In 2015 Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7) emerged as a genuine title contender - leading the title race for much of the season before seemingly cracking under the pressure in the final event as he chased his first world title.
Having learnt from his experience the season prior, Iachino, came flying out of the blocks again to win the only elimination in South Korea to take an early lead in 2016. However, 4th and 7th place finishes in Costa Brava and Fuerteventura, respectively, opened the door for Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails), who led the title race with two events to go. At this point, Iachino, really stepped up his game to win firstly in Hvide Sande, Denmark, before producing a performance of pure domination in Sylt, Germany, which would eventually guarantee Iachino his first of what could be many world titles.
Off the water Iachino is a modest, classy and friendly character, while being a consummate pro by being graceful in both victory and defeat, while on the water his results speak for themselves. Could Iachino go on to dominate like Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Dunkerbeck Eyewear) and Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)? Time will tell, but he certainly has the skill set, drive, determination and potential to do so.
We recently caught up with Matteo, who is next sailor in our 20 Questions interview which you can read below:
Why are you so passionate about windsurfing?
I love the sea, I love freedom and all the action sports. I couldn’t be out of the water doing something different if it’s windy or wavy, I just need to jump in somehow. And having this as a profession is really amazing.
What quality do you like most in other people?
Humility, enthusiast, dreamer.
What annoys or frustrates you the most?
What do you most like in yourself?
I believe I’m a really humble guy and I truly believe you can always improve and be better in whatever you are doing in your life.
What do you dislike in yourself?
I’m selfish and I have a hard time trying to sacrifice myself for anything.
What has been your best moment on tour?
Last year in Sylt when I won three winners finals in a row feeling super confident. I managed to get three, first places and a second to win the event by a significant margin over the guy in second place.
What has been your worst moment on tour?
It has been hard to get to New Caledonia leading in 2015 and racing my worst event of the season - where I ended up losing two places at one event. It was amazing being on the overall podium for the first time, but I was so stressed and so destroyed in my mind that it’s something I cannot really describe. It’s something you really have to live to know what it means and how it feels. I wasn’t ready at all and I lived through a really bad period.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself when your career started?
Have fun! In the end we all are here because we love windsurfing and its lifestyle and this is the fu**ing best job in the world! We have to be happy and enjoy every single session on the water and sometimes in the last years, I was so focused I was actually too serious, missing the real point of our lives.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Alberto [Menegatti] told me many times you can be whoever you want, you just have to work harder and believe in yourself and what you are doing every day. You’ll get there and get exactly what you want.
What would be your perfect day?
Hmmm… I guess a good wave session at home with loads of friend on the water and just after returning home after the victory of an event.
Do you have any superstitions?
No, I’m not superstitious.
Which living person do you most admire?
Probably Bjorn [Dunkerbeck] or Antoine [Albeau]. I love seeing passionate athletes even after so many years at the top competing, training and winning, it’s amazing.
And my grandma who is 96, lived through any kind of trouble and joys in her life and is as strong as a rock.
What is your greatest fear?
Being powerless in the face of something.
What is your most treasured possession?
My family and girlfriend, my passion that led me to be who I am now.
If you weren’t a professional windsurfer, what would you like to be?
I don’t really know…. I guess an athlete in some other sport.
Where would you most like to go to that you haven’t been to yet?
Who would you most like to have as a dinner guest, dead or alive?
Julius Caesar ahahah.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a guy who lived his life to the fullest.
Most visited website?
A phrase you live by?
Believe in yourself and chase your dreams.