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Sam Sills and the camera crew at sea. Sam Sills and the camera crew at sea

On the water with Sam Sills

Have you seen our new ad yet? Here's a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how we made it on location in Lanzarote.

In case you haven't heard, we've partnered up with iQFoil athlete Sam Sills this year as he trains for the biggest challenge of his career so far. Earlier this year our in-house camera crew flew out to sunny Lanzarote to capture Sam in action. Here's how it went.

Marina Rubicon

We started the day at about 8.30am at Marina Rubicon, a very scenic part of Playa Blanca where stylish bars and restaurants overlook high-end yachts and sailing boats. But that's not what we were there for (although we did make time for a delicious Mediterranean-style breakfast of mozzarella, fresh tomato and freshly baked bread).

Sam and his coach were waiting for us when we got there, looking out over the water and assessing the conditions. It wasn't looking good – brilliant sunshine and a nice breeze may be perfect for a day on the beach, but for windsurfing the breeze needed a bit more oomph. But it was still early.

Sam and crew on location

Sam Sills | Journey to Gold

Follow Sam's journey from Cornwall to Lanzarote and beyond as he trains for the biggest challenge of his career.

Find out more...

We got a round of coffee and chatted with Sam as he prepared his board and sail, pulling them out of a container that looked like a cross between a duffle bag and an inflatable mattress. He got to work putting his kit together and we did the same assembling our cameras – a Sony FX3 and GoPro HERO12 for those who might be interested.

We weren't the only ones keen to go out on the water either. There were professional teams from all over the world eager to get out onto the water and train, including rival teams from Brazil, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the USA and even Japan. And then, after a busy hour or so of waiting in the sunshine for the weather to change, the wind began to pick up.

On the water

As the other teams at the marina jostled to get their sailing boats into the water we jumped in the RIB (or rigid inflatable boat for those not in the know) and whizzed out of the marina. Sam, of course, took to the water on his iQFoil and didn't have any trouble keeping up with us – he can comfortably zoom along at 40 miles an hour once he gets going.

@holidayextras You might have seen Sam from the British Sailing team on our account before, he's taking on a big challenge this year and we are following along for the ride ??????? Come behind the scenes on our latest ad featuring Sam! #britishsailingteam #samsills #iqfoil #windsurfing ? Ready - Official Sound Studio

With hazy views of Fuerteventura in the distance Sam put in his best work, speeding past the boat and flipping the sail for that perfect shot. He made it look easy, but years of training proves it was anything but.

Meanwhile our crew of three videographers had all angles covered – despite catching a bit of cold spray as Sam whizzed past with a distinctive whistling whoosh noise. Trying to stay steady on a speeding RIB was not easy, but we got the shots we needed and then some.

It was hard work but more importantly it was fun and exhilarating. Riding on the RIB didn't quite match up to the feeling of slicing through waves on an iQFoil but it was a thrilling experience nonetheless. And we think the ad turned out pretty well too.

Our behind-the-scenes gallery

  • Crew at the marina
  • Sam and crew
  • Sam and Leo on the water
  • Sam at sunset
  • Sam on the boat
  • Sam windsurfing
  • Camera man at work
  • Crew and Sam at the marina
  • Sam and Leo on the boat
  • Sam at the marina