The new Starboard Foil 177


Winner of the PWA opening Foil event in Yokosuka, Japan.

The 2019 Starboard Foil 177 is a racing machine built to win. Thin and shaped with an ultra-wide tail, the 177 climbs upwind and hold itself steady in the most difficult conditions. The ultra-wide nose generates massive lift to give it the earliest take-off, helps it find the deepest downwind angle and allows racers to tack and take-off as fast as possible. Go for maximum VMG or bear off to gather speed: the 177 is designed to put the odds on your side and give racers all the options.


Starboard 177 - Poole Harbour Watersports



How did you prepare for the event?
I had a great winter training with 2 months in St Barth where I had the chance to sail a lot as we had great sailing conditions. After that, I went to Lanzarote for 2 weeks of training on the start line strategy and racing. Finally, I was in France to finish and find the right tuning of my gear. I had the 1st event of the French Championship who allowed me to see if everything was ok! 

What do you think made you win? Was it tactics, better speed/tuning or anything else? 
We did only one race so you couldn’t do any mistake. During this race, I did a bad start but my speed allowed me to arrive second at the 1st mark. Lena, who was first, hesitated between the two marks and so I took the advantage at this moment of the race. I had a great speed so from there, I controlled my opponents. 

Did you do some adjustments compared to last year? 
I had a similar preparation last year. I didn’t change much. I am just trying to do my best at each race!

Which gear were you using?
For this race, I used my Starboard iSonic 117 and S2 Maui Venom 7.7. 

How do you train? Just sailing or do you follow a program on and off the water?
During the winter I follow an intense physical gym training and try to sail as much as possible. When competition approaches, my session on the water becomes shorter and the gym sessions less intense. I am more concentrated on tuning, finding the right mast, the right fin for each combination of sailing. During the season, it's the same. If I see something wrong I try to change it and find a better solution and I do a session with a goal (for example two hours in the water and I do only jibes during this time). 

What do you feel about the next event, South Korea that will start in a few days? 
We can already see the forecast now and the beginning of the event could be windy with a North East wind (not the usual thermal wind). I like this orientation because it creates choppy and wavy conditions if the wind is enough strong. But we know this orientation can bring some waste so I cross my fingers for clean water and strong wind. I will be focused from the first race until the end! 

And what’s your main goal for the year?
My main goal is to win the World Champion Slalom title 2018. Last year I have been pretty close so I hope this year I will be able to do it! 


Hi Ian, You are playing an important role here at Starboard, can you introduce yourself for people who don’t know you yet?
Hi, thanks and sure, great to be here. Windsurfing since 1981 all over the place but mostly around Australia which is always home. I was a reluctant starter to the sport, my friends were all doing it and chased me to join them, I had avoided many invites but one day I finally couldn’t escape and, well, here we are all these years later still as addicted, enthusiastic and excited about windsurfing and life. Couldn’t escape. And, well, after that afternoon I haven't been able to escape yet. My involvement with Starboard starts in 1999, my first board was the classic Carve 99. Since 2000, I have been involved with the Starboard group worldwide in many roles from product testing and development, marketing and sales. These days my role is President of Starboard World Limited, which many people will recognize as the parent company behind Starboard brands, as well as Severne and Airush.

How did you live the Defi Wind behind the scene?
Defi was a sensational event this year. After a couple of years without wind, this year went right off in a very big way on Days 1 and 4, allowing some insane racing but also allowing a great couple of festival days in between. For those who haven’t experienced Defi, the significance and scale of the other non-racing activities might 
be a bit unclear, but when someone described Defi as the “Woodstock ” of windsurfing they were right on the money. Defi is absolutely a challenge. However, it’s a whole lot more. It’s the essence of the fun that makes our sport so exciting and inspiring to all who know it. Days 2 and 3 we ran great demos and product interaction with loads of enthusiasts on our Starboard and Severne booths located in the heart of a massive beach festival or party that seems to go just about non stop for 24 hours a day over the 4-day event. We had great assistance from many teams, guests and in particular from our distribution partner Jorcani who cover France and Spain. Bjorn Dunkerbeck stopped by often as part of the GPS Speed Challenge and it was great to see him in good recovery after his hip replacement. MotoGP star Danni Pedrosa arrived on Day 4 and even discussed sailing Defi next year. Great to see and meet so many of the international team riders and the massive crowd of enthusiasts who all make the event so unique and special. Massive credit to the event organisers headed by Philippe Bru who is an absolute powerhouse in bringing together such incredible resources to create an event that really has to be seen to be understood.

You also did the race, how did you feel during your run with all these windsurfers around?
With 1200 racers taking part this year in winds 30 to 40 knots on most races, the on-water racing is really something else. You think you could understand it but the reality is even wilder once it’s race time. Frenzy... Once the race leaders make their turn around and start slicing back through the main pack against an endless line of other riders, things get extremely busy, especially in the wicked cross chop of Gruissan Plague. Being blasted by a freezing cold Tramontana wind only adds to the challenge. Staying alive and out of trouble you definitely need to have your wits about you every moment you are out there, and even getting through the wall of gear on the beach and out onto the water is a potential game changer if you snag your sail on the many obstacles along the way. On a very positive note, the safety and race management is very extensive, with safety buoys all along the outside of the 10km course area and over 50 rescue crafts on the course at all times during racing. While it’s impossible to totally safeguard an event of that magnitude, especially in the wildest of wind conditions, there is also a very real emphasis on safety and conduct.

The Defi Wind is going to expand in Japan next year, that’s a great news, can you give us your thought about it?
This was the biggest news of the event in 2018, and a special VIP ceremony announced the introduction of a great new chapter in Defi history to take place in Japan at the end of February 2019. In Gruissan there was a real entourage of guests from Japan lead by Mr. Hirota to help introduce and showcase Defi Japan. Conditions look very promising for good consistent winds, slightly less radical than Defy France, which I think is a positive for Japan, especially in the first year. The Japanese guys really seem to be getting behind their event with some great resources. Race management will be under the control of Philippe Bru and the main Defi France crew, ensuring all the experience and knowledge can be integrated into Defi Japan guaranteeing a flying start to this new regional experience. With solid support of many Japanese sponsors, Defi Japan looks all set to be a great event, offering many more windsurfers from the Asian regions to gather under a single event and share in something really special with the worldwide participants who have already committed their support and involvement. Defi Japan. DEFINITELY, one not to be missed.



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