Albert Pijoan decided to invest all his energy and passion into windsurfing. He left his homeland Catalunya, rent a house directly at Pozo and tought clients from all over the world in cooperation with the LPWS shop during periods without any competitions. After the PWA World Cup in Tenerife this year, he arranged a video shooting with local filmer Bartek Jankowski, who edited a very nice clip about the windsurfer from Barcelona. We met Albert and had a talk about his current situation. The interview shows the thoughts of a rider, who has not arrived on top yet and who has to think how to finance the participation in the World tour.
Read the interview and watch the clip of Albert “Pijo” Pijoan Monne! If you missed the first interview about the Captain Pijoan and his Pozo project read it here
(e.n. Albert stopped to compete and started to work in Bangkok, Thailand for Starboard and put his Pozo project on stand-by)
Albert Pijoan spent one weekend in Tenerife
INTERVIEW WITH ALBERT PIJOAN
C7: How was the season so far for you, your project in Pozo, the events?
Albert Pijoan: The season has been quite good so far! Despite the very windless summer all over, we sailed almost every day in Pozo Izquierdo. That is really important, not just for training but also for teaching windsurfing. The Training House has been full of windsurfers all summer long, from pro-riders to passionate riders who travel with the commitment of enjoying the sport. I’m so happy about staying in the Canaries! About the PWA events… that there was no competition in Pozo for the first time in 25 years was quite unfortunate but that’s something that can happen when you play with nature. On the other hand Tenerife was really succesfull, although I didn’t show my best windsurf during the heats.I was not satisfied with my performance in the heats.
C7: You qualified through the trials at Klitmoller, congrats!
Albert Pijoan: YEEEEESSSS! I felt pretty happy about it! Once you are in the trials, it is the first step you have to take to enter the competition. I am one of the riders who think it is a positive innovation. PWA competitions must guarantee a high level of performance of its participants and that’s the reason. I have been training very hard during the last three years, and gaining my place in the tour is a good feedback I got. The level has been increasing really much during the last years and sometimes your training is not represented in the competitions.
C7: When did you produce the clip and who was working with you?
Albert Pijoan: This video was filmed and edited by Bartek Jankowski, a really creative Polish guy established in El Médano, Tenerife. He basically spends the whole year working on this kind of projects. My idea was to film on another Canary Island and it was easy to plan it and realize it with him. Just a week after the PWA event I went back to Tenerife. The conditions were pretty light but still great fun!
C7: You were using 2014 gear already in the clip?
Albert Pijoan: At that moment yes. There was one of the Severne guys on Tenerife, who offered me to test some of his sails. I usually use the Blade, which is a 5 batten sail. There I had the chance to try out the new 4 battens, the Swat and the S1. In the video you can see the new 4.7m Swat, which works amazing in light winds! And even when I was powered up it kept the control easily; looks like Severne improved this model a lot again!
C7: Some people say Cabezo is one of the best spots for wavesailing on the Canaries? Do you agree?
Albert Pijoan: I like it a lot, especially when there is proper wind from the NE. It can be almost as strong as in Pozo Izquierdo, and the waves are much easier to ride. In El Medano there are three places where depending on your level or on what you are looking for you can enjoy different conditions. An interesting point is, that it is really easy to travel from one island to the other by ferry or by plane and change the spots. In the end you can squeeze out the conditions all over the islands just by checking the forecast.
C7: Compared with Pozo, which spot do you prefer?
Albert Pijoan: To be honest Pozo is much more regular concerning the wind. Sometimes people complain about the waves, but I train on other points then. Especially now as I got a freestyle board with an awesome set Maui Ultra Fin, I can push stronger on certain moves and gain a lot of sailing control. What is true is the fact that El Medano is a bigger place and after sailing the town keeps on going which is something that I miss in Pozo sometimes. At the moment I would still choose Pozo for training, basically because there is more wind, even during the winter months.
C7: The PWA limited the fleet from 48 to 32 men. Are you optimistic to be within this 32 fleet for the next years?
Albert Pijoan: I have to say that my choice of following the tour is basically to learn, to keep myself improving from the best windsurfers. This reduction on people basically is meant to assure a high level in PWA competitions. I still have a lot to learn so I’m gonna keep following the most of the events I can afford. But in my situation there are some limitations especially on the travel expenses, which can be pretty high.
C7: Will you compete at all other events on tour in 2013 (Sylt,Chile, Maui)?
Albert Pijoan: At the beginning of the year I made my calculations about what I can afford or not. My budged is really tight. As Cape Town was the last destination of the initial tour plan, I discarded Chile to focus on South Africa which I know better as I have been there twice last year. Now Cape Town will not happen. I will check after Sylt if I go to Chile or not. It all depends on the results. It is definitely a quite heavy investment for competing in an unknown spot which I could also use for something more effective.
C7: Has the level on tour increased because of the limited fleet and is it getting harder for new sailors to compete?
Albert Pijoan: The level is increasing year by year and this is the reason why it is getting harder to be part in the top fleet. The young talents are part of this increase and I always keep an eye on them. Alessio Stillrich, Moritz Mauch and Pablo Ramirez are one of the youngest sailors in Pozo and also on the tour and they are a great inspiration on the water.
C7: You have new plans for the winter! Can you tell us a bit already?
Albert Pijoan: Yes, I have several plans coming soon. Straight after Sylt I will travel to England participating in the 2013 British wave tour for the first time! First up to the north to Tiree, a classic contest, and then back down to the south to Cornwall. I am really looking forward to it and expect some good conditions!
Then I will return to Pozo Izquierdo to work in the LPWS shop giving the lessons. I have already bookings for the end of October and November. It looks like a quite intense time between the shop and the Training House. Then it seems that there is a new destination to travel to coming up, but it is not confirmed yet. Basically I am looking for a new input, something to keep myself sailing but at the same time I want to gain new experiences and improve my work. I’m looking for new inspirations!