The PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup proved to be a tricky affair this year with light winds creating hugely challenging racing. By the end of the week, five eliminations were completed on the beautiful turquoise waters of Alaçati in winds ranging from 7 to 18 knots. Sarah-Quita Offringa made an emphatic return to the slalom scene as she dominated with four victories out of the five eliminations to seal a superb event victory in Turkey. Congratulations to her!
Here's her report:
"So that’s that for my first and only slalom event of the year and I couldn’t have hoped for a better performance! This year, I traveled to Alaçati, Turkey 10 days early for the event so that I could practice my slalom technique a bit as I haven’t had much time for that this year. However, there was only proper wind for the first 2 days... And of course, I couldn’t resist such strong winds and went freestyling on my 4.8m² and Flare 91... and had an amazing time! To be completely honest, I did not have much motivation to get on the slalom kit as it is so much more technical than freestyle. For slalom, tuning your equipment is essential to go fast. It takes a lot more time before you can fully enjoy your sessions on the water. Luckily, I have had some of the guys help me out and I was set for the races in no time! The day before the races there was quite strong wind and I was blasting around on my 6.4m² and iSonic 87 which felt great!
The first race started right after registration. I wasn’t sure what to expect from myself. But the moment that red flag went up, I immediately switched to competition mode and I felt the adrenaline rush of racing. My first start was perfect! And I led that qualification race from beginning to end and went on to do the same thing in the final. That was the strongest wind of the week and I was sailing on my 7.1m² Vapor and my iSonic 97 with a 38 Hurricane fin.
After one week of racing we finished five races in total. The wind was quite gusty this year as we were further down the bay than usual. All week the wind would suddenly pick up around 12:30 PM and then usually become to gusty to race in around 4:00 PM. This made it hard to choose your equipment. Any body’s best bet would be to just go big.
And that’s basically what I did the rest of the week! Believe it or not. I sailed the rest of my races on an 8.6m² Vapor and iSonic 110 with a 41 cm Hurricane or 44 Z Fin depending on the wind.
In the end, I won 4 races out of 5. This is the most consistent I’ve been in racing ever! Even though I managed to perform when it mattered the most (which was during the finals), I had a lot of close calls in the qualification rounds, mainly because of bad starts. When you have a bad start, it doesn’t matter how quick you are as you won’t be able to overtake anyone! So I’ve already learned a lot for the next time we race in light conditions
All in all it’s been a great week ! I do have to thank Fox Sports in Groningen, Active Surf in Alaçati and Rémi Vila for getting me boards to be able to sail. The support I received from the people in Alaçati is amazing and I really appreciate it. I’m already looking forward to go back next year! At the moment I’m in Holland taking a breather from all of my summer travels but looking forward to the freestyle event which will be held from the 8th until the 14th of September in Brouwersdam. This is the last freestyle event for the ladies and will be decisive for the overall freestyle title!
To keep updated of my whereabouts, you can have a look at my new website or on my new athlete’s page on Facebook! See you soon!"