Onwards and Upwards

Posted: 20th Oktober 2017 by PWA World Windsurfing Tour in Allgemein
Original Post: http://www.pwaworldtour.com

Alessio Stillrich (Fanatic / NorthSails) has been on most people’s radars since making his debut in 2009 with his trademark super tweaked pushloops really catching the eye. Since then Stillrich has become much more of a finished article and has seen his progressive approach to sailing rewarded with progressive results - making him one of the most dangerous wave sailors in the world tour when he’s on song. Stillrich is still just 22-years-old continues to improve year-on-year, so the real question is how far can he go? Time will tell.

Stillrich in Numbers -  Improvement over the last few years:

2014 - Ranked 20th
2015 - Ranked 16th
2016 - Ranked 12th
2017 - Ranked 9th

And after an excellent comeback in the double elimination in Sylt - where Stillrich could’ve buckled under the pressure - he showed an extra level of maturity and ability to perform when it really matters to win 3 heats on the bounce to fight back into joint 9th, which then deservedly saw him finally reach his goal of breaking into the overall top 10 - Ranked 9th for 2017. After reaching one of his main goals we caught up with Alessio for an interview.

Hey Alessio, in August we caught up with you and you said you wanted to break into the overall top 10 for the first time in your career…. After Sylt you’ve managed to do just that - how does it feel and how was the season overall for you?

I am very happy that the season ended that well and to break into the overall top 10. This has been my goal over the last three years and I feel great now I have achieved it. Also, now I have the motivation to climb even higher next year! Thankfully, the season still ended well even though I had that bad result in the first event. [17th in Pozo]

You came into Sylt in joint 10th place and on course for your goal - but then in the single elimination disaster struck and you were knocked out in the first round after a jump was missed for Josep Pons and the result was later overturned…. what was going through your head at that point?

I was a bit sad because I think that the conditions in our heat were not really suitable and I felt that the heat should have been cancelled. After the heat I actually thought I had won it but the next day I was told that in the end I did not pass because of that forward from Pons that they had not scored. Anyways, I just tried to focus on the double and to come back as strong as possible to still reach my goal.

After the disappointment of the single elimination you were then drawn against your teammate and 8-time freestyle world champ - Gollito Estredo - who qualified into the main draw with almost perfect scores in the Qualification Round - how much pressure did you feel under against him?

I felt a lot of pressure in every heat as I knew how important it was to win every single one and Gollito´s masterclass in the trials heat did not help to relieve that pressure at all. Gollito has a lot of talent and he learns so fast! Anyways, the level of everybody on the tour is amazing and I think no matter who you face, you always have to give 100% and that’s what I tried to do against him too. 

You managed to sail well under extreme pressure to advance and then you continued your fight back by defeating Dany Bruch and Josh Angulo… do you feel like you are developing more as a competitor now and do you think you are better equipped to sail close to your best when under pressure now compared to a few seasons ago?

I think that experience is a very important factor. It takes a long time to figure out how to sail your heats. You have to learn how the judges score the jumps and especially the waves. You also have to know when to ride, when to jump or when to wait for the set wave, when to stop riding or when to stop jumping. If you start risking a lot in the beginning of the heat or if you leave it until the end... you can end up placing yourself under even more pressure and eventually that will catch up with you. 

So I think yes, with every heat I sail and every event that gets finished I learn more and more for the next one. The pressure also feels like it reduces with the experience you acquire as you feel more confident about yourself, especially if you win big heats and see that anything is possible if you do everything right. 

After achieving your goal of breaking into the overall top 10 - have you thought about your next goal already? Or are you taking a bit of time to enjoy your achievement?

Yes of course. I am vey happy with my 9th place and it felt great to be in the top 10 finally. As I have bettered up my ranking year-by-year I would say the goal for next season is to try and continue that upward trend by trying to better my 9th place from this year.

What would you say the highlight of your year was?

I think the highlight of this year was definitely the event in Tenerife where I finished 6th. This gave me a lot of motivation back after the disappointment of Pozo.

Were there any low moments that standout?

There were not too many bad moments, but if I had to try and choose one that stands out it would definitely be that 14 minute heat against Jules Denel in the double elimination in Pozo.

The close season has just begun - how will you be spending it?

I am back on Gran Canaria now and will try to search for wind all over the island. Also, if there is a good forecast for Fuerteventura or Lanzarote I will take the ferry to score it and sail in different spots. 

Thanks, Alessio. Congrats on breaking into the overall top 10. Have a good winter and see you next year.

