In 2017, Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone) came agonisingly close to breaking into the overall top 10 in Slalom, but missed out on count back to Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails). However, rather than being disappointed that he missed out on his 2017 goal by such a small margin, Vonk instead returned fitter, stronger and faster than the year before and with an extra year of experience under his belt the 25-year-old produced his best performance yet on the world tour - eventually finishing in a fantastic 4th place in the overall rankings. After another eye catching season we caught up with Jordy for an interview:
Hey Jordy, you enjoyed your best year to date on the world tour - finishing 4th overall - you must be delighted with how 2018 panned out for you?
It’s been such an amazing year! It’s the 3rd year in a row I improved my ranking and to be 4th now is unbelievable. I saw some calculations which showed I qualified for 74% of all winner finals, comparing those numbers to the years before is insane.
Having come so close to breaking into the overall top 10 last year - just missing out on count back to Basti Kördel - it must feel even sweeter to have cracked the top 5 now too?
Sometimes not reaching your goal motivates you even more to reach it again the year after! Not making the top 10 by equal points felt sh*t at that moment, but on the other hand I was happy to improve my ranking again and making it so close in a year with ups and downs, I confirmed for myself I’m able to reach it in the future. To actually make it the year after with a 4th definitely feels sweet!
After last year’s performance did you already up your aims for 2018?
Well after finishing my studies in 2016 I already said to myself: Next year (2017) I want to be top 10 and the year after (2018) I want to be top 5. As I didn’t make the 2017 goal nothing changed, many people asked me: will you make the top 10 next year? But secretly I was already aiming higher. But let’s face it, I guess I would have been happy with a top 10 finish anyway with the level we have!
In 2017 you showed glimpses of what your are capable of with one podium and one top 10 finish, but in 2018 you took your game to a new level with 5 top 10 finishes from the 6 events… what do you think helped you the most to be able to consistently perform at such a high level?
We all know experience is very important in racing and in 2017 I’ve had it all. Knowing how it felt to be in a podium spot in Japan, crashing lots by myself in Denmark, only hitting 18.5’s in Costa Brava and some solid racing in Sylt/New Caledonia. I’ve analysed lots and found reasons for my mistakes. I guess 2017 helped me a lot to be more consistent in 2018!
Out of all the events this season which was your favourite and why?
I loved the 2 days of racing in Fuerteventura, but I guess this year’s favourite was Portugal. We didn’t know what to expect and the spot delivered big time! Although I had a rough week due to some private matters, it was just awesome being out there flying on our small gear in a beautiful place.
The events saw a range of wind conditions… which do you prefer… nuclear slalom or light wind racing, which is more technical, right?
In general I really like high wind slalom, but also I never want to miss out on some light wind racing. Both have such nice characteristics. High wind being on the edge of control and fighting with riders until the finish compared to low wind where you try to take the maximum out of your gear while there’s absolutely no room for error!
You just got back from Bonaire… was that your first time there and how was it?
Yes I decided to do a short holiday in Bonaire after the season. I’ve never been there and Amado invited me to come to his place. It was an amazing time, hitting the gym everyday, cruising with slalom or foil gear on some amazing waters and mostly getting adjusted to the very relaxed Caribbean vibe to get some rest :) It’s a small island but an absolute paradise for windsurfing!
Best thing about being on tour?
Being able to fight with the best windsurfers in the world to reach my dream/goal: become PWA Slalom World Champion.
Worst thing about being on tour?
You have to leave quite some things like friends/family behind to travel around the world +/- 9 months a year (incl. training). You won’t hear me complaining about it, but it’s an aspect some people don’t see!
One thing you couldn’t live without?
If that thing could be a feeling, it’s definitely the ultimate feeling of freedom you get on the water on whatever gear you choose.
What are you up to for the rest of the close season?
I’ll be heading to Cape Town! I enjoyed that place so much last winter and I still have lots to discover there. Also there’s lots planned this time, like some clinics, SA championships, video shoot, gym program and of course wave sailing!
Thanks, Jordy. Congrats on a great season. Have a great winter and see you in 2019!
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