Sailor in Focus

She is happiest when she is out sailing and loves to freestyle in the waves. This week we catch up with top female freestyler Yoli de Brendt.

Venezuelan freestyle legend Yoli de Brendt (Fanatic / North) is one of the major driving forces behind women’s freestyle. She has placed within the top five for a number of years and in 2011 she claimed third place on the podium. At each competition she wows the judges with her vast repertoire of tricks, to blitz her way through each heat. We caught up with Yoli to find out a little more.

PWA: Firstly, what are your thoughts on the 2011 season and how would you rate your result?

De Brendt: I am happy with my result in 2011, because it was not my best winter training, the wind at my home spot was not perfect, only rain and light wind and with these condition I couldn´t really improve as much as I wanted. The PWA tour was in different conditions to what I am used to sailing in, with flat water and the wind a bit up and down like Bonaire and Aruba, but it was a great experience in two beautiful places and I learned a lot in these conditions, now I can prepare for the next season 2012.      

PWA: How long have you been windsurfing?

De Brendt: I started in 2003; I have been windsurfing 9 year.

PWA: Who has been you biggest influence on your sailing?

De Brendt: All the guys who practice here in El Yaque, Gollito Estredo, Ricardo Campello, Remko de Weerd, Andre Paskowski, the Moreno Twins and many more, but my first biggest influence was my dream to be one of the best windsurfer in the world of freestyle.  

PWA: What would you be doing if you weren’t windsurfing?

De Brendt: The ocean is my life and I always wanted to practice sports in the water, maybe if I wasn’t a windsurfer I would have been a surfer...but windsurfing is my passion.

PWA: Where is your favorite place to windsurf and why?

De Brendt: I have visited many places in the world for windsurfing and all are different and special, but my favorite place is my home spot El Yaque, because I can spend hours in the water, but Tarifa, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Bonaire are places that I like too.   

PWA: What is your favorite move and why?

De Brendt: My favorite move that I can do is a shaka, because it is a move you can do in waves or flat water and there is a moment with lots adrenaline when you go high into the wind and finish the rotation with full energy.

PWA: What move did you find the hardest to learn and why? 

De Brendt: The hardest move that I found to learn was the switch chacho because when I was learning my arm was always in the way and stopped the move which was painful, now I can do switch chachos as I figured out how to do it.

PWA: What new moves are you currently learning?

De Brendt: Goiter and kono, and I’m trying to do double moves too. 

PWA: How do you learn your moves? Videos? Watching others? 

De Brendt: I learn my moves by watching videos, that is really good and helps a lot and of course I spend a lot of time on the water and analising videos of myself and other sailors.

PWA: Where is your favorite spot on the PWA freestyle tour and why?

De Brendt: My favorite spot is Fuerteventura; I like it because the conditions are similar to my home spot El Yaque! Good wind and choppy with small waves.   

PWA: How does competition make you feel? And how to do prepare for your heats?

De Brendt: Competitions are always really hard for me, to keep the concentration and think about the conditions, sometimes we have a day with good conditions and constant wind and sometimes the next day is gusty or we have nothing, and maybe you have a good result in the first day and in the second you take the wrong equipment and you loose what you were working for hard the day before, for me that is really hard. 

And the preparation for my heats is my secret  ;D  no, I think like other people, always to keep my concentration and try to do my best on the water.

PWA: What do you do when you’re not windsurfing? 

De Brendt: I hope to windsurf all my life! Windsurfing is my live ... but apart of competition I also instruct, all around the world and I hope I can do this for a long time, showing people how fun windsurfing is.

Besides that I started to surf on our Island of Margarita, enjoy movies and updating my websites.

PWA: What are your goals for 2012?

De Brendt: I want to try my best on the water; this is what I need to be happy, if I do my best on the water, it also helps my results...