Queen of the World
After completing her studies, 2015 saw Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) return to competing in all 3 disciplines full-time. Some may have thought that this may be too taller order to remain competing at the very top of her game, but she emphatically proved any doubters wrong as she claimed world titles in the freestyle and slalom, while breaking into the overall top 3 for the first time in the waves. After a hugely successful year we caught up with SQ, who now holds 10 world titles to her name — 8 freestyle and 2 slalom — for an interview.
2015 was a pretty big year for you… 2 world titles and podium in the waves for the first time… how was the season overall for you?
SQ: “Yeah!! I don't know where it started, but all of a sudden I felt like competing in all disciplines and at the beginning of 2015 I told myself that I wanted to finish top 3 in everything.
To be more specific, I wanted the freestyle and slalom title and finish 3rd in waves. It was actually really tough to keep up with all the disciplines and stay focused and not panic because the other girls were practicing their disciplines while I was competing in another. By the end of the year I was extremely exhausted but achieving what I wanted was really, really satisfying. “
Your latest world titles take you to at extremely impressive count of 10… at the age of just 24… did you ever imagine winning so many world titles and what else would you like to achieve in windsurfing?
SQ: “Wauw ! To think about it like that is a bit weird for me, because it means I've been on tour for a while now hahaha.
No I never imagined to win all these titles. To be honest, that wasn't even my aspiration as a kid. I just enjoyed the sport so much and being to travel and compete was already the bomb.
Other things that I would like to achieve in windsurfing is to improve my wave sailing much more. Basically I just want to be an all around windsurfer so I can enjoy all types of conditions.
I don't know other than that.. I just want to be an amabassador for the sport and hopefully see it grow again. I keep hearing stories about how big it used to be... I wasn't around then though to see it haha.. but maybe we can get that back to a certain degree!”
With the amount of success you’ve achieved in such a short space of time do you ever find it hard to motivate yourself to compete? And do you plan on continuing to compete in the foreseeable future… or is there something else you’d like to pursue?
“The thing is that my motivation isn't necessarily winning, my motivation is to improve. And I do that through competing. The stress of competition does get to me sometimes, to the point that I ask myself why I'm even doing it, but once a contest is over I am so incredibly motivated to train and get better for the next time that I forget about all the nerves I had before and can't wait to compete again.
Well, I have been competing for about ten years now and there are definitely other things I would like to do in the future, but for now it's still quite fun, so Ima be around :).”
You recently premiered Cabeibusha ‘The Curly Gem’ in Aruba — how did that go town in your home country?
SQ: “Yes ! It was great to show my movie back home in Aruba.
The support I get there is amazing, and to finally be able to show them what this windsurfing life I have is all about feels great.
Finally they could get an insight about what we go through as windsurfers, travelling and competing around the world.
I just want to show that although I might be from a small island, you can go as far as you like, as long as you work for it.
The response I've had from everybody was really good and I'm very very thankful to the producer Julien Robinet and Broken bloke productions for taking me on this movie making journey.”
Out of all the world titles you’ve won is there on that stands out in your mind more than others? If so, why?
SQ: “Both 2011 and 2015. where I won both freestyle and slalom. In 2011 I had spent most of my time studying and less time on the board. And then it's hard to come out and compete when you'er not so sure about how you're going to perform. Winning both titles was mindblowing and I couldn't believe it.
Whereas this year, it was something I really aimed for and having won it really felt like a victory. I had no sailsponsor last year and getting all my gear together was just a hassle.
This year I was fully equipped with my new sailsponsor Neilpryde, and I could really focus on my sailing. since I finished my studies in 2014, it took me a while to get back into the windsurfing swing, but this year I finally felt like I was progressing again, so as I said.. it really felt like a victory this time. BOOOOOOMMM!!!!!”
After such a long year on tour is it nice to finally be able to relax and spend some time at home?
SQ: “Wauwie! That was really long, all that travelling and competing definitely takes a toll on you. I left home at the beginning of June and was back by mid December.
So when I finally got back home, I think I went M.I.A for 2 weeks and slept a LOT hahaha. I did windsurf a lot as well. what else do you do when it's windy !?
But yeah..it's nice to be back in your comfort zone and recharge for a while. You really start appreciating having your own room, bed, a closet and a car!”
What’s your plans for the rest of the off season?
SQ: “Well… My first competition is in May, but the way I see it that's already around the corner.
I'm going to hang around Aruba though, because I haven't been home for longer than 4 weeks in five years. And the windy season starts NOW. I'll probably get a lot of freestyle and slalom in, but still need to figure out where to go to practice some waves.”
Thanks SQ. Enjoy the rest of your winter and we’ll look forward to seeing you again a little later this year.