The final day of the PWA Bonaire World Cup provided another fantastic day of freestyle as the second double elimination was completed. With winds lighter than yesterday the majority of sailors reached for their 4.8-5.2m’s as they battled it out for the final time this week. Several sailors came storming back through the doubles but in the end no-one could stop Kiri Thode (Starboard / GA Sails) from fighting back to claim victory on his beloved Bonaire.
Interview by Matt Pritchard (MP)
MP: Describe your most difficult heat for this event. KT: Acually none of them was difficult Only some heat was pretty light and challenging condition but all of them was pretty smooth
MP: The moves you guys are doing is pretty incredible- which of those are maneuvers you invented and what is your favorite move? KT: i have invented lots but the most i used was the airbob into culo, airfunnel into burner and some kabikuchi
MP: What is the most difficult freestyle move to land today? KT: the spock into kabikuchi for sure, because need lot of wind for it...
MP: What size sail and board were you using? KT:i was using GA Pure 5.2 and starboard 91liter flaree
MP: Being the World Champ, do you now expect to win again? Has winning become easier or harder? KT: being worldchamp i have focus more on my body to be fit and ready for anything happen in events for sure but more minded relax than before and hungry to compete.
The ICFA worlds slalom was held in the Azores Pria de Victoria in a big bay / Harbour . The conditions in the first few days were impossible to race with the gusty and shifty winds at that time. But at least we could get out and sail a little . On day 4 the sun came out and as the locals said the winds came with the sunshine!! With a poor forecast of wind it still blew from 12 up to 27 knots in the gusts.
Racing: We managed to round off a full slalom elimination in these conditions and it was difficult to pick the gear as we were racing on the other side of the bay and with the winds varying as the it was I took my 8.6 GA vapor for the 1st round with my 135 Tabou Manta and a 47 fin. I was a little rusty after not doing much the last 5 days but after a bad start and a really overpowered 1st reach I was in 2nd behind Andrea Rosati and stayed there to pass into round 2. Round 2 I took my smaller board , the 116 Tabou Manta with 8.6 GA-sails and a 40 fin and that was feeling really good !! after getting a little stuck behind the start line in a little wind hole I did not get the best start but I had very good board speed and managed to already be back in 5th by the 1st mark and on the 2nd reach I managed to pass to 4th to pass on to the semi finals . Round 3 semi finals The gear was feeling great so I stayed on the same setup with a start a little higher up on the startline I did not get to the 1st mark in the best position but rounded top 5 but I needed to be top 4 to pas to the final !! After a little battle with Ludo Jossin who I managed to pass on the 2nd gybe I was back in 4th and finished the race like that to pass to the final. Final Final the winds were getting a little more shifty but still good . All the guys were down at the pin exempt for me and gonzalo that decided to start a little higher up on the line . I had an ok start not amazing but being on top off the fleet gave the advantage to get the gust 1st and go more downwind and with really good board speed I managed to pass everyone and arrive 1st at the 1st mark and stayed in 1st the whole course and win the Elimination .
With no wind on the last day the World championships were done . Top 5 of the IFCA World 2014
Congrats Ross! Way to go out there in a stacked fleet, awesome job!
Interview by Matt Pritchard (MP)
MP: Tell us a little about your preparation for this event?
My preparation started quite a while ago. Basically after finishing so badly in the 2013 championships I told myself I would not make so many rookie mistakes again. So through this winter in the UK I was training really hard on my fitness. Also I have been working closely with Janis Presis who is another one of our international riders and we have been developing some kick ass fins call ELK fins, so I think was one piece of the puzzle. Then also we have a new formula board that we released called the vapor 3, this was a another step forward for us this year. Finally we also did a lot of development with the sails too, so I am sure guys who will buy our GA sail products will not be disappointed. Really it was a big team effort, and this is what you need if you are going to be serious about winning world titles.
MP: What does it mean for you to win this Title?
It really means a lot. I think when you win one world title people can still question whether it was just lucky, but then to get a second one it's really shows the critics that can bad mouth of the brands I represent that they should shut up!
MP: Who was your toughest competition out there?
I think this year it was Steve Allen and Gonzalo costa hoevel, both of these guys are amazing sailors on the formula race course. They pushed me hard all the way and I think that makes the victory taste even sweeter.
MP: What size sail were you on most of the time?
We really had all conditions this year and I won races on each sail size. I think we actually ended up mostly racing on our smallest sails for the last 6 races, which was not easy racing.
MP: Can you tell us what fin you were using?
I am now working with ELK fins, and we have some great products. Not just in formula but slalom too, so keep your eyes open for us.
MP: If you had to pick the most important piece of equipment that led you to this Title, what would you say it is?
The most important piece of equipment was having Janis Preiss as a training partner! I am sure you know how important it is to have I guy to train with and tune your gear with. It really was a team effort too! With fabien and peter both designing the right tools to be able to win in all conditions.
MP: What about the mental game? Did you know you were going to win? Sometimes you can just feel it…..
I know what you mean! And I think i knew I could be in with a good chance, I was really prepared and hungry to race! I had been 12 days before the event sailing in the spot, so when you don't leave anything to chance it really helps give you that extra boast that you need.
Thanks Ross for you time and congrats again…… very impressive stuff!