When it comes to competitors they’re not many who are more ruthless, fierce and successful than Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins), but from the beach that may not be instantly apparent with the Aruban’s bright beaming smile and bigger than life personality making her one of the friendliest and most approachable people while on the beach - whether she’s interacting with fellow sailors or rubbing shoulders with fans. Offringa’s competitive instincts have now earned her 14 world titles after winning her 10th freestyle world title earlier this summer, while wrapping up the 2017 Women’s PWA Slalom World Championship last week with an event to spare - which is her 3rd in a row and 4th overall. After another extremely successful season already we caught up with Sarah-Quita for an interview:
A week ago you officially became the 2017 Women’s PWA Slalom World Champion for the 4th time in your career. How are you feeling after winning your 3rd slalom title in a row?
It feels good :-) I don’t know how to word it exactly because it came quite quick, Especially since Korea and Japan were only 2 races in total, which sounds quite easy on the one hand but on the other hand there’s also no room for mistakes. So it was great to win those two but then Denmark was a fun event with 7 races held in differing conditions. And winning that event gives a bit more fulfilment!
I’m very happy about winning the title, because I’ve been putting more and more effort into my sailing and feel that I am improving. And it’s nice to see that progress on the race course knowing that everyone else has also improved.
This year you’ve put yourself through an emotional rollercoaster on each of your title winning days…having to wait for the result to be verified in Fuerte and then making a rare mistake on the final day in Denmark… what was going through your head in DK when you were told you were disqualified and could potentially lose the event title meaning the title fight would’ve gone to New Calendonia?
Hahaha yeah! My emotions were all over the place at both events. Fuerte was a different story though as that is the only freestyle event of the year. Way more pressure.
In DK I felt on the course already that something was wrong and then couldn’t believe they actually disqualified all the girls to the loser’s final. When I realised the decision was final I was actually already resetting and mentally in New Caledonia. I mean, a second place wasn’t bad and I still had a chance to fight for the title later in the year. Even though New Cal was going to be tough with Delphine and Lena being dominant in stronger conditions. It wasn’t until after I won the loser’s final that I started hanging my head, because how could I have let the event and the title that was SO close just slip away like that?
When you first started competing did you ever think you would win 14 world titles?
No, definitely not. I never even started competing with the dream of becoming world champion.
I just liked the fact that I was travelling around to amazing windsurf locations and testing myself against the best of the world.
Do you ever think about how many more it might be possible to win?
No, I don’t really. The titles are nice, but I don’t think they make or break a person.
In the end I just want to become a better windsurfer and striving for any title is only a means to improve my windsurfing and myself. Having said that. I would like to win a wave title muahaha.
You are one of the most all-round and gifted windsurfers on the planet… do you think there’s any weaknesses in your sailing and what is one area you feel you could improve?
Am I !??!
Ohh yeah there’s so much room for improvement it’s almost driving me crazy.
I just want to get better because this sport just gets more and more fun as you progress!
In wave sailing I need to read and surf the wave much better and get more comfortable in big waves.
I need to stop thinking and actually start jumping higher.
In slalom I need to find the comfort and confidence to blast on the small slalom gear as well as work on my gybes a lot. In freestyling I wish I could do all of my moves consistently on both sides.
Sooo much to work on !! Let’s get it !!
In just over a week you’ll be preparing to compete in Sylt with the rest of the women’s wave fleet… it looks like you, Lina and Justyna could be involved in an exciting fight for 3rd - how are you feeling ahead of Germany?
Yes, I’m looking forward to another battle with the girls. I’m having fun in wave sailing and competing against them just makes me want to do better. Having pocketed the slalom and freestyle title though I feel quite relaxed. So now all I want is to get in the water and sail rather than wait for wind.
Anyway before I even have to start compete the main goal is to get past Sylt’s gnarly shorebreak.
I think if I beat that, I’m already a winner hahaha. See you guys there!!
Thanks SQ - see you in Sylt.
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