by Chris Yates
The forecast for the second day of the PWA Fuerteventura World Cup never materialized as the scorching weather continued in Fuerteventura. There was still plenty on offer around the event site though, with live entertainment, interviews and even a stand up paddleboard (SUP) race taking place.
Fun SUP race
The SUP race was eventually won by Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne / Mystic) after he pipped Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) to the victory. The contest saw a mixture of pros and spectators taking part but there were no upsets today with the pros greater balance being the telling factor.
Whilst we continued to play the waiting game on day two in Fuerteventura the PWA caught up with Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne), who works for the Severne development team.
PWA: From speaking to Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear / Chris Benz), he was saying that acceleration and the rotation of the Severne Reflex III is much better than last year, what changes did you implement to achieve this?
Steve Allen: 'This has been a project which started three years ago when I first came on board, and this year feels like we finally got to where we want to go. So we have been refining things, it’s been a combination of our leech twist, our camber positioning, size of cambers, downhaul tension twist, so we’ve got all of the above working well together and that’s how we’ve got to where we are today. It’s taken us a long time because I had a certain vision of how the sail needs to work in order to achieve optimum performance. It’s very difficult to get the sail working like that at high speed on the board with good rotation and everything. I feel in the last couple of years we’ve been good but this year I feel like we’ve been excellent all round.'
PWA: In the S-1 and Blades you are using the light weight E3 and eM3 materials, do you think there’s any scope in the future of them being transferred across into the slalom range?
Steve Allen: 'We have tried it already actually because we are always looking for edges. But for example with wave sailing you are looking for something soft, so when you land a jump or something you want the sail to twist off, whereas with racing (without wanting to give too much away) I just feel the material a touch to soft, so it’s really difficult to place it correctly. When we carried out the testing we didn’t find a big difference with this material, so with it being extremely expensive we felt there wasn’t enough gain to make it a worthwhile change. In the future we may experiment with it again but for now we don’t think we need to implement it.'
Steve Allen having fun on the beach - PWA Sotavento Fuerteventura World Cup 2012
We also had a quick chat with Finian Maynard (RRD / Avanti), who has recently started his own sail brand, Avanti, with Dan Kaseler.
PWA: How has your year been thus far?
Finian Maynard: 'It’s been pretty horrific, I’ve had a lot of injuries. I had bad injuries in Reggio Calabria and Costa Brava. In reality I should have probably gone home in Costa Brava but I made the decision to try and compete, which didn’t really work out. In Korea I suffered some very unlucky gear breakages which certainly hasn’t helped matters. However for the first time this season I’m feeling strong and healthy, and I’ve also managed to fit in a lot of training before the event and I’m feeling pretty quick, so we’ll see what happens.'
PWA: When the wind kicks in are you feeling confident? And what sort of conditions do you think we can expect?
Finian Maynard: 'In the sixteen or seventeen years that I have been here I don’t think I’ve ever seen two glassy days in a row, but for sure when the wind arrives I am feeling confident. If the wind comes in from the North East, then I think we’ll have winds ranging from 15-25 knots. If the wind is dead offshore from the North, then we can expect anything with the wind topping out at about 45 knots. It’s really hard to predict at the moment though because of the heat.'
PWA: Which of the two wind strengths would you prefer, medium or strong?
Finian Maynard: 'At this point I don’t mind either one. It’s just great to be healthy again and I feel excited to race.'
PWA: You recently started your own sails company, Avanti, how is that going?
Finian Maynard: 'We’ve had a positive reaction so far, we have brought new technology to the market with our masts and sails. The reaction to the sails thus far is that they are light, stable and offering outstanding performance for the regular customers. I have opened the company with Dan Kaseler who is the ex Naish and Gaastra designer and it’s going really well. It’s obviously been a difficult economic time to launch our brand into, what with the euro zone crisis making things a little more challenging than expected but we expect great things from the year 2013 and beyond, we’re really looking forward to the future.'
PWA: Top five for the competition?
Finian Maynard: 'I’m just going to say that I think that it will be the usual suspects. Fuerteventura is somewhere that experience really counts for a lot. It’s a really fast location so it’s usually the guys who have the experience with the speed that rise to the front of the fleet. We’ll just have to see what happens.'
Surfs up - PWA Sotavento Fuerteventura World Cup 2012
The forecast for tomorrow looks good and many of the locals are forecasting a return of the wind, we certainly hope so. The skippers meeting will be held at 10am with the competition commencing from 10:30am.
PWA World Tour website