3 questions to Patrik Diethelm


One of the major announcements at the end of the season is that the Starboard/Severne Windsurfing brands will no longer be the only ones offering an Olympic quiver. Patrik Diethelm and his eponymous brand, Patrik, are entering the fray (see our article of 14 October 2023). Interview with Patrik Diethelm, who is determined to play his part in the iQFOil class.


Windsurfjournal.com: Why did you decide to embark on this Olympic facilities project?
Patrik Diethelm: I grew up with the modern windsurfing "Funboard" and as an adrenaline junky I loved the waves and speed. For decades, I hated the fact that the mainstream didn’t know what "Funboard" is and everyone always compared it with the daggerboard Olympic class. The multi-manufacturing/branding IQ-class is the first step into the direction the mainstream will finally understand how exiting our sport is and sure I want to support this as much as I can.


WJ: What was the most complicated part of the World Sailing homologation process?
PD: Worldsailing is a massive organisation built on a solid foundation, not possible to move things so quickly as many wishes. But on the other hand there are associations running under the same roof moving and changing things all the time, not making it easy for us either. There is a lot going on behind politics and even many believe to know better, not many can or even want to be in the position to do it better and be the sponge for those who don’t like the decision. Thanks to everyone behind the iQ-Class the sport has finally taken the direction I was waiting for 30 years, so to wait 3 years to become an approved member is relative!


WJ: More generally, how do you feel about the arrival of foiling in the sport over the last few years and the principle of mixed races (foil/fin) offered by the PWA World Tour?
PD: I grew up in Switzerland where windsurf racing became a big part of my competitive spirit and when I first visited Australia I fell in love with waves which is my soul sport bringing me pure joy and appreciation. With my 52.33 knots over 500m I definitely prefer the fin for speed and I dream to go back to Luderitz and even high wind Slalom sailing with sails smaller than 6.5 in Fuerte and Gran Canaria. In course racing and slalom, I never liked the heavy feeling of the big gear and standing still after the jibe. Foiling is trully the dynamic step forward, and watching the PWA races gives me goose bumps! For all soul related activities where you can just forget about all the trouble and purely enjoy and appreciate being in this world, there is nothing else better than a “sick" wave session!


Source: Patrik Diethelm
Photos: Patrik

tags: Patrik Diethelm Patrik iQFOil

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