RETURNING TO BATTLE
What are Jaeger Stone’s weapons of choice as he prepares to return to the competition scene?
Having last competed on the PWA World Tour in 2011, Jaeger Stone (SSD / Severne) is just days away from re-announcing himself on the world stage as he prepares to battle his way through the trials and into the main event of the Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival.
The last time we saw Stone competing he blew away both the crowd and the judges with his superb, effortless style, which eventually earned him third place in Tenerife. With just days to go before the first event of the 2014 PWA Wave World Tour we caught up with the Australian to see what he has been up to since then and how he’s feeling ahead of the event, as well as finding out what his all important weapons of choice will be for the week ahead. Read the interview below.
PWA: You are making your return to the PWA for the first time since 2011 - what have you been up to since then?
JS: “Since 2011 I have been concentrating on finishing my Physiotherapy degree at Curtin University. I finally finished in November last year and began working at Geraldton Physiotherapy Clinic almost straight away to gain as much experience as I could before coming away. I would have liked to keep competing during my last 2 years of study but unfortunately the workload was really high and I injured my ankle which required surgery and another 9 months off the water. Thankfully I did rehabilitation every day and was ready to start windsurfing again in September/October last year just in time for the WA season.”
PWA: How are you feeling about returning to the competition scene?
JS: “I’m excited to compete again but also nervous. After first injuring my foot in 2009 I decided to go to University so I had something to fall back on if I injured myself again, but my plan was to always compete on the PWA World Tour for a few years after I graduated to see how I went. Competing on the PWA World Tour is something that I have always wanted to do and my sponsors have stuck by me which I am really grateful for. I think I'm just nervous because I haven't competed for a few years and I have to qualify again, but I think being nervous is a good thing.”
PWA: In Tenerife in 2011 you came third, what are your expectations coming into this event?
JS: “I have been out of the competition scene for a while so this year for me is about preparing for next year. I don't expect to get podium results straight away but it's something I want to work towards. My goals are to get used to competing against the worlds best windsurfers again and at the same intensity. I'll try and win every heat that I am in and take as much from it as I can whether I win or lose.”
PWA: What board(s) and setup have you chosen for Pozo and whats the reason behind that choice?
JS: “For Pozo I have a Stone Surfboards 65L Thruster and 70L Thruster. These are the same boards I use at home from Margaret River to Geraldton to Gnaraloo. I've always used similar boards in a variety of different conditions and have always been comfortable doing so. I prefer using thrusters for high winds as I feel I can hold my board on rail for longer and re-engage with the wave when I want to. The other board I have with me is an 80L Keel Quad. I probably won't be using this in Pozo but I find that when it is lighter the quad helps me generate a little more speed and can be released a little easier. The sails I am using are the 2015 Severne S-1 Pros from 3.6 to 5.2. I also have a custom 3.0 and 3.3 S-1 for Pozo incase we get some of those crazy days.”
PWA: Finally, you’re already in Pozo, who else is standing out on the water?
JS: “Almost everybody is here now and it gets pretty crazy and busy on the water at times. Everyone is sailing really well and the overall level is really high, even from the local sailors. Brawzinho, Ricardo and Robby have been doing some of the biggest moves and Victor and Alex make everything on the wave look super easy. I have only sailed with Philip a couple of times but he's always a good one to watch. I think he might be keeping a few things in the bag for the competition.”
PWA: Thanks Jaeger and good luck for the contest.
Don’t miss any of the unbelievable action at the Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com where you’ll be able to follow the action as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.