15 And Counting
Earlier this year Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) captured her 11th PWA Freestyle World Championship after winning both of the Women's Freestyle events in Portugal and Fuerteventura respectively, which also sees her extend her unbeaten run on the Freestyle World Tour. While continuing to raise the bar on the Freestyle World Tour, Offringa is also continually stepping up her level on the Wave World Tour. So far this season has finished in 2nd place in each of the 3 Women's Wave events - Morocco, Gran Canaria, Tenerife - and is currently on course to force her way in between the legendary Moreno twins heading into the final event in Sylt, Germany. We recently caught up with Sarah-Quita to see how she's feeling on capturing world title No.15 and the wave season so far.
Hey SQ - how’s it going?
Hey PWA ! All good here looking forward to the last leg of the tour!
So, this year you won your 11th PWA Freestyle World Title - how does that feel and what did you think of the events this year plus the level on the tour?
Yeah, I’m well happy about winning my 11th freestyle title this year. Especially since I was able to relax and enjoy the ride a bit more this time around, as opposed to last year where I was cracking under the (my own) pressure. Every year is more challenging, and this year has been the highest women’s freestyle level by far. This was very clear to see in Portugal. The wind was starboard tack orientated and the water was relatively flat. Some of the most fun conditions I’ve ever competed in. my closest competitors, Maaike [Huvermann], Oda [Johanne] and Arrianne [Aukes] were all going off, which was very motivating for to me to do my best. So I’m just happy we got the opportunity to show this level.
You spent some of your winter back home in Aruba training Freestyle… was that a conscious effort knowing that several of the girls are now pushing hard to catch up with you? And were you also happy to land some combo moves - in Fuerte for example landing the first spock culo in a women’s contest…
Well, this year I decided to focus on less things, so I could do those better. I also wanted to spend more time in Aruba this year, which happens to be quite a good freestyle place, if I do say so myself..hehehe. I spent a lot of hours on the water at home with my brother. I think I sailed my 4,8 almost everyday for 3 weeks straight. It’s been a while since I’ve freestyled so full on and I loved it. I chose to freestyle more this year for myself mostly. Because ultimately I adore freestyle, and it gives me a huge satisfaction when I land a new move. So having so much time at home allowed me to become more consistent in landing bigger moves, which allowed me to relax and enjoy sailing my heats more during competition. Landing that spock culo in competition was definitely a highlight for me, and I hope to be able to keep raising the bar in the future.
Heading into the final wave event of the year you are ranked 2nd overall after three second places… how have you found the wave season so far and have you been happy with your performance?
The wave season has been great and very diverse so far. Morocco was a fun event with Starboard tack wave riding, and I learned a lot again in the Canaries this year. The level has spread out a bit more amongst the girls and personally I’m super excited to see this progress across the fleet. And yes I’m exploding with excitement about my own sailing just because this summer I feel like I took a step to another level, and I got a glimpse of all the things I can learn and get better at if I put the time into it. I didn’t have this feeling the past few years, but after this summer I really feel like so many things are possible. And you know... this sport only becomes more and more fun the better you get. I seem to get more excited about windsurfing year after year. Is windsurfing possibly the best sport ever invented? Hmm. Yes, I really do think so.
So, to answer your question; great and yes.
After Portugal and the Canaries what have you been up to after a busy competition period?
I spent some time in Holland to catch my breath and hang out with friends. Couch surfing a bit, cruising in boats on the canals and just biking in that after summer weather. I didn’t windsurf at all, and I think that’s a good thing after 3 months of relentless wind in Portugal and the canaries. Oh and the 2 months of non-stop sailing in Aruba before that. So it was good to take a break, because I think I’m physically recovered now and my motivation is up again.
Now there’s just a couple of weeks before Sylt - what will you be doing before hand?
I’m in Norway at the moment and will go explore a bit with Oda. Maybe we’ll sail in Sweden if it’s windy , or we’ll head over to the west coast of Norway. We’ll go wherever the wind blows !! She said there’s a spot similar to sylt there. So I’m definitely looking forward to that.
And actually straight after that I’ll head to Sylt. So see you all there for the final showdown of the year!
Thanks SQ - good luck in Norway and see you in Sylt.