Hi Mateo, congrats for winning your two most recent competitions, the Carnon wingfoil event and Defiwing in Corsica! Both were amazing performances and we’re super excited for you.
For those who don’t know you, can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into wing foiling?
I’m from France and I’m 22 years old. I’ve windsurfed for about 12 years, my dad was an olympic windsurfer (mistral). He stopped just when I was born, but all his friends were still windsurfing and I always saw them ride, so that’s how I started. I became vice world champion youth RS:X, and for 1,5 years raced on iQFOiL but I was too light and didn’t really like the feeling of these kind of boards. Then I saw some friends on wing and it looked super fun and fast, so I started to get into that one year ago and directly started racing. Now I’m racing every day because I really love that.
So you’ve always been very competitive?
Training for me is boring. I know I need to do it, but it’s the competition that drives me. I’m very competitive and I love racing, that’s my motivation to train and get on my wing every day. I’m training with some fiends but mostly training by myself on my technique. I tack 100 times and keep going. Just to get comfortable on my gear and train my technique. Have my gear perfectly tuned and be ready for the competition. I don’t have a coach or anything, there aren’t any wingers around here and the level here is not very high, so I can only train by myself. In the south [of France] it’s different, there are more good riders there.
“Once I started going, I was overtaking every single rider one by one until I was ahead of every one of them.”
At the Carnon Wingfoil event you finished 4 minutes in front of the rest. How did you get so far ahead of the pack?
The event was super fun, it was a beach start with 12/15kts of wind. Long distance reach of about 20km’s. There were pro’s, amateurs, beginners, everyone together with big speed differences but that made it really fun. It was the first event after training super hard all summer, I trained 2 months every day and really improved my speed. This was a good opportunity to show the speed I can get on the SuperWingX.
My speed was crazy, there were the top guys like Titouan Galea and Clement Colmas, and I was super fast. This was the first time I won a race on wing, I was about 4 minutes ahead of the person in 2nd place.
That race I actually started last, the wind was super light on the start so it was very hard for me to do the beach start. Once I started going I was overtaking every single rider one by one until I was ahead of every one of them. It was a lot of fun for me because everybody had written me off when I started last, but then every rider was like, WHAT who is this and why is he so fast?? Haha
And then came Defi Corsica, how were the conditions, and what made you take the win?
On defi we did 2 races because the wind was light. First race was 25km’s, and the second was 60km’s. It was a cool event because in Corsica the scenery is super nice, there are big mountains, islands, and crystal blue waters. For 60km’s, the race is really in your mind because it’s so long. You constantly have to keep focus, don’t fall, where to go, etc. There are many buoys that mark the course and you have to stay sharp. Sometimes it was more an adventure than a race. There was lots of technique involved with many different reaches, upwind tacks, rocks, etc. There was also a mix of pro and amateurs, the difference in level is big but everyone has so much fun, it was cool to share the stoke.
What, do you think, gives you an edge over the rest of the competitors?
I think I made a really good choice of gear. I was the fastest on my 6m SuperWingX. The windspeed differences were very big, from 10kts to 20kts, but the X-Ply allows me to hold the wing in strong winds when others can’t, so I had the power in 10kts and could still hold it in 20kts.
In Carnon I was also in the 6m, for me that’s my daily wing. With that wing, I can race from 8 to 20kts and that makes me so much faster than anyone else. For me, it’s super important to be fast on my gear, and the X-Ply is the best material for that kind of racing.
What events are next for you, and how will you prepare for them?
My next one will be in Jericoacoara, Brazil in December. It will be the last race event of the year, so I hope I can win that, and show the gear there too. I will train there for 1 month, the race will be in the last 10 days of the trip. I know in Brazil the wind is very strong, like 30kts most of the time, so I will work on my boards and small wings to be comfortable and as fast as I can be in those kind of conditions.
Thanks so much Matéo! We’re very proud of your progression and can’t wait to see you reach new speeds on our wings!