Monday, 1 July 2019

Who is Vitor Semedo?

At the Sandboard World Cup in 2017, he finished 3rd in the Boardercross discipline for Cabo Verde; at this year's world cup in June, he came 2nd in the Slalom and was crowned world champion in Sand Boardercross!

The 2019 Boardercross podium (left: Deybis Jhair Donayre Ecos, centre: Vitor Semedo, right: Omar MartĂ­nez)

Vitor Semedo had participated in his first ever snowboarding event this year at the Audi Snowboard Series and the Giant X tour in Flumserberg, Switzerland; he finished 11th on the Giant X tour and came 19th in the Audi Snowboard Series. [1]

It's the first time that an athlete outside of Europe or South America has won a Sandboarding discipline at the world cup since it began, hearing the good news and armed full of questions, I had an opportunity to interview, the champion himself!

Mute Grab by Vitor Semedo

How does it feel to be world champion in boardercross?

"I still can't believe that I can call myself world champion, I did a bronze medal in 2017 and I was there more for the experience than for the title!"

What do you think you did differently this time to be the world champion as opposed to coming 3rd?

"Work, training, practice, and fun were the added ingredients."

How would you prepare yourself before a sandboarding tournament?

"I did training this winter and last winter, in the snow (because I live in France); I did the Giant X tour in Switzerland; I did a long trip in Namibia as well for training."

What's your favourite place for Sandboarding?

"After my trip in Namibia, definitely Namibia; because the landscape is just crazy, amazing; the dunes are really big."

Do you think Cape Verde will get more exposure for Sandboarding after your world cup win?

"I don't think so, the tourism isn't big enough for sandboarding. For people who want to discover something, it can be a good experience."

How did you handled coming second in the slalom?

"Actually it was surprising for me because, Slalom isn't my specialitity; I was relaxed for the slalom because I already won the boardercross and I wanted to live the experience, after the run maybe I could do it; the German man (Luca Flachenecker) was really strong and really fast and I couldn't win but second place is a good position, I'm happy with it."

Do you have any messages for anyone who wants to get into Sandboarding?

"Just try and you'll fall in love, if you try sandboarding, you will want to go back on sand for sure; we have no seasons, it's year round you can try all year round!"

What plans do you have in the next world cup?

"For the next world cup, I will do the same but the level is going up; I have to train more; the new generation is coming and they're training all year round (especially the Peruvians & Chileans) so it will be hard for sure!"

Aside from my questions for Vitor, the Champion had also asked me how I got into sandboarding, I responded by saying that I got into it from an early age, I didn't feel the same connection with sandboarding as I did with other sports, and once I learned to drive, I could progress my abilities in the sport; also I was asked why there wasn't any English participation in the World Cup, I therefore discussed my plans to compete in the Sandspirit competition first and then progress onto the world cup the following year if all goes well!

Mr. Semedo at the 2019 Sandboarding World Cup.

It's rare I get a chance to interview inspiring sandboarding heroes; but when I do, I end up interviewing the new world boardercross champion for 2019! FĂ©licitations on the new world title & Merci for an excellent interview!

[1]: InterSands. 2019. Switzerland welcomes sand riders to participate in snow events.. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 June 2019].

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