Career Grand Slam
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) is quite accustomed to the feeling of winning as a multiple-time world champion in Freestyle & Slalom. However, over the last few years, the PWA Wave World title has become her number one target as the final piece in the puzzle to complete a career grand slam.
After starting the season with two 3rd places in the Canaries it looked as though Offringa may have to place her wave world title aspirations on hold for another year, but with sport being so beautifully unpredictable that’s not how the season unfolded. A victory at the Mercedes-Benz Sylt Windsurf World Cup put the 28-year-old in contention for the title with Iballa Moreno (Severne / Severne Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) only finishing 5th in Germany.
Offringa had won the Aloha Classic the last time the PWA was in town in 2016 and the Aruban struck again - producing a brilliant display to win the single elimination ahead of her main rival Iballa. With only a 5 day holding period there wasn’t enough time for Iballa to try and stage a come back in the double and after several days of anxious waiting it was official that Offringa had become the first woman in over 2 decades, besides the legendary Moreno twins, to win the PWA Wave World title. After reaching another career milestone we recently caught up with the now 17-time world champion (12 Freestyle, 4 Slalom & 1 Wave) for an interview:
Hi SQ, you’ve had a little bit of time, but has it already settled in that you are the 2019 Women’s PWA Wave World Champion and how does it feel?
Hello!! It feels aaaweeesomee!
It’s the one discipline that I was very consciously working towards the past couple of years.
Waves are so challenging because of the many different conditions you need to be able to perform in. Big waves and light wind, smaller waves and strong wind. Pure riding or going for big jumps. It’s so much fun. So it’s very, very satisfying to have achieved this goal! Also because it was a tight race until the end which made it really exciting!
How was the contest as a whole for you?
I blinked and it was over!
I’m so excited and grateful that they were able to make the contest happen. I was already happy to finish the year off in Maui as a starboard tack event. Pozo is exciting with the mega wind, but the thought of sailing massive waves at Ho’okipa also gives me goose bumps, but it’s exactly the challenge I’m looking for!
Thankfully on the day of the single though, apart from a couple of massive sets, we didn’t get the peak of the swell. It was a really FUN day out there and I had a couple of sweet heats. I feel like I was pretty in the zone for all of them and it was just pure pleasure being out there with just the four of us out. I made a pretty late decision 4 minutes before the final to go back in and grab my 5,0 so I got in the line up really late, but I think that decision payed off as I could definitely use the extra power with the dying wind.
Obviously after winning the single elimination on the opening day you then had quite a long wait to officially become the wave world champion. Were you nervous while having to wait?
I would like to say I wasn’t too nervous, but there were definitely one or two days that I felt quite exhausted and just passed out at night even though I hadn’t sailed. So I guess I was definitely tense for most of the week. But more because I need to stay calm and not get too excited hahaha. After winning the single, the title was so close! But I definitely waited till the last seconds until Duncan announced it before I let the excitement boil over!!
In Maui you mentioned that you didn’t expect it to happen this year (winning)… why was that?
I think I put most of my time and energy into training in Gran Canaria. I wasn’t particularly focused on the title, but rather on just improving my sailing and translating that to competition there. I felt really good on the water in the Canaries but finished 3rd at both events, so I was a bit bummed I didn’t make it happen during those events. And somehow the Canaries was my focus and I was actually already resetting for 2020. I think after that the title wasn’t even on my mind. I just wanted to make sure to perform well during my heats which I think I did both in Sylt and Maui.
Winning the wave world title this year completes a grand slam of world titles. How does it feel to have won world titles in Freestyle, Slalom and now Wave? And how does this one rank compared to your other titles?
I think I’m still digesting the idea of having won that wave title. It really feels like a big achievement to me. Because I feel like freestyle and slalom came a bit more naturally to me as that is what I practiced at home anyway. For waves I’ve had to focus specifically to travel and train in wavy places.
It’s a first so it’s special.
Winning the wave world title means that you have won almost everything possible in windsurfing… what else do you want to achieve?
Good question! Still trying to figure that one out.
At least windsurfing is never ending and I’ll definitely be striving for progress in all disciplines.
After another long year of competing how will you be spending your winter?
What an epic year I can look back on! All the events on tour this year have been a lot of fun and besides the freestyle and waves I think racing in Denmark was particularly exhilarating.
I’m taking a mini vacation in Brazil at the moment and will spend the whole of December at home.
After that I think I will be on the hunt for some bigger waves in OZ.
Congratulations once again, SQ. Have a great winter and see you next year!