The fifth day of the KIA Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be a very relaxed affair as light winds and glorious sunshine graced Klitmoeller for the entire day. In the afternoon Dany Bruch (Starboard / Severne / AL360), Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra), Flo Jung (RRD / Gun Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) and Adam Lewis (Patrik / Point-7) took the opportunity to take part in the fishing challenge, which Lewis won. With the sailors on hold for the day we caught up with John Skye (RRD / MFC) and Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC):
What fin setup do you prefer? Tri/Quad? Do you change depending on the conditions and if you do, what changes do you make?
JS: “I mostly use quad set up. I like the control they give in windy conditions and the drive and grip they have in down the line conditions. For really light junky conditions I normally set my boards up as twin, which makes them a bit more free and pivot better in small waves. Finally just to completely mix it up, RRD have just released a new board called the Firewave. It sits between a wave board and a freestyle wave and it's basically a really fast wave board. It is setup with thruster and if we get really onshore conditions I will use that board for sure to use the speed.”
As the sail designer of RRD which aspects of sail designing do you enjoy and what are the most difficult parts of it?
JS: “It's all fascinating to be honest. It's great to be able to change the sail and then get to test it in a World Cup environment. You really learn a lot when you sail in all sorts of conditions. I now have the sails working exactly how I want them and I take everything I learn and put it into the other lines of sails so it's really interesting. The other side of it all is controlling the actual production. Materials, schedules, graphics, details, there are so many parts to work on. We have a great design team at RRD, and it shows in the final sail.”
Was sail designing something that you always wanted to do / how did you get into it?
JS: “I never really knew what I would end up doing. I studied boat and sail design at Uni, and I have always loved the design side of things, but honestly I never thought I would end up where I am. Roberto was really behind me since the beginning and has been great at giving me every opportunity. The more I get into it, the more I am enjoying it, so it's great.”
Port or starboard tack?
JS: “I would say I am equal on both tacks. I learnt everything on starboard tack in the beginning but then with the tour being so heavy in port tack I tried to sail more in those conditions. Now I live in Gran Canaria so actually sail port tack a lot more. However if we have to compete I would choose starboard tack. I think overall the level is higher on port tack, so for sure I have better chances on starboard. The ideal for me would be a really good mix of everything.”
Favorite move and what are you working on at the moment?
JS: “Last year it was pretty clear that doubles were vital, so I have been killing myself all year trying them. Also 360s seem to be coming more and more common and consistent so I have been trying them a lot. Favorite move is probably a Goita in down the line conditions.”
You and Nayra [Alonso] (Fanatic / Severne) had a baby this year. How has that effected your training?
JS: “To be honest between all the testing and design work and trying to balance family time too it has meant a lot less "training" time. Now when I get to just wave sail it is pretty special and it has really motivated me. I don't really train moves as much as I probably should. I just go sailing and try to enjoy it and push myself as much as possible.
Which boards do you use?
VF: “It depends on the conditions, but for example here on the first day when it was side / side-off I was using my quad, but yesterday I was using my tri-fin. When it’s cross on they feel faster and they sit a little higher on the water than the quad, which I prefer in those conditions.”
Do you change your fin positions depending on the conditions?
VF: “Not so much, I find the best positions for every board and I tend to just leave it like that. I change somethings, for example here I use different fins in my quad than I would in Maui or Chile where the wave has more power and I need more grip.”
Where was your part in ‘Below the Surface’ shot?
VF: “I discussed my part with Andre Paskowski at the beginning of the year and we decided to shoot my part in Maui, Peru - which was the first time I had been there and I was really stoked to be able to go there. The main part was filmed at my home spot, Almerimar, which will see more cross-on sailing and also Gran Canaria”
How do you find the sailing in Cold Hawaii?
VF: “It’s pretty good I always love it here because the conditions are always changing. I think you need to be a really good all round sailor to do well here. There’s a lot of guys that can do well here, but we also always see big surprises in the early rounds over the last few years.”
Lastly, how are you feeling ahead of the weekend when the wind and waves are forecast to return?
VF: “I’m prepared - I have to be as I’m in the first heat to be sailed. I’m ready and I really want to compete!”
Thanks Victor and good luck for the rest of the event.
The forecast for tomorrow looks much more promising for the past few days, so hopefully we will see the single elimination resumed. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10am tomorrow morning with the first possible start at 10:30am.