Burner: "The first day I sailed in kitefoil I fell in love with the discipline"

FKSS 2020
Simon Burner in a Formula Kite Spain Series race. @Toni Forqués

The Austrian who lives in Spain is the surprise of the Formula Kite Spain Series season and will be this week in the European Championship in Poland

Simon Burner has been the surprise of the beginning of the 2020 season of the Formula Kite Spain Series. At 17 years old he has been able to be in the two races of Alarcón and Castelló in the top ten and he is sixth in the general of the circuit after the big stars. Burner faces this week the European Championship of the specialty in Puk (Poland) where he will compete defending Austria, nationality that his father gave him. However, his life and sports career has always been linked to Castelldefels after he was born in Barcelona in 2002.

-Who's Simon Burner?

-I'm 17 years old and I've been kiting since I was eight. I live in Castelldefels and train at home whenever there's a wind. I spent some days in Denia with the junior team of Marina El Portet with Manu Sanz to prepare the European Championship with Kiko, Sebas and Jacobo. My mother is Swedish and my father is Austrian and I have both nationalities. I live in Spain since I was born, but I don't have the Spanish nationality.

Simon in full competition in the Formula Kite Spain Series in Alarcón. @Toni Forqués

-You are almost a native of the kite after a brief passage as a young man through the optimist

-I started kiting when I was eight. My father was a windsurfer and from the first moment I liked kiting more because of the speed and the factor of being more fun than other specialties. In 2015 was my first time with foil. My first foil session was in Portugal and I sailed with dolphins. At that time I fell in love with the discipline and still do today.

-You've been in this specialty for five years now. -What does it get you?

-I like the atmosphere there, which is all in diapers because there is not much innovation yet and the uncertainty of the class. It's a field where everything is yet to be discovered and I think that other specialties would not give me this chance to grow with the class, because they are quite hackneyed.

-At 17, do you think you can fight the best of them? -I do.

-Everything comes with the psychological fight. If you think seniors have a plus you do nothing. But if you trust your chances you can beat anyone. Those of us who are now coming to race must fight against the confidence that the older people have in their abilities which gives them a certain advantage. If we are able to get that plus we can fight them face to face.

-What do you think a sailor must have to be a reference in this sport?

-'Fat skin' which is a way of speaking in Austria that represents your ability to adapt, you have to adapt to the situation around you. I think that for any good sportsman or woman it is essential to be modest and to focus on improving from mistakes and not to look at their successes. This is a very demanding sport. It's a very undeveloped class and people play a lot even with technique. You have to work more on the technical side and see how you can win races without being the best in one of the parts that make up this competition. In manoeuvres like the tacks, we still have a long way to go.

Strong entry in the FKSS

Burner in one of the tasks of the Alarcón test in 2020 of the Formula Kite Spain Series. @Toni Forqués

-This season you have entered the Formula Kite Spain Series with a lot of strength. Did you expect to be fighting with the best national teams?

-The truth is that after the confinement I trained a lot and set my goals very well, thinking about seeking improvement. I used to think about the good things and now I focus more on what I have failed at. As I grow up I see that I have more capacity to analyse situations and I think that this will help me to advance in my progression.

-What have you found in the Formula Kite Spain Series?

-What I valued most was that I was able to compete with all the good guys in Europe. You learn a lot by watching those who are better than you and you can observe and analyse them so that you can work more. I have been very impressed by Jordi Peralta with whom I train and who did very well in Castellón. It has given me time to see the greats and to be able to analyse what they were doing.

-You're going to Puk's European in a few days... -Is everything going too fast for you?

-My career is going very fast. I spent the summer in Denia training to be able to grow more when training with other sailors. As I don't have the Spanish nationality and in Austria I have the World Sailing license I thought about competing for Austria because it also makes my family happy there.

International aspirations

-Would you like to compete for Spain or have you already given up for good by going to the European Championship with Austria?

-If I decide I want to become a Spanish national I could still compete for Spain, but I think right now the best option is to compete with Austria.

-Are the Olympic Games your ultimate goal in this sport?

-Not necessarily 2024. I think I have to improve a lot and I don't think that in 2024 I will be able to do my best. But, obviously, if I can be in Paris I will not say no. I see myself more capable of performing well in 2028.