billy mason - portrait

Billy Mason

RIO 2016 CAMPAIGN PROFILE

How old are you? (as of Aug 2015)
53

When did you start windsurfing?
1983

Where did you learn? Where is your training base now?
I learned when I started working for a Hobie dealer and started selling Mistrals and Alpha Boards. My training base is on the bay in front of St Andrews Yacht Club (Panama City, FL).

When did you start dreaming about getting to the Olympics? Did anything in particular trigger it?
Getting involved in sailing when I was 7 yrs old. I began sailing with a buddy who sailed 470′s, and he inspired me to try windsurfing and compete in anything I could get my hands on. From Sunfish to Hobie’s to Flying Scots to big boats working for North Sails. In 1988 I campaigned for the Olympics in windsurfing, training on super lights, mistral one design and then the division 2 boards.

Is your Rio 2016 campaign a full-time commitment at this time?
No, I am a single father working and training at the same time.

Are you placing other plans on hold because of it? What plans?
I am making new plans to get back into coaching and mentoring others. I am grateful to be able to play the game and compete at the best level I can. I’d like to be the best coach I can be.

Could you describe a typical week these days?
I work from 7AM to 3PM or later and then sail 2-3 hrs in the afternoon.

What do you do to relax?
I windsurf, hang out with my son or my girlfriend.

Are you on your own or is it a team effort?
Me, myself and I. I hope to train with the Canadian Team or whoever will train with me. I’m trying to find training partners.

You’ve campaigned before – is it easier or harder this time around, and why?
I campaigned in 1988 and it seemed like there were more races to qualify and build a campaign on… This time there are less races and costly expenses to qualify.

Can you describe a recent breakthrough?
I have finally found enough used and new equipment to even compete with.

What inspires you to keep pushing?
The thrill of racing against the best and the great competition among athletes.

How are you paying for your campaign?
I went into debt to finance it myself to see where I stand, and hopefully I can begin to raise money for me and my team.

Do you have a campaign website – how can supporters get in touch with you?
You may reach me on Facebook, and the website is coming up shortly.

Besides the RS:X, What other class/type of windsurfing do you enjoy?
I’ve enjoyed the Kona One Design Class and previously I enjoyed my short boards. I am impressed with the RS:X ride.

Where will we see you next in competition?
Hopefully Oman but if not, Miami for sure!

What goes through your mind in the last minute before the start of a race?
“It’s you and me pal… lets go!”

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