With the PWA World Tour in full swing it is easy for other major events to slip a little under the radar, however there was one that certainly grabbed our attention, the Formula Worlds in the Azores. Why, well not only was it a cracking event with plenty of racing but also because one man totally stole the show. We already reported of his win and how he managed to take the lead by so much that he wouldn't have actually had to sail the final three races.
With momentum like that surely Gonzalo Costa Hoevel will be one of the guys to watch out for on the PWA World Tour this year?
We caught up with him and asked three quick questions. Read on to find out how he commanded such a lead at the first event of the year, if he is ready to take his first PWA World title and more...
BS: Can you tell us about the week, how the conditions were and what gear set-up you had?
Gonzalo: It was a pretty windy worlds I must say. I used the 10 metre Loft sails a lot and the 11m GA, I had registered the 12m Loft as well but used it on just one day which actually ended up being called off and no racing was achieved. For my board I used the Starboard Formula 167 and ELK fins 73 and 71. I use 28 inch harness lines.
BS: You were totally dominating, what do you think your success at this event came down to?
Gonzalo: I think it came down to being very sure of my speed in all the conditions and actually really enjoying the challenging conditions we had. Last year I was close, came third but unfortunately I had had some equipment failures during the week. This year conditions were the same and yeah I really like them, the wind was very tricky as we were racing inside a port so it was like sailing in offshore winds all the time with big wind shifts and pretty choppy water conditions. I had a variety of sails that I tried out before the event because unfortunately we weren't quite ready with my new sail sponsor, Point-7. We just didn't have the formula sails ready in time. I felt extremely comfortable on my Starboard 167 and my ELK fins so I could concentrate all the time on racing and taking advantage of the wind shifts. I had a good 10 days training here in Tarifa with Jannis Preiss from Latvia so arrived at the event really confident in all the conditions. Jannis finished 2nd so I guess our training worked out pretty well. BS: You must be feeling confident for the PWA World Tour this year, do you think you have what it takes to be the PWA World Champion and who do you think will be the closest rivals at the top?
Gonzalo: I have probably the best combination of gear out there at the moment!!! Starboard and Point-7 has proven itself to be some of the best gear and almost a secure ticket to podium finishes. But if you don't do your homework you will never get to the top. Right now I am at a point where I'm spending hours and hours each day just to tune my gear, it's like a full time job. I received all my stuff pretty late so at the moment I am not thinking so much about winning the tour or not. I am really just looking forward for this upcoming week when I will be sailing a lot of slalom and being able to share training with top level riders like Ben Van Der Steen who lives here in Tarifa.
I am sure that if I get to tune my gear as much as I want to tune it then I can get podiums and be as consistent as you have to be to be at the top of the ranks. But there is unreal level this days and it's gonna be a tough season. I think that Antoine [Albeua] and Ben will be the guys to beat this year.
This Formula event gave me a lot of confidence and showed me that when I have good speed I can win races.