The showdown of showdowns is upon us. PWA New Caledonia is about to kick off and there are three names battling for the top; Matteo Iachino, Antoine Albeau and Pierre Mortefon. It is the former two who are within the closest reaches of that PWA World Title, divided by a mere single point with all race results the same, every single race matters as the title race comes totally down to the wire.
We caught up with the young Matteo Iachino, who is currently entering the event in the number one spot, for a short interview on the year so far, his expectations of the event and even some inside chat about 2017 gear.
Over to Iachino...
BS: The last PWA stop of the year is upon us, you're first in the rankings, your nerves must be playing havoc with you?
MI: It's not an easy spot to be, that's what I can tell you. Between what you expect from yourself, what the others expect from you and the usual pressure you have before any PWA event it's not a relaxing period but at the same time it's great to be the leader of the ranking just before the last event of the year after such an amazing season.
BS: What do you think it will take to win at the last stop in New Caledonia?
MI: You never know what you need to win an event until the event is finished... but then it's too late ahahah. Anyway for sure as always it's going to be a hard battle and the most consistent during the whole event is going to be the winner. That is always the key, specially in events with a lot of races like here or Fuerte.
BS: You have had a few weeks between Sylt and New Caledonia, how and where did you train in this period?
MI: I have been at home. It's the best period of the year, still warm, sunny and most of the times windy. It has been good to be at home for a while, relaxing and getting fully focused for the most important race of my career.
BM: You're going to the last event with potentially a lot of pressure leading the world title race. Do you feel this and who do you expect to be your hardest opponents?
MI: Antoine has is one point from me, and all the other results are exactly the same. That means whoever will be in front of us at the end of the event will be the winner. Pierre is there too, a little bit behind but with a mistake from us he could easily get the lead.
BS: Equipment talk, what gear will you be taking to New Caledonia and have you already begun testing some 2017 prototypes?
MI: The 2016 gear, as you already know, are ready to fly, both the boards and the sails. Yes we are already working on the 2017 equipment and the main goal is to get the same speed, easy drive and range we have with the 9.0lw and the Falcon 138 on the whole range and to be honest already in 2016 we almost have it. Now we will see for the 2017 what can we do.
BS: You were traveling to many places in the last years, which of them really stick in your mind and where will you head to this winter?
MI: I think for racing, New Caledonia and Fuerteventura are the best places. Always windy, sunny, good conditions, a lot of spectators. For training the best for me is still Tenerife. It's really close to Europe, warm, sunny and always windy with good and hardcore conditions. We have TWS Pro Center there organizing the best training and a lot of good guys are coming every year to train with us.
While, to be honest, the best place for windsurfing I think is Maui... But that's another story ????
BS: When you started windsurfing did you expect to became on of the best riders in the world and to be one step away from winning the world title?
MI: As I said many times I didn't expect anything. I loved this sport for years and I couldn't and still can't live without it. That's what brought me here where I am, just passion for the sea and all the sports around it. I was lucky enough to start windsurfing thanks to my dad, to live in a place on the shore, ready to sail or surf whenever I wanted to and now I'm living exactly what I was dreaming about when I was 11.