Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (ARG-3) had some great highlights in the 2012 season. He almost won his first PWA Slalom of the season in Reggio di Calabria, Italy. In August he became IFCA Slalom World Champion on the island of Paros. Despite this excellent results the former Olympic windsurfer decided to go for a change and left his board and sail sponsors Fanatic and NorthSails. Read more about Gonzalo Costa Hoevel’s decision.


C7: After two years on Fanatic/NorthSails and a quite successful 2012 season with an IFCA Slalom worldtitle you decided to go new ways in 2013. Why?

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel: It is a big step and big decision in my windsurfing career. I had a lot of good results but mainly in Formula. I managed to do a couple of podiums on the PWA, but I still have a feeling that I can do a lot better. All my life I tried my hardest and trained a lot to do good but I had a feeling, that something was missing.

So, I did a lot of rethinking and I decided that I wanted to have the best gear out there for the 2013 season. I tried a lot of stuff and realized that Starboard was the way to go.


Gonzalo in action testing his new boards on Maui (Pic: Remi Vila).


C7: You will be in a worldclass team at Starboard and competing with Björn Dunkerbeck, Ben van der Steen, Cyril Moussilmani, Steve Allen, Alberto Menegatti, Jimmy Diaz, Antoine Questel and Taty Frans. All of them were placed in the top 20 in 2012. You were ranked 25th. Motivates this a lot or makes that even more pressure?

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel: This motivates me a lot!!!! They are all very good sailors, I have a lot of respect for all of them and being part of the same team honors me. Watching them doing good, shows me that the equipment is working good and gives me more confidence for next year. 


C7: Do you know some of your new team colleagues better?

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel: Yes, I know all of them for many years and have a great relation with all. With Benny (Ben van der Steen) I tested many times in the past and always had a great relation in and out of the water with him. We travelled around a lot together and we are very good friends. With Alberto Menegatti and Steve Allen we shared a lot of years on the Formula Windsurfing Tour and had great times. Jimmy Diaz (ISV-11) was probably the guy, that motivated me the most at my start on the Formula tour. We were both on NeilPryde and he made it possible for me to go to Maui for the first time to help him testing. 

Gonzalo tests small 2014 Slalom boards with Starboard R&D Manager Remi Vila on Maui.


C7: Wouldn’t it have been easier and smarter to stay in a team with less strong riders and team opponents?

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel: I didn’t think much on the team, when I made my decision. It was mainly a performance wise call. I tried the boards, loved them straight away and knew I had to be on them for the ’13 season. 


C7: Why and when did you decide to leave your current partners and change to Starboard?

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel: I was lucky to try the boards in Alacati, Turkey this year, when Remi Vila, the R&D chief of Starboard, was there. I saw there how fast and easy everything was with the iSonics. I was thinking a lot at that time. But I made my final decision, when I tested the boards again on Maui in November, where I met Remi and Cyril. Again the boards felt amazing. At that time I knew I had to be on them for next year.


C7: Starboard produces Formula boards as well. Was that a reason for your decision, too?

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel: I certainly want to do again Formula events. So this was very important, too.


Gonzalo gets his gear ready for the next session on the water. He definitely knows a lot about tuning gear to the max.


C7: Is there enough time to get used to the new boards until the first event?

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel: Vietnam is around the corner already (editor’s not: Vietnam is not confirmed yet), but I think that the boards are a lot easier than what I had, so it will be easy to get used to them. 


C7: Which boardsizes will you register in 2013 or is it too early to announce that?

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel: From what I tried it seems to me that the iSonic 110 is the best board of the range and I want to be on that one most of the time. For lighter winds I liked the 127 and for stronger the 87.


Gonzalo in a tight turn with a lot of power on the rail (Pic: Remi Vila).


C7: How will you prepare for 2013?

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel: I am training now very hard at the gym to be fit and to gain some weight. I am moving to Tarifa next  year. I will be there from February onwards training with Benny and Ludo. 


C7: What´s your goal for 2013. You are at the age of 32. That´s a top age for Slalom racing.

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel: I feel good for next year, still young! And i want to do good. I would love to finish top 5 in the ranks but i know it will be hard as there a lot of good racers out there! I will do all PWA events I hope for a top 10 ranking overall for this first year. 


Benny and Ludo training at Tarifa with the 2013 Loft Racing sails . Gonzo will participate in the training soon. (Pic: Loft Sails).


C7: There are rumours that you will change your sail sponsor as well.

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel: Yes, that’s correct. I will leave NorthSails and will be using Loft Sails for next year. I wanted to have the best sails and I think that as Benny van der Steen and Antoine Questel (French Slalom Champion, 2nd at the PWA Slalom in South Korea 2012)  had shown the sails go very good with the boards. Being in Tarifa will let me work hard on the sails as the Development Team from Loft is there, too. 

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