Dorota Staszewska Women’s PWA Formula Champion 2003
Q: Was it a tough battle this year?
DS: Not really. We did have some very close fights with Verena, Karin, Christine and Lucy, but overall I felt very strong and focused and that gave me incredible confidence to win. The only contest of the year took place on my home waters in Leba, where I've been sailing since I was a kid and I feel good there, rain or shine. Wind was from literally nothing 6-7 knots and up to 20+ knots and I felt equally comfortable with these conditions. I like the swell we get on Baltic Sea with side shore winds and I guess that thing you could call "formula wave ride" was my advantage. You need to develop certain feeling and strength to keep formula board down and huge sail sheeted in. So since I kept it in control I could push it hard to really get what I wanted out of my Starboards 147 combined with Gaastra Nitros.
Q: What did it feel like to win in front of your home Polish crowds?
DS: Polish crowd shows up at the beach and just expects me and Wojtek to win. Last year I thought I got used to that pressure and attention, but this time it got even worse with amount of people on the beach. I mean it was just packed like I've never experienced. The beach noise was overwhelming, I was really glad to be able to escape going out on the water, where I feel much more relaxed. It's been fourth year of Windsurfing Era Cup in Poland and more than dozen Era events already behind us. I have never lost any of it, so for sure I felt the biggest pressure, especially from journalists. It was definitely fantastic to win in Leba. I remember Micah came by after prize giving to say congratulations. He was super happy with his win and asked me if I felt anything special about mine. I guess nobody even expects me to be happy when I win! But I really am!
Q: What equipment were you using in most of the races?
DS: I used Starboard 147 with Deboichet R14 70cm and all of my three Gaastra Nitros - 8.5, 9.8 and 11 meter. My favorite sail was again 8.5, I always try to switch to it whenever we get more than 20 knots.
Q: What did you do to celebrate your victory?
DS: Nothing to dramatic, just celebrated with my friends on the beach and then in Warsaw where I live. We have some good night clubs there for it.
Q: What did you do with the prize money?
DS: I got very nice mountain bike and a new TV, I didn't have one since I moved out of my parents house 8 months ago.
Q: What have you been up to since the Poland PWA event?
DS: I've been to Lake Garda, mountain biking and windsurfing, getting ready for event in Sylt, which unfortunately didn't happen for girls. I also tried to study, but as it turned out without much success, I failed an exam in September. This is when it began to be interesting. Next I went to Dranske for Formula Worlds, where I had a disastrous race to finish only third, which after 5 years of wining is a quite of a happening. Then I came back to Warsaw where I study International Relations and hope to graduate within 6 months. I hope it will just all go smooth from now on.
Q: Any advice to new girls that want to come and race?
DS: Check out Women's Zone at Starboard forum where many racers from around the World meet and exchange helpful ideas www.star-board.com. This is good for a start to see what's going on.
Q: Three words to describe your self?
DS: Lucky, strong, passionate.
Q: Words to live by?
DS: Laugh often and much