15km Downwind Race, with NO HARNESS and a broken rib! - Boards Windsurfing

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15km Downwind Race, with NO HARNESS and a broken rib!

There’s only one girl we know that could break a rib, break a harness and STILL complete a 15km downwind race. 

Another day in the crazy life of Justyna Sniady.

Full details below (info from Justyna’s Facebook):

The women’s podium for the Lancelin Ocean Classic race


Well I landed in OZ for the last few hours of the 2013 and welcomed 2014 already in Perth. All good, excited to start my new Australian advantures with the new job as my visa will come through any time, and the wind and swell here as well. My hopes and spirtis were high! Made it to Corronation beach in Gerro already on the 2nd and went out for the first session after my foot surgery – exactly 3 weeks after the operation and a week sicne the removal of the stiches, and the first session of the year!! I was taking it really easy, just waverides, no jumps.. what could possibly go wrong? ……well 1hr into my session I found out:


What?! now I will need to wait all year till 2015 for an injury free one! Gutted!!!!! Done it in a lame way as well, was looking back at my friend and catapulted onto the mast! 6 weeks off the water they said first.. but I didnt believe it and tried 2 days after.. sadly no way to hook in! Teers of disspointment.. and back on camera duty again.

Week later we were in Lancelin for the Ocean Classic.. again I tried to hook in, so I could do a wave comp especially that the waves were sick.. but couldn’t do it.. sailed back holding on my hands only. Apart from the waves there was a 25km downwind race too – and hopefully I managed to barrow a very very old seat harness.. and I entered!

It was my first time ever on a slalom board of 100l and 6.2 Simmer SCR with 3 cambers! All felt huge compering to wave gear, but with a franken foot and a broken rib at least the fear of injury was out of the way haha.. so with a massive heat wave of 45* that made it impossible to stay on shore I signed up and got a last starting position behind 100+ people.. and made my way into the water excited and a bit scared about how I’ll go. Surprisinlgy I was doing ok despite the broken rib – seat harness wasn’t causing so much pain.. untill… IT BROKE!!!!!! Aaaaa!!! about 10km into the race! How often does the harness beak! Gutted I forgot my Mystic quality one from home!

So, here I am in the middle of the ocean with the massive gear, broken rib and NO harness! …what do you do?

A. Sail into the beach in the middle of the desert?

B. Make it to the safety boat and go in?

C. Hold on and finish the race?

Well, I hate quiting, so I went for C. Partly because it was big swell that day, and I had no clue where to go in (didn’t fancy a mast high wave ride on the slalom kit!), so had to follow people to the marked gate through so-called “hole in the wall”. So, I did 15 km downwinder on slalom kit without a harness.. God I was sore! My hands were shaking and I was well dehydrated by the end as due to all this I took over an hour to finish (double time compared to last year). But, I made it! In the end it turned out I managed to come 3rd in the ladies and 73rd in general (with 140 people starting and around 90 finishing). So not that bad performance despite the circumstances haha.. Congratulations to all the winners! Told you to watch your backs haha…

So far it doesn’t look like 2014 will be any easier on me then the last year, although maybe it’s just 2013 rubbing off, but compared to Stefan Hilder I have nothing to complain about! 

Right now I am after my first sail in the waves with a waist harness, and despite the clicking of the bones or cartlige, pain is not too bad. My foot got better as well and I already scored first waverides and landed quite a few backies, so I’m stoked! Looking forward to go back in shape asap and pushing it all the way on the water!

Happy 2014 everyone!


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