Sarah-Quita talks about her win in Alaçati

Helloooo my windsurfing (& non windsurfing) friends!!!

So here’s some Good news and some bad news:

Bad news is that my summervacation is over and that I’m back at uni in Holland. Which means I have to swap my bikini’s, shades and flipflops for jeans, shoes and (very soon) sweaters and coats, which brings me to the worst of the worst : I’ll be losing my tan soon !!!

Good news is that I have had an awesome summer, in which I could not have performed any better during the only 2 events I did for the year and I’m fully motivated going into my 3rd and last bachelor year of my study. Can you believe it? time has flown and I’m getting closer and closer to that degree. And lastly… the weather people are saying this weekend is going to be a hot and sunny one. Think 25-30 degrees hot! So I won’t have to let go of that tan too soon :D

Conclusion? The good news definitely outweighs the bad news!

To prepare for the slalom in Turkey I flew over there well before the competition so I could get used to the new kit that I haven’t had the chance to try out yet. And I’m not gonna lie about it… I wanted to get some freestyle hours in as well. So on a side note I just wanted to say that Alaçati is a great place for freestyle. We had 3 amazing (AMAZING!!!) days sailing fully, fully overpowered on 4,2 and finally getting those culo’s and burners dialed in and probably did the biggest kono’s in my life.

I haven’t competed on the slalom tour at all this year but I dare say that windwise the pegasus worldcup was probably the best one out of all the events up until now. Apart from registration day it was windy every single day and we were able to finish 9 rounds of, in my opinion, pretty high wind slalom. And what made it exciting for the ladies was that there were 26 participants so we had to do 2 qualification rounds before being able to sail a final. From the 18 qualification races we did I think I won about 15. I know it doesn’t count but it does boost your confidence for the finals !

Day 1 race 1&2

Sailed fully overpowered on my 5.7 and 86l (34cm fin) all day. Which is odd because the other ladies who are much lighter than I am were holding on to their 6.2’s. Later realized that some extra downhaul works wonders !
It’s been a year since I last raced or even stepped on slalom equipment but as soon as that red flag went up it felt like I just picked up where I left off last year and won the 1st qualification round. For some odd reason however, I guess my watch wasn’t in sync with the starters on the boat, I went over early in the next round and had to sail in the losers final which I did win.

The next round I made it to the winners final and made it to the bouy in first but went into the jibe with too much speed and got catapulted after hitting a big piece of chop. Finally finished in 4th. By the end off the day I wasn’t dissapointed but did feel like I had taken 2 big steps back experience wise in competition and that I needed to start all over again.

Overall ranking: 7th

Day 2 race 3 &4
Sailed on my 6.4 & 7,1 an 86l, again winning both qualification rounds and then going over early. But this time it was in the winners final! Seriously, my biggest fear in slalom is going over early and I had just done it for the 2nd time. There is nothing worse than not being able to race and put up a fight for the top spot. So that was my 3rd mistake in a row and saw my chances on doing well at this event diminishing. Gutted to the max.

In race 4 I Finally got it together! In the winners final kept in mind to slow down before the 1st mark. Once I made the first jibe safely I kept my cool and went for the win.

Overall ranking after the 1st discard :4th

Day3 race 5&6
Raced on 7.1 and 97l. I had lost my confidence at the starting line so had some pretty bad starts in race 5. People told me don’t be too sharp for the starts because I was fast enough anyway but as soon as you start behind the pack there is no way you can pass them. Made it to the first mark somewhere in 7th position but managed to pass quite a few people on the straights and finished 2nd!

The next race marked where my mindset had fully switched to competition mode and stayed on form for the rest of the competition. My fear for "overearlies" had gone. I might not have had the best start but I was at the line with all the rest and made it to the bouy in first. From then on left the rest fighting for the remaining places. Muahahaha ( let’s be honest here. That’s what we all love about slalom right? speeding past your competitors on the straight or sneaking past them during the jibes. Don’t tell me you don’t secretly grin and do an imaginary fistpump whenever that happens. Hehehe….)

Overall ranking: 2nd!!

Day 4
Raced on 7.1 and 97l and 37 cm fin in the finals. Due to the tricky wind I did have to race on my 7.9 and 117l a few times.
2 more bullets in the pocket !! Say whuut!? Had to keep telling myself: SQ staaaay calm it ain’t over yet. It was hard to keep my cool because I was seriously stoked by then as I was pretty sure I had reached my goal I have for every slalom comp: finishing on the podium.

Overall ranking after the 2nd discard: 1st (6 points difference with 2nd)

Day 5.
Sailed 7.1 and 97l and 37cm fin. Only one race planned for the day. By now my whole body was aching. Slalom competition is physically way more demanding than freestyle. Had to finish 6th or better to secure the event win. This was the only day I felt a bit of nervousness coming on. Made it this far so there was no way I was going to give away that 1st place because of some little mistake However I was able to stay calm and sail my way to the winners final. As soon as the red flag went up I decided for myself I wanted to win the race ( positive thinking right ? had to put all of the worst case scenario’s aside.)
Won my fifth race and finished the comp with a bang !

Overall ranking: 1st !!

That was it for my only slalom event this year. In freestyle I always push for the win but I came into this event without any expectations. Or at least, they weren’t too high. Winning this event feels amazing, but I’m definitely not taking winning for granted. I’m just very grateful and appreciative of all the help and support I’ve received from everybody. Especially the Starboard and Gaastra teamriders (and a bunch of other competitors) helping me out to sort out and tune my equipment.

I have the biggest grin on my face these days when I think back on summer ’12.
Muuuch love,

SQ - Aru91

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