Michiel is a young Belgian talent that I was very impressed for its technical qualities and for the determination. Has only 15 but his repertoire of freestyle moves is already considerable and showed him winning in 2012 the prestigious world title ProKids in the category under 15. Is a very determined guy, with my head in place and with clear ideas about its future. Let's get to know him better.
Name: Michiel De Trelawney
Birth date: 31 January 1998
Residence: I live in Deinze, a small town of about 30.000 inhabitants near the city of Gent in Belgium
Favorite discipline: Freestyle!
Favorite maneuvers: Flaka, Funnel, Bob
Table: Prokids Starboard Flare 72 liters – model 2013
Sails: Severne Freek, and 4 4mq at 4, 0mq; S-1 3, 7 sq.m
RIW: How did you start windsurfing?
M. DeC.: I saw my dad do windsurfing and thought: "I want to try !”, so I attended a surf camp in 2009. A little later, My dad bought me a table, was a Starboard Go from 100 liters, with a sail Severne x 1 from 3, 6 sq. Mt. We took her on holiday in the South of France and so it all began.
RIW: I had the opportunity to see you triumph last year in Marseille, tell me about some of your races.
M. DeC.: My first race back to a few years ago, It was the Belgium Championship, I finished first among kids. Anyway my best result I achieved in the summer of 2012 just in Marseille, where I studied Under world champion 15 ProKids Championship.
RIW: The title changed something in your life?
M. DeC.: When I became world champion some things have changed. I had an interview on Belgian television and are rewarded by the administration of the city in which I live. It was very nice because everybody is congratulating me saying that I had done well and others very nice compliments.
RIW: Your classmates are aware of your sports results? Are interested?
M. DeC.: At school they know everything and when there is no wind can sometimes escape, but in the third of secondary school level is much higher so I remain at school to make sure you don't get left behind.
RIW: Where do you train and usually what does your homespot?
M. DeC.: I learned to windsurf in Deinze to Windsurfing Deinze ( www.windsurfingdeinze.be ). However the conditions are not optimal for the new school freestyle maneuvers because it's always very gusty and there is never much wind. That is why most of the time I go to Holland Brouwersdam, I really like because the wind can be really loud, the seabed is low, the water is flat but is also home to the chop. Moreover, if the wind direction changes, There are other places nearby just as beautiful. Unfortunately, however, the spot is two hours drive away from my home, so thank you to Dad who brings me all the times
RIW: How can you combine studies with training?
M. DeC.: If you want to train so you need to organize well. When the wind is coming I have to be sure you've done all your homework in order to be free to go surfing. Certain, There are some days when you cannot, for example during exams, but I always try to anticipate the work as much as possible. Unfortunately, when the races are organized during the period of examinations becomes really hard (World championships 2013 in Marseille)
RIW: What are your strengths and weaknesses in water?
M. DeC.: I think I get better in flat water but now I'm training a lot in the chop and is getting better and better! I think it's very important to train in the chop because the races are almost never still water. I also try to do multiple sessions with my father wave. In wave riding I always go better and I'm trying to make beautiful jumps. I also tried the backloop once. This year I'll try to improve my level in wave.
RIW: What do you do when you're not in the water?
M. DeC.: When there is no wind I have to make sure you are ready with homework and studying whether the forecast wind damage. I also really like to see movies of Kiri, Gollito or other PWA riders.
RIW: Where in the world you'd like to go surfing?
M. DeC.: I go in Brazil where there are very windy places as Camocin, Jericoacoara or Sao Miguel Do Gostoso. Looks very nice and I think I'm training there I would learn much. Unfortunately the tickets are expensive.
RIW: Try some interest in other sports?
M. DeC.: You, a few weeks ago I was snowboarding and I loved it so much. So I think that I will continue to do so when there is no wind, or if there is too cold to go in the water.
RIW: What are your sports references?
M. DeC.: My father first and foremost (Luc De Cooman). Taught me the basics of windsurfing, maneuvers like heli tack, Duck or tack upwind 360. Later, When I became better than him, I started to follow Dieter Van der Eyken and Steven Van Broeckhoven. Sometimes we even practice together.
RIW: How do you see your future from windsurfer?
M. DeC.: I hope to participate in the races of the PWA in a few years and, maybe later, get the first 10. The most important thing however is to have fun with friends both in the water and continue to surf for life.
RIW: And your future by man?
M. DeC.: My school results are good enough so my parents want me to first achieve a degree. I hope to combine the study with windsurf. Maybe I should ask how can organise Dieter. My goal is to become a biological engineer.
RIW: Some other desire for the future?
M. DeC.: One of my biggest dreams is to travel the world with my friends and visiting surfers the best spots in the world. It would be really cool! Per ora vedrò cosa mi porta il futuro e continuerò ad allenarmi! Vorrei anche assicurarmi di avere in futuro un buon lavoro che mi consenta di guadagnare I soldi necessari per poter viaggiare!
