Taty Frans won his first Slalom elimination ever on Fuerteventura 2015 and he was close to finish the event on the podium. The 31 year-old windsurfer from Bonaire has been competing on the international Slalom tour for almost 10 years and this victory was definitely one of his Slalom career highlights. We caught up with Taty to speak about this victory.


The first moments back on the beach after winning an elimination at Sotavento (Pic: Carter/PWA)

The first moments back on the beach after winning an elimination at Sotavento (Pic: Carter/PWA)


Continentseven: At the 2015 PWA Fuerteventura Worldcup you won your first slalom winners final ever. How did this feel?
Taty Frans: It felt amazing, really amazing. I always wanted it so badly to win a slalom final, and I guess because I wanted it so badly, I pushed myself to the limit where it could be possible but I knew it wouldn’t be easy. So when it happened I couldn’t believe it, I was leading from the start till the finish by pretty much a good lead. Truly I still watch that video from that final over and over again, thanks to you guys for filming it. And to win it in a place like Fuerteventura is even more of a great feeling. I am still nervous in every race, but the confidence is building.


Continentseven: Did many colleagues, friends and sponsors congratulate?
Taty Frans: I have never received so many positive feedback in one day after that race and my whole performance during the week. From the whole windsurf world good friends, fans and sponsors.. feels good to receive positive feedback and props. Thank you everybody  for the motivational words! I really appreciate it.


Continentseven: What was the key to win this elimination? You had two second places in the pocket already, losing once by 25 cm against Micah Buzianis at the finish line?
Taty Frans: The key to win, well confidence, I felt strong during the whole week. I was more thinking of the starting line to get good starts and to sail strong. I still think I could have won the race that I lost by 25cm to Micah, if only I didn’t get that spinout. But hey.. already in that race I was like wow I can or I am getting closer to my goal in slalom.

This fight Taty lost by 25 cm against Micah Buzianis (Pic: Carter/PWA)

This fight Taty lost by 25 cm against Micah Buzianis (Pic: Carter/PWA)


Continentseven:  Does it feel event better to win an elimination at a high wind spot? 
Taty Frans: I felt more than great, because Fuerteventura is the most challenging slalom conditions on the PWA slalom tour and knowing that the bigger guys like Antoine, Ben and Finian are favorites because of the high wind, it’s amazing how I could have been a contender and be challenging for a top spot. I truly respect Pierre Mortefon, Matteo Iachino and Ross Williams as well for their super slalom racing abilities. But I am getting there surely. I would say everyone is catching up to the bigger more experienced riders. So from this moment forward anyone is able to win. BUT…. I still have big respect for Antoine Albeau. He is the guy that can stay cool under pressure and has the mentality of a winner.


Continentseven: You had less gear on the start compared to all other top finishers? Is that right?
Taty Frans: Yes, hahaha, I really did.. but I know my gear and I know how far I can push and handle it. What I brought to Fuerteventura was:
Starboard Isonic: 107 and 87, Gaastra Vapor sail: 5.6 6.4 7.1 That was it. 


Continentseven: Missing the podium by less than 2 points is close.
Taty Frans: Can you believe that…. just by 2 points. At the end of the event it did hurt, to know I could have been on that podium, just if I didn’t start over early in race 8. I thought about it for two days and after and till today I still think about it. Maybe I didn’t believe that I was ready to be on that podium or winning the final probably got me by surprise that I got too relaxed that I achieved that, but those 2 point that I lost, will give me more motivation to believe that I am good enough to get a podium finish soon. 

Taty follows the leader Antoine Albeau (Pic: Carter/PWA)

Taty follows the leader Antoine Albeau and Basti Kördel (Pic: Carter/PWA)


Continentseven: You get better on starts, jibes, acceleration, ground speed and tactics year by year. On what will you working during the next months? 
Taty Frans: I would say, to get more confidence and be more consistent and most of it I believe I would want to sail strong in every heat. And the future is near where we will see new  faces dominating in the slalom. 


Continentseven: Most of the top riders train with other riders. You most of the time train alone. Is that also a key to your success?
Taty Frans: Yes, I do train alone, especially after Costa Brava where I finished 50th place, which hurt a lot. So, I went back home to Bonaire and trained Slalom literally every single day morning and afternoon 95% of the times alone. Maybe I can get better to train with other riders like others do, but I feel good and lucky to be able to be training on Bonaire with good wind conditions and how I train physical with my coach, he tought me well to just focus on me and make the best out of it.


Continentseven: You are top in two disciplines, slalom and freestyle. How do you manage this? 
Taty Frans: It’s funny how I can still be a contender in freestyle but I start to liking slalom even more now, but my mind will always stay on that freestyle board. Maybe if I stop doing freestyle events I could get better in Slalom then I have more time to develop more skills in Slalom, but in my mind the freestyle helps me also in Slalom. I love windsurfing and I have energy enough to maintain both discipline for another 2 years then I go full into slalom racing events only. Training on the water it will always depends on the wind conditions but my weeks/days are planned and I mostly do 4 days slalom and 3 days freestyle and 3 days fitness so I have the power to keep it steady and in control. It’s not easy but hey nothing you want badly comes easy right..?

Taty Frans is currently ranked 6th  in the Freestyle world ranking (Pic: Carter/PWA)

Taty Frans is currently ranked 6th in the Freestyle world ranking (Pic: Carter/PWA)


Continentseven: Will we see a Taty Frans in wave comps in the future again?
Taty Frans: I would like that, maybe events like Pozo or Tenerife, I will try to do the trials in Pozo next year. You never know but the level in wave is really top notch and watching the live stream during the PWA wave events shows how much I need to do to get a good decent result. I like Jaeger Stone’s and Victor Fernandez’ wave riding style and Philip’s and Ricardo’s jumping a lot. 


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