You can stay up to date with all of Alessio Stillrich’s latest news and adventures via his Social Media Channels:

Facebook: @AlessioStillrich 

Instagram: @alessiostillrich 

“True Brazilian story” by Maureen Castelle is out! Watch here her amazing adventure in Taiba, Brazil. Have fun!

Videos: Joao Pinheiro

Travel to Mauritius with Kevin Langeree and enjoy this brand new episode of his vlog! It pictures a few clips from his trip to Mauritius a couple of weeks ago.

Footage shot by:
Carsten Naumann at the GKA in Mauritius

Tour Life EP #4

Posted: 19th Oktober 2017 by PWA World Windsurfing Tour in Allgemein
Original Post: http://www.pwaworldtour.com

Riccardo Marca (Fanatic / NorthSails) made his debut on the PWA Freestyle World Tour in 2015 and a couple of years later he is now ranked 20th in the world after 25th and 13th place finishes in Fuerteventura and Sylt respectively. 

Now the 20-year-old Italian has just released episode 4 of his Tour Life series - which follows Marca in his preparation for the Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam.

You can see Tour Life Episode #4 by clicking here.

Watch this tutorial video featuring Airton Cozzolino showing how to do a Strapless Board off 360. Go to the water and remember its key elements!

Dimitri and Cameron Maramenides enjoying a fun strapless session. Watch good times between father and son!

Watch Didier Botta, Johann Civel and Dominik Zimmermann playing with the new Blizzard V1, a 100% pure snow-focused kite.

Video: MlandPictures

Corsikite

Posted: 18th Oktober 2017 by Paula Pintão in Allgemein
Original Post: http://kitemovement.com
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Lolo BSD spent some time in Corsica, his favorite island for kiteboarding. Check out his short movie picturing a few good moments of this fun trip!

Living The Dream

Posted: 18th Oktober 2017 by PWA World Windsurfing Tour in Allgemein
Original Post: http://www.pwaworldtour.com

Marco Lang (Fanatic / NorthSails) will probably never forget Sunday 1st October 2017 for the rest of his life. Before this date Lang had never won an elimination on tour - although he had shown over the past couple seasons that he has the outright speed to challenge anyone and had won a few losers’ finals- however, that all changed on Day 3 of the Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam as the 31-year-old quite simply blew the rest of the competition away as he stormed to victory in both eliminations that day - which set him up to win the biggest windsurfing event of the year. A quite remarkable rise given that in just 2014 the Austrian was ranked 32nd in the world. Now, after winning his first ever event Lang has shot into 8th in the overall rankings with one event to go. After reaching such a milestone in his career we caught up with Marco for an interview.

Hey Marco, how’s it going? How are you feeling after winning your first PWA event? Has it sunk in yet?

Not yet. The last few days were quite busy, lots of calls, emails and messages and I did not have the time to calm down and realise everything. But it’s an amazing feeling. Since I remember it has always been a dream to compete on the PWA World Tour and a huge honour to sail with the best windsurfers in the world. From now on I belong with these guys, now I’m serious competitor for all of them! It is just an amazing feeling and I absolutely happy.

That must have been one hell of an afternoon for you…. Going from never having won an elimination to winning two in a row? How good is it to see the hard work paying off?

This year I arrived on the island with quite a good feeling and proper physical conditioning. I love to return to this island. Sylt was always one of my favourite spots during the world tour. 

So, the morning of the aforementioned Sunday was as exciting as any other competition day. I woke up quite early, like every day, and I was nervous and tense, as I used to be on a competition day - I had at least 4 appointments with the toilet (hahaha).

Honestly though, I didn’t expect that something like this will happen. The conditions on that Sunday were perfect for me - exactly the conditions I’m used to and feel comfortable with. Maybe I had an advantage because the conditions were quite similar to the conditions on Tenerife, where I spend the majority of my off-season training.

I was super happy to qualify for the final. Sylt is quite tricky because the conditions are quite unpredictable and you never know what will happen.

Winning my first final was even more unpredictable and totally surprising. As they say ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ and the pictures which were taken at the finish line are showing all of my emotions. After the first elimination I tried to stay focused and pushed away all theses thoughts. I wanted to do my best and to concentrate on the second elimination…

Winning the second elimination as well was just unbelievable. I hardly had any clear thoughts. I was absolutely speechless and I had troubles to find the right words in my first interview. The best guys in the world are competing on the world tour, everyone is pushing as hard as they can and so it is even harder to win two finals in a row! 

