Q&A with Bernardo Arsuaga, Director of “The Weekend Sailor”

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Bernardo Arsuaga was a weekend sailor himself - a fan of the sport, but not a world competitor like a certain member of Duran Duran! When Bernardo, who had NO experience directing a movie, decided he would make a documentary about the unexpected victory of the Mexican yacht Sayula II in the first crewed sailing race around the world, he was taking a big leap of faith. Read this excerpt from our last Member Exclusive Fan Community Q&A!

When did you first learn about Ramon Carlín and his journey?

Back in 2013, in Spain, at the Volvo Ocean Race headquarters. Just walking into the champions room, I noticed his picture and asked myself “why is this gentleman wearing a Mexican hat?” It got my attention. I have never really knew that a non experienced Mexican captain had skippered a yacht on a round the world regatta, less to have won it! The first one ever!

How did Simon’s name come up as a possible narrator of the film?

First, I think English is more attractive to worldwide audiences when we talk about visual entertainment…and, well, since this is a British race, a British idea…I feel we owe this huge event to them. So I wanted a British accent narrating the whole thing. I think it’s pretty easy to have a Mexican person say good things about another Mexican, but I wanted an international opinion, a voice with authority to comment on this great Mexican captain and what can be better than letting the creators of the race tell the story themselves? And since Simon was part of the race back in 1985 on his yacht DRUM, I knew he loved the race, I was sure he knew Ramon’s story, so we invited him. He is a very talented person and a great competitive sailor. Im sure he understood our feelings and meaning for doing this doc. So he jump on deck to be part of the crew.

How long did it take Simon to do all the narration? Was he aware of Ramon beforehand?

I'm pretty sure Simon was aware of Ramon’s story as every knowledgeable sailor should be, especially if he has been part of the race before…..and regarding working time, well he is a real pro, I don't think there was one single mistake with his performance. He did share some ideas with us to make the narration better, and it worked perfectly.

What was the most exciting part of the process for you?

It was all a real thrill for me, I got goosebumps every time we were ready to shoot a scene or every time I was about to meet a world champion for an interview…it was a very exciting and rewarding moment when you meet some of your sports heroes to interview them or a world champion from your own country, a person they all admire. Can you imagine a simple fan having this opportunity? But I think it wasn't until the editing sessions where I found real knowledge and joy, all those hours at night working with our super editor…this is where you can see the real magic happening, there is a lot of thought, a lot of creativity, a lot of teamwork. Good editors are fantastic! I think every part of the production left me with something special.

THE WEEKEND SAILOR has won many film awards since you started showing it at festivals. What has that been like for you?

Another thrill! It’s fantastic! I remember I was very afraid because I thought our film was not going to be at any festival at all. It’s just wonderful.

Weekend Sailor Vimeo https://goo.gl/UUizDF
Weekend Sailor iTunes https://goo.gl/0FrZTU
Weekend Sailor Amazon https://goo.gl/t5r8yJ
Weekend Sailor Xbox https://goo.gl/3Sp9Wz
Weekend Sailor Google Play https://goo.gl/Y01HLt

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Director Bernardo Arsuaga on Sayula