We get port and starboard tack back at home. When it blows it usually is strong wind with waves. Usually it is 3.7 or 4m for me and it is great to have been brought up sailing both tacks. I used to ride only on starboard tack for many years and then when it was port I was freestyling. I think I made a little mistake there because it has taken me a bit longer to raise my level on port tack. Now that I only wave sail I can sail all the time on both tacks. On the tour you have to be just as good either way, you never know what an event will throw at you. I think the top five or six from this year are all complete sailors. That makes a big difference.
When we had starboard tack on shore in La Torche, nobody is really training in this and it showed. If you don’t have the base and the long term training it is almost impossible to beat the likes of Ricardo or Victor. I think it is good because it will push all the kids from the Canary Islands and all the people who only go to South Africa to train in new places. When I grew up we were going to Morocco and places like that, starboard tack was just as important for me. The last ten years have been very port tack biased. To be a world tour competitor you just needed to sail good in cross onshore port tack. The level went so high. Now it is going back to something else. I am sure Philip Koester is going to train and he will get the level. We could also see Jaeger Stone up there. He was a bit lost at first but already in Hawaii he was sailing much, much better. It is more about the jumping than the tricks in the waves. If you have the wave riding in you it comes, but the jumping is harder.
“ I think I wanted it a bit more this year, I never gave up in any heat and I was never satisfied with just making quarter finals. I wanted to go all the way! ’’