We caught up with the rather modest Thomas Traversa to see how the stars are aligning in the run up to Pozo. When we first spoke with him about taking part in this mini 'Title Contenders' series his response was not quite what we expected - 'thanks for putting me in that "contenders list" even though I'm not sure to belong there'. For those not in the know, Thomas Traversa was the only person to knock Philip Koester off the PWA wave podium in three years when he had a stunning victory at the Kia Cold Hawaii Cup in Klitmoeller, Denmark last year. So yes he certainly deserve this status. The question that everyone is asking is can he do it again? If he has done it once, he can most certainly do it again. Read on to see what his aspirations for Pozo are, what he plans to compete on and where his favourite location on this years tour will be.
Where have you been training over the winter?
I spent a lot of time in Europe over the winter. We had a lot of wind at home so I have been sailing mostly around Marseille, but also did a trip to Portugal and one to Brittany.
I also went to South Africa for a couple of weeks in January, and did a quick trip on my own to Chile in April.
What special equipment will you have for Pozo?
For Pozo I will have all my small sails, I.Q 4 battens from 3.3 up to 4.2, but usually I only sail with 3.7 and 3.3 there. For the board, like everywhere else, I will use my 65 liters Da Curve prototypes, I might bring 2 of them with slightly different rails and tail shape. My plan is to use both in Quad set-up, it seems to work very good for me in Onshore conditions.
What event are you most looking forward to on the tour this year and why?
Obviously I am looking forward to the event in Klitmoller, that's where I had my 2 best results so far, and I really like the fact that the conditions are so unpredictable in Denmark! The other event I am looking forward to is Chile, because it will be the only down-the line waveriding event, the spots are very good, I think everyone is going to have a lot of fun over there!
What is your biggest strength?
I would say that my biggest strength is my adaptability to all kind of conditions, and a solid wave selection which comes from my love for surf sailing.
What can you do that you think will score the highest with the judges this year?
Probably showing a simple and classic riding style, hopefully I can waveride with a good flow when the waves will be good, and make it look easy when it is not.
Who is your biggest rival?
I don't take anyone as a rival, a lot of guys are sailing good and will be hard to beat.
Finally, who else would you like to see on the PWA tour that could make it to the top?
I would like to see some new faces on top, like the frenchies; Jules Denel and Antoine Martin, and guys like Omar sanchez, Alessio Stillrich or Leon Jamaer. I am also looking forward to see Brawzinho finally getting the good results he deserves, and of course I will be cheering for my good friend and team mate Musso to do good this year again!
Photos - PWA World Tour/JC