RIW: Complimenti e tantissimi auguri per il futuro.
M. DeC.: Thank you
Il sito web di Michiel De Cooman: http://michiel-b161.blogspot.it/
Il video di Michiel De Cooman:
La galleria fotografica:
Name: Michiel De Trelawney
Date of bird: January 31, 1998
Where do you live: Deinze (near Ghent)
What is your favourite discipline: Freestyle!
What are your best moves: Flaka, Funnel, Bob
Your Board: Starboard Prokids Flare 72L 2013
Your sails: Severne Freek 4,4; 4,0 and S-1 3,7
RIW: How did you get into windsurfing?
M. DeC.: I saw my dad surfing and I thought: “I also want to do that!” So I followed a surf camp in 2009. Shortly later, my dad bought me a board, it was a ‘starboard go’ 100 with a Severne x1 3,6 sail. We took it on a holiday in south of France. That’s how it all began.
RIW: Tell me about your first competition and your best result ever.
M. DeC.: My first competition was the Belgian championship a few years ago where I became first with the kids. My best result was in the summer of 2012 in Marseille, where I became World Champion U15 on the prokids world championship.
RIW: Did the title of world champion change anything in your life?
M. DeC.: When I became world champion some things changed. I had an interview on Belgian television and there was an homage in the town where I live. It was very nice because all the people congratulated me and said I did well and stuff like that.
RIW: Do your colleagues at school know about your sport results? Are they interested?
M. DeC.: At school they know about the championships and when it’s windy I can escape sometimes, but at the third year of the secondary school the level is much higher so I stay at school to make sure I don’t get behind.
RIW: What is your local spot and why do you like it?
M. DeC.: I learned windsurfing in Deinze. The club’s named Windsurfing Deinze ( www.windsurfingdeinze.be ). But the conditions there are not so good for new school freestyle. It is always very gusty and there is never much wind. That’s why I mostly go to Brouwersdam (Holland), I like it a lot because it can be very windy, it’s shallow and there’s some really flat water, and chop as well. And if the wind direction changes, there are other spots around. But it takes 2 hours drive to get there, so thank you dad for getting me there all those times
RIW: How do you manage to keep up with studies and training?
M. DeC.: If you want to train a lot, you need to plan very well. If I see there’s wind coming, I have to make sure all my homework is done, so that I can go surfing that day. Of course there are some days it’s impossible to go surfing, for example during exams. But I always try to work as much as possible in advance. But when competitions are being organized at the same time then it becomes very difficult (2013 World championships in Marseille)
RIW: Which are your strong and weak points in the water?
M. DeC.: I think I’m better on flat water, but now I train more on chops, and it’s going better and better! It’s important to train on the chop, because the competitions are almost never on flat water. I also try to do more wave sessions with my father. Wave riding is going pretty well now and I try to make nice jumps. I even tried a backloop once. For this year I will try to get a higher level in wave.
RIW: What is your life out of the water?
M. DeC.: When there’s no wind I make sure I’m prepared for school if there’s some good wind forecast predicted. I also love to watch movies from Kiri, Gollito or other PWA riders.
RIW: Where would you go for windsurfing?
M. DeC.: I would go to Brazil. There are very windy places such as Camocim, Jericoacoara or Sao Miguel Do Gostoso. It looks really nice and I would learn a lot by training there. But the flight tickets are very expensive.
RIW: Do you feel any interest to other sports, which one?
M. DeC.: Yes, some weeks ago I went snowboarding and I really liked it, so I think I’ll keep on doing that when there’s no wind or when it’s too cold to go on the water.
RIW: Who has inspired you in windsurfing?
M. DeC.: My father in first place. He teached me the basic freestyle moves such as heli tack, duck tack or upwind 360. After that, when I became better than him, I looked up to Dieter Van der Eyken and Steven Van Broeckhoven from Belgium. Sometimes we manage to train together.
RIW: How do you see your future in windsurfing?
M. DeC.: I hope to join the PWA competitions in a few years and maybe later to enter the top 10. But most important it is having a lot of fun with my friends on the water and to keep on surfing my whole life long! My school results are pretty good, so my parents want me to get my degree in the first place. I hope I will be able to combine it with surfing. Maybe I should ask Dieter how he’s managing this. My goal is to become biological engineer.
RIW: Any other dream?
M. DeC.: One of my biggest dreams is to travel the world with some of my surf mates and visit the best spots in the world. That would be really awesome! But we’ll see what the future brings and keeps on training! I also want to make sure that I have a good job later and earn some good money to travel!
RIW: Congratulations and best wishes for the future.
M. DeC.: Thanks a lot.
Interview: Michele Tagliafico – www.RIWmag.com
photo: Luc De Cooman
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