Bonaire King of the CaribbeanJuly 25, 2022
Back in action in Pozo 2022July 26, 2022
In my whole 21 years career of windsurfing, I only travelled to Lake Garda for the first time 1,5 year ago.
I could not believe my eyes, it’s was so beautiful. I don’t know how else to explain it except that I think Lake Garda is a very inspiring place to be at. The view on the mountains is breathtaking, everyone there loves being outdoors, and you have so many options to be active. Windsurfing, sailing, kiting, winging, biking hiking and even skiing when there’s snow. Anyway, since then I have been to Garda 4 times already. So, when the One hour classic was coming up I was very keen to take a break from wave sailing in Pozo and fly there for some foiling action.
The One hour classic is a race where you sail a figure 8 for 1 hour and the rider with the most laps in that hour wins. I thought it would be a great moment to get some more foiling practice in and measure myself with some of the best girls out there. Last year I practiced quite some IQ foil but this year I have decided to let that go and work more on foil slalom. Riding the NP foil is a world of a difference! And I love it! I hadn’t foiled in a while, so I figured out something new every day during the racing.
Race 1: The race kicks off with a rabbit start which is already exciting!
I was leading the women until the first mark where I catapulted right before the mark because I was a bit too excited and a bit out of control haha. It was the windiest day!
After that I settled for getting comfortable and figuring out how to go fastest on my foil.
I had been sailing fin slalom before in Aruba so my whole stance was wrong, but there are so many competitors in the race you can measure yourself with, so eventually one rider came past me slowly and gradually I adapted, shifted my weight down and forward and all of a sudden, I started accelerating! Good so I found the right stance. From then on I was so focused on gaining ground and catching up to Marion and Blanca. They were having a proper hour-long battle right in front of me.
I could have watched with popcorn hahah it was super exciting. Right at the end Marion was wobbly on a jibe and Blanca took the win. I feel like I was catching up at some point, but my jibes let me down too many times, so I finished in third.
Day 2: I was battling it out with Marion!
I pushed so hard all race long. I was quite underpowered the whole race, so it was tough to keep it up. Eventually I was right behind her and on the 2nd to last jibe I saw my chance to close in on her, but I cracked under pressure and catapulted in the jibe, aaahhhh!! 2nd place finish.
Which I was still very happy about!
Day 3: I grabbed a bigger setup 6,6. And my medium fuselage.
This time I had a solid start. Eventhough it was lighter wind I was powered and this time I was comfortable on my gear, I studied and figured out I had to shift my feet much earlier on the jibes and this went well the whole race, so finally I finished first in the last race.
That was awesome for me! In the end, even though this was a long distance race it was super technical and because there were so many jibes you could not make any mistakes, and especially on the foil, every second you are not on the foil, your competitor gains so much distance on you. Blanca won the event because the score they fastest hour in those three days, and usually that happens on the windiest day which in this case was the first day where I was still finding my foiling feet haha.
Overall, it was such an amazing time being in Garda and meeting all my race friends.
I love these events where you really feel the windsurfing spirit and people are having fun.
It’s also the first time in a while we had the whole Neilpryde team together, so we took the opportunity to take some team photos and they organised a bumping meet and greet which I think was amazing for the team spirit.
I love the people that are on this team!
Thank you Lake Garda for an inspiring and fun weekend and I can’t wait to be back !