This one time, at Girl Camp…
39 girls representing 13 countries congregated in Tenerife this July, with the added bonus of the top six women on hand to help out! Mistral, North, F2, and Fanatic also generously donated prizes and support. Here’s what Daida, Iballa and some of those who showed up had to say about Girl Camp.
Iballa explains how the concept came about. 'Just as Daida and I started out on the tour, it seemed that lots of girls retired! Since then we’ve always fought to involve more girls into the sport and eventually into the tour. We knew lots of girls that were good enough to get into competitions but never had the chance to join the tour - particularly for financial reasons.
I’m sure some girls before we joined the tour helped each other out, and I know Karin Jaggi has always been involved in this type of guidance. But, this time Daida and I put the original 'idea' into a reality, so we created special camps to help girls join the competitive scene – be it at home or at a higher, international level.
Our first camp in Fuerteventura was with this idea in mind. There we taught loads of the ladies that showed up, how to become more professional, how to work with the media - starting with local and national press – and how to do your own marketing.... Not forgetting of course - how to improve in the water!
The second and most recent camp was this year in Tenerife. This time we decided to vary the range of sailing standards, with amateur and average ability girls mixing it up with semi-professional and full-time professionals, all with the intention of sharing experiences.
I’m pretty sure the girls had a really fun week, and most of them didn’t want to leave for home after the camp, which was very positive!!! To see this made us feel really proud and determined to continue this annually.
Now lots of girls around the world that attended our camps are doing a similar thing in their own countries, and eventually the idea its to take the best girls from each national camp into our Mtwins camps; with the help from the other 'pro girls'. Although this is a long-term idea which we’re still working on!! It will definitely be great if this happens.
Daida and I are convinced that the women’s sport must have huge value with the media, especially compared to other sports, and that’s what we’re trying to do in each camp. Before I retire I want to see the sport grow even more!!!
To me windsurfing is the best activity in the world, and Daida and I want to share what we experience in and out of the water, and really must say a special thanks to all the sponsors and media that makes this kind of event possible!!"
Daida continues; "The Camp was an even greater success than last year's one in Fuerteventura. Tenerife garnished us with great wind and waves for pretty much the whole week. Everyone came to learn something new, and they all left after having learnt the biggest lesson of all – how to enjoy themselves and have fun! It’s great meeting so many girls, seeing new faces, and hearing about new wishes and new dreams.
The first few days were a bit stressful from an organizational point of view - waiting for the wind while we filmed a TV advert for Danone - which was a bit of a mission, but it ended up coming out just fine.
One of the most valuable lessons came from Karin Jaggi’s great speech about mental training, and how to focus and visualize for a move to go really for it! After this speech we all knew the week was going to get more serious…
After few days of hard training we started to see the best results; from girls trying tabletop forwards, to simply doing a forward loop for their first time! Every day we gave away boards donated by Mistral, Fanatic and F2, and sails and bases donated by North Sails. We’ve always thought that to get the girls to a really high standard fast, new boards and sails will be the best assistance they could get to become better sailors.
Thanks to Roxy we also got great presents from bikinis to shorts and t-shirts, and also VW who gave us transport from Gran Canaria to Tenerife and back in their pimp vans!
Tenerife Girls Camp was a meeting point, and a new beginning for many of the girls. As for me, I really hope to see many of those faces in competition soon, or just out on the water. It certainly was a great experience and I thank them all for being part of it"
Some quotes from a few of the happy campers!
Anne-Marie Reichmann (Naish / Naish) – Experienced PWA competitor, currently ranked 6th in the world in waves!
"The training camps were super fun! So many girls and good conditions
meant a lot of motivation, a lot of hours on the water
and a lot of fun!
I explained a group of girls that wanted to learn the forward the basics of
doing it. The next day, Vichi yelled from the water; 'hey, I did one, I did
one. Come and check it out. So I followed her and I was impressed with her
forward!! She came around perfectly and just water-started. With a big smile
she yelled; 'thank you’! My reaction was that I had goose bumps all over
my arms - and I wasn't even cold!!
Evi Tsape GR-62 Greece - now competing on the PWA since attending Girl camp 2006, and now ranked 9th in Freestyle and Super-X, and 14th in waves on her debut season!
“Tenerife’s training camp was probably the best experience in my life until now. In Greece, where I live, there are only a few girls who windsurf, so I usually windsurf with the men. I had a great time at the camp, watching all girls in the water trying various moves. And of course, the fact that I was windsurfing with professional windsurfers, who take part in the PWA tour, was a unique experience for me. Because there is nothing better than to see a girl in the water trying a move in front of you, and doing it better than you. Not only does this help you correct any mistakes you may be making, but it also gives you the motive to try it with more persistence. I had a fantastic time in the water! It was an unforgettable experience for me, and the 7 days I spent there will remain in my memory forever. One thing’s for sure - that I’ll go to the camp next year…A big thanks to Daida and Iballa for such great organization, but also to all the people that contributed to its success”.
Rachel Trucker UK - Small sails, happy smiles, many languages, inspirational action, crazy dancing, big air, plentiful yogurt, maximum fun! The camp was so cool it was almost surreal. A week of living, sailing and socialising with so many great girls who all love windsurfing. Daida, Iballa and the other pros were always enthusiastic and I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet and learn from them. Tenerife granted us some strong wind and waves to get out and show what we could do and really push ourselves, motivated by the great atmosphere in the camp. Sailing with so many awesome female sailors put a big smile on my face on the water and I loved it! I was really happy to try my first forward loops and I was proud to be out there with the best. Off the water activities were a lot of fun plus I learnt a load about other aspects of windsurfing, I quite enjoyed feeling famous for a week too! Now I am back in chilly England I need to pinch myself to check it really happened but my full inbox from new friends from all over the world proves that it did. Thank you to all!
PWA / Brian McDowell