In the 60knot winds of Pozo one Brit stood out, on the final day of competition, flying through heat after heat in the double elimination to finish a highly credible fourth place, especially with a broken toe. We are of course talking about the competition master Robby Swift, who always turns it on when he needs to.
Boards caught up with Robby in Tenerife, chatting about Pozo, training, equipment, looking forward to the next competition, and of course the injury!
Boards: First of all massive congratulations for a great result in Gran Canaria, did you have any aims/expectations of where you thought you could finish?
RS: I was hoping for top three and I thought that was a realistic expectation. Anything can happen in the contest but I felt like I was sailing well enough to come top five, and if you can come top five you can come top three! I was a bit gutted to sail worse in the heat against Dario than I had been sailing in the previous heats but sometimes you just don’t get the waves. I was happy with fourth and pleased that the effort and money I put in to go there a month early and train paid off.
Boards: You were out in Pozo for a while before the event, how long were you out for and what did you have to change most about your sailing for the conditions?
RS: I arrived there on the 4th June so had a month to get ready. I didn’t have to change much. I came fifth there the year before and sixt last year. This year I had to get over my foot operation and didn’t start sailing again till March but I went to Chile twice (March and May) and had plenty of port tack training there, I had new boards and sails this year, which helped a lot.
One special thing that I did this year was to order the 3.4! In the month I was there before the comp I had 3.7 as my smallest sail and there were five days when it was too windy to use that. I emailed Robert Stroj, the NeilPryde designer to see if he could make me one in time and he did so that was a big advantage. I think we will put that sail into production next year too, as currently we only make a 3.2 and for my size that is a little small.
Boards: You lost to Brawzinho in the first round, then faced him again in the double. Did you think you could beat him second time around?
RS: Yes, I thought I could. I knew it would be hard as his waveriding is amazing there. He is so good at the freestyle tricks. I knew I could jump as well as him and so I needed to get some solid waves. I did a good 360 and forward of the lip combination and another wave with a forward off the lip and a taka. He was unlucky to fall on a lot of waves in that heat, but he went on 3.7 while I was on 3.4 and the wind was extremely strong so that probably helped me in the end.
Boards: Did you have a specific plan for each heat, i.e. an order of jumps to do?
RS: Yes, I wanted to do a double and a push loop forward in every heat! That only worked out in two heats but I did a good double in every heat and a push table top and a back loop so that was solid. I also wanted to do two waves with at least a forward off the lip and a taka on them. I did that in every heat except he one against Dario where I simply couldn’t find the waves and that is why I lost.
Boards: What equipment were you using most of the time?
RS: 3.4 2013 Combat prototype and 75L JP Single Thruster prototype for 2014. That is pretty much the exact board that will go into production so it definitely works!
I had a Maui Ultra Fins X-Thruster set up with a 16.5cm fin in the back and 11.5cm fins in the sides.
Boards: And finally how is your toe? Do you think you’ll be fit for Tenerife?
RS: Toe is pretty sore still. I can walk now which is an improvement on the last couple of days but will be very hard to sail. I will compete though for sure and hope that I can make the podium here!
Find out more about Robby Swift on Boards here.
Robby is entered into the Red Bull Storm Chase and definitely deserves your vote! Head to http://www.redbullstormchase.com/#voting where you have ten votes to send through who you would like to the final 10.