In April 2018, World Surfaris will cut the red tape on the first sailing of Emperor Virgo. Giorgio Rollo has been guiding surfers and divers in The Maldives for the past decade and knows all there is to know about the beautiful reefs you will come across as a surfer and especially as a diver. We sat down with Giorgio to find out a bit more about his experience, personality and what excited him about Emperor Virgo and the 2018 season with World Surfaris.
1. Hi Giorgio, can you please tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from?
I was born in Peru (Peruvian mother, Italian father). Grew up in Brazil, Zambia and Tunisia. Finished my studies in Italy and my ocean life in Mexico when I was 25. I started surfing from the age of 9, in Brazil. My Peruvian grandfather was a surfer, so somehow I ended up with it in my blood from an early age. The ocean is my life and my home. I am a qualified surfing instructor, surf guide, dive master/instructor and surf photographer. I like to combine all of these talents on a daily basis, its my passion!
2. How long have you been surfing in the Maldives and how much of this time has been spent guiding travelling surfers?
I first arrived in the Maldives in 2005. I was hired as a dive instructor at a luxury resort in an atoll where there were no waves. For 6 months I worked as a diving instructor, whilst my quiver of boards gathered dust in the corner of my room. Finally I resigned from the resort knowing there were awesome waves I just had to surf.
I landed a job as a surf and dive guide on a charter boat. Ever since, I have been cruising the Maldives on different surf charters for about 10 years. What keeps me going is the excitement of new breaks, meeting frothing surfers and using my knowledge to keep enthusiastic surfers coming back every year.
3. What is your favourite surf break in the Maldives?
I guess it varies depending on the conditions but if I'm in the mood for some fast barrels I love 'Machines' in Laamu Atoll. If I'm keen to cruise and want to perform some drawn out lines on a long wall, I really like 'Inside Mikaido' located in Thaa Atoll (both waves coincidentally in the Central Atolls).
4. How long have you worked with Emperor Virgo and what impresses you about the operation?
I have been surf and dive guiding for Emperor Virgo now for 2 years. Once you step foot on Emperor Virgo, you feel at home. The crew are some of the best I have ever worked with, very respectful and kind hearted. The boat itself offers luxury comfort at an affordable price and is quite unique in that regard. I feel honored to work for such a professional organisation with the Emperor fleet and even more excited to work with World Surfaris and their loyal customers.
5. Why should our customers book their 2018 surf charter on Emperor Virgo?
As I mentioned before, once you step foot on Virgo you feel at home. The overall comfort of the boat is first class, the rooms are huge with private ensuites. There is inside and outside dining and ample space for groups of mates or families. We have the best facilities to accommodate all guests. For surfers who want to go for a dive, we can pull out a few tanks and I will personally take them to some of my favourite spots. If they are there to purely surf, they can do it all day everyday and come back to an eye-catching vessel sitting beside the line-up.
6. Because of your upbringing, we understand you speak a number of languages fluently? When your guests get barrelled, give us some celebratory slang in each language you know:
Hahaha. This is funny because I find myself changing languages I speak from trip to trip which makes communication easy in the 5 languages I speak (Spanish, Portugese, Italian, French & English)
Spanish: Que loco cabron! (That was crazy)
Italian: Che onda la tua Eccezionale (that was a sik wave)
Portugese: Onda incrivel! (Incredible wave)
French: Incroyable ta vague (Your wave was incredible)
7. You are quite experienced with a camera. Does this mean you will be taking photos of World Surfaris guests this year?
Yes of course. I can't wait and am very happy to provide a USB of photos and the odd video session. It is important to walk away from your trip with a bag full of waves and memories you can share for many years. I use a Canon 7D so quality of your shots will be great.
8. Thanks Giorgio. To finish, what are you looking forward to the most in 2018 aboard Emperor Virgo?
There is only one simple and short answer to this. I'm looking forward to being in the Maldives, its beautiful weather, swells, crystal clear water and of course enthusiastic guests to share the waves with all season. Can't wait!