Ross completed a record breaking season by winning the 2012 Formula Windsurfing World title in Liepaja, Latvia, over the 20th > 26th August.
120 competitors from around the world assembled in Liepaja – city “where the wind is born” – for this years world championship; 24 countries representing 5 continents participated.
The top 30 world ranked racers participated in a field that also included 3 past world champions – from Australia, USA and Poland.
Ross won 6 of the 9 races that were held in wide ranging conditions – from gusty, offshore winds on flat water to stronger, onshore winds in big waves!
Ross’ triumph followed his success earlier in the year in Sylt , Germany , when he won the European Championships and reclaimed a title he had won on two previous occasions.
Full results: Gold Fleet – http://www.formulawindsurfing.org/filez/results/120825_3/Gold%20Final.pdf
Full event coverage – http://www.formulawindsurfing.org/event.php?id=270
Photos/videos: Event website – http://formulaworlds2012.lv/
Matt Pritchard caught up with the new champion for a few words while ross was on his way to Turkey for the PWA slalom.
- MP: It has been a long time in the making but you finally notched your first world title- what do you attribute this to?
- RW: It has been a long time coming and i am super happy now its happened. I think everything fell into place this year. The Gaastra sails and Vapor 2 board are the best pieces of equipment on the market and i think this made things much easier for me to win. Of course i was racing good, maybe the best i ever have in formula. If you ask the other sailor they would probably agree that my tactics were sharp and i was racing every race with little or no mistakes. Basically I think when your kit is good, you can focus more on my racing game and things feel like they came easier and all the years of training and testing really pay off.
- MP: Do you have a new program that you are working on or is it just experience coming into play?
- RW: I have the same plan as i alway had, to try to be the best all round windsurfer i can be. I really enjoy every area and discipline in windsurf, its such a amazing sport. I just want to be the best. I think over the years experience has taught me what it takes to be a champion, the things you need to do and the things your should not do in order to win.
- MP: You are now a veteran out there, how big of a role does that play in your success?
- RW: I dont really see myself as a veteran, i think i have my best years still to come especially in slalom and formula. i am lucky that i have been able to compete for so long in the sport i love and that cant be a bad thing. I think i am coming into my prime and looking forward to many more years of competing
- MP: Who was your toughest competitor out there and why?
- RW: Well, this year it was for sure my Team mate Arnon Dagan. Having the same gear as him, and training together all the time, i knew before each championship that we would be the fighting it out at the top. Then you also have people like Steve Allan, who has won the world title a few times before and he is such an impressive sailor, he knows what is takes to win. Then there are a whole group of guys that train formula all the time and any of them can win races.
- MP: What single piece of equipment has made the most difference in all your testing?
- RW: I cant say that there is just one. Its the whole thing. You got to have the whole package tested and ready to rock. I am just grateful to everyone involved with the Gaastra/Tabou development for producing such good kit and this world title is the results of all that hard work.
- MP: Do you think this win will help you and your confidence on the PWA tour? What is different for you when it comes to Slalom vs Formula?
- RW: I think for sure it will help, but formula and slalom are 2 completely different things, and these days its getting really hard to be competitive in more then one discipline. I feel that the level in every discipline has jumped up in the last 2 to 3 years as now sailors tend to just specialise in either, wave, slalom, freestyle or formula, there are very few guys left that are able to compete at the top level across the disciplines. So for me doing 3 disciplines has maybe effected my ability to reach a PWA world title in one! because i am spreading myself too thin. I think is was able to reach my goal in formula because i have been doing upwind racing since i was about 9 years old. So now i have a title in formula i think i will settle down to really train hard for slalom and see if i have what it take to reach the top of the PWA tour.
- MP: Congratulations, what are you doing to celebrate?
- RW: I celebrated by driving 16 hours all through the night to get to turkey on time to start racing..... So in short i have not done anything.... I think i will wait till i am less busy.