An epic windsurfing career, John Skye is living the dream. Find out how he received massive cash bonuses back in the day, why he has opted out of the PWA Slalom route and what his role with RRD has become…*as well as an exclusive first look at the new dedicated RRD Freestyle Sail*
Name: John ‘Skyeboy’ Skye
First year you stepped on a windsurf board: Aged 8 in 1986 (That sounds a really long time ago now!!!!)
When did you first consider yourself professional:
I remember in 2001, I had just signed with F2 for basically nothing and went to the European Championships in Guincho. I won the European Freestyle title and finished 2nd in the waves. When I got back they sent me a couple of thousand as a bonus. That was really the first proper sponsorship payment.
First UK event win:
I won the UK amateur Championships in Waves, Freestyle and Racing in 1998 but never had any good pro results until 2003, and then suddenly it all came together. I think I won all 3 wave events that year and took my first UK Pro title.
Best ever PWA result:
3rd Fuerteventura Super X. 4th Guincho Waves. 4th Fuerteventura freestyle. I think I finished in the top 10 of every discipline I did at some point throughout the years: Waves, freestyle and Super X.
RRD boards, sails, accessories. MFC fins. Plus I have just added Mystic wetsuits and clothes to the list which is great.
YOUR TIME IN CAPE TOWN
Boards: You are by far no ‘newbie’ to Cape Town, when did you first travel to SA and how many months would you say you have spent there in total?
JS: My first trip to Cape Town was with Chris Audsley and Ross Williams back in 2001 I think. It was so cheap that year with the exchange rate that we all felt like kings. Since then I have been back every year, normally for about a month. In total I guess its probably close to a year spent there. Compared with most guys I think my trips have normally been shorter, but I like that about Cape Town. You can go for less time and use that time more intensively, which for me always ends up more productive.
Boards: For someone coming out on just a two-week trip what dates would you pick for them and why?
JS: I have nearly always gone mid January, and have had a pretty good success rate with wind. It seems to me that between December and February, you cant really go wrong. Outside of those months I think it gets a bit less consistent, but probably the quality is higher when you get it.
Boards: Looking back at 2011, how did the year pan out for you in terms of competition, travel and work?
JS: It was a bit of a crazy year really. Nayra and I got married in July, just before Pozo. I hadn’t really thought through the emotional side of the process, and when it came to the contest, my head wasn’t really in the right place. It meant the year started badly, but I managed to claw back up to 12th. I really needed one more result in Sylt, and then I could have done a lot better, but there was no wind. I took a break from the UK events last year, with the exception of Tiree, but in hindsight I wish I had missed that one too. I lost to Ben on the final day of the comp and it was probably the most painful loss I ever had! Work wise it has been great. I have been getting more and more involved in the R&D for Roberto and its been really interesting so far.
Boards: What’s next on John Skye’s calendar and what are the 2012 plans?
JS: Right now I am in China visiting the sail production factory. Again it’s been a great learning experience. Next stop is Maui for the annual product photo shoot, then back out to GC to train for the summer. Hopefully I can fit the UK comps into that schedule too.