CR - Is this your first visit to Portimao?
FB - Yes - although I have been to Portugal before - in the late 90's I competed in an Optimist championship.
CR - So your background was in sailing (dinghys) before windsurfing?
FB - Yes, I have only been windsurfing for about 6 years, before that I was racing in 470's and Snipes. I still compete in Brasil using HPA25's - a keelboat with 4 man crew - but formula is my main motivation now and specifically in Formula Experience class.
CR - You took part in the Defi Wind this year?
FB - It has always been an ambition of mine to do the Defi Wind - it is something you have to do once in your life! It is such a great atmosphere around the event - so much energy and passion for windsurfing. After Defi I came here -altogether I will be in Europe for 3 weeks.
CR - How is your racing here in Portimao?
FB - I am enjoying the experience, good winds and good racing; I like the area, the food is good, the people friendly. We Brasilians have no language barriers here!
The racing is challenging, I am on FE equipment because I chose the "one -design" option which I think delivers fairer racing.
CR - Only 2 FE riders here, but in South America the class is very strong, why is that?
FB - I do not have the answer, it could be due to many factors; but I am sure it will grow here now we have moved to one design format from 2012. In South America FE makes formula racing accessible and affordable.
CR - How would you like to finish this year, what is your goal?
FB - I will be going to Cancun for the FE worlds at the very end of the year. I will go early to train - my job is very demanding at the moment, but I want to prepare as well as possible and improve on my 3rd place at last year's worlds.
Link to Cancun Worlds page
Link to "Closer Look" of Fernando