What a rollercoaster ride this event has been in Fuerteventura.
But First I had to make it from Gran Canaria to Fuerte by ferry with quite a small car. I managed to get 5-6 boardbags on the roof. A board, some sails, masts and booms inside the car and somewhere in there was a spot for my mom as well.
The Canarian police didn’t let me get away with it though.
5 minutes on the road and we were signaled to get off the high way.
The first thing he said was: “This is not Africa! We are in Europe”.
Technically he was right, but also technically we were closer to Morocco than Spain, but I chose to keep that to myself. After giving my license and smiling he was friendlier and he let me off, as long as I packed it all more neatly. Good thing Kai came to the rescue with his van and got us to the Ferry in time!
Right after the event in Pozo finished, and I was on my way to Fuerteventura I felt a bit different than I usually do. A bit un easy. And I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. But I soon realized I was heading over to Fuerteventura knowing that I could potentially win my 10th freestyle title.
I tried to block it out, but after hearing so many people say it to me. The nerves kicked in for the rest of the week. As soon as registration started I realized that I was dreading to get on the water and compete. I wasn’t in my usual competitive mind state. I had a severe case of competition anxiety as I’ll call it. It was probably the hardest week of competition I’ve endured. Ever.
And I was having a hard time dealing with it.
What was I so worried about? Losing a heat? Losing the title?
I still don’t know! All I know is that I blew it up way too much in my mind.
After each heat and elimination I won, I’d get more and more nervous. Everything was going too smooth I thought. And then like a self-fulfilling prophecy on the last day the nerves got to me really badly and I sailed my worst heat that week. Maaike sailed a great heat.
I could hear the people cheering from the shore.
That also got to me and was actually some of the toughest minutes I’ve been through on tour.
It’s the first time it really dawned on me that I’m the one being chased and that I’m not the underdog anymore. I haven’t been for a while.
Not all the moves went the way I wanted to but then there were also some solid moves that I landed because of automatism. Coming back to the beach I was broken and had nothing left. We waited for a lon time because Maaike pulled a move on the buzzer and they had to re-calculate the scores After 20 nerve-wracking minutes they announced that I had won by one point.
My 10th world title and never losing a heat on the way.
All week I was only trying to keep myself together.
As a result, I have to be honest, I didn’t enjoy any of the sailing during the contest.
A couple of years ago I told myself I would stop competing when I didn’t enjoy it anymore. And I think that it has come so far. After winning my 10th title, I think I’m done competing in this discipline and will focus on wave sailing now…………….
Aaaaaahhhhhh!!! Hahaha. I kid you.
I can’t. Not yet. I’ll be around for a bit more muahaha.
Just need to remember next time to take it light 😉
Competition is tough and I need to keep things in perspective, not take anything personal. It’s great to see Maaike and the other girls pushing so hard.
Just wanted to thank my mom for coming and supporting met at this event.
She was there for my first world cup win in 2006, When I got close but lost the title race in 2007, when I won it in 2008 and now for my 10th title in 2017. Thank you for supporting me through it all Ma. ( Pops and Q from home)
This week I forgot what I was doing all of this for.
And then I gave a four day clinic.
First time ever! I had to break down all movements and really think about things that come so natural to me now. The students were soldiers and sailed in 40 knots for three days. They had to get used to it on the first day but got better everyday! Teaching them basic things like, water starting, gybing, and jumping made me realize the little things that made me fall in love with windsurfing and freestyle. The rush of getting in the straps, planing through a jibe, that weightless moment when you jump! Pure Freedom. I hope to share the passion for this sport more in the years to come.
Between all of this the men’s slalom was under way!
It was great action to watch all week. Apart from the crashes from the Caribbean team Ethan and Taty. Wishing them a speedy recovery!
Alright ! That’s it for now.
The event is underway here in Tenerife.
Do what you love!