Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Chris Benz / Maui Ultra Fins) is a name now synonymous with windsurfing. The super talented twenty-one year old has already racked up an incredible six world titles - 5 time freestyle, one time slalom - and is currently unbeaten in the last five years for freestyle. Although Offringa has long been recognized for her achievements within the windsurfing world, her outstanding achievements have recently been recognized from outside of the industry too.
On the 1st May Sarah-Quita Offringa received possibly her largest accolade to date as became Lady Sarah-Quita Offringa, whilst also becoming the first ever female windsurfer to be knighted. After achieving such a staggering achievement with caught up with the Lady herself. Read the interview below.
PWA: Firstly congratulations on being knighted in the Order of Orange-Nassau. How did it feel to be the youngest person at the awards ceremony and what does it mean to you to receive a knighthood in recognition for your achievements?
SQ: “It feels great. At first when I heard about it I wasn't really sure what to think of it, but when I saw the reactions to this from people around me I started to realize how special it actually was.”
“Besides that it's special because I was the youngest this year to be knighted and it would be the last time that Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands would give her consent for these recognition as she abdicated in favour of her son King Willem Alexander.”
PWA: Can you tell us a little bit about the days proceedings?
SQ: “First and foremost...it was a sunny and warm day. My family and friends gathered at the "Aruba House" in the Hague at 2 o'clock. Afterwards there were Aruba parliamentarians that arrived and finally at 3 o'clock the Aruban governor Fredis Refunjol arrived. Plenipotentiary Edwin Abath opened the ceremony after which Governor Fredis refunjol gave a speech and spoke about me and what I've accomplished up until now and finally I received the recognition in the form of a ribbon. For once I decided to prepare a speech and had the chance to thank people and say what it all meant to me. It was a really special day and I was so happy to be able to share it with family and friends.”
PWA: Does this mean that we now have to call you Lady SQ during the events ;-)?
SQ: “Yes sir, from now on you are summoned to call me lady SQ ;-) hahaha.”
PWA: Sadly you were missing from the first slalom event of the year in Korea, why is this? and will we see you competing at any of the remaining slalom events this year?
SQ: “The studies are keeping me busy. I'm writing my bachelor's thesis at the moment. wish me luck!?”
“I'm planning on going to Turkey and the Netherlands to compete in slalom.”
PWA: What about waves? Is competing in waves in your plans?
SQ: “Nothing sure yet actually but I was/am aiming to participate in the waves in the Canaries. I Haven't trained much… but I’ve got to start somewhere right?”
PWA: After you’ve finished your studies, what are your plans?
SQ: “After this bachelor I still want to complete a masters.”
“Afterwards I'm pretty sure it’s going to be all about travelling and windsurfing. At least for a year.”
PWA: Congratulations again on your knighthood and we wish you the best of luck with your thesis, and we look forward to seeing you competing on the world tour again.
You can also check out Offringa's new website here.