Christoph Hesina (Flysurfer Head of Marketing)
Talk us through some of the Flysurfer projects you have been working on.
With Flysurfer I have already done a lot of interesting projects in the past. Developing new things and giving our designers as much feedback as possible is always cool. Helping Benni Boelli create the VMG was I think the most difficult but interesting part in the last few years. Working with him is always inspiring. He has so many design ideas that bring the whole sport to new levels, especially in the foil kite segment. Also just being with the whole team is always a cool thing.
As one of the only guys that’s been in the kite racing game since the beginning, how do you keep motivated to keep performing year after year?
I think the last few years I suffered from a slight lack of motivation, but I always knew when the Olympic Games were coming closer I would find myself back on track. I could really feel a push again from last summer. But I also try to take time off to relax.
If you could choose one location for the rest of your life, would it be the mountains in Bavaria or the seaside in Spain?!
I think the mountains in Bavaria. There are just so many more possibilities for different sports and it will be always my home.
Flo, tell us about your past experiences with Peter Burling…
Haha, I don’t want to go too deep into it. But we had some issues after a sailing event in Weymouth. Let’s leave it at that…!
As well as sharp foils you’re pretty nifty on ice skates too. What is the Red Bull Crashed Ice all about?!
Yeah right now I must stop this big passion. But I almost grew up on ice skates and then a few years ago I took part in one of these downhill races on skates. Somehow, I loved that adrenalin kick and even made it to a few world cups like in Japan and Finland. Hopefully after the Olympics I will be back on the downhill courses.
Carla Herrera Oria
What is your training schedule and what keeps you motivated when training?
My training schedule varies a little depending on where I am and what time of year it is. At home my water training is a little less. It really depends on the weather system how often the lakes are working well. It can work seven times or just one time a week. But there I have a good routine with other sports and the gym. When I am away from home and by the sea, I try to do some body workouts in the morning and be on the water in the afternoon. The water training can look different. On one side you try to train your skills, on the other you need to work on your equipment.
Do you see yourself continuing to do race foiling once you stop competing or will you switch to another kite discipline?
When I stop competing, I won’t have the same racing schedule anymore. I will definitely jump on my racing quiver still, but maybe with a free race kite, so I can go for some jumps. Maybe competitions like in Mauritius could still be a thing. I am not sure if age is on my side for switching to another discipline at a very high level. Kite foil Big Air could be a thing, but more for fun and I just want to go big. But there are still some kite projects in my mind I would love to realize one day.
As one of the guys that’s been in the game the longest, you’ve seen all the changes and revolutions. What would be your next bet that the racing discipline will evolve to?
I hope nothing with an engine. It’s just so cool to ride with the elements. Right now, the base of the sport is there. Let’s see how far we can push the limits, and how new products can help us get there.
Is qualifying for the Olympics your main goal at the moment? What does life after the Games look like?
Yes, for sure it is my main goal now. I am not 100% sure what the future brings, but there are some options. Beside kiting I finished my bachelor’s degree, and also all my travels and activities have given me many connections and options.
What advice would you give to up-and-coming kite racers that want to establish themselves in the fleet?
I think most people are a bit scared to just show up at events. But that’s in my opinion the easiest entry. There you get connected with other racers and usually everyone helps each other. For sure a smaller competition would be better for that. And then it’s a combination of passion and hard training that brings you forward.