Interview with Iballa Moreno
Q: What exactly happened when you broke your foot in Gran Canaria?
IM: I went to the water very excited after a 10-day trip to Italy with no wind. I wanted to warm up before my heat. I did a table top. The wind this day was a bit gusty and more side shore than normal. I did the jump and twisted the board so much that my front foot came out of the strap. I could not bring back the board into the normal position and I landed with my foot (toes) on top of the board and broke my toes…Ouch!
Q: How painful was it?
IM: For the first 10 seconds I had my foot under the water and knew something was wrong. Something was feeling loose down there and I wasn’t breathing for a while because of the pain. Then I took my leg with both of my arms to see the damage and I saw my small toe 'looking south'…not in the normal position (definitely out of the place)...So the first though in my head was...I’m done!!!
Then I tied to calm down myself and get to the beach sailing (convincing myself it was going to be OK). When I tried the water start, my foot was so painful to stand on, that my confidence that I was going to be OK disappeared. I was not good for sure!!
I started to drag myself into the beach with the sail and the board. I saw Daida fixing a boom and I shouted to her. She ran to me because she saw I was in trouble.... After that I just remember they took me to the ambulance and a doctor put my small toe into place. I was then rushed to the hospital for an X-ray. The doctor in the ambulance told me I had only dislocated my small toe and it was going to be OK.
The X-ray revealed that my small toe was definitely OK, but unfortunately the other three toes were totally broken in such way that I needed surgery for it. So that was it. One night in the hospital and the very next day in the morning, surgery. End of summer for me!
Q: Was it a complicated break?
IM: Yeah. I needed to have screws inside the bones to have the bones straightened for four weeks. When the time was up the screws came out with a simple 'pull'.
Q: What sort of training could you do with a broken foot?
IM: Well, the first three weeks I didn’t do much. Especially because some of the metal got infected and everything became complicated. I ended up a whole week sick in bed with antibiotics and suffering!!! After almost two months I started to do some biking and surfing. After 3 months and a half I was back in the water sailing slowly.
Q: It must have been very frustrating missing the tour this year?
IM: Yes darling. Yes!
Q: Did Daida help you out a lot?
IM: Daida helped me by winning the tour. It was good to see one of us did it.
Q: What did it feel like the first time you made it back on the water?
IM: The first session of the day was very bad...I was quite wary and my foot was still sore but the same afternoon I went back in the water and had a lots of fun...It was great to feel sailing strong again!!! And with a lots of motivation!
Q: Did you have a lot of catching up to do?
IM: Yes. But I'm getting there I think.... It has been like that since the very beginning. I had another major knee injury earlier in my career and spent almost a year out of the water. All of that time Daida was sailing.... So she has had over a year more time on the water than me and her level is higher...Not many people can tell that, but I can. It’s OK because I know I can learn fast and catch up to her very soon. It’s a great motivation.
Q: What are your plans this winter?
IB: I’m in Maui right now and Bonaire will be my next stop. Even though it’s not going to do any good or bad for me as far as any results go, I will go anyway. It’s going to be fun. Then home for Christmas and after that I'm not sure. Maybe back to Hawaii. We will see.
Q: Are you looking forward to getting back on the tour next year?
IM: Of course!! I want to do my best and will try my hardest to get back in shape as soon as possible!
Q: What are your ambitions in the sport?
IM: I like to sail as well as I can for my own personal satisfaction. I like to prove to myself I can learn all the moves I set out to achieve.
Q: Words to live by?
IM: Smile.... life is too short to waste it being angry!