An interview with the man who finished third in the men’s slalom for 2012, Micah Buzianis

In the final event of the year, PWA Sylt World Cup, Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails) was able to pip Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic / Different) and Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) to the final spot on the heralded podium, as the American came from fifth heading into the event to claiming third. After being excruciatingly close in the last few years, Buzianis was finally able to finished the season on the podium as he enjoyed his best season over the last few years, with the highlight being his outright event victory in Korea. After a fantastic season, we caught up with Buzianis to gain his thoughts on 2012 and his plans for the upcoming 2013 season.

PWA: Firstly, what are your thoughts on how the 2012 season went and how would you rate your results?

MB: “Overall I thought it went quite well.  We had many good events, some with not so much wind and some with more than usual, in the end results at every one.  For me I was pleased with the year, especially my win in Korea.  Having a new sponsor Maui Sails was a very exciting change for me, to be able to work with Phil, Barry and Art gave me a lot of motivation and confidence.  Even though it was a new brand I knew their history and their current products and knew it was going to be a good year.  I thought that I could have had some other top three finishes throughout the year but to be able to jump up two spots to third overall at the last event was a great finish to the year.  I rate this year up there in my top three best years on tour for sure!!!”

PWA: You must be delighted that you managed to finish the season on the podium?

MB: “I was very delighted especially for JP and Maui Sails, to be able to deliver them a top three finish means a lot to me.  It really means a lot to me as well being able to improve from sixth in 2011 to third in 012 I think says a lot.”

PWA: Apart from the first event of the year you were consistently in the top ten, taking the event victory in Korea, is there anything in particular that you feel helped you claim your place in the top three this season, having been so close on several occasions over the past few years?

MB: “I was a bit unlucky in Italy but that is the way it goes sometimes, you have to roll with the breaks and they will eventually even themselves out.  I think the biggest thing that put me back on the podium this year was my switch to Maui Sails.  Not only were the sails working very well for me and on my boards the whole team was very supportive and really believed in me.  Having a support team like this with Maui Sails and with JP really makes me want to go out and win.”

PWA: You are consistently one of the best starters on the tour, do you have any tips for aspiring slalom sailors for improving there starts?

MB: “Practice, there isn’t really any secret to starting it basically comes down to repetitions.  The more starts you can do in practice situations and in any level of racing situations is going to help.”

PWA: How long have you been windsurfing?

MB: “I started when I was 12 so thirty years.”

PWA: Who has been you biggest influence on your sailing?

MB: “Probably my dad, he is one of the first people to really get me into windsurfing and really push and support me.  But I would also say that Bruce Wylie and Phil McGain were big influences back in my early racing days.  They helped me out in a lot of different ways with racing tips, tuning gear and even selling me some very good boards and fins back in the days when we were racing on all custom gear.  But the biggest would be Pierre Jeangirard he really helped to start my professional career, pushing sponsors to help me and teaching and coaching me to race and be race fit.”

PWA: What would you be doing if you weren’t windsurfing?

MB: “If I wasn’t a professional windsurfer I would probably or hopefully have become a lawyer, at least that was one big thing I always wanted to become when I was younger.”

PWA: Where is your favorite place to windsurf and why?

MB: “No question it is Maui, this is where I really learned to push myself in windsurfing.  There are so many different conditions to sail in, it is warm and it blows almost every day of the year.”

PWA: What is your favorite move and why?

MB: “Probably just down the line wave sailing in bigger surf and reeling waves with lots of bottom turns and steep cutbacks.”

PWA: What new moves are you currently learning?

MB: “No new moves just trying to stay loose enough to keep doing the ones I already know how to do.”

PWA: How do you learn your moves and improve your sailing? Videos? Watching others?

MB: “Watching videos of myself.”

PWA: Where is your favorite spot on the PWA Tour?

MB: “Alacati, Turkey, I really like the conditions there but the best part is the off the water scene.  The people are really nice and friendly, the area has a very nice atmosphere to it and for the most part the food is by far the best on tour.”

PWA: How does competition sailing make you feel? And how do you prepare for your heats?

MB: “I still get nervous before events and before heats but I think it is a good nervous gets me more focused and more alert.  I still enjoy it very much but I would say that the preparation is what I enjoy the most.  I do a lot of testing and tuning all winter long at home in Maui trying to get my gear going as fast as possible.  I also do a lot of off the water training in the gym and on land, mixing it up between a lot of different sports.”

PWA: What do you do when you’re not windsurfing?

MB: “Mostly I am trying to spend time with the family, but a lot of it is working around my house.  For fun I try to go hunting as much as possible, but mostly just trying to stay active and on top of everything.”

PWA: What are your plans for the winter?

MB: “I will now be in Maui for most of the winter training and working in preparation for 2013.  Depending on what the first race will be I may do a small event somewhere in the US or NZL but just depends on when the PWA will start up again.  Hopefully there will be a bit of hunting thrown in there somewhere as well.”

PWA: What are your goals for 2013 and the future?

MB: “For 2013 I plan to improve on what I did in 2012, this means winning more events and moving up on the podium.  I am not sure how many more years I have left doing this so I plan to give it my all till I am done, I think I will be better prepared in 2013 having a solid year testing with Werner on the new JP boards and a full year testing and developing the sails with Phil, Barry and Art.”

PWA: Thanks for your time Micah and enjoy the rest of your offseason.