Antxon Otaegui - El Garbanzo
22 yr old Antxon Otaegui (JP / NeilPryde) is only in his second year on tour, and already sits in 3rd place going into the last event. Renowned for being radical, the young Canarian has lived up to his reputation, especially when he took his first ever drop down the indoor ramp switch stance! However, bad luck struck Ortaegui just minutes before the second double elimination final in Fuerteventura, when he injured his foot and missed out on the end of event showdown with tour leader Jose Estredo. Lanzarote’s stylish freestyler, talks us through his season, training preparations and plans.
‘Since Fuerteventura I’ve been at home recovering from my foot injury, and trying to get ready for Sylt. I also flew to the surf festival in Mallorca for two days, which was fun.
I’m happy to be in third this year, especially as my first full season was in 2004, but my goal was to finish in the top 5 at the end of this season. However, since my result in Fuerteventura I’ll definitely try to go for the world title in Sylt - I know thats going to be very hard, but its also possible.
Normally I go for 4 or 5 months to Isla Margarita, but this year I decided to stay at home in Lanzarote over the winter. I sail whenever I can in Lanzarote, normally in Las Cucharas or in Jameos del Agua for wavesailing. The island is perfect for waves and I actually do a lot of wavesailing, although I’m not very good at surfing but I love jumping. Sometimes when the conditions are not the best for wavesailing, then I do freestyle, which is a lot of fun because its never flat, so you always find some nice chop to do some crazy moves.
I was going to do the wave event in Pozo this year but I got injured in Turkey so I couldn’t compete, but I’ll be going for it next year. I am still not ready to compete in Maui or Guincho because they are both Starboard tack spots, but I will do Pozo next year for sure and see how it goes.
At home I normally go running everyday to keep in shape and also when I go sailing I do heats on my own to get into the rhythm of competition. It also helped me a lot to do some minor and local events to get more experience.
I love travelling and being in new places, and this is probably my biggest motivation as is spending time with the other competitors; we always have a lot of fun at contests and I would not change that for anything.
My main sponsors JP and NeilPryde are helping me a lot now that I am on the international team, and I’m very happy to be with them, and hope to continue with them for many more seasons - the equipment is just amazing and the way they are treating me is also great. I’ve also signed with Sooruz as my clothing sponsor for 2006 and they are also supporting me well.
My plans in a short term are to go to Greece for some promotion for JP and NeilPryde, then to Sylt before a young guns event in Rhodes. After these I will probably go to Argentina with my girlfriend and then to Margarita to train until the first PWA event of 2007.
I don’t actually think much about what I am going to do after my career. Right now I’m meeting a lot of people inside the windsurfing industry and learning how some things work on the business side. Eventually I see myself doing something commercial inside the sport, but I still don’t know what.
All in all I just hope people enjoy themselves when they watch me sailing and maybe realise that actually I am quite shy - especially with girls, hahaha...
Oh, one more thing. I’ve invented a new move called "EL GARBANZO" I promise you’ll see it soon…
© PWA / Brian McDowell