In the first event of the 2014 PWA Slalom World Tour Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) came flying out of the blocks to earn his first podium finish - bettering his previous best of 4th in Korea during the 2011 campaign. The Frenchman is one of the many emerging young talents on the PWA World Tour, who is beginning to thrive, whilst stamping their authority against their more experienced rivals. Slalom used to be considered a discipline where experience was essential, however twenty-four year old Mortefon is one sailor who is already starting to break this trend. After a magnificent start to the season we caught up with the Frenchman. Read the interview below:
PWA: What were your aims coming into the first event of the year and how does it feel to achieve your first podium finish?
PM: “We waited a long time for the first slalom World Cup. I think everybody wants to enter fully on their game and Costa Brava was a test for everyone after a long winter. My aim for this event was to sail well and check where I am compared to the other sailors. I knew my equipment works well and I was really motivated to begin the international season. After I managed to get my first podium finish I was super happy about that, especially because San Pere Pescador is close to France and on the last day and during the prize giving I had some French friend’s with me and my girlfriend too! After that I travelled back home to rest for a few days. I thought about this podium finish, but I had to quickly refocus for another event in France. In the end it wasn’t so bad being directly back in the game, staying concentrated for the rest of the season because for sure it’s super nice to begin like this but I have to continue in the same manner, that is the most important thing!”
PWA: What did you do for your winter training this year? Did you do anything different to usual?
PM: “After the last event in Sylt last year I took a break, but I was quickly back in the gym to make sure I was in good physical condition. So until Christmas I stayed home and I was more focused on preparing my body off the water. In january I went to Saint Barthélémy to train there with Antoine Questel (Starboard / Loft Sails) and participate in a great international long distance race in the Caribbean Sea - The Saint Barth Fun Cup. I spent a month there and we sailed lot, everyday we were on the water and it was good to tune all the big stuff from 7.8m to 9.2m. After that I was back in France and I continued to sail before going to Tarifa in March to sail all of my small equipment, to make sure I was fully prepared for all conditons. I was able to sail a lot with some other PWA riders and our small French team, it was pretty efficient because Tarifa is certainly one of the best windsurf spot at that time of year, we could stay on the water for six hours a day and try all the equipment. After Tarifa we had an event in France, it was good to be back on the starting line. Straight after it I flew to Maui for the photoshoot of my sponsor’s Fanatic and North Sails. It was a great time with plenty of training on water. We also spent a lot of time testing the 2015 boards with the whole team and I sailed a lot with my new team mate Matteo Iachino (Fanatic / North). So after all this travelling I was definitely ready to begin the PWA World Tour. I didn’t really change my preparation this year, maybe just spent more and more time in the gym and on the water.”
PWA: What equipment setup did you use most in Costa Brava?
PM: During the event in Costa Brava, my best setup was my North Warp 7.8m paired with my Fanatic Falcon 110l with a 38cm fin. It was a pretty good combo, perfect for the gusty conditions we had! But at the beginning of the event I used my biggest gear 9.2m and 140l and I was pretty fast too…”
PWA: Length of harness lines? Do you change size depending on sail size or conditions? If so what and why?
PM: “28-32 inch lines, I don’t use fixed lines because I like to constantly adjust the length of my lines depending on the condition. It also depends on the wind, if it’s gusty-light-strong and on the water state too. I will use longer lines in choppy water compared to super flat water - or if I need to point higher I will also make my lines shorter.”
PWA: Seat or waist harness and why?
PM: “Waist harness! Before I was mostly using a seat harness, but when I tried the waist harness I definitely felt more comfortable and like I was enjoying sailing more. The only downside was that after many hours on the water it was a bit painful on my back. So to solve this problem I focused on strengthening my back in the gym and afterwards everything was ok again. With the waist harness you definitely lose a bit of power compared to the seat harness but you have much more control - it’s easier to play with your legs to control the board or to make it fly…”
PWA: Finally, goal for the season?
PM: “Continue like this! No seriously my goal will be to qualify for every winner’s final. (If I can do that then I think the result can be good … ) ;)”
PWA: Thanks Pierre, we’ll see you back on the water in Turkmenistan. Good luck for the rest of the season.
If you haven't done so already then be sure to 'Like' Pierre Mortefon's Facebook Fan page which can be found here.