Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Micah Buzianis Interview

Hi Micah,
Thanks for taking time out to answer some questions.

What are your aspirations for 2009 (sailing & life)?
World title all the way, I was feeling very in tune and lined up for a good run this year but now with my broken foot I am not sure how soon I will be back. I was supposed to be in Austria right now for the first race of the season but I am not back on the water yet, hopefully this week and then I will be ready for Korea. In life I just want to be the best father and person I can be! I would of course love to win the lottery but since Hawaii doesn't have one I don't think that is going to be in the cards.

Do your family ever come with you on tour?
They have come with me a few times but now the kids are old enough to need their own airline tickets and with the price of flights now I can't really afford them to come all over with me. I really wish I could because it would be great to have them along, there seems to be a lot of down time on the road and it would be nice to spend it with them.

What is your most used gear combo(sail, board & fin) on maui?
I would say for racing my Neil Pryde 7.0 RSRacing EvoII, JP GenV 60 Slalom board and a 36cm JP production fin(yes production fin these fins rock and I do use them to race on!) For waves it is my JP Real World Wave 82, Neil Pryde Alpha 5.4 and a Maui Ultra Wave fin.

What is your most used gear combo on tour?
This is a hard one since we see so many different types of conditions, I get a lot of time on all my gear. I would say from 7.8 and up is the most used stuff.

What boards and sails will you be registering for the 2009 racing season?
Well since I am not going to Austria I have a little more time to keep this a secret.......Not really I have pretty much known for a while what I was going to register, JP GenV 60, 68 and 82, and Neil Pryde RSRacingEvoII 5.5, 6.2, 7.0, 7.8, 8.6, 9.5.

I know a large percentage of your time is spent on R & D, on what component would you spend the most time conducting on-the-water testing? It is pretty close to equal on all components, but since I live in Maui and Neil Pryde R & D is focused here I would say it is on the rig, sail and mast first then booms, battens, bases all that stuff. This is one thing I really like about Neil Pryde they spend a lot of time on R & D and not just the development of the sail designs but the progression of all the components as well as making sure the durability is there as well.

Are the JP slalom boards optimised for the RSR/RSS sails or are there some compromises made to make them work equally as well with other brands? Do you try to test other sails with the boards?
I haven't done any testing on the boards with different sails. I am focused on making the fastest and easiest to ride boards for all, I know there will be some differences when they are used with other boards but I think they are overall very easy to sail and get used to. They will first and foremost work best on the JP for sure but with small tweaks in fins and different mast and footstrap positions any one will be happy with them.

Some of the more common terms used to describe fin and board performance are slippery, directional, balanced etc., are there other terms you commonly use to describe performance when talking with Werner?
No regular ones that I can think of, slippery is for sure the most used as we are always looking for more speed.

How developed are your senses after having so much testing experience - can you tell when a board has 1mm more vee or a 5cm longer planing flat?
I think I have pretty good senses on how a board or sail should feel, whether or not I could tell this small of a difference I am not sure. If it were faster or slower I am sure I could tell this quite quickly but I am not sure I could always tell what the change was.

I always wonder how the way a board performs is communicated, do you use a benchmark, say last years board and say how the board you are testing differs in speed, acceleration & control or is it more of a case of you like the overall feel of a board better than another?
For racing it is always side by side testing, if we are trying to make a new generation of slalom boards then we will start testing against the current production boards or if there is another brand out there that is going really well we will get this board and do some testing against this as well. But we will always go against what we have and know currently.

Do you use GPS for testing, I remember the Slalom IV were quoted as being 2 knots faster overall than the Slalom III?
I do use a GPS while testing race gear. It is more for just a reference than to give any definitive answers.

Have you ever been interested in entering any speed comps or are you too busy with your current schedule of racing, R&D and family commitments?
I would like to do some speed but I am so focused on all of the above that I don't have the time or resources to do it properly, I would only do it to win and if I can't prepare properly then I would rather put that energy into my priorities.

Have you done any R&D on the JP speed boards that are in the pipeline or is that Antoine's department?
This is all AA's department, I got to see the boards at the photo shoot here on Maui last month but since I was on the couch the whole time I didn't get a chance to try them. They looked very good though, I am sure there are going to be some fast times on these, they are developed by the fastest windsurfer on the planet.

I noticed you do not have a fin manufacturer on your sponsor list, what are you using at the moment or is that top secret?
I am using whatever is going the fastest, I have some of everything right now.

Thanks again for your time Micah and best of luck with your recovery and the 09 season!


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