Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360) has been a prominent figure on the Women's PWA Slalom World Tour - particularly in recent years where she has consistently challenged for the overall top three. Last year represented Erdil's best result to date as she finished the season as the vice-world champion - however things could've been all so different if Erdil had managed to finish sixth in the opening race in Denmark, rather than seventh - as this would have seen her finish second in Hvide Sande, which would have secured her a maiden world crown. While Erdil may have made her name on the race course, the 28-year-old is also an avid wave sailor and competed in her first wave event during the 2016 Aloha Classic - where she finished 13th. Read our latest 20 Question interview with Lena below:
Why are you so passionate about windsurfing?
I guess it’s the constant challenge that windsurfing begs, going faster, better, higher more radical. There’s always ways to push myself to become a better sailor, I think I’m passionate about this journey ;).
What quality do you like most in other people?
The qualities I value most are honesty and humour.
What annoys or frustrates you the most?
Seeing people throwing rubbish out of the car window or rubbish blowing into the sea unable to stop it!
What do you most like in yourself?
I think my ‘adaptability’ is that even a word?! [Yes, yes it is.] haha I mean the fact that I’m normally quick at adapting to new surroundings or circumstances, always trying to make the most of what I I‘m given.
What do you dislike in yourself?
Sometimes I’m too scattered trying to do too many things at once which can also result in messiness, but I am working on that :).
What has been your best moment on tour?
Winning in Korea! Winning a PWA event had been a distant dream for so long! Actually making it happen in 2016 has been unbelievable!
What has been your worst moment on tour?
Realising that I lost the overall title by finishing 7th in one race and it would have been enough to finish even 6th. And the 7th place finish was due to just falling all by myself without any reason really, I guess I really wasn’t in the moment… But realising how expensive that mistake was really was the worst moment!
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself when your career started?
Do it all again the way I did ;) and maybe I would give myself some top secret advice on tuning and technique :D
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
‘If in doubt go big ’ It is a golden rule to live by in racing I think it was Benny (Ben van der Steen) that said it.
What would be your perfect day?
I love the days in Cape Town that start off with no wind and glassy waves for surfing and then strong winds in the afternoon for wavesailing… finishing off with a dinner with friends is pretty perfect… any day exploring and adventuring in new places and nature are great!
Do you have any superstitions?
Not really superstitions, but I believe in Karma and will power…
Which living person do you most admire?
I like traits and characteristics of many different people I don’t think I’ve ever admired anyone single person. There are many admirable people out there, I wouldn’t like to have to choose one...
What is your greatest fear?
I haven’t really thought of that before and actually prefer not to ;)
What is your most treasured possession?
I don't care much about owning things, but of course, I love doing things which involve a lot of equipment, windsurfing, SUPing, surfing playing the guitar, reading, any of the toys I need for these activities are my greatest treasures!
If you weren’t a professional windsurfer, what would you like to be?
Somewhere, where I know that I could make a positive impact on my community or for my country or the country I choose to live in. I don’t know exactly if I would find that place in some NGO or perhaps within the government or totally independent or maybe a certain company… I would have definitely stayed in University longer and gone down the academia route for a bit longer as well.
Where would you most like to go to that you haven’t been to yet?
At the moment Vanuatu and Peru rank really high on my places to go lists
Who would you most like to have as a dinner guest, dead or alive?
My Mum, she passed last year…
How would you like to be remembered?
A kind and happy person with good values.
Most visited website?
I’d like to say my favourite newspaper or WindGuru but it's probably Facebook if we have to be really honest….
A phrase you live by?
Paulo Coelho — 'And, when you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’
It’s from the book the alchemist. It’s a bit cheesy but I love the feeling to it; that if you work hard and really want something with all your heart you sometimes get a bit of outside ‘universal- forces’ that help you on your way to achieving it. So, I always try to do my best and desire with a clean/honest heart :).