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Matt Pritchard intervista Thomas Traversa

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Traversa wins his first PWA Wave event!

After years of traveling the globe and scoring epic wavesailing conditions, Thomas Traversa graduates to the number one spot against the best windsurfers on the planet! In an epic display of style and grace on the rugged windblown shores of Denmark, the famous frenchman showed he has the goods to deliver some big blows! Edging out 2 time world champion Philip Koster was the story of the contest and we had a chance to get the inside scoop from the ecstatic Traversa.

MP: Thomas, congrats man….. I know this hasn’t always been your top priority but it seems you have been more and more focused on competition lately, how does this feel?
TT:  I have never been taking competition too seriously, but in the last 2/3 years i started to get more and more decent results… so i guess i m slowly getting into it, and winning an event now is just an incredible feeling, i m very proud and it kind of justifies all the sailing i have been doing for the last 10 years!

MP: Now that you know you can beat all these guys do you think it will change your mentality on how you approach competitions?
TT: I am still the same guy, and i m not going to enter every event thinking i will win it you know! but obviously this victory gives me a lot of confidence, and i might believe a bit more in myself in the future.. now i know i can do it!

MP: What were you expecting coming into the contest for a result? I mean, did you expect you were going to win or what sort of mind frame were you in?
TT: I had a pretty good result here last year, finishing in 4th position… so i was hoping to get into the top 10 or maybe top 5 again, but i never thought i would win this thing! the level is so high right now, and Philip has won every single event in the last 2 years, so a victory was not something i expected here!

MP: There are a lot of guys with deadly talent and few that are able to put it together in the heat of the moment- do you think you have matured as a sailor in the last years or what do you attribute your success to?
TT: After all those years on tour i learnt a lot of things about sailing in competition, and the most important one would be to do what you can do the best, and focus on this. i don´t try anymore to risk it too much, i sail the same way as i would do in freesailing. I always focus on choosing the best waves and ride them as well as i can without trying some crazy moves, just some classic riding! kind of  Angulo style! And of course the luck was on my side during this event, this is something i keep in mind!

MP:  What gear were you using? Looks like you had to borrow Alex’s sail for the super final- what size board and fin set up is working for you the best?
TT: During this long day where we finished the single elimination i used the 4.0 I.Q from Alex in every heat, except the first one early in the morning where i went out with a 3.6 I.Q against Swifty. that was the perfect combination together with my 65 liters proto from Fabien, which i used in a quad fin set up. this board has the same width and length but is slightly thinner than the production 67 liters da curve to suit my light weight, and the quad set up seemed to be the perfect one for those onshore conditions, keeping the board fast in the strong currents. for the super final i used my 4.5 manic which i really like, and the 74 liters da curve. this time i decided to use the board as a tri-fin to suit the more sideshore conditions.

MP: Where do you see the sport of competitive wavesaling going? You guys are competing in mostly on-shore port tack conditions- are there any ideas you have to make changes?
TT: The events we have are great but of course i wish we also had some real down the line wavesailing events, and also some starboard tack ones. that would keep the tour more fair and exciting with different winners in different conditions! we sailors realize it is a change we really need, and there are some ideas like reducing a bit the fleet and the costs involved in the organization of a PWA event to hopefully be able to compete in others places than only canary islands and the north sea…

MP: If you had to thank one person for your success in Denmark, who would it be and why?
TT: It would be my girlfriend Sophia, because we travel together on the world tour since over 2 years now, and having her with me always helps me a lot to stay calm and happy during events. and she believes in me without putting me too much pressure, this is exactly what i need. but actually i would also like to thank Fabien, who is a very good friend,  he has been shaping my boards since 14 years now and always trusted me 100%, he is also very important in this victory !  Alex also helped me a lot with giving me advices before the heats, helping me out with the equipment, and i can always trust him because we know each other really well and he also won one of those PWA…

MP: Sylt is right around the corner- what is your plan of attack there?
TT: I am going to take it heat after heat there, but with the conditions being similar to what we had here in Denmark i know i have chances to get a good result there… i will once again focus on solid classic waveriding, and classic jumping together with some double loops once in a while when i feel i need it!

MP: Well good luck, keep it rolling and congrats on your first PWA victory, that is awesome!
TT: Thanks a lot, and i hope that our team will get more great results on Sylt!

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