PWA World Cup Ulsan - Amid the presence of a teasing thermal wind that never quite blew in sufficient measure to resume racing, we had a chance to catch up with Josh Angulo to find out all the secrets behind some of his finest racing to date, Angulo boards, his move to Boston and more…
Josh Angulo - PWA World Cup Ulsan 2011
PWA: It would be fair to say that in the brief period of racing we’ve had out here in Korea, you’ve delivered some of your finest slalom form to date; what’s the secret?
JA: 'There’s a bunch of things. We’ve worked hard on our gear for sure, there’s been a lot of effort put into it over the past year. I don’t know really, sometimes you’re able to just settle your mind down. So just mentally for me, it’s about not being too excited, but excited enough to be able to get around the course fast. And also there’s a lot of good things going on in my life right now, so I’m pretty relaxed overall, I guess that’s the main thing.'
PWA: Do you feel more pressure on you now that you’re sitting on a podium position with everyone lining you up in their sights?
JA: 'For sure I’m feeling the pressure, as I think anyone in my position right now would do. I’m just trying to keep everything in perspective, I’ve had one really good day of racing, and the next day is just another day of racing. Hopefully I can keep that mind set without freaking out, I think it’s important to stay level headed and just go sail again and do my best.'
PWA: It’s obviously early to call, but do you think you’ll be able to carry this form through the rest of the year?
JA: 'Well Vietnam was a big event for me, I know I didn’t have a great result, but I was feeling I had some good speed there. I guess it was the first time that after a hard year last year, that I was feeling confident, so I came to this event really happy with my gear, which really grew my confidence. Now I know I can do it, I have no excuses other than my own personal performance, and I think that’s a good place to be in.'
PWA: To most windsurfers, you’re known as a wave world champion, what’s the attraction of slalom when you could be ripping Ponta Preta?
JA: 'Slalom’s something I’ve never really done at a high level. I mean I started out slalom sailing at a young age, but I never really achieved any major success. I’ve had a few results here and there, but nothing really to write home about, so it’s some unfinished business personally, and it keeps me in tune with the development of the boards, and it keeps me traveling around the world and meeting people. As much as I love wave sailing, I don’t want to just hold up in Cabo Verde for the rest of my life. It keeps me in touch with the industry and it’s a great challenge.'
PWA: So you’re a wave world champion, is the next step slalom world champion?
JA: 'For sure, it would be good to retire with a slalom title as well. It’s definitely something I’ve considered. Obviously I understand that I have some serious work to do, and I have certain things I have to organize in my personal life to give me more time to dedicate to slalom racing. When that happens I’m sure we’ll start seeing the benefits.'
PWA: You mentioned that you’re feeling really confident with your gear, are this year’s Angulo boards the fastest yet?
JA: 'For sure, this is the third year that we’ve done the Magnum range. We’ve had good gear in the past, but we’ve been learning you know. We’ve learned exactly what is a good slalom board for racing conditions. It’s early planning, gybing, upwind and downwind performance. There’s so many factors to consider, and obviously you have to make compromises along the way to produce a great overall product to get you around the course easily. That’s what we’ve been focusing on, easy to access performance to get you around the course as fast and as easily as possible.'
PWA: We’ve heard that you’re moving to Boston, can you tell us a bit about that?
JA: 'That’s been a move that my wife and I have been looking at for some time, we just wanted to go back to the US for a few years, and give my son some schooling in the US for a couple of years, and make sure his English is up to par. I also want to work on the distribution for the Angulo brand and Gun Sails in the US. So we chose Boston with its easy access to Cabo Verde, and it’s just a great place that we really like.'
PWA: How will that work with slalom training?
JA: 'Well I live on a little island connected to the mainland by a road, so there’s wind and water all around me. Sure it might be a little cold, but theres conditions there on my door step. It’s like; if you live in a candy store, you don’t necessarily want to eat candy the whole time. I’ve been living in windsurfing’s candy store (Cabo Verde) where I’ve been totally spoiled. Sometimes I wouldn’t even sail there when it was right in front of me. I think in Boston I’ll gain a new appreciation for the sport. I want to establish it as a base to test the slalom gear from, and you know, it’s just going to be a new thing, and a breath of fresh air for me.'
Thanks to Josh for taking the time out to talk to us. Josh Angulo is sponsored by Angulo Boards, Gun Sails and Dakine.
Tomorrow morning’s skippers meeting has been scheduled for 10.30am, with a first possible start at 11am. Be sure to follow all the action from day five in Korea from then onwards.
For information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, navigate to the PWA World Tour website.