Just don’t ask about the following night - I was not able to sleep because I had so many thoughts on my mind. I will never forget that afternoon in my life - that moment will last forever.

In the second semifinal I think you were leading and then you hit the last buoy? What was going through your head at that moment? It looked like you were quite relieved once you’d still qualified and got back to the beach…

That was the worst moment of that day. The wind was pretty light and the current quite strong. I took a wave to keep planing but I had the feeling the current was pulling me away from the mark so I ended up getting stuck in the rope of the buoy. My big advantage was a proper lead, so thankfully, I had enough time to get away from the mark and still qualify.

Out of all the world cup events to win, you won the biggest event of the year - how was it competing and winning in front of all those people?

INSANE. I guess that’s a dream for every sailor… to win in Sylt. I felt like a rockstar!

How tense was it for you waiting each day in Sylt when you were leading the event?

I would’ve preferred to race the whole week but the conditions were definitely more for freestyle and wave. I tried to push away all thoughts about what had happened before, and tried to stay focused.  Even though the forecast looked quite bad for slalom and it seemed like there won’t be any more races I came to the beach every morning and prepared all my stuff for racing- it helped to lose a bit of tension!

Some people may not be aware of it, but you actually started as more of a freestyler… not the usual route for a racer… how did you end up switching into slalom?

Austria is well known for some really good freestylers, like Chris Sammer and Max Matissek.. In Austria it was quite popular and I was super fascinated by Freestyle. But I realised that I won’t be able to compete at a high freestyle level so I decided to switch to slalom - but I am still a passionate Freestyler. I just need a bit more power in my sail than the slender freestyle guys, I’m just too heavy for those crazy moves!!

Over the last few years you’ve made huge leaps forward in your progress… in 2014 you were ranked 32nd in the world… in 2015 you earned your first top 10 finish and finished 17th overall… last year 19th but you finished the season with two top 10 finishes - now after winning your first event you’re currently ranked 8th in the world… how much blood, sweat and determination has gone into your amazing rise through the ranks?

I think improving results is the most important thing for all athletes. For me it was the most important thing, that my close associates believe in my skills and that made me strong and I kept on fighting.

Over the last few years windsurfing has become more and more professional. All athletes are improving a lot and everyone is chasing the same goal - to get stronger, faster and better. For me it is really difficult to keep to a regular training pattern on the water. All the lakes close to me are still more than one hour away, so I spend pretty much all my time on the road. I’m super motivated and I keep on fighting and training. I want to climb up the ranking, I’m not satisfied yet! 

What were you expectations coming into the season? And has winning an event moved the goal posts of what you think you are capable of achieving?

I entered the new season with a great feeling. It was a shame we couldn’t finish the event in Korea where I already show a solid performance. [Qualified for the winners’ final which couldn’t be completed]

After Japan I was a bit frustrated, because of the seaweed I was not able to show my potential. So from a potential top 8 finish in Korea I finished 41st in Japan – the worst possible start I could imagine for the upcoming season.

My goal for this season did not change after the event in Sylt. I want to finish the season in the top 16.

But winning the event in Sylt gives me a good feeling for the last event. 

How did you celebrate your first ever victory?

After the event I went directly to Tarifa for the Boards and More Dealer Meeting. 

Fanatic and North Sails organised an amazing party for me, Victor [Fernandez] and Gollito [Estredo]. It was even more emotional than the prize giving because I was celebrating with my sponsors and friends.

The Whole Boards and More company is like a big family, so it was amazing to share that moment with them.

Now you’ve got about 4 weeks until New Caledonia - what will you be up to between now and then?

Next week I will fly to Maui with my girlfriend for some vacation and bit of R&D. But first of all I’m going to spend some time with my girl as I’m traveling a lot and we don’t have lots of time together. She supports me a lot and helps me through all situations. She is one of the most important people in my life, I owe her a lot, and I appreciate her support! She’s my one and only.

Thanks, Marco. Congratulations again and see you soon in New Caledonia.

You can stay up to date with all of Marco Lang’s latest news and adventures via his Social Media Channels:

Facebook: @Marco Lang Aut 66 

Instagram: @marco.lang 

Dakhla – The Movie

Posted: 18th Oktober 2017 by Paula Pintão in Allgemein
Original Post: http://kitemovement.com
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DAKHLA, a short movie by director Leopold Dekeister, is a celebration of nature and kitesurfing, beauty and exploration. Enjoy these 3 and a half minutes of pure magic!