INTERVIEW | BEN VAN DER STEEN
Congratulations on your 5th place at the PWA Event in Portugal. How did the week go for you?
When we arrived in Portugal we didn’t really know what to expect as there had been a week of not much wind and some rain. But for the 1st day of the event the wind kicked in and got really strong. I was sailing on my GS-R 5.6 /6.4 and 7.1 most of the week. I guess that says it all. In the end it was a great event with 7 slalom eliminations and some really exciting racing.
What are the most important ingredients to go through your heats and be successful at PWA events?
The main ingredients for advancing in heats is having a solid start at the best place on the starting line. In order to do so your gear needs to be working perfectly and you need to know in your mind that you are really fast and fit to fight for the best starting place. In addition to that the speed and acceleration after the gybes and specially in the gusts is crucial to win or loose a race if your fighting for top 4 position. You have to be mentally and physically in top form and your gear has to be well tuned up to compete against the fastest in the world. It’s a really demanding discipline with 100% commitment.
What kind of GS-R sail sizes did you use most of the time and have you been happy with how the sails worked?
For this event I used my 7.8, 7.1, 6.4 and 5.6 sqm GS-R. Together with our team I put a lot of effort in all these sails over the last months and I am really happy how they perform right now. The sail and mast combination seems to be a really good match for me. I used the Select SDM 430 mast for the 7.1 sqm, the select RDM 430 on the 6.4 sqm and the Expert RDM 400 on the 5.6 sqm.
How did you keep yourself busy during the week?
Well, as it was a really busy week with loads of racing I was pretty happy to have an hour here and there to relax and stay focused.
What is next on your schedule?
I return to Tarifa to see my family and get on with the testing with the Tarifa R&D team to see what we can improve on the GS-R for 2019. Then I will head off to Fuerteventura for the next PWA slalom event.
Ben, thanks for the interview and good luck in Fuerteventura!