Dan Kaseler left Gaastra as a saildesigner for the windsurfing department a few days ago. Peter Munzlinger, who was in charge of the sail development of the Point-7 sails until now, will follow Dan. Continentseven asked the Gaastra teamriders and the teammanager Matt Pritchard, what they think about the leaving of Dan Kaseler.

Mat Pritchard - Pics: Gaastra

Matt Pritchard (Former multiple worldchampion and currently Gaastra teammanager)
Well I´m pretty bummed out as I think Dan is quite an incredible designer and we had a great working relationship. Dan could take it when something didn´t work and not get offended when the sail wasn´t as good as it needed to be. He would  figure it out. All the 2011 sails are designed by Dan except for the new Vapor, which is being finalized now. It is disappointing for sure, that Dan left Gaastra. I will miss working with him. I wish him the best of luck in whatever he decides to do. Yeah, we started together in 2005 and won a world title! We accomplished a lot. I have a lot of respect for Dan and his talents.

We asked Matt, if the change from an US designer to an European one will have an impact (positive or negative) on selling Gaastra in the States.

“That is a tough one to know for sure. I think the most important thing is to get the sails working good and people that have known the great feeling of a Gaastra will know that it is going to have that same feeling.”

Arnon Dagan - Pic: PWA/John Carter

Arnon Dagan (Disciplines: Slalom & Formula)

First of all we all know Dan is a first line designer,  super talented and a very cool person as well. I think he brought Gaastra to new levels in all lines of sails. Dan has also been there to finish a new and fully functioning Gaastra factory.  Having this great factory Gaastra is now – better then ever – able to control and push everything the way they want in terms of speed, capacity, proto’s and top materials. This is a huge advantage!
I know Peter Munzlinger for a long time and I have watched him developing sails over the years. Peter is a very smart guy and also a true windsurfer, who go’s out on the water regularly! He is someone that every windsurfer can connect to and speak openly with. Very friendly and cool! Peter has been in the windsurfing industry for years. He has been waiting for his opportunity for a long time and now he got it.
You have to realize that someone like him, who has been designing and working non stop on windsurfing sails for years, knows what he is talking about!  He will now finally have the best support, a great team and the best materials a designer can lay his hands on, something he never had before.
But the most important thing for me as a team rider is that Peter is super motivated and thats the best thing ever! We now have all the knowledge that Dan left us, along side the input of a great team that are all good friends. All this together with Peter’s new sick outline, all the knowledge he has, super light and good materials, new amazing cambers. So I really think we will be super competitive in the coming year. I will be involved with the testing in Sardinia. The Gaastra management is giving us unlimited budget and support and this is a dream for us. So be ready for a sick Vapor sail in 2011 !!

Kevin Pritchard - Pic: PWA/John Carter

Kevin Pritchard (disciplines: Wave & Slalom)
I think, it is a good thing for Gaastra. Dan was one of the best sail designers I have worked with. He was so smart and could design everything, but he just had too much work on his plate. He was doing Gaastra, Vandal and making sailboat sails. It was just too much for one to do. No matter how much talent you have, there is only 24 hours in the day. Now Gaastra has Peter Munzlinger, who will be focused 100% on Gaastra Sails. So I think it is going to be good. Peter Munzlinger is on his way to China working on the designs, and after Cabo Verde I will be testing the sails out. Arnon and some other team riders will be testing, while Ross and I are in Cabo Verde. It is going to be interesting.

Davy Scheffers - Pic: PWA/John Carter

Davy Scheffers (Discipline: Freestyle)
All 2011 sails except the Vapors are mady by Dan, Peter just took over and is working on the Vapor and will starty in 2011 on the new sails!
Dan has worked always great. The sails worked perfectly and everybody know’s the Echo LE is still the best freestyle sail on the market. In 2011 they came with the new IQ. This sail is also still a freestyle killer, really light and works good for all the moves! A bit stronger and more allround makes the IQ the perfect sail for the production. Anyway, I dont know Peter Muzlinger, but I will always believe and stand behind the Gaastra team. I trust them. There are some plans to provide the Gaastra freestyle team a pure freestyle sail for 2012, Peter is working on some prototypes and we can’t wait to test them!!

Cedric Bordes - Pic: PWA/John Carter

Cedric Bordes (Discipline: Slalom, Formula, Speed)

I thinks it is a really good move for Gaastra! Peter lives in Sardegna. It´s reltively close to Marseille within 7 hours by boat and also close to the rest of Europe. It will be perfect for testing and improving the gear during all the year. He is fully motivated and worked already on some sails. Dan was really clever and good on files with programms on the computer, but it was not easy for testing, because he lived in Seattle, far away from the rest of the team and events all the year. This last year was not so easy so I know what I need from a sail and what I am looking for! Racing is a game and a lot of things need to be done and fix before the first start of the season in Viet nam, so we are fully working on it!

Sarah-Quita Offringa - Pic: PWA/John Carter

Sarah-Quita Offringa (Disciplines: Freestyle, Slalom)
Well, first of all I want to wish Dan Kaseler good luck. He’ll do good any way , because he is a talented sail designer with a creative mind. I don’t know Peter Munzlinger, but if Gaastra hired him as the new sail designer I’m sure he can live up to Gaastra’s high standard in sail designing. Let’s see what Gaastra has to offer the windsurfing world next year!

Phil Horrocks - Pic: PWA/John Carter

Phil Horrocks (Discipline: Wave)
Being the new boy on the Gaastra team this year I never really got to work with Dan or even meet him for that matter? All my feedback went through team boss Matt Pritchard.  I never had anything to complain about though as the sails are pretty fantastic already!
I hope now that Peter has come into the team he’ll be able to look around and choose who he works with, drawing off everyone’s input. I think the hard part for designers is to sort through all the messages and feedback that comes in.
Having done a lot with JP on the boards in the past I hear all kinds of feedback, from all different types of people and some of it is just whack! The skill in the development process is to take that feedback and actually turn it around into an answer and applying that to making a better product, something I’m sure Peter has the skills for. Gaastra has an established killer sail range for Peter to start from. I’m sure his own fresh ideas, fresh enthusiasm and a desire to make a better product will improve the product even further and I’d like to think I can help offer my input to make that development process work as smoothly as possible.
I like to think I can offer something different to the Maui based crew. I use the sails in all different conditions all year, from 3.7 to 5.7 onshore, choppy, mushy, nasty, northern Europe conditions to the epic side shore wave sailing conditions of South Africa and Maui.  I also think these are the conditions a lot of regular guys who buy the sails use them in and so it’s important to have that feedback, as well as how soft it feels in the bottom turn under a fifty feet high lip in Jaws of course.
At the end of the day, it’s almost the end of the year, anything could happen, most things probably will! But I’d like to work with Peter in the development on the new Gaastra sail ranges, we’ll just have to see how it all shakes down in the end of year budget slaying!

Tonky Frans - Pic: PWA/John Carter

Tonky Frans (Discipline: Freestyle)
Out of my view Dan has made the best sails all over the years and he is a really hard working guy. He is a very cool guy! I want to thank him very much to make me sails that I can sail so sick and that I can sail the Tonky style. The sails were definitely the best I´ve ever had in my life for freestyle, especially the Echo. I want to thank Dan very much for making me the best sails, with which I can do all my moves and with which I can sail the Tonky style.

Interviews © Continentseven.com 2010