Saturday, July 23, 2011

Slalom and Freestyle training at Bonaire

My training in Bonaire:

Last week I was in Bonair for some slalom training with my North Sails Warp 7.0 and my Starboard Isonic 101 woodcarbon.
I also came there to practice freestyle.
The conditions were great, 20 knots.
I got the slalom training from Patun Saragosa,
The slalom lessons were very good and lots of fun!!
Patun gave me some tips for the jibes and for speed, the tips helped me a lot. Thanks Patun!!
I also freestyled with the guys from Bonaire and learned a Spock and a Funnel.
We had a great time, thanks Jurgen, Stepherd, Joshua and Felix

Monday, July 4, 2011

Aruba Hi-winds 2011

June 22 2011 / I arrived on Aruba with I Hang Loose Windsurf Team's sponsor Insel Air who is a great help to us with tickets and transport of our equipment. I could not wait to go to Fishermen Huts, the cool beach were the PWA Freestyle and Slalom event already started. Once I arrived I saw all great windsurfers I only know from the windsurf magazines. I had landed in windsurf heaven! They were all very nice and helpful. I learned a lot of the new gear. Everybody was allowed to take pictures with them and the best was surfing among them. Peter Volwater was really nice, he spoke several times with me and gave me tips to rig my sail even better. Also Karin Jaggi, from whom my parents bought my first North Sail years ago was really outgoing and stayed nice all the times I ask her for more windsurf knowledge. Of course I had fun with the Bonairians, who are always smiling and I loved to see Tati racing his 6.6 sail like crazy in a group of 8-something sails and stay put. They called him "the Wasp", unbelievable how he jibes, nobody can keep up with his cool style.

I was allowed to do a try out for PWA and ended in 4th place out of 9 kids (age 13-18), not bad since I was the youngest (I just turned 13,  June 16th). The PWA people told us they were presently surprised by the high level of all the kids but at the end the smallest kids, which I was one of, where not allowed to enter because it would be too dangerous for us. I thought it was a little unfair especially since I beat a couple of the bigger guys in the try outs…. But I respect their decision, my time will come! I still have to do a lot more training if I want to keep up with the pro's.
After the PWA Event some Aruban kids and I even got the chance to surf with Bjorn Dunkerbeck, that was really cool of him.

June 29 2011/ Registration day
Aruba Hi-winds is one of the events I like the most. Aruba is a cool place to sail and the people are always friendly. For more info: Aruba Hi Winds. Today the registration took part. I already registered online so everything went fast.

Day 1- The first day of slalom competitions. After a good night sleep I went to the beach early to get my gear ready. At the skippers meeting they told me I was in heat #4. The course was a downwind slalom with 4 jibes and really long laps. In the first heat I was 1st over the starting line and ended up 2nd behind Jurgen Saragosa from Bonaire. I was impressed by his speed. The rest of the day I came in third and 1 time fourth.

Day 2- When I arrived on the beach, I noticed there was no wind. I rigged my gear and went out to see how the wind was out there. In Aruba it's very difficult to tell on the beach how the wind is out on the ocean.
I could plain with my North Sails Warp 7.0, so back on the beach I didn't have to rig a bigger sail.
The day started with heat #6 because we ended with heat #5 the day before and over and over Oscar, the race director made heat 6,7,8,9 start, with result: the heat cancellation flag. The AP flag was up really long. We tried for almost 2 hours, but only cancellations and postponements. At noon we went back to the beach for lunch. After lunch they did the same thing and ended up with the same results.

Day 3- Today we had planned the long distance but when we were rigging they told us that we were going to do slalom. We started and now the heat's went faster. I used my Isonic 86 slim and with a 6.4 Ka Koncept a combination I like. I made some good starts but the waves came from all sides and since we are not use to that I ended up 3th after Nik and Mathias from Aruba. At the end of the day they started the Freestyle competition but after 2 heats all was cancelled because of the lack of wind.

Day 4- Today we did do Long Distance Races. The wind wasn't as strong as the day before. I decided to go with my North Sails Warp 7.0 and my Starboard Isonic 101 wood carbon. This is my favorite set and I was going fast!! I finished 2nd all the long distance races and was happy with the result.
After that here was a Kite Long Distance Race, cool to see so many kites at once on the water! Not a long rest since I had to change the slalom gear for my freestyle sail and board. I made it till the 3rd elimination round and the result was 5th place in "Kid of the Huts".
During the weekend there was a big crowd on the beach to watch the competitions and of course to join the Amstel bright happy hours and the music.

Day 5- Today I wanted to make sure I hold 3rd place and that is what I did. After the races we packed all our gear an were ready to go home. In the evening we had the price giving at a shopping mall. Nearly all surfers and kiters where there and it was fun to watch the movie they made of this event all together.
I was happy with my 3th place as the others Nik and Mathias were really good.
All and all, again a great event in which I learned a lot. Two thumbs up for the organisation of the Hi Winds! Next year I will be back!

Also a big thank you to all my sponsors and Insel Air who made the travelling easy.