So that’s that for my first and only slalom event of the year. I couldn’t have hoped for a better performance in Alaçati ! This year I travelled to Alaçati about 10 days early for the event so I could practice my slalom a bit as I haven’t had much time for that at all this year.
However there was only proper wind for about the first 2 days. and of course.. I couldn’t resist that wind and went freestyling on my 4.8 and 91l ( I’m sooorryyy I think I’m addicted). I had an amazing time ! The day before the competition the wind was really strong. So I went out with Adriaan van Rijsselberghe tuning my smaller kit. The forecast for the next week wasn’t too great and we all knew we would have to sail our big kit. But it was great to blast around and tune my 6.4 Vapor and 86l Isonic. As I hadn’t test the equipment before this was perfect for me to get an idea how all of the new stuff was working this year and how it needed to be tuned.
I honestly had 0 motivation to go and sail on my slalom stuff. It’s because slalom is so much more complicated than freestyling, equipment wise. Tune your stuff wrong and you have no chance whatsoever. Then again. That’s the thrill other sailors get from this discipline.. tuning your equipment to perfection.
However, the moment that red flag went up for my first race I switched to competition mode immediately and I felt that adrenaline rush you get from racing. If you’re there anyway you might as well give it your all right !?
My first start was perfect! And I led that qualification race from beginning to end And went on to do the same thing in the final. That was the strongest wind of the week and I sailed 7.1 Vapor, 97l Isonic and 38cm Hurricane.
After one week of racing we finished 5 races. It was really though to choose you’re equipment as the wind was pretty gusty. Your best bet would just to get on your big equipment. I have never had to sail bigger than 7,9 in competition but I sailed my 8,6 and 110L (41cm Hurricane or 44cm Zfin) the rest of the week. I’m the biggest girl in the fleet and in those light winds I could not afford not planing. I got comfortable on this set up very quick though. The 8.6 Vapor was easy to handle during jibes and the 110l Isonic was a dream when it came to early planning.
I managed to perform when it really matters, which was during the finals.
During the qualification rounds however I had quite some close calls. I think this was due to lack of experience with racing in lightwinds. The starts become extremely important. You could be the fastest on the course, but if there are 4-5 sailors upwind from you, you get covered completely and you never really come up to full speed. A combination of staying calm and pumping my heart out won me the last spots to qualify for the next round several times over.
This event has probably been my most consistent slalom event so far as I won 4 out of 5 races. So I’m extremely happy about that. I think I might have caught the slalom bug again and am very much looking forward to competing on the whole tour next year.
I was super impressed by the level of the women( it’s been a year since I competed). The Turkish ladies were all sailing really well, Ayako from Japan was amazing in the light wind and my compliments to Delphine Cousin for her performance (She has great starts) and winning the overall slalom title!!
All in all it’s been another great week in Alaçati. The locals there are really warm and the support I received from everybody there was amazing. Big thank you to the ASPC crew for having me and helping out with everything.
Having my cousin there on the beach waving the biggest banner ever also felt great! And all the support via Fb etc. is super motivating so THANK YOU!!!
Also I really have to thank FOX SPORTS in Groningen, Active Surf in Alaçati and Rémi Vila for the huge effort to get me the boards to race on.
At the moment I’m in Holland relaxing a bit from all of my summer travels but looking forward to the freestyle event which will be held from the 8th-14th of September. This is the last freestyle event for the ladies and will be deciding for the overall freestyle title! Looks like it’s going to be an activity filled week so check out their website http://www.dam7.nl/nl
Finally stay updated with my competition adventures on my new FB page “sarah-Quita offringa aru 91”