The postponed 2020 Formula Foil Europeans was held on the Azores February 1-6 2021. Severne rider Sebastian Kördel took second place after 15 races completed. Severne caught up with Sebastian for a chat about his first event of the year, about the crazy conditions and his first event riding with Severne sails.
Q. Back on the racecourse, how does it feel?
A. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to showcase my sport in these uncertain times. A big thank you goes out to the organizers for hosting the event! It is a shame that not everybody was able to come but nonetheless we had a week of proper high wind racing. It was thrilling to go all out in those windy “downwinds” and push my limits in very demanding conditions!
Q. This was your first-ever event riding with Severne sails. How do you describe the experience?
A. It feels damn good! I thought I would need to get used to them a little bit on the racecourse but it felt super natural right from the beginning. The easy handling and lightness of the sails really helped me to cope with the harsh conditions and I could focus on racing. Especially the 8.0 HGO felt good when it got really windy! I never used the sail before this event and I could win the windiest race (gusting 40 knots) with it straight out of the box.
Q. You finished second behind Nicolas Goyard. Are you plotting your comeback move already?
A. Absolutely! I have a bit of a history with the new European champion and I’m sure there will be many exciting battles to come in the near future. I closed the gap to him a lot from the last time we met in formula foil and I know that we are developing the equipment in the right direction. If everything goes to plan there will be a world championship in the same place later this year and I’m eager to fight for that title! The path there is clear to me and I have amazing support from all sides. Just need to put everything together.
Q. Which sails did you use?
A. I was using the HGO 8 and 9 and a special proto 10m2 we’ve been working on over the last weeks.
Q. Conditions looked gnarly at times. How did you cope with those nuclear winds?
A. Well, sometimes you just have to hold on, close your eyes and hope for the best. Training in Tarifa where there is quite a stiff breeze from time to time also helps! Haha, but in all seriousness: course racing in nuclear conditions has a lot to do with guts and feeling. You need to go really extreme angles to release all of the pressure in your sail. However, if you overdo it you will explode. Keeping it smooth around the course is what you have to aim for. The guts you need for the moment you pass the top mark and start bearing off!!!
Q. What’s next?
A. Back to training in Tarifa. Then hopefully the tour will start and we can deliver a good show on the PWA Worldcup!
Read more about Sebastian here.
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