Leon Jamaer (JP / NeilPryde), who finished 10th overall in 2016, has just returned from his winter training in Cape Town, South Africa. The German has also just released his new movie Sho’t Left, so we caught up with the 27-year-old for an interview, which you can read below:
Hey Leon, you've been out in Cape Town training - how's your winter training gone?
LJ: “Yes, I spent the first five weeks of the year in Cape Town. The beginning of January has been incredible, the best I have seen it, with plenty of wind and waves. Aside improving my jumping skills my main goal was to really get comfortable with my equipment and be 100% ready in case the Storm Chase started. By the beginning of February I was entirely surfed out and almost happy to go back to Germany and give the body a bit of rest. Now I am hoping it will get windy around home, forecasts already look very promising for this weekend and next week!”
What would you say your favourite spot in Cape Town is?
LJ: “Platboom is a spot that can be absolutely incredible when everything comes together, which happens rarely, however. This season I had one magic session down there with only one friend on the water. The wave gets really clean and powerful but also hard to read. Risk and reward go hand in hand. Haagkat, a little north from Cape Town, works more often and is a bit more user friendly. When its on its the perfect playground to improve wavering and tricks.”
You're also one of the sailors ready to be called up for the RBSC - what's it's like waiting for the call and what's it actually like competing on a RBSC mission?
LJ: “As I participated in three Storm Chase missions already I am a little bit used to getting the call and flying somewhere the next day. However it is still very exiting and I need to be organized to have the correct gear with me all the time wherever I go. When the event starts it will be a whole different story. I have no idea what we will be thrown into this time. Once on the water its normally mostly improvising and adapting basic skills to an „out of control“ scenario. Everything I have learned in the 17 years I am windsurfing then suddenly becomes important. In the middle of this chaos one ends up looking for the right gust, the right wave or timing to go really big and to leave one´s own comfort zone.”
What equipment will you be taking for the RBSC and what is your favourite setup for more normal conditions?
LJ: “I will be taking sails all the way down to 3.3 and my smallest board will be the JP Radical Thruster Quad 83. Normally I am on a 88 liter board most of the time and use Neilpryde Combats between 4,0 and 5,0. My favorite setup for wavering, however, is the RTQ 88 and a Fly 4,8.”
You've also linked up with GP Joule - can you tell us a little bit about your new sponsorship?
LJ: “Yes, I am super happy that GP Joule will support me from now on. The company has always been tied closely to the windsurfing sport, whether in form of sponsoring the World Cup Sylt or having Robby Naish as brand ambassador. As they are based in the same region where I grew up and live its the perfect match. GP Joule follows the goal of satisfying 100% of the worlds energy consumption from renewable resources and I am happy they choose the windsurf sport to carry their vision of a better and cleaner future across.”
Where are you now and have you got any more trips lined up before the start of the season?
LJ: “Right now I am at home in Germany. I will be going to Maui the last two weeks of March and whole April for the JP and Neilpryde photoshoots. Although I hope the North Atlantic will kick into gear soon so I can enjoy some stormy sessions arounds home and the Red Bull Storm Chase can finally start!”
Thanks Leon. All the best for the RBSC and the upcoming season.