At the end of 2021 Manon Pianazza won the World Sailing Youth World Championships on the Techno 293 PLUS. Another magnificent victory to add to her already impressive list of competition honours as the 2022 season gets underway, we thought we should find out a bit more about this World Champion who manages to switch effortlessly from windsurf to foil boarding, both at top level.
Give us a quick thumbnail of yourself
I’m 18 years old and I’ve been windsurfing for a very long time (laughs)!
I’ve been runner up twice at the Techno 293 World Championships, runner up at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, and I’m the IQ World Foil Board Youth Champion 2021.
How do you manage the switch from foil boarding to Techno 293 OD and do both at such a high level ?
Although I switched to foil board racing two years ago, I know the Techno board incredibly well, I’ve been riding it ever since a started racing. The board choice for the last World Sailing World Championships was made a couple of months in advance, so I just needed a few training sessions on the water around Brest to get all my markers back and re-discover the pleasure of sailing this board.
What is it you like about a classic windsurf board like the Techno ?
I’ve always loved the Techno. I like the competitions, the tactics, the constant search for optimum glide. You need to have really fine-tuned foot pressure, especially in light winds, to get maximum speed. I like the whole regatta scenario, looking for a good start to get away in the lead, how to manage all the difficult situations like the start and getting round the marks. The Techno teaches you to fully understand what you’ve got under your feet. In foil racing there’s not so much tactical element. Get a good start and go as fast as possible, that’s it. There are some similarities, but the technique is obviously completely different.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into top level competition ?
I think you should avoid going straight to foil boarding. Starting with Techno 293 racing teaches you to understand what’s under your feet. The Techno teaches you about delicate foot pressure adjustments, to understand glide and race tactics, which are all much less the case on a foil board.
What have you enjoyed about your years of Techno racing ?
Learning how to manage competition situations, how to read the water surface, and what it’s like to come up against other top level riders. I’ve learned an incredible amount about positioning myself in relation to my rivals and how to get through all the tricky race situations. At a Techno World Championships you can find yourself on the start line with over a 100 other riders. You learn how to «read » the other competitors, how to get away from the bunch to find clean wind, to keep your concentration, and to always be looking for optimum glide. It’s a great education.
What are your goals for 2022 onwards ?
To be selected for the French Senior team next year.
Ciao for now Manon, wishing you good winds for the coming season !
«Starting with Techno 293 racing teaches you to understand what’s under your feet. You should avoid going straight to foil boarding»