ROSS WILLIAMS PWA 2015 COSTA BRAVA
Words and photos by John Carter
Ross Willams is no stranger to podiums but even by his high standards – lying second in the PWA slalom rankings is quite an achievement – fresh back in the UK after scoring 2ND place in Costa Brava, Windsurf managed to catch up with Ross Williams for the low down on his incredible start to the PWA race season:
WS: You had a podium moment – explain !!
“On the stage at the prize giving, I drunk this traditional Spanish wine, ‘down in one’, I just had to! I noticed none of the winners over the past few years had finished the wine and last time I was on the podium I did it. So I said to myself, ‘I am going to do this’ it was a sweet wine, not very nice but I had to show the boys how it is done! I was in the moment, Williams can do it! I was stoked!
WS: Did you expect to do so well ?
”I knew I was in the running, I had arrived early and lined up with quite a few guys. My feeling was good. In Korea I had raced on 7.9 in a few heats, my 8.6 was good and my 9.5 was also fast. I knew I was top five for speed. I always have a solid technique to plane in lighter winds and some of the wind we raced in was straight seven knots. If you get covered by a sail it feels more like 4 knots! It is quite tactical but all part of the game. It is good to have racing in light winds as well as the stronger stuff. It gives other racers a chance to shine through. It was harsh conditions but it was contestable.
One aspect is to be fast, but it is just as important to have power. I went for the power and sacrificed some of my top end speed. Some guys just think they have to go as fast as they can but they get to the mark and they have no power. I went with a rig I knew would plane when I started pumping. In the first final I went for it on the start. I knew if I could make the first mark in the lead I would probably win the race. I blew it and went over early but I was in the final so that was the important thing. My two main strategies were to race consistent and race with powerful equipment and they paid off.
I was super stoked to take second. Over the course of Korea and Costa Brava I felt I deserved to have a podium, after making all the finals. I was the only one who has done that, not even Albeau can match me there! I am happy with this start to the season; it is my most consistent start for a while. I feel a bit like Albeau must do, I know I am fast so I don’t have to push it on the line and I can start out of the way of trouble and make it up round the rest of the course. Fuerteventura will be stronger winds but I have been top five over there, I am one of the quickest I am sure. I think Albeau is beatable this year, he makes mistakes, it happens. I think the Pryde guys will be fast in the stronger winds for sure. Pierre Mortefon is also fast, he is a danger, the next two events will be more drag racing we will see.
My goal is to be on the podium for the year in slalom. I would like to come back and do a solid year of waves as well as the racing. I would like to go for all three again, Formula, slalom and wave! I just want to do waves, I miss it and it is fun. I am more on a mission this year. I am in the game, I am second overall in the rankings and although it is still quite a long year and lots will happen, at least I am in the running. The past few seasons I have started badly and I was chasing, now I am the one in the driving seat and I can train harder with more motivation to stay there. A few people have made mistakes, but there are still a lot of dangerous sailors to contend with. If you can make top five at every event this year then you can be on the podium at the end of the season. It is a great start at least and I have a building block to work on, maybe this year will be my year!”