Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses) has become part of the formidable big top 3 on the PWA Slalom World Tour since almost winning a maiden world title in 2015, before quickly claiming his first world crown in 2016 and being firmly in contention in both 2017 and ’18. The Italian also stamped his authority in the Foiling by signing off the season with a hugely impressive victory in Sylt, which saw the 29-year-old win 4 out of the 5 eliminations completed and should be challenging for top honours again next season. We recently caught up with Matteo for a catchup about last season and how he’s feeling ahead of the new season.
Hey Matteo, how’s it going?
Hey guys! It’s going pretty good. Getting ready!
How happy were you with your performance last season?
Of course I’m happy. It could be better… but I can’t really complain being on the podium for the 4th year.
Having led the world title race coming into the final event of the year was it a tough pill to swallow missing out on a second world title?
For sure it hasn’t been the best, but as I said I’m 29 and I’ve been up there fighting for the last 4 years. I’ve already won once and I’ll do it again.
On the flip-side you couldn’t have finished the year any better in the Foiling…. Getting your first win and winning 4 out of the 5 eliminations. Before Sylt you had a few top 10 finishes in Foiling, but then you made a huge step forward… what do you put that down to and were you expecting to be so competitive in Sylt?
Well, last year I wasn’t really 100% focused on foiling. I just got better race by race gaining knowledge about course racing, starting, etc.. I’ve never done course racing in my life except from a Formula World Championship six years ago but it has been just one episode. I like sailing in rough conditions and it was wavy and choppy in Sylt… probably there was a lot less to play with different sail, board foil setup and more about just sailing.
A couple of weeks ago we asked Pierre [Mortefon] his thoughts about Foiling obviously gaining popularity at the moment… as one of the top Slalom sailors how do you feel about Foiling? What are your thoughts?
I like foiling. I think it’s a great opportunity to compete in different places with less wind and worse conditions. It could bring windsurfing to new spots and make it more mainstream because of this. At the same time I think slalom is the real core of our racing, and I would never abort an existing slalom event to run a foil event… Slalom has always been there, it’s what everybody does with their mates at their home-spots with whatever gear in any kind of conditions and because of this it will never fade.
You’ve also been in Western Australia for a photoshoot - how was your Australian experience?
Yes it has been my first time there. It has been a great experience. WA is a really nice place, good vibes, cool people around and of course great windsurfing! I’ve been there testing with Ben Severne and Shooting with Starboard and I’ve been lucky enough to wave sail and slalom sail all along the coast, from up north Gnaraloo to down south in Esperance!
The start of the new season is just a couple of months away - what are your preparation plans before the start of the new year and what are your goals?
I’m now leaving to Tenerife. I’ll join the TWS Pro Training and get ready with my new gear. The stuff is working great and I’m positive.