Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Ezzy) ha conquistato a Maui durante l’Aloha Classic il titolo overall AWT 2014 (American Windsurfing Tour), attraverso una stagione perfetta che lo ha visto impegnato sui campi gara di: Pistol River, Peru, Baja California, Cape Hatteras e Hookipa.
Questo il suo nuovo video e la intervista proposta da Starboard!
Kevin Pritchard: 2014 AWT Champion
A great finish to a great season. This just about sums up Kevin Pritchard’s year, having won the 2014 American Windsurfing Tour after a very consistent season, beating big names such as Levi Siver or Brawnzinho in the process. Yes, Kevin is still one of the best wavesailors out there, in case you were wondering. We caught with him and asked a few questions about the tour, the Aloha Classic, his titles and what keeps him going. Read it below.
Starboard: Congratulations on the 2014 AWT Champion title. You’ve been saying it all year long “I want to beat these kids” and you did it. Morgan [Noireaux], Brawzinho, Bernd [Roediger], Camille [Juban]… You’re on top and you’re 38 years old. How does it feel?
Kevin Pritchard: Thanks! I love beating the kids! Ha ha… I feel great. A little hungover from the awards party but I am doing great. What can I say? It is pretty special to be winning and sailing great. I have been loving the AWT going to classic down-the-line wave riding places.
Starboard: You came 4th in Pistol River, 2nd in Peru, 2nd in Baja, 1st in Hatteras and 2nd in Maui yet these are very different conditions. Which event did you prefer? Why? Where did you have the most fun?
KP: This year, my favorite was in Peru [Pacasmayo Classic]. We had awesome waves and it was just incredible. I love Baja because it is starboard tack but I love Peru because it is fun to sail such an easy wave port tack and try and up your port tack riding. I guess this year was Peru… We had overhead high waves everyday and was pretty awesome!
Kevin, at ease in his backyard
Starboard: This might be a bit controversial but Camille Juban won the AWT in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, he was injured. Some people might say that you wouldn’t have won if it wasn’t for his absence. What do you say to that?
KP: Probably true… Ha ha! Camille rips for sure but hey… consistency is all part of the game!
Starboard: The AWT Final of the Aloha Classic was a tight one between you and Boujmaa. Looking back, would you have done anything differently to secure a win?
KP: Pay the judges off a little bit more [laughs] I think I had that final and even after watching it on video, I still think I had it. I was just talking about that heat today, I loved that I pulled off a 360 in the closing moments, right at the right time when the pressure was on. To me, that stokes me out. When it is a pressure cooker, you go and you get the wave and then execute it perfectly, I couldn’t ask for more from myself. That is what stoked me out the most. It is a bummer the judges didn’t see it that way but over half the beach told me I won so I guess that was good enough 🙂
Wave 360 in the AWT Pro Final
Starboard: What do you think helped you most achieve this Aloha Classic result? Years of experience competing, local knowledge or just sheer skills?
KP: Sheer skills!! [laughs] I don’t know really, I think I was just in that zone. I started off my first heat with a sweet air taka, then just started cruising from there. It was pretty fun.
Starboard: You have a couple of PWA World titles under your belt (2000, 2002, 2003 and 2006), how does this AWT title feel in comparison?
KP: Pretty dang good. It is right up there with them that is for sure. It might be called the AWT but I can tell you the Top 4 guys in the AWT would give any PWA sailor a run for their money. Just look at the PWA Aloha Classic results from the past two years. Morgan [Noireaux] won this year, Levi [Siver] won last year.
I think if the AWT had prize money at all of their events, there would be very few people that would stay on the PWA. Sure, the Pozo boys would stay but in my opinion the best would be to put the two together. You might have the same Top 3 or so results as this year on the PWA cause those Top 3 rip at both onshore, side shore, port tack, starboard tack but in my opinion that would be an awesome test of the true wave sailor. In my opinion, Pozo is just as important to have as Maui. The jumping that guys like Phillip [Koster] and Brawz do there… Oh my… I am glad I don’t have to do that anymore.
AWT podium: Kevin, Levi and Morgan
Starboard: You have PWA titles in Formula, Slalom and Waves. Which of these titles means the most to you? Which discipline do you enjoy most nowadays?
