Title Contenders

We had planned to catch up with Gollito to bring you a face to face with the man himself and Kiri Thode. However, with the latest news on Gollito and him having to be potentially rushed off to hospital we will bring you Kiri Thode in his own feature and hope to catch up with Gollito separately before competition kicks off.

Kiri throwing it down last year in front of a packed grandstand!

These two ultimate rivals have met in final heats more than any other freestyle windsurfer in the past, they have faced each other in countless double elimination finals and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. There are few competitors who match their skill and ability to go so high in even the lightest of winds, a talent that can be attributed to not just where they come from but also to the time and commitment they have put into their sport to be the worlds best at what they do.

So first up is none other than Kiri Thode, a man who is bidding his time to finally take the world title. Being the runner up is surely a sore point of discussion with Kiri, however when we spoke to him it is clearly more a point of motivation. It provideshim the motivation to continue at what he does and to know that he has the potential to and can reach that ultimate goal. We got a few words with the young, happy, long haired Bonaireian between training sessions over the last couple of days. We also snapped a few of our own shots of Kiri on his new gear, however our timing wasn’t exactly ideal as the cloud settled in and the wind dropped as we pulled up to the beach which pushed the training area far out to sea, but Kiri is not one of the finest in the world for nothing right…

Where have you been training over the winter?
I was training at home in Bonaire the whole winter. I spent quite a lot of the time on my slalom kit cause there were a lot of local events in the Caribbean like the Aruba Highwinds and the Curacao Challenge.

What event are you most looking forward to on the tour this year and why?
I am looking foward to all the events because for me all of them are important to see eveyone again and sometimes we get to see new faces, they are all ripping, which is great for the future. So yeah for me all of the freestyle events are important.

What can you do that you think will score the highest with the judges this year?
Well of course there are a lot of combo moves which can and will score high like the one I did recently, spock into airbob into culo! Also spock into kabikuchi is maybe the hardest I have ever done. There are some more but those ones I think will score highest!

Who is your biggest rival?
Gollito was one of them the whole time and Steven as well now but things have changed lately and if you could see the level now, then you would see that everyone is sailing so well, so everyone needs to look out because one mistake and you could really find yourself down and out.

Who else would you like to see on the PWA tour that could make it to the top?
For now I already saw Hugo De Souza sailing, he was the one that I saw in many videos and he was on fire so he is the one I’m really interested to see in this competition here in Fuerteventura.

How are the new sails/boards working out for you?
The ‘014 starboard flare is just amazing, it’s working really good from air to slide. Just a massive bummer that the 91 on is not registered yet because the shape was so fresh out the factory. However, it will come and of course the Gaastra Pure has been one of the best sails to use and every year we improve they still. So yeah the ‘014 kit is really good.

Are there any changes to the sails at all?
The shape will stay the same, we have just used some lighter materials in places to save weight and adjusted the graphic.

Clew first air flaka. Technical, high and powerful will this be the winning move.

Let’s get technical, what fin size are you using for PWA Fuerteventura and do you adjust it for different conditions/competitions?
I’m using a 16.5cm fin, actually I keep it the same all the time so that I am used to it. I’m happy to use it in big ocean swell to glassy flat water.

Do you change anything for any events or is it ALL the same?
Actually I really just keep it all the same, I don’t like to change otherwise I have to get used to something else and maybe the conditions will change between heats and I don’t have time to change my setup.

The only thing that is really different is my harness lines, on my 4.8 and down I use 30 inch lines to be a bit further away and get the sail up for more power. Whereas on my 5.2 I always use 28 inch lines so that I am a bit closer to the sail for more ‘response’ and a shorter time between reacting to a gust and initiating a move.

So nothing spot specific?
Nope, nothing.


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