At the moment I’m writing from Japan where I’m attending the Défi wind in Miyako island. When they asked me to join the event I said yes before my mind processed the question. You should see how beautiful this place is!
I have never done such a long-haul trip non-stop like that. It took me 2 days and 3 long flights to get here. My goodness I was grateful to finally get off the plane, stretch my legs and see the friendly local faces. Let’s see how the next couple of days go. We already did some fun races, and I can’t lie: I miss being out on the racecourse with everyone.
So! What have I been up to lately?
I spent some time in Aruba, visited Boot Düsseldorf and did a photo shoot in Australia. I flew back home to Aruba for 6 days, and somehow survived a 50 hour trip back to Japan. I said I was going to take it easy with travelling this year, and I’m clearly on track having done 14 flights already by the time I get back to Aruba beginning of March….
I celebrated Christmas and New Year back home.
Christmas was different this year, because it always revolved around my grandma. Oma Juice (she always made us the best iced tea) passed away last year. I miss her a lot, but the good thing is that she was such a character and strong person (She brought up her 5 daughters all by herself), that when we reminisce about my grandmuva, the stories and jokes put a smile on our faces.
I finally received my new sails in December and my sessions on the water have exploded since. The Wizard is working great!! I remember last year I was a bit burned out and I didn’t touch my gear for the whole month I was home. But this time I was on the water almost every day. It was nice just to be home and go on coffee dates with my parents, do some slalom races with the kids and freestyle with Ethan and Quincy.
I filmed with an Argentinean crew for ESPN Latin America, which is such a cool opportunity to talk about windsurfing, Aruba and women in the sports. Have a look at the link below!
Being home I enter this comfort zone, so when my first trip came up mid-January, after having about 2 months break I was dreading packing up and leaving again. It’s the strangest sensation! But when I started packing my bags I embraced the prospect of the adventures coming up: Boot Düsseldorf, Starboard Photo shoot in Australia and Défi wind Japan. Let’s do this!
I’ve been to Boot once back in 2012 but I don’t remember much.
The first time I went to Düsseldorf I drove there in the middle of the night with two friends, we got lost and were surprised about how huge this city “ausfahrt” must have been because we kept on seeing that sign. Later on in life we learned, that Ausfahrt means, “exit”. After 4 hours driving, which should have been 2, we arrived there at about 6 in the morning, Boot wasn’t open yet so we slept in my board bags in the van for a couple of hours and were freezing. I was so tired, the rest of the day was a blur, hence I don’t remember much of that one time I was at Boot.
This time around, it was 4 days of fun! I spent most of my time at Beach world where I did some tow in freestyle with the boys from Kiel, I surfed the city wave and watched the pro’s compete on it. I also did interviews twice a day. I think they’re very innovative in the way they’re introducing visitors to these watersports in the middle of winter by creating this summer vibe indoors. There were many other riders there and it was great to meet so many fans! Thanks to Andrea Hoeppner and her team for the opportunity.
Next up: Australia.
I got on my first flight and was panicking about the hours I had to sit still. I was about to do Düsseldorf-Istanbul-kuala lumpur-perth.
I thought to myself, “I’m never flying to Oz again, it’s too far”.
Twenty four hours later, Dieter was there to pick me up thankfully and the moment I walked out of Perth airport I was like… “Right, I am moving here” All the good memories and adventures rushed back. I was so stoked to have 10 days of free sailing and then hang out with the starboard crew for the shoot! As you can read, in my mind I can go from one extreme to the other in a heartbeat. Keeps my days exciting.
My highlights were 3 days of sailing up in Gerro’s with Jeager, Arrianne, Berk, karlijn and wijnand. No gym needed Dieter told me when I wrote him I was holding on to my 4,7 for dear life. It was howling. I had a blast though.
-That scary night time drive back to Perth. There were SO many kangaroo’s alongside the road!! I was so tired from nerves and focusing that when I parked and slept somewhere in Lancelin I didn’t notice I parked exactly next to a “No Camping” Woops.
-Before going down south I visited the happy family and some of my favourite people, Laure, Simon, Isla and Malia.
-Margaret river delivered some fun waves and I loved sharing those sessions with jeager, philip, Jorge and the locals. So much talent on the water. I was excited to see more kids sailing at mainbreak too!
I was working on my timing for aerials but I was always too early until one time I got it right. Such an epic feeling when you get it just right!
-That one time we were driving to esperance and were chatting so much we only realized the petrol was finished once the car stopped haha.
The shoot was pretty challenging. We did a lot of driving to give ourselves the best chance to shoot all the boards in different locations and conditions.
We were mostly in Margaret river but also drove 8 hours down to Esperance.
It was fun to spend time with my teammates outside of competition.
Thanks to Serge and his family for organizing a massive BBQ for us.
And it was great fun to meet and sail with all the kids at Dunsborough.
No gym needed, indeed. The washings and swimming sessions at Margaret river, all the stairs at Esperance, loading and unloading all the boards from the trucks and non stop sailing. When I arrived back in Holland I had to recover and slept for 14 hours straight. In terms of sailing this was my best trip yet to OZ and I can’t wait for the next time I go back. Thanks to everyone for taking care and hosting: Ben, Sniady, Laure, Simon, Scotty and more!