A postcard from Cabo Verde
‘Hey PWA readers! Greetings from Cabo Verde! Thought you’d all appreciate some reflections from the Islands, and this year so far.
I must say the encouragement given to me by my adopted home has been overwhelming since I changed my sail number to CV-1 - and I get that support wherever I go. It's been really exciting to see my successes in windsurfing being accepted here alongside mainstream sports like soccer and basketball.
Despite this I haven't actually changed nationality. I am still and always will be an American citizen. However, Cabo Verde is deeply embedded in my heart and my competitive goals have become very focused on representing Cabo Verde in a good light. When I won the World Title in 2003, a big reason was the training I got in these Islands, and where I got to go mentally by spending a lot of time here.
At some recent press conferences I’ve had the pleasure to meet the presidents of the various sporting federations, as well as some ministers of our country, but the approval I get comes from all angles and walks of life, and is definitely keeping the competitive fire burning for me!
You might laugh, but my strategy for the 2006 season was to try and stay somewhat skinny, but then get fat for the Canaries, so I can hold my sail down in Pozo’s nuclear winds... all before trying to slim down again for Sylt, as my wetsuit adds a few pounds, and that place is hard work!
As far as my targets and plans for this go for 2006, it’s not looking too bad. 3rd is nothing to sneeze at, but both Kauli and Kevin have quite a gap on me. I’m happy to still be in the game, yet I’m also realistic of where I stand.
This means that I'm psyching up for Sylt, so in the title race for me it's now or never. I’m especially fired up for the Weinershnitzl and rice pudding in the hut...I also can't wait to talk smack with Finian after his big win in Turkey, and take all Skye boy’s money in the unofficial slalom betting…
When I think about world titles, especially now that I have business interests and am a family man, I honestly often thank Jesus that I was allowed to win a title at all. Even though worldly titles are dust, any athlete that ever wanted, wanted first. If I win this year, will I be back for more? Probably not.
I’ve been asked how much harder is it to win now with the new talents like Victor Fernandez and Kauli Seadi on the scene. I guess I’d have to say that throughout competitive windsurfing’s history, there have always been the hotshots of that time. Kauli and Victor are definitely the main rippers in this era, and honestly all-around Kauli is probably the best wave sailor in the World right now.
With guys like that in the water, it's hard to win. But it was hard for Bjorn to beat Robby, and for Polakow to beat Bjorn, and so on and so forth. However, Sylt’s shore break is always a nice equalizer…
OK, so I’m off to check the charts for any swells coming my way soon and hoping to catch some big ones - I hope you do too. Remember, if you want to have a watersports vacation of a lifetime, contact us through www.angulocaboverde.com
© PWA / Brian McDowell