The first PWA racing event this year has taken place in Croatia. Only 2 stars meaning that will not be valid for the world title, but still has been interesting to watch as it was the first event with the new slalom rules, which allow to use both fin or foil in the same heats.

We have interviewed our P7 Black Team to understand what they think of the new format.

A format that has shown clearly that foil is faster on the course, but will this be than the future for windsurf racing, or do the riders see it as a different sport to fin. You can read more below.

Going though back to results firstly, JOHAN SOE in his first PWA even has managed to enter the elite top 10 ranking by finishing 7th. Not sure how many sailors has managed this to happen at first shot, but Johan has managed it at the age of 19 and went close to get his first 0.7u score in one final.

BASILE JAQUIN is the second youngest in the top 10 ranking of Croatia, who had just finished one place behind Johan. Basile was close to get into more finals, but was a bit unlucky with the strategies in the jibes which on a foil a very different to what is possible on fin.

Congratulations to the whole team, we are proud to once again being soppurting the strongest youngsters talents, and let’s read the Point-7 Black team experience in the new format racing in Croatia:

TATY FRANS NB-9

 

Eight races, what was the wind range? ​5-20 knots. mostly was advantage for the foil.

Did you use only the foil? ​I did use both Foil and fin. I wished we had more windy days thru out the week so that i could have done more fin. it can be a perfect location for fin if the wind prediction is good.

What is the advantage of the foil Vs the fin and vice versa? ​The jibes are a big advantage for the foil. While on the reach if the wind is consistence the fin can still be ahead.

What are the differences in racing fin against foil in terms of tactics and difficulties? ​Most sailors still feel more comfortable on the fin when it gets windy, I saw some crashes just because the wind gets too strong and guys fly away or they can’t control the gear on the reach, or the jibes becomes a bit difficult. while on the fin you can still control or be in control no matter the conditions. On the other hand, there are people who can control the foil but it’s not 100% confident.

I really think mixing these two together one day will create a big problem for the future of the sport.

Compare 2018 Pwa against 2022 Pwa? ​I don’t think you can compare. I used to compete in fin slalom races in places like Pozo, Lanzarote and fuerte and after every heat you feel adrenaline that you raced because it takes so much and i could feel  now with this foiling i come back to the beach and it feels like i didn’t do anything. I am not saying we are doing something wrong but i really believe that fin needs to stay as a big part of the PWA, it’s where the action and the adrenaline the real fight and power of the PWA and windsurfing sport lives.

What do you think of the new rules for Pwa future with two boards and four sails? Depends on the places we go or where we will have events. If that is the rule 2-4 then, I am sure most riders will choose two foiling boards and by then we also need to do two foil mast instead of 1 because switching the whole foil to the next board is a hassle to rake the foil at its best.

Comment your event in Croatia. ​Croatia was fun, such a wonderful place to race if we had proper steady wind, it can be a suitable place for fin and even freestyle competition. The organizer did a magnificent work to have an event there but of course there are things that can be improved but i am sure will go back. I still love the adrenaline and the energy of slalom racing and places like Croatia makes you wonder how we can arrange to go to warm windy places where you can just wear a boardshort and forget those helmets and have fun and race for days. 

JOHAN SOE DEN-37

8 races, what was the wind range? Yes, we had an amazing 8 races and some very good but also different conditions. I would say that the wind range was between 10 knots to about 25 knots.

Did you use only the foil? Yes, I only used the foil for the whole competition. I felt good on the Point-7 Foil SL range, and I used all the sails from 9.0 to 5.8, but mainly I was on either the 8.0 or 6.9!

What is the advantage of the foil Vs the fin and vice versa? I would say that there are almost no advantages for the fin anymore except if it is storming. The foil has just as high-top speed (even higher if it is lighter) and it is much more consistent. Also, it is much faster in the jibes and less physical.

What are the differences in racing fin against foil in terms of tactics and difficulties? Again, here I think that the foil has all the advantages. It has a lot larger variety of angles it can go on the racecourse. The fin on the other hand is much more limited on that point.

Compare 2018 Pwa against 2022 Pwa? It was my first event.

What do you think of the new rules for Pwa future with 2 boards and 4 sails? I think that in terms of equipment costs and traveling it is great but on the other hand I think it’s really a shame that we are not able to use the full range of our equipment and get the absolute fastest gear for the exact conditions we are facing. Also, I think there is a great skill in choosing the right equipment which will be removed more now.

It will for sure also kill the fin completely.

Comment your event in Croatia. Was an amazing event with amazing conditions. I sailed really steady all week despite a few over earlies here and there. My speed and starts were generally super good and I’m also very satisfied to have reached the final so many times for my first PWA competition. Would really have liked to have stayed in top 5 as going into the last day of racing but in the end I’m very happy with my 7th position despite a difficult last day of racing.

BASILE JACQUIN NC-498

8 races, what was the wind range? The wind range was from 8 to 25 knots. We had super light 9.0 heat and some good 7.8 fin action on the last elimination.

Did you use only the foil? I used the foil for seven elimination and on the last one I was on fin.

8 races, what was the wind range? The wind range was from 8 to 25 knots. We had super light 9.0 heat and some good 7.8 fin action on the last elimination.

Did you use only the foil? I used the foil for seven elimination and on the last one I was on fin.

What is the advantage of the foil Vs the fin and vice versa? 

Advantage: Foil  jibing is crazy efficient and the overall speed around the course very high ! To give numbers on the foil I was going around 32 knots top speed on the first reach with a 500m at 31.75 knots. So, the difference between the top speed and the overall speed is small.

Bad point:  Foiling is less physical, but you need to be 120% focus. Small mistake and you explode! You are sailing on 3D so in high wind is exceedingly difficult to stay on the board. 

Advantage Fin: On the first reach it can be amazingly fast, we saw it on the last elimination. If you are in front on the fin with constant 20+ knots for most of the riders, you have good chance to keep that lead.

Bad point Fin: Gusty-Shifty wind make the battle Fin/Foil very unbalance as foiling is killing it in this condition. 

What are the differences in racing fin against foil in terms of tactics and difficulties? If you are on the fin against peoples on the foil the tactics is first to kill the start! Then I would say trying to be as close as the foilers as possible because in fin you have more control, so you disturb them a little bit. Then jibing try to escape the mark asap :))) On foil I would say is the opposite. You want to make your own way because even if you jibe wide or if you don’t have the perfect start, you can come back. 

Compare 2018 Pwa against 2022 Pwa? I would say we don’t really have enough five stars event to really prove what I’m about to say, but I think 2022 season with the mixing discipline making the luck percentage higher than before. The gear choice is way more important now than before and this make me feel a bit bad. For example, I was close to win my first PWA race in Croatia. We were all on foil, so it was a fair battle.

But imagine it’s 20-25 knots, six guys are on foil and two on fin, the wind pick-up a little and you win the final with the fin while more than half the rest are on foil…. Doesn’t sound fair in my opinion and the victory is not as tasty as before because if the wind would have dropped a little you would finish last.

Just more luck involve now than before… Even if the riders are still the ones making the difference 🙂

What do you think of the new rules for Pwa future with 2 boards and 4 sails?  The idea is good I think to reduce the amount of gear, it’s radical but I can understand it. For now, the two board we are allowed to register are free, can be two foil board, can be two fin board or can be one fin / 1 foil. For me, the easiest would have been to say that out of these two boards one must be a fin board. Because now imagine we have Pozo, Sylt with shorebreakes, Fuerte with 40+ knots…. imagine we have this condition and half of the fleet register only foil board.  What we do ? Do we stop sailing Pozo after 20 knots ? We don’t race because it’s too windy in Fuerteventura? We stay on the beach because the shore break is too big.

The PWA calendar always come late and almost zero of the events are confirmed 1 month before it happens. So, to choose the gear is again really tricky ! You register two foil board for sure it’s safer because 90% of the time your choice would be right one. But what make our sport so special for me is going down the wave at full speed in no matter the size of the wave and the strength of the wind.

Are we killing the heart of our sport by pushing the foil too much ? Yes, and I’m not scared to say it!!

Comment your event in Croatia. The event in Croatia was I think a considerable success. Windy every day, remarkably close racing and was easy to choose the gear. Almost 8.0-6.9 f1SL the whole week. Only the last day with good 20+ knots was tricky to decide fin or foil. I managed to be consistent as my worse result is 11th. I got crashed out four times out of eight eliminations in semi-final by riders while I was in exceptionally good position to go on the final. So even with that I think I’m happy with my eighth position.

FEMKE VAN DER VEEN

Eight races, what was the wind range? Most of the days the wind was quite similar: around 14-18 knots in the afternoon, and a bit less before and after the peak. Last day we had 20+ knots.

Did you use only the foil? I used the foil most of the races but did my best result (third) on the fin. 

What is the advantage of the foil Vs the fin and vice versa? Advantage of the foil is that you are quite safe when the wind changes in direction or strength, and most of the times you have a big advantage in the jibes. The speed on the fin can be better, but you must make an excellent choice in gear to stay ahead of the foils. However, you can make more aggressive jibes and higher speeds, and you have more control in the waves on the fin compared to the foils, so as soon as the wind is good enough, I am faster on fin.

What are the differences in racing fin against foil in terms of tactics and difficulties? Racing fin vs foils changes the tactics compared to fin only. You must make sure you have the right setup. Underpowered you will have no chance against the foil. Also, I feel like starting is different on the foil: it’s harder to adjust your speed compared to the fin. 

Compare 2018 Pwa against 2022 Pwa? Can’t compare, as this was my first PWA event.

What do you think of the new rules for Pwa future with two boards and four sails? I think it’s good to limit the amount of equipment, as it will otherwise become too expensive to join the PWA and travel with all the gear.

I will really miss the medium board, as I still really love to race on that one!

Comment your event in Croatia. I was happy to be racing in Croatia, it was a wonderful experience. Beautiful spot, good wind to race every day of the event, strong fleet and lots of lessons learned. It was cool to be part of windsurfing on this level! I just really must train on the foil, as I am not experienced enough on the foil yet. I knew this already before the event and saw this as a good opportunity to gain experience, and I hoped for some races on the fin as well. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really find my ‘race mode’ this event, making a lot of unnecessary mistakes and racing too ‘safe’ which didn’t work out. But learned a lot and motivated to improve next time! 

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
Notify of
X