K303 On Gaastra

Phil Horrocks sets sail with a new sponsor for 2010.

Top UK wave sailor and PWA competitor, Phil Horrocks (JP, Gaastra), has struck a deal with Gaastra for the forthcoming competition season. From now on he will be using the Manic to power him through his heats.

Matt Pritchard caught up with Horrocks for this interview:

MP: Phil, welcome to the team. Tell us a little about what got you here

PH: “In the search for a sail sponsor for 2010 i based my choice largely on what equipment i wanted to ride. The first person i asked was you, the Team Manager at Gaastra sails, it seemed natural for me to head in that direction. I’d ridden sails from every brand in the autumn whilst trying to decide what i wanted to ride and it was clear that Gaastra was the number one for me. The Manic immediately felt right, it’s light crisp feel and instant delivery of power was exactly what i was looking for! It’s a brand with history that’s on the resurgence and is making seriously good sails again. Add to that I’d met you a few times before and think you are a genuinely enthusiastic windsurfer who’s passionate about windsurfing. Plus from years of winning at contests understands and knows what’s required for the Pro Rider to do his job properly too.”

MP: Yeah, I've been there and done it all. And, i'm still out there as much as possible. What is it that keeps you addicted to the sport? Do you think it is the challenge and the chase or what?

PH: Windsurfing’s pretty unique, especially in the places I sail at, every time you go it’s different, there’s always a challenge out there. More and more it’s become about the experiences you have, take 3 days ago for example, massive swells hit Cape Town, almost all the beaches were getting out of control!! you can wait years for a day like that and when it comes, it’s just incredible...

MP: We know you have the goods to deliver some great results. What have been your biggest challenges in your career so far? 

PH: Belief, at the beginning I was in awe of everyone I was competing against really, I’m not like one of the guys who lives in Hawaii, so the only time I ever saw the other pro’s on the world tour was when i actually competed against them! It wasn’t until I’d been doing it a few years and actually beat some good guys along the way that I actually started to believe I had a good chance against anyone? I’ve now learned every dog has his day, and if I train hard then mine is on its way!

MP: Tell us a little about the UK contest scene, what is that like, how many competitors and who are you biggest challengers? 

PH: The UK scene’s been growing in recent years and the level has gone really high, there’s some really good youngsters but at the same time it’s the senior pro’s like myself, John Skye (RRD boards), Ben Proffitt (Quatro, Simmer) who are usually battling it out towards the latter stages, it gets pretty competitive on the water but off it we are all good mates.

MP: You've invented some of your own moves that people are copying now, tell us about a couple of them. 

PH: We had a PWA world cup event in Brazil a couple of years ago now, the contest was over, we had wind all week and everyone was free sailing. We’d been talking about new moves over dinner the previous night and I came up with a move, I was sat with Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, North, MFC) and Klaas Voget (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC), I was talking them through it and they were laughing!! So I said fine! Tomorrow, I’ll do it... It’s a backloop Air chachoo / pushloop duck gybe.. when you think about it it’s like whaaaat?? And even when I saw the shots afterwards I was like whaaaaaaaaaat??? I think it’s time to bring it back, next time the right conditions are there I’ll give it a go I think!

MP: Are you working on anything new?

PH: I had a few ideas but I’m not sure I can pull them just yet? I’ve been working on the goita with a duck of the sail and land clew first but I think landing it’s going to be a bit tricky!!! After that there’s the shaka off the lip, that could work but I think I need to practice it on starboard tack as my port tack shaka’s got the best control.. errrr..... I can do it in my head??

MP: Well I will be keeping my eyes open to see what you come up with next... 

PH: Or the hospital wards!

MP: Thanks for your time- good luck out there man! I will be cheering for you!

PH: ciao for now.

We look forward to seeing that backloop/Air chachoo/pushloop/duck gybe in competition Phil! Have you got a name for it...