Vaclav Chalupa, one of most successful scullers of Czech history who achieved silver medal on Olympic games 1992, silver medallist from World Rowing Championships 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1993, bronze medallist from World Rowing Championships 1995, 1998, 2001 and winner of the most prestigious prize in international rowing, adding the Thomas Keller Medal is promoting Liteboat not only in the Czech Republic.
Vaclav, we are actually in premises of your new rowing club in beautiful landscape surrounding of Lipno lake. How did you found yourselves in South Bohemia region and why Lipno lake?
I was born in South Bohemia region and returned with pleasure there every time. My hometown is Jindrichuv Hradec where I have started to row under supervision of my father in rowing club VK Vajgar. Although I’m Jindrichuv Hradec patriot, my dream was to live close by some lake or in the mountains. And Lipno ideally combines both! I was on Holliday with my parents in age of 6 there and then again on Dragoon boats races in 2010. I have fallen in love with this region and started to think about an option how to relocate my family and find some challenging business there. Fortunately I had returned back in 2016 and spent few weeks on Lipno as a person who showed and introduced rowing for public visitors of Olympic park called Rio Lipno. I have recognized that rowing could be very well launched on Lipno lake and made decision reside here with my family.
There is no secret, that history of rowing on Lipno lake started been written with your coming here. What are your being experiences and do you aim at competitive rowing, only?
The aim and idea of the above mentioned Olympic park Rio Lipno was refer on this event, e.g. in form of sporting club establishment on Lipno lake or similar. And such my rowing club VBK Lipno was born. I’m focused on competitive the same as coastal and leisure rowing.
You mention persons concerned about leisure rowing as well, do you believe in growth potential of this market segment? Are you able anyhow describe a typical person concerned about his first rowing strokes?
To make a trial in rowing boat is almost impossible for newcomers. The most rowing clubs in the Czech Republic has been mainly focused on competitive rowing and leisure rowing isn’t introduced and promoted enough, unfortunately. Lipno region is intensively occupied by tourist during summer season and the visitors, naturally, enjoying their vacation time are looking after new activities. It’s absolutely common that newcomers are afraid to make a trial in rowing boat. I have to calm them down, explain proper stroke technique and to build trust among us. With confidence in information given about rowing and stable boats are first strokes in rowing boat much easier. Typical newcomer curious about rowing as well as with full capsizing respect. Nearly all participants are matching the same experience – rowing is technically challenging activity but totally marvellous, movement of the boat in the water is fully peaceful and with such a leisure and relaxing activity would like to continue to the future.
You are using light, easy and stable Liteboats for your rowing lessons. How would you describe them and what for experiences have you made with these boats?
For my activity provide Liteboats absolutely fabulous properties! Lipno lake as a largest water area in the Czech Republic, is well known for quick weather changeovers. You can start your lesson on totally calm water and within few minutes to row in windy and wavy conditions more likely typical for off-shore rowing. For such a reason is very important that Liteboats are so stable and easy for handling. Especially LiteSPORT is ideal rowing boat for novices and newcomers due to their confidence to stability the same as pleasant and trustful design of the boat. Thanks to that I´m not afraid place in the boat children the same as elderly people.
Are you focused on Czech rowing lessons attendants, only or is there some request from foreign rower novices and participants, as well?
I´m meeting wishes to row on Lipno lake from the Czech Republic mainly. By reason of close border is there growing demand from Austrian as well, the same as I´m inviting still more rowing course attendants from Slovakia.
Where would you see your project within next 5 years?
As the popularity of coastal rowing is growing and with potential to become part of Olympic games, I would like to build up dedicated centre for Czech Coastal Rowing team the same as launch tradition of Coastal regatta here on Lipno lake. Of course I´m interested attract local youth, search talents and participate in local competition as each rowing club, the same as more and more develop and promote leisure rowing activities and events such as team buildings etc.
Vaclav, thank you very much for your time dedicated to our interview, many thanks for your confidence in Liteboats and we wish all your dreams come true! For all addressed by the opportunity to book a rowing lesson with multiple rowing medallist from the high-class rowing events, don´t hesitate visit www.lake-rowing.cz/en. You are welcome in Liteboat on Lipno lake!