Let me cut to the chase. I scored again in Fuerteventura.
I secured freestyle title # 11.
11 consecutive years, not a single heat lost.
Wabam. Kapow. WattaaaBoooooooom!
Okay, that was it for my boasting.
Alright, now I can rewind to the beginning.
Pozo was a success. After the contest I joined the In to fire and water team with Lina and Oda to Vargas for a filming session. It took two hours longer to get there, because our car broke down. On the bright side, the afternoon light was lovely then. That was a fun free sail trying out my new Ultrakode 76L.
I was focused on landing planing forwards. I think that’s my favourite move at the moment!
The next day it was time to catch the ferry together with Oda and team Continentseven. I packed everything neatly into my Kangoo and didn’t get pulled over by the police this year ( See Fuerteventura story from last year). Just a slight mishap: while loading my luggage I bumped the back of my board causing the nose to “lightly” tap the windshield…. and crack it.
Insert handpalm emoticon…. How even, Sarah-Quita..?
No time to mourn the windshield! Off to the ferry, Fuerteventura is calling!
Two nauseous hours and a tweny minute drive later, Sotavento’s golden beach and blue water looked glorious!
You know what was really cool? Watching more freestyle girls move into wave sailing this year. Arrianne, Oda and Maaike were all competing in Gran Canaria.
For the first time I was not stressing about not training freestyle because my main competitors were also wave sailing with me hahaha. But all jokes aside, I really think freestyle helps so much to learn everything else. For jumping, at least. I can tell that it takes time to learn the timing for wave riding for freestylers. But watching Oda and Maaike sticking backloops and perfect forwards in their heats was so cool!
Let’s keep crossing disciplines!
Back to Sotavento beach. I decided to get into the freestyle swing straight away. I’ve learned that it’s a process to get the feeling back, and I didn’t want to waste any time. The quicker I get on my freestyle gear, the quicker I get used to it. The result? A 20-minute session, with probably the highest amount of unintentional catapults ever recorded by a professional windsurfer.
I COULD NOT SAIL IN A STRAIGHT LINE!!! My board was sliding sideways, my sail pulled from all directions and the infamous Fuerte gusts and chop had me catapulting on every run in and out. I couldn’t control my gear going straight, let alone find my straps when going switch or duck my sail.
Great! It was all going according to plan….I had two more days to get in the groove.
I love the evening sessions in Fuerteventura. There’s something about the sun setting behind the hills and the colour of the water that’s really calming, all the while the hardcore wind and chops contradict those serene surroundings. There are also less people on the water, so for me it always feels special to share that session with those riders during the golden hour.
Two days later I had a monster late session, sailing with Taty, Gollo, Niklas Nebelung (Has anyone noticed the beast air Niklas gets in all his moves?) Adam sims and more. After sailing Pozo my confidence boosts like nothing else. I was landing the sickest forwards of my life. This was a level of control I hadn’t felt before. Every single one I landed planing. I’m not sure they count, depending on how long you can go straight before going into a flaka, but I think I landed some bongka’s.
My Spock culos were working, shakas, konos and just more looooops.
I think the 4,5 Wizard is my favourite size. I felt in tune again.
Bring on that freestyle comp!
It was a short one. We only finished one single elimination.
Not something you would expect in Fuerteventura, but the wind didn’t always play ball.
And there was also big fleet of juniors being run. It’s so good to see more and more of the youth being run along the pro’s. I know that’s how I got into all of this. When I was 11 In Bonaire they ran the amateurs beside the pro’s and I still remember watching the women heats telling myself that I wanted to do the same. And, so here I am now doing exactly that!
My freestyle hero this week in Fuerte was Lina Erzen. She’s 13 now.
I met her last year in Brouwersdam and the progress she’s made in a year is astonishing!
My first heat was against her. She reminded me afterwards that she had told me in Brouwersdam that she’d love to compete against me one day. Which was a really cool compliment. Well, I’m happy I came out at the winning end this time, because I can see those roles changing in the near future. Rock on girl!
The range of my 4,2 is huge and I can hold it in really windy conditions, but this was the windiest I have ever sailed Fuerteventura. I should have been on a 3,8. But I simply never use that size so I held on to my beloved 4,2 for life. Fun Fact: All the boys were on 4,0’s or smaller hehehe.
I mean, it did affect my performance in the semi final heat against Arrianne, where I crashed about 4 moves coming in. I literally got blown OUT of my straps, I couldn’t stick a spock, landed a simple Vulcan on the outside and couldn’t do regular ducks. So I was relieved when I still advanced.
I realized I needed to adjust my sail, and for the final I was ON against Maaike.
Mind over matter. My highlights in that heat were a big kono and landing my first spock culo in competition. Wicked! I enjoyed sailing that heat against Maaike. This time I felt hyped up hearing the crowd. We were also able to get really close to the judges, I’m sure they heard my shouting.
And that was it for the contest, the wind never showed up for the remainder of the contest.
I took it easy this year and enjoyed competing.
11 world titles in freestyle is just madness. More than winning titles I just want to raise the profile of women in windsurfing and take the level to new extremes, which is only possible together, so big congrats to Maaike, Oda and Arrianne for a great freestyle year.
Of course I celebrated my title in the notorious Carpa.
I found my way on top of the bar for about 20 seconds before the bouncer threatened to kick me out.
World champion or not, I had to get off haha.
The next three days I did another clinic. My favourite day must have been when we took out the big boards and went for some light wind sail tricks. People forget sometimes that practicing in light wind is a very important aspect in understanding how to handle your sail. Once again it was a fun couple of days. It’s really special to see these riders progress. Thank you for spending time with me.
7 weeks on the canaries down, 1more to go.
Last stop of the Canaries coming up: Tenerife.
Let’s Get it !!
Check out the videos covering the event by Continentseven below.