BASILE TAKES 2nd & REFLECTS ON FUTURE OF RACING.

The first event of the AFF (French National Slalom Championships) has taken place in Marignane during the weekend 23-24 April. 

Differently to PWA where you can race mixing foil with fin, France has chosen to race foil under 15knots only and over fifteen knots’ fins only.

Basile has proven to be competitive in both disciplines by scoring second in the fins on the AC-1 2022, behind world champion Pierre Mortefon, and second in one of the two races in foil on the 8.0 F1 SL. Unfortunately, on one of the foil races, he missed the final as he was busy changing his front wing on the beach!

The foil racing is still a demonstration of the tour, and not considered yet for the ranking though.

Let’s ask Basile how racing his first 022 event on this format was like.

 

Why was the foil event kept as a demonstration till now in the AFF?

For now, foiling is more like an exhibition on the AFF Tour because when we had around forty to even seventy people register on the fin discipline in the past only 20-30 max were register on foil. Also, the federation gave only one official title to AFF which is the Fin one. Foiling is still an exhibition in 2022 but I hope it will change in the future as Marignane show that discipline can work together for one ranking.

AFF has chosen a different format of racing compared to PWA, why is that, and which one do you prefer?

In AFF we race on Foil until the condition are good enough to go on Fin which is around 18 knots.For now, the ranking is separate as they consider Foil and Fin as two different disciplines, but this might change in the future. The goal is to have less gear rig on the beach, less stress to choose the equipment and fair racing.

99% of the time when you arrive on the beach in the morning you know more less how the wind will be during the day. If it’s going to be windy or light, so for example in Marignane we raced on foil the first day because we knew that the wind would come but not enough for slalom. The second day was supposed to be around 25 knots but when we arrived in the morning the wind was not there yet, but we stay as planed and just wait a bit more for the wind to increase to have the good condition for slalom fin instead of rush and do few heat on Foil and then switch to fin.

What happen? We raced two eliminations in Foil in 10 to 20 knots. We raced in light and even in strong wind where for example the wind was ok for Fin racing. But the race director continues with the foil discipline and was good because we raced in different wind range condition. But the races were fair because we were all in the same gear (foil).

In Fin we did three elimination which is I think good enough for 1 day of racing. The wind was offshore so gusty and shifty sometimes.

For example, in this wind in PWA we would have had 2 slalom sails ready on the beach + 2 foil sails + the boards (2 slalom and 2 foil). During the day it would have been a complete « bordel » as we would have change gear all day.

But with the fin only format that we had here I rigged two sails and my 2-slalom board as the focus was for the fin.

Yes, sometimes we had to pump a bit at the mark, yes, few heats got cancelled due to lack of wind but globally everybody had fun on the water and fair racing.

 I think what we must do in the future is just to make one ranking, the « slalom Ranking » but race foil and fin separate. Just do it simple, if its windy we go Fin if it’s not windy enough or if the condition are too gusty, we go foil and that’s it. Just to give an example in Marignane we had forty riders register on foil and forty-three on Fin. 90% of the riders were doing both discipline so it’s just the way windsurfing must go. You want to be a complete Windsurfer? You must be able to foil and to go fin in different kind of condition.

SO, FOR ME 100% I PREFER THIS FORMAT THAN THE PWA FORMAT !

How was racing foil and slalom. Where do you feel more competitive? We saw you second in both disciplines, while some riders were not having the same constant result in both.

Many people think I’m very against foiling which is not true, my result shows it. I think my level on foil is remarkably close to my level on fin. I’m just against the idea of mixing both, who else is mixing Rice and Pasta on the same plate ?? Carbonara and Bolognese on the same plate ?? Skiing and Snowboarding in the same race ?? Football and Rugby on the same game ??? Ahahah, I have thousands of examples like this !

I feel good in both disciplines, I mean foiling in 25+ knots are another story but honestly now in slalom racing I don’t see the point of foiling in such strong wind on a slalom format. For long distance 100% Yes ! Because it’s just opening the races we can do, we can do longer distance and explore more places where before on fin was just pain in the ass.

 I think racing on slalom fin on in 7.1-7.8 is fucking amazing!

It’s the range of wind where everybody can join the race and have fun without pumping or suffering because the gear is heavy. The water is easier to sail as well as it’s not hardcore condition and this make the races super fun ! It’s the range of wind where we are the closest all together with contact at the gybe or staff like that. Check the livestream of PWA Noumea 2019. Skipping this medium slalom board for now I think it’s a mistake, windsurfing always want to go faster than what industry or client can do. Who is sailing on 400cm^2 front wing and 6.0 sails in 20+ knots except Pro Riders (because the PWA forced us) and just a truly little percentage of client ? In few years maybe it will change as the young kids who start foiling now might want to join PWA if we do foil only. For now, I don’t see kids who want to do it that way. They are doing IQ because in IQ there is a structure for them. There is National, Youth Europe-World championship and other event like « International IQ game, SOF in Hyeres » where they can join and fight with the best IQ foilers in the world before going to the senior IQ World Championship. In fin slalom we have for example AFF (national tour), IFCA Youth, IFCA Senior and PWA As a kid you have your goals, and you know what to do before going to PWA without any brand sponsor and before being kick out of every first round.  I think for now in 2022 and for the close future we are not ready in Slalom to put the fin away and do only foil because by doing that we will just lose riders and the next generation do not get the structure-tools to dream to go on top level on PWA and being a Pro windsurfer. Some people will say that foiling is the evolution, and we have deal with it, which is true, but what the public don’t know is for now foiling pushed PWA, brands, riders… on the development-performance side to do like Formula 1 but the problem is we don’t even get the budget to do karting.

 

How do you feel your sails to be fighting in both disciplines?

The AC1 there is nothing more to prove. In 2022 Andrea add some improvement on certain sizes where we gain a lot on performance ! Check the 7.1 🙂

The F1 SL changed a LOT as well in every sail sizes. I felt exceptionally good with the 8.0 during this first AFF so I guess it’s a good sign!

 

You missed one of the foil finals as you were on the beach changing wing. How important was it to change wing, instead of trying to fight with the gear you had?

I missed the semi-final because I went back to the beach to change my foil board.Again, in PWA we can register four boards and a lot of riders will register 2x fin board and 2x foil board. On my PWA quiver for foiling I have the Hyperion 178 (91cm wide) and the 158 (85cm wide).

I went with the 158 for my Quarter and was way to small so I decide to switch board before my semi-final but didn’t make it in time for the start. My mistake I take this one for me but again to much gear make all this kind of thing happens.

 

Racing foil or fin, what are the differences in the start, jibes and on the reaches?

Foiling is the safest choice in a lot of condition. Fin is more tactical because you have less option as it’s less reacting than a foil.

In fin you have a bit more top speed but in foil you are more constant speed the whole race which make the foil extremely hard to beat.

There is skill more important, foil or fin?

On straight line for pure skill, I think I’ll go for foiling because it’s more about balancing your body into a very unstable thing and this at 1m high ! Fin is more about power ! For gybing foiling is a bit softer because we are at the beginning while in Fin to power a good inside gybe or an outside gybe at full speed you need balls and skills !

If you would have two rounds of slalom in foil and two in fin, which is more stressful or more body tiring?

Fin is way more physical than foiling! If you are not convinced, try to register for the 1-hour Classic in Torbole on Fin and on Foil. 

Fin, you do 20min it feels like you are there since 3h while foiling after the 1 hour you just start feeling the pain! Foiling is more like a mental game between adjusting the power you put on the foil and the way to control it. So, I think foiling is more stressful in that regard.

Next event? Second stop of AFF in St Malo the 6-8 may.

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