Sailor in Focus
We catch up with one of the slickest wave riders in Greece, Evi Tsape.
2011 saw Greek windsurfing goddess Evi Tsape (F2 / North) return to the PWA competition scene looking more determined than ever, having had to spend 2010 on dry land due to a serious injury.
Despite having had little time to train Tsape was throwing super aggressive top turns and launching into stylish pushloops at every opportunity in both Pozo and Tenerife to secure her incredible fifth place finish. Not only has Tsape been pushing her limits on the water she has also been tremendously busy on dry land helping to promote the Weendy app that lets you check the conditions in real time.
PWA: Firstly, what are your thoughts on the 2011 season and how would you rate your result?
Tsape: “The 2011 season was great; we had one more wave event in Tenerife, a great spot for windsurfing. My result: fifth overall in waves is ok, I know I can do better but considering the fact that PWA waves 2011 was my first comeback after the accident I had last year, I am satisfied”.
PWA: How long have you been windsurfing?
Tsape: “First time I ever got on a windsurfing board was August 2001. Since then I have been passionately doing it, along with my studies and work obligations. I've missed two seasons, so that makes it 8 years”.
PWA: Who has been you biggest influence on your sailing?
Tsape: “My ex-boyfriend has been the ultimate idol and mentor for the past 9 years. I learned so much windsurfing with him.”
PWA: What would you be doing if you weren’t windsurfing?
Tsape: “Most probably snowboarding or swimming.”
PWA: Where is your favorite place to windsurf and why?
Tsape: “My favorite place is West Peloponnese (Greece), which has awesome waves and awesome scenery. It feels so sacred and so magical when you are on the water there. Too bad that there are seasons when it seldom works, plus it's a 4/5-hour drive from Athens, where I live, so I can't be there every time it's on.”
PWA: What is your favorite move and why?
Tsape: “My favorite move is the pushloop; I like the timing, seeing things upside down, the momentum.”
PWA: What move did you find the hardest to learn and why?
Tsape: “I think the pushloop was hard to learn, because the conditions in which I train are not the best for this move. Only when I went to South Africa did I start doing the move more consistently, and could nail it also in my home spot afterwards.”
PWA: What new moves are you currently learning?
Tsape: “In 2011 I did not really train, it was the first year after the accident I had and I was also too busy with all my projects in Greece; I was doing a lot of things at the same time and was totally consumed by those. The new moves I will be working on to improve my level are the shaka, taka and pushloop tabletop. Hope I'll have enough time to get better!”
PWA: How do you learn your moves? Videos? Watching others?
Tsape: “For sure I watch some videos to start understanding the move and how it works, and to be able to analyze the separate phases in my mind. Trying it on the water is the most important part for me, because I can feel the sensations whilst doing it. I can feel the pressure in the sail, what the board is doing, as well as keep a photo-memory of the steps I can achieve. Watching others helps me get the timing of the move right, or the angle of attack for the move in specific conditions.”
PWA: Where is your favorite spot on the PWA wave tour and why?
Tsape: My (new) favorite spot is Tenerife. We scored some nice waves during the PWA wave event in 2011. The jumping was not that great, because of the sea algae that was all over the place for 4 days, but the waves were awesome.”
PWA: How does competition make you feel? And how to do prepare for your heats?
Tsape: “I used to be very stressed during competition, nowadays I can handle it much better. I still cannot give 100% in my heats and it does not always come together; but I'm getting there. Before my heats I make sure all the gear I will be needing is ready, I start preparing myself early so I have time to do everything without stress, and the last thing I do before going in the water is "empty" myself of everything.”
PWA: What do you do when you’re not windsurfing?
Tsape: “I am working like a crazy woman ;)”
PWA: What are your goals for 2012?
Tsape: “To be healthy and to reach my goals; in windsurfing, that would be a top-3 in waves, provided that I have time to train before the events in summer. If no time to train, top 5 would be perfect.”
PWA: Thanks for your time Evi; it’s great to have you back and good luck in 2012!!