Gaastra International are proud to announce that top PWA Slalom Competitor, Finian Maynard has just inked a deal to ride Gaastra sails for the 2010 season. Finian is most famous for his blistering speed on the race course proven by his 2nd overall on the PWA slalom tour in 2009 as well as holding down the ISWC Speed World Title from this past season. The bottom line is that this dude is fast!!!
Finian will be riding the 2010 Vapors and has already spent some time on the sails.
“I know what I like in a racing sail, quick acceleration and a limitless top end with easy to handle control- I worked with Dan Kaseler back in the day, we accomplished a lot together and I feel right back at home with his latest creations!” says Finian.
Any competitor on the race course fears the sight of Finian. “He is a big strong boy and is capable of beating anyone out there. I have raced with him and I know he can bring in some great results and am stoked to have him on the Gaastra International Team” said Team Manager Matt Pritchard.
Keep your eyes peeled for Team Gaastra to blitz the competition in 2010. Finian joins Ross Williams, Arnon Dagan, Cedric Bordes and Kevin Pritchard to attack the top spot on the podium.
Finian Maynard interview with Matt Pritchard
MP: Finian, welcome back to the Gaastra program….. tell us a little about your history with Gaastra.
FM: Thanks. Gaastra were the first big name windsurfing company to support me at the start of my career. I spent 6 seasons on the brand and made a ‘fast’ name for myself with some very good successes including several speed world titles.
MP: You have been on a mission for the speed record…. talk to us about that and what is involved in your operation.
FM: I was heavily involved with chasing the speed world record for many years, from 2001 until 2008, with a lot of success organizing the Masters of Speed event in Saintes Maries with Pascal Maka and Christophe Simian. We managed to break 18 national and world records from 2003-2008, with 3 world records to my name. This was all on Dan’s sails when we worked together at Naish, so we have had good success together in the past. It was a fantastic ride. Now the focus is a little more towards slalom but there is still some passion for speed and breaking records. We might do another MOS record attempt in the winter of 010. However, that remains to be seen.
MP: Any heroes you looked up to as a kid?
FM: My windsurfing heroes were always Anders, Robby and Pascal for their respective racing, wave and speed skills. Great sailors, great people and I was lucky enough to become good friends with all of them in my career, which in itself is a dream come true for a kid.
MP: It sounds like you have matured a lot over the past seasons- looking back to your early days, what have you learned recently to have stepped up to almost winning the PWA Title last year?
FM: The main thing I learned was to become more calm in my mind after racing mistakes although I haven’t reached the perfect place yet, I can still get fired up from time to time. How an athlete responds to mistakes is the key to winning the championship, something Antoine has done very well recently, and an important point I strive to emulate.
MP: I have heard rumors that you have done a double push loop- any truth to that?
FM: Nice! Funny thing is, I might have been one of the first guys photographed doing a push-loop in 1997 completely unintentionally at Omaezaki, Japan on slalom gear. I launched off a mast-high wave in a slalom heat and rotated insanely through the air. I still qualified though.
MP: So being a big dude and all, what kind of stuff do you use in the waves? Do you destroy a lot of equipment?
FM: I was never hard on gear of any type in any wind condition. Strange. They say I am ‘light’ on my feet although at the moment I weigh 115 KG, so I have no idea how that is possible, but it seems to be true.
MP: Who are going to be the major players for 2010 besides yourself?
FM: Clearly the world champion Antoine will arrive to the new season in peak form, he is always prepared. I think Micah, who should be injury free, will be a threat as will Bjorn. He is always in the game. Kevin and Ross are technically very strong and can deliver top performances at every event. And last but not least, I think Cyril and Peter V. are strong contenders, especially in high winds.
MP: You are probably one of the big 3- Dunkerbeck/Albeau and yourself. Do you consider that an advantage or disadvantage?
FM: Advantage. Once you think you are at the same level as the best, then you can be the best.
MP: If you had to fight any one of those dudes, who do you think would win?
FM: Depends who is more angry………but I pack a good punch, so it would be a close! Lots of beef in that stew.
MP: Ha ha…. one last question for you…. If you could change anything in the professional side of the sport, what would it be?
FM: I think windsurfing is at an all-time high in terms of talent in the sport. The things being done are mind-blowing with so much speed, aerial prowess and technical wonders on display. I simply wish that this could all be transported to the basic public better. We need an infusion of capital to market the sport in a way that it deserves and make a world tour that encompasses more continents in top locations.
MP: Thanks for taking the time to do this- I’m looking forward to seeing you whoop some tail on the new sails. Any words of wisdom to leave us with?
FM: Never underestimate your opponents.
Photo Credit: JC/PWA