Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) now has 16 world titles and counting after capturing her twelfth PWA Freestyle World Championship at the recent Fuerteventura PWA World Cup with another masterful display. Despite a strong challenge from Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) the Aruban completes the Freestyle with a clean sweep having also won in Bonaire earlier this year. We recently caught up with Sarah-Quita to find out more about her 12th Freestyle world title:
Hey SQ, congratulations on winning your 12th PWA Freestyle World title in Fuerteventura - how does it feel to have won your 12th Freestyle and 16th overall?
Thanks so much! Yes I’m well happy about winning my 12th world title.
In Fuerteventura I only had the contest on my mind and just wanted to perform well on the water. I was having fun during all my heats and that last final against Maaike was another good one. I was already happy about my sailing in the final and totally forgot the title would be decided there and then, so when they announced I won the final and with that also my 12th title I was caught off guard for a second and then just couldn’t stop yelling with excitement. It was great to have Bonaire this year which totally contrasts the conditions in Fuerte so ultimately it’s been a fun and exciting battle this year!
The level on the women’s tour is rising all the time - particularly between yourself, Maaike and Oda - do you think their progression also boosts your own progression and does the rise in level perhaps make this title more satisfying than some of the others?
Yeah! Winning this title feels great!
Maaike broke my 11 year streak of not losing a heat in Bonaire this year. So interestingly enough winning this title feels a bit sweeter.
Maaike, Oda and I have been sailing together a lot lately and I can tell you it’s pure fun and motivation on the water. And even when competition comes around it’s still pure fun and motivation. I know Maaike wants to beat me badly, and I see during the heats how hard she’s pushing. But honestly, I live for that kind of challenge!! I’m not scared of losing, the idea and feeling of not progressing is worse. So this year, her stepping it up in the finals has fuelled me to also put up my best performances.... So rather than just being happy about the title, I’m just quite satisfied about the level we’ve all been able to showcase on the water.
With Oda and Maaike both pushing hard does that bring more pressure for you to perform? And do you enjoy the added pressure?
Two years ago, even though I won, I kind of cracked under that pressure and was very unhappy competing. But this year I was in a way better headspace and just enjoyed being there. The level is a bit more even now, which forces me to go for my bigger moves more regularly rather than resorting to safer moves. I love that challenge so rather than feeling more pressure I felt this excitement where I’m just revving to get out there and smash my heats. Kaaapooooowww!!!
You’ve just finished a long summer of competing in the Canaries - also competing in the waves in both Pozo and Tenerife - overall how happy are you with how the summer played out?
Oh my goodness! I’ve been down here 3 months now. I didn’t think I could spend so much in the Canaries and enjoy it so much. It’s been my best trip to the Canaries yet in terms of making the most of the conditions and just enjoying training. I don’t think it was the best season for waves before the contest, but switching between waves and freestyle I think I got the best out of all the conditions. The past years I would burn out a bit from sailing so much and being too focused on competing, but this year it was ridiculously fun spending time with Oda and Maaike. One moment we’re seriously training pushloops, backloops and stalled forwards and the next moment we’re synchro “silly salmoning” (Amado still did it way better) bodydrag challenging each other laughing our heads off and occasionally checking up on Maaike after one of her crazy crashes haha.
Yeah this summer was great, I enjoyed the whole process of being there training and finally competing and I think I’ve progressed a lot. I do think I dropped the ball on my waveriding a bit as I was really focused on jumping, but I’ll be working on that.
It’s probably not a stat that you want to hear… but in Tenerife you recorded 3 out of the top 4 highest scoring heats. 3rd is still a good result, but do you think it was a slight opportunity missed?
Hey! That’s awesome no?
You know, I’m satisfied with my sailing in all my heats in Tenerife, there wasn’t a heat I was unhappy about. Obviously it would have been great to have had the higher scoring heats later in the elimination and then maybe the results would have been different, but I didn’t make it happen and I think that’s just my own inconsistency in wave sailing. I often start strong, but then somehow can’t keep it up entirely and it’s usually wave riding where I lack the most. In Tenerife particularly though I think I misjudged my jumps a bit, in my mind I thought I scored high enough when in fact I didn’t. But ya live and learn! Like I said I was very happy with my sailing and finishing third is still a podium finish, but a third also tells me there’s enough room for improvement, which I will have you know, I shall be working on.
You are currently 3rd on the wave tour with two events to go… what’s your outlook for the rest of the season?
The rest of the season looks interesting! Sylt is always a gamble, but we’ve had good conditions the last 3 years so I’m hoping we can get another result in this year. Competing there is tough because the conditions are so raw and unpredictable, but then again, everyone needs to deal with that. And then Maui will be another fun event, especially it being starboard tack will be a nice change. I’m not where I want to be in the rankings in terms of the title, but really anything can still happen and I’m just excited to be part of the race this year!
Put your seatbelts on ladies and gents, this is gon’ be fun !
After a long stint of competing what are you doing between now and Denmark?
So, even though it’s been great in the Canaries it’s time to move on to the next leg of the tour in Europe.
I’ll be off to Norway for a clinic with Odale [Brødholt], which will be from the 31st August until the 1st September and then I will come down to Denmark for the slalom. I’ll be in the area anyway and I think it’s good to take a break from waves and freestyle. I miss that adrenaline rush from slalom and can’t wait to get on the racecourse. Let’s see if I can still round some buoys!
Thanks SQ. Congrats again on your latest world title, enjoy your break and see you in Denmark!
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