Finian Maynard (FMX Racing) has enjoyed a long and illustrious career at the top of the racing world, while also being a dominant force in speed sailing. The 44-year-old remains a world class sailor - as highlighted by two top 10 results this season - 5th in France & 8th in Fuerte. After starting a new exciting venture with his own brand - FMX Racing - Maynard now looks to set to hang up the harness, while still at the top of the game as he looks to further nourish his brand that has also enjoyed plenty of success on the world stage this year with event victories and podiums through team riders Thomas Goyard (FMX Racing / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils) & Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger sails). We recently caught up with Finian to find out more about his transition to slowly moving behind the scenes and you can read our interview with him now:
Hi Finian, this year you launched FMX Racing - how has the first year gone for you heading up your own brand? And what do you think you’ve learned along the way?
FM: “Firstly thanks for the interview. Well, 2019 has been an amazing year, through and through. The launch of the brand was in late January, and it literally seems like years have passed in the last 9-months, so much has happened already!
In truth, it’s been loads of work getting things off the ground, and yes definitely some lessons have been learned. One important lesson that comes to mind is to understand the balance required to locate and evaluate the priorities in running a company/brand, do the required job, and then implement everything in an orderly fashion to provide a professional platform to market and ultimately showcase the products."
Across both racing disciplines - Slalom and Foil - you’ve had some great race with event wins, race wins and podiums - how satisfying is it for you to see your boards performing well at the very top of the game?
FM: "Exhilarating. What a season the team has had, just amazing. A PWA event win in the very first year by Thomas Goyard in Costa Brava really helped elevate the brand awareness in the worldwide windsurfing market. Maciek Rutkowski followed that up with excellent slalom results in Fuerte (6th) and recently his first ever PWA podium in Denmark finishing 3rd (and winning the last race of the event was superb).
The results have been very satisfying, and I’m very happy to see the boards being so competitive across different disciplines and wind strengths, a real testament to the strong product lineup."
You postponed your retirement this year and gained two top 10 results out of the 3 events you competed at… are we likely to see you competing next year?
FM: "Great question! Well, I appreciate it that my results are being mentioned. I’m very proud of these two top 10’s (France 5th, Fuerte 8th) considering that I honestly had very little true training time to prepare. I had a ton of board speed especially in Fuerte, and that was a lot of fun, reminded me of the good ol’ days.
About retirement, I’m pretty sure this time around that I won’t be doing any more events, but I don't want to completely close the door…that is simply too sad to contemplate right now, since I’ve been doing this full-time pretty much since I was 17! So who knows perhaps a cameo appearance somewhere might be on the cards, or then again maybe it won’t. I suppose time will tell…"
Your team rider - Thomas Goyard (FMX Racing / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils) - dominated the upwind/down Foil racing - what do you think about Foil now likely being incorporated into Slalom? And do you think a Foil board needs major changes from upwind/downwind to Slalom for optimal performance?
FM: "Well said. Thomas had an amazing season in the foil course racing. 9 wins from 16 starts! Truly world class. Concerning the integration of foil slalom and slalom, ultimately I think it is the right move for the long-term because it is clear that in the light winds the foil never stops for slalom, meaning we can get more results and also race in lower winds. This is good for the sport. I’d like to mention that I am very interested to see the foils vs. fins in say 10-15 knots of wind, as I have the feeling fins will be faster on the straights and slower out of the marks. That could make for some great racing!
About the designing of foil slalom boards, yes there needs to be some changes to optimise going cross wind at much higher speeds vs. uw/dw, so less lift and power is required. However, the changes are not major (at the moment) as the fundamentals of a working foil race board need to be respected."
You’ve obviously had years of shaping experience heading up several brands R&D departments before your new venture - how have you found the transition to heading up your own brand?
FM: "The transition on the technical/designing and r&d side has been seamless as the basics of going from a concept in the mind to a finished production board in a box hasn't changed. It has been the transition to now take care of all the other major points that has been the real work. The website/marketing, administration, team and all the business aspects of running the brand, this is the new challenge. A very motivating challenge I can say!"
You’ve got a brand new website - can you tell us a bit more about it and where to find it?
FM: "The new website just launched two weeks ago. I’m pretty happy with how it all came together. Thanks to everybody who was involved, in the end, it was a team effort. One can find it at (www.fmxracing.com).
The 2020 collection has expanded to include three more ‘in-between’ Invictus slalom sizes plus the all-new Veloce ‘fast freeride’ series. This consists of two planing hull pure performance freeride models in two constructions that also ride great with a foil. There is now also a dedicated Veloce freeride foil board. All the new boards were given a big thumbs up by the team, great feedback and a lot of smiles coming off the water!
Check out all the details plus the product videos that give a nice overview of the different boards."
What lies in store for 2020 for yourself and FMX Racing?
FM: "2020 is shaping up to be an interesting season with the combined slalom discipline coming into focus. Nobody really knows yet who will be fast so it’s time to get to work and make it happen!
In terms of the brand, the next season is all about consolidating the network and growing the distribution and awareness in the market, step by step, whilst staying on the leading edge of the development and continuing to strive for wins and results.
Follow us on Insta @fmxracing."
Perfect, thanks, Finian! Good luck for the future!