One of the more unique things about the Fanatic team is that it really is a team. The start of the year with everyone over in Cape Town is just another example of that. A lot of the guys have been going there for a long time, the last time I was there was 8 years ago so I was really looking forward to getting over there and getting stuck in! It’s really interesting to sail with the rest of the team, especially the wave sailors. I think we all have quite individual approaches, so it’s cool to sail with the other guys and see how they tackle the various places to sail in Cape Town as they are all so different. Klaas is always looking for the biggest waves he can find, Victor and Alessio are so so good when it’s real performance sailing. As a team they really push you as personally I want to be competitive at both those things! Alessio’s getting really good at doubles now and Klaas always pushes you to hit something solid! Victor definitely manages to always find some waves that run and gets a lot done on them. He has a lot of flow, style and speed throughout the wave, turn to turn or straight into a manoeuvre. It’s really something I want to improve on. Not sure if I’m quite there yet, I seem to wait for one good bowl and try and whack it as hard as I can and see if I make it ha ha! It doesn’t add up to the most flowing style, it’s sort of the way I’ve grown up sailing so it’s quite hard to change. You could say it’s still a work in progress.
I guess from a brand point of view it also offers a pretty incredible chance to test and develop or at least refine boards with the whole team there. With those different approaches and with Dan and Craig’s ideas or thoughts thrown in the mix too, you have such a good range of age (sorry Craig ha ha!), style and skill. It makes for really good testing. We can all bring over the prototypes and customs that we’ve been using and mix them in with some of the new proto’s. For testing, having all the team there means the feedback for Klaas and Sebastian is instant. You get the immediate feelings as well as the more thought out feedback which I think is quite important. I’ve definitely changed a few fins and prototype orders off the back of it!
I have two favourite Cape Town spots, one would have to be Melkbos, it’s never insanely epic but it’s always good fun. I really like the vibe in the evenings there. I love Scarborough also, the water colour is gorgeous and the little town is super nice, great food and the sailing and surfing is really good. The shore break can be so much fun and then if there is some proper swell the point is sick.
My must have gear for Cape Town would be an 81 Tri-wave and 4.5 down to 3.7 you can pretty much get away with it all then. It’s really interesting to see how the other guys are setting up their boards. I’m using a lot of thrusters right now and I think it’s easy to head down one direction with fins or boards or setups and it’s refreshing as a sailor to jump on someone else’s setup and see how it feels. You have to change your style a little sometimes to fit the gear and it really forces you to modify your technique. Even when I’m really struggling on a board I’m always surprised what it can teach you. With testing there are almost no bad experiences, you kind of learn from it all. It sounds really basic, but I found I ended up changing my rear thruster fin a lot dependant on conditions, going for an 18 in the smaller stuff and then up to 19 for the bigger stuff. That 1 cm makes a surprising amount of difference, that extra bit of hold is very reassuring in scarier situations.