KP: For sure the wave titles are the most special. The 2006 one was pretty awesome, the first overall one in 2000 was my dream come true so that is probably the one that I will remember forever! Nowadays, I enjoy wavesailing the best. A great day on Maui, Cabo Verde or Baja stokes me out completely.
Starboard: Every year, the AWT becomes more diverse, with more riders and locations added. If you could choose one more destination in 2015, where would you go?
KP: Well, it looks like they have my favorite destination on the calendar in Cabo Verde. That will be pretty awesome for a contest to happen there. To be really honest with you, I don’t really want a contest there, because I am going to go with or without a contest so all a contest does is make it crowded. I love the place with just a couple friends so I have been pretty spoiled.
The trademark one-handed aerial
Starboard: Brands are getting more and more involved in the AWT. There’s the Goya Windsurfing Santa Cruz event, the Quatro Desert Showdown, the Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam and now the Starboard & Severne Aloha Classic. A bit like the ASP. Do you think that’s a good thing?
KP: I think it is great to that the brands are stepping up and supporting these events. I think that is a big thing that the AWT has going for it, the grass roots feel. It is the pros interacting with the everyday Joes that love to windsurf. Having Starboard and Goya/Quatro step up is amazing. I think this is pretty big of them to put into the sport and I would like to think that they can feel the improvements.
Starboard: The conditions in Baja, Hatteras or Ho’okipa are quite different to each other. On the PWA, riders have their “on-shore boards” and their more radical, down-the-line boards. Do you do the same on the AWT? What’s your quiver like when you travel to Peru or North Carolina?
KP: I have one board that I use for all the events except Ho’okipa. I don’t know if it is the best thing, but I know the board like the back of my hand so it works pretty good.
Starboard: What are your travel essentials? How different are your luggage and board bags when you’re traveling for a competition and when you’re just going sailing?
KP: Like I said, I have my Starboard Kode 99 Prototype and from there I take a 5.4m², a 4.9m² and a 4.5m² and that covers me in pretty much all conditions these days. I usually add a surfboard and throw it all into one bag and off I go 🙂 It’s pretty easy.
Starboard: Thrusters, quads, twins, single… We’ve seen you ride almost everything except quads. Why is that? Will you ride different boards based on the conditions or stick to the same boards no matter what?
KP: I like the thruster style. It is a looser single fin feel and can do the tricks a bit easier on the thruster than the single. When the waves get really big, I just throw my trusty single fin in the same board and it works awesome.
Starboard: You’ve accomplished the goal you’d set for yourself: winning the AWT. What’s next? Anything you’re working on? Will you do the whole tour next year again or did that tick the box for you?
KP: I don’t know. I just want to keep improving my sailing, going more vertical, hitting the lip harder and harder. I don’t know if doing the whole tour again is what I really want to do but we will see. I think I am just a little relieved that the season is done and to think about next year already is too much.
Starboard: You’re 38 years old. You’ve won many titles. What keeps you going and how are you still hungry for more?
KP: I am really just loving where I am at right now. I am doing exactly what I want to do. Pushing my sailing, promoting my sponsors, doing videos, taking photos. I just love it right now. I couldn’t ask to be in a better position. I am super stoked.
Starboard: The PWA and AWT Tours are over. This is the off-season. What are your plans? More windsurfing or will you give it a rest? Some recovery work? Or straight to training?
KP: I just had one of the best days of tow-in surfing I have had in a long time today. It was so much fun. It was just a couple of us windsurfers out there sharing waves but without the sail. It was a dream. But like I said, I love windsurfing great conditions. I can’t wait to get out on the water and ride waves and push it a bit. Is this training? I don’t know but it sure feels good…
Starboard: Thanks Kevin, and congrats once more!
– See more at: http://www.star-board-windsurfing.com/2015/news_events/kevin-pritchard-2014-awt-champion?utm_source=TikiNews&utm_campaign=798df830d2-KP%3A+AWT+Champ+-+TikiNews_17-11&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4e59381fcd-798df830d2-291320065#sthash.lbwQQ9Oi.dpuf