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Wednesday 30 November 2022
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04 Oct 2022
Historic number of winners crowned at 2022 Aufguss World Championships

From 12-17 September, the world’s top aufguss masters gathered in the Netherlands to celebrate the power of sauna and participate in the annual Aufguss World Championship.

Aufguss is an entertaining, communal sauna ritual that – at its simplest – involves an aufguss master waving a towel to distribute the sauna’s heat, usually set to music and with essential oil fragrances adding to the experience. But the top sauna masters can get very creative, weaving in storylines, costumes and complex movements to enhance the experience.

The seven-day sold-out competition gathered sweat enthusiasts from around the world and was hosted inside Thermen Bussloo’s new 200-seat sauna arena.

This year marked the first instance in which Japan and Romania took part in the competition. It was also the first time the event organiser – Aufguss WM – welcomed a new UK delegation to the event which will start competing in 2023.

Split into singles and team categories, the competition drew 68 participants from 13 countries who had qualified.

Spa Business spoke to Lasse Eriksen – the development manager for Farris Bad in Norway, who is both a judge and board member of Aufguss WM – for the inside scoop on the event.

“Once a year, sauna enthusiasts from around the world gather around the steam to experience the most mesmerising aufguss performances on the planet,” he said, “this year, competitors pushed the boat out with new stylish techniques, difficult throws and magical shows.”

The new world champions
In the singles division, the judging panel dealt with a historic first after two entrants received a score of 537.25 points. The judges felt both performances deserved to be champions and, for the first time in history, crowned two world champions in single aufguss.

The first winner was Maciej Piczura from Poland – a previous world champion in both the single and team divisions.

This year was the aufguss veteran’s third time attending the event and his performance told a story about a man who was accused, arrested and sentenced to death for a murder he didn’t commit.

Eriksen praised Piczura for his emotive story-telling as well as his “beautiful waving techniques, style and control”.

“Maciej’s final aufguss was one for the history books and was one of the most technically difficult and wonderful modern classic styles we have ever seen. He is a well-deserved world champion.”

The second winner was Laura Lenders from the Netherlands who was performing in her hometown.

“What Maciej had in techniques and waving, Laura delivered in audience interaction,” said Eriksen, “her story was built around a woman who falls pregnant and leaves her husband after he wanted no part in the child’s life.

“Laura took us on a journey on all the challenges a pregnant woman goes through, all the way down to the facial expressions when giving birth! Laura made the story come alive and created a funny, thoughtful and engaging performance.

“Her waving skills and knowledge of sauna are immaculate and with her experience as a several-time finalist she certainly deserved to finally made it to pole position.”

In the doubles category, Italian duo Simone Mannelli and Massimo Gelli were named the champions after coming from behind in the qualifiers. Their performance was inspired by the story behind the creation of Florence’s iconic Brunelleschi dome.

Eriksen commended the team on their performance, calling them two “very passionate, experienced and technical aufguss masters who honoured their city and country”.

Next year, the championships will be hosted in SATAMA Saunapark outside of Berlin, Germany, which will coincide with the destination’s 10th anniversary.


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29 Nov 2022
East Cape Futures Forum to emphases the importance of regenerative tourism and development
A new regenerative tourism and development conference will take place at Palmas de Cortez Hotel Los Barriles in Baja California Sur, Mexico, from 5-8 December 2022.
15 Nov 2022
TEA announces 2022 Thea Award winners, with Disney, Futuroscope, Kevin Murphy and Roland Mack among those honoured
The Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser experience at Walt Disney World, Orlando, is among the winners of this year's Thea Awards.
03 Nov 2022
London Marathon Events is new delivery partner for Royal Parks Half Marathon
The Royal Parks Half Marathon has named London Marathon Events as its new delivery partner.
24 Oct 2022
WTA’s 2022 International Wellness Tourism Conference rescheduled for November
The second annual International Wellness Tourism Conference has been postponed to 29-30 November 2022, following Hurricane Fiona.
19 Oct 2022
Global Wellness Summit releases full agenda for 2022 event
The complete agenda for the 2022 Global Wellness Summit (GWS) taking place in Tel Aviv, Israel, is now live.
12 Oct 2022
The UK's National Visitor Attractions Conference lands in Birmingham
The National Visitor Attractions Conference (VAC 2022), has been held for the 19th time.
30 Sep 2022
VAC 2022 conference programme and 25 speakers announced
VAC 2022 has announced the final line-up of 25 top attractions sector speakers set to appear at the conference on Thursday 13 October.
23 Sep 2022
Anna Bjurstam, Alberto Apostoli and Andrew Gibson headlining Synergy The Retreat Show in Ibiza this October
Like-minded spa, wellness and travel experts are being invited to come together at the inaugural Synergy – The Retreat Show from 25-28 October in Ibiza.
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