The PWA Announces The 2008 Rookies Of The Year
Unveiling one of the most prestigious accolades to be awarded by the PWA, Jimmy Diaz, the association’s President has formally awarded the 2008 Rookie of the year awards to Alice Arutkin (Starboard, North Sails) and Philip Koster (Starboard, NeilPryde). This time-honored tradition recognizes outstanding achievement by newcomers to the Professional Windsurfers Association.
Jimmy Diaz personally wrote the official citations for both athletes:
“Your commitment and dedication to competition this year has been admirable and your performance, particularly in the Slalom discipline, has been exceptional for a young sailor, especially when you take into account the level of competition you were up against. To do so well whilst also putting in a strong performance in the Wave discipline is to be congratulated!”
“Through your performances on tour this year, you have displayed not only incredible natural talent, but also incredible courage and confidence in tough conditions. To find these attributes in such a young sailor is unusual to say the least, but to find them in someone so unassuming and courteous is a true testament to your character.”
Meet The Rookies
Following a string of podium finishes on the French national windsurfing circuit, Arutkin made her PWA debut in 2007 at the Sylt World Cup. Fuelling her thirst for competition, she went onto compete full time on the World Tour in 2008. Defiant from the outset, her immense natural ability coupled with a mature and tactical approach to competition, steered her to fourth position overall in slalom, and ninth position overall in waves. Sixteen years old, and her name has already been firmly carved into the world of professional windsurfing.
At just 14 years old, Philip Koster is undoubtedly one of the most exciting new windsurf talents to emerge in the last decade. Having honed his sailing in the relentless winds of Gran Canaria, this young prodigy’s fearless yet calculating approach is already having devastating consequences on the world tour. After finishing ninth in the Pozo wave Grand Slam, and having already defeated the some of the PWA’s most respected wave sailors, Koster has shown he’s an opponent to be taken very seriously.
After hearing of their awards, the newly crowned rookies commented:
Alice Arutkin: “I am really happy and very honored to receive this award alongside Philip Koster, for whom I have a real admiration. He is really talented in waves for his age, and seems to have a big will to succeed. I have so a lot of satisfaction to have been chosen this year, especially to join the likes of previous champions; Junko Nagoshi and Sarah-Quita Offringa.”
Philip Koster: “I feel astonished, proud and very happy. It’s a real honor to get this title. My first reaction was, ‘why me?’. I feel I have achieved something very special in my life.”
Our congratulations to both athletes, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds in store for them.
PWA / Andrew Buchanan