final, racing as a VIP, with Mark Strube.
SSL: If you weren’t a sportsperson, what would you be and why?
PK: This is an interesting question and surprisingly this it is the first time I have been asked this. It is a difficult one but my first reaction would be a business man running my own big group of companies, having to deal with fast decisions under pressure and with great amount of responsibility. To be successful in such field, requires similar manners as in professional sport; discipline, dedication, commitment, organization, high goal setting, never giving up, accepting failure is not an option.
What is the greatest sacrifice you have had to make in order to achieve success?
PK: I guess not living a normal youth life. At the age of 14, I started training hard. Every day I would wake up before school going for cycling, immediately after school going for a sail and I would come out of the water after the sunset, eat lunch, rest for a bit and straight away into gym training. Such an intense schedule does not leave any room for partying or just to hang around with some friends. However, it was something I really enjoyed doing and I can say going through all these past experiences it builds up character.
SSL: What animal fascinates you?
PK: The Lion, king of the animal kingdom, always powerful, under control, composed, patient, calm or aggressive, according to the situation and highly respectful.
SSL: What kind of a person makes you angry?
PK: People who are stubborn and cannot back up their opinion with valid arguments and thoughts that can be correlated. What annoys me the most about this type of people is the fact that usually their weapon is just to speak louder in order to convince the listener.
SSL: What kind of person makes you happy?
PK: People who are positive, that enjoy life and every moment of it. You can just feel their energy and you can see the happiness from their facial expression. So even when you are down and you are around them, they can affect your mood. They make you happy. It is contagious!
SSL: What was is your favorite memory from another sport?
PK: When I was in secondary school I used to play for the schoolâ€™s volleyball team. The memory which stands out is a game against the champions. I was not nervous or afraid at all to play against them, although it was a big challenge to show them what we are made off. Even though we lost, we gave them a hard time as the underdog. They were so impressed by my performance that they offered me to join their squad.
SSL: What film inspires you?
PK: A film that I watched recently, which inspired me is â€œSOUTHPAWâ€. It almost made me cry. If you are an athlete, watch this movie! Believe me you will understand exactly what I mean.
SSL: Is there any specific technique you use when competing to help motivate yourself?
PK: I always try to visualize myself achieving the end result I am aiming for and constantly telling to myself that I am the best. Additionally, I always try to soak up energy from nature itself.
SSL: If you could invite people through history for dinner, who would you choose?
PK: Certainly King Leonidas from the 300 Spartans, I would love to have a discussion with him about their incentives, inspiration and ways of training. But there are many other significant historical names such as, Alexander the Great and Napoleon.
SSL: How many Gold Medals or World Championships is ‘enough’?
PK: You can never pick a number. The day when the fire inside you stops burning thatâ€™s when it is enough. The day you are sailing because of others and not because you still enjoy it and/or love it thatâ€™s when it is enough. Sailing is a lifetime sport, as long as you enjoy what you are doing….
SSL: A child asks you if Santa Claus is real, what do you say?
PK: â€œOf course he is real!â€ Depending on the childâ€™s age, if they are a bit older, I would say that Santa Claus is a spirit and even though you cannot see him, he is always there, affecting you with his presence.
SSL: If you could have a super hero special power what would it be?
PK: The coolest question ever! I would choose to be able to watch the future whenever I want to but not constantly, so life does not get boring. On the other hand, tele-transportation seems like a good idea, moving to different places in zero time whenever and as many times I want. If with tele-transportation I could travel in the past and future, then I would go for that, since it will pretty much cover my first choice of predicting the future.
Â 1-6 December 2015 – The third edition of the SSL Finals will take place in Nassau, Bahamas
Â All SSL events use a qualifying competition followed by a knock-out system. Teams take part in the qualifying rounds, which is a series of races over three days. The top 11 teams progress to the knock-out stage, which has four stages. In one-off races teams are eliminated, until just four teams remain to contest the final. The winner takes home a big slice of the $200,000 Prize Purse.
Watch all the action live from the Star Sailors League Final. With expert commentary from special studio guests. On the water, the latest in hi-tech camera technology, as well as Virtual Eye 3D Graphics, will provide thrilling viewing. Armchair sailors can also join the race with Virtual Regatta.