Jordy Vonk had a breakthrough season in 2018 with the 26-year-old not only breaking into the top 10, but also the top 4 after seemingly cracking the formula to consistently perform at an exceptionally high level. Before 2018, Vonk had shown on several occasions that he had the potential to challenge for top honours - 2nd in Japan 2017 - but was missing that consistency.
Coming into 2019, there may have been more pressure on Vonk to continue the kind of form that he showed last year, but he has more than risen to that challenge so far after finishing 4th in France and then securing his second podium finish on the world tour in South Korea - largely thanks to winning his first elimination. That bright start to the season sees the flying Dutchman move into new territory with Vonk now firmly in contention for the world title - currently tied on 19,600 points with reigning world champion - Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde). After a great start to the year we caught up with Jordy for an interview:
Hey Jordy, congrats on a great start to the season. How does it feel to be tied on points with Antoine Albeau in the race for the 2019 Slalom World Championship?
Simply an amazing feeling, I had a good feeling coming out of the winter preparations, but you always have to see how it all turns out. But after the tricky events, I think a 4th and a 2nd are super solid as a start of the season.
After qualifying for so many Winners’ Finals in recent years - how did it finally feel to grab yourself a bullet in South Korea?
I think my 2,946 fist pumps after the finish line said it all, haha. It was on my goal list for such a long time already, but I never managed to pull it off. I think it’s one of the moments on tour which I’ll never forget!!
That bullet then put you in the event lead heading into the final day, which was new territory for you - how do you think you dealt with that pressure and do you think it may have affected your performance on the final day?
It brings some pressure on your shoulders, but on the other hand, I knew that that bullet was a remarkable moment in itself and whatever happened, that bullet was a fact. As I expected it to be windy on the last day I didn’t start praying for no more wind, I knew that if I could do it once, I could do it another time.
After missing out on the opening winners’ final on the final day you then bounced back and secured your second ever podium finish on the world tour - were you happy with how you responded to the result from the first race on the last day?
It was a tight race in the second elimination, but with too big gear it was very hard in the end to qualify. From there on I simply focused on myself and didn’t even check the results. I think halfway through the last elimination they said the event victory was gonna be between me and Matteo [Iachino], while I didn’t even know that I still had a chance for the podium! So definitely happy how I responded about that.
How did it feel to earn a second podium finish - adding to your previous podium from Japan in 2017?
The podium in 2017 already felt a long time ago! Especially with a couple of 4/5th places in several events, I was very hungry to climb up on the stage again. Also, this time I was 2nd after 3 eliminations, so it feels a bit more deserved compared to the last time ‘one hit wonder’.
What are your thoughts on the level on the world tour right now? It seems there is a whole list of sailors who are capable of not only making the final, but also winning it…
For me, it feels like it’s consistently rising, but I think that’s better to judge for the old generation as they know both levels. But there are 35 people that can be in the final and indeed lots of them who can win a final. I was also super happy to see Bruno Martini taking the second final in Korea home, he really deserves it too!!
Do you think that heading into Fuerte there’s a different kind of pressure on you now that you are sat second in the overalls?
Not really, I love to race in Fuerte and I’m showing better results every year, so I can’t wait to go there and fight with everyone on the race course. I think Antoine [Albeau] started to win that event year after year since I was born, so he’s obviously the big man to beat there, but let’s see if we can stop him this time!
What will you be doing between now and Fuerte and how will you prepare?
After Costa Brava I wanted to relax a little bit, which turned out to be a forced period into bed due to some virus. But it’s getting better now, I’m setting up a plan to get physically fully fit again. I will head to Fuerteventura 8/9 days in advance to be fully tuned up and I’ll be ready to give it my all!
Thanks, Jordy. Congrats again on winning your first elimination and see you in Fuerte.
You can stay up to date with all of Jordy Vonk’s latest news and adventures via his Social Media Channels: