Gaastra Sails are proud to announce the signing of women’s PWA Freestyle World Champion Sarah-Quita Offringa! At just 18 years of age, she is one of the new-school up-and-coming freestylers that has made history by dominating the women’s tour. Sarah-Quita will be working to defend her Freestyle title as well as get her feet wet on the PWA Slalom tour...
Matt Pritchard: HI Sarah-Q - welcome to Gaastra! You've been turning heads wherever you go... Tell us a little about yourself and how you got so GOOD!!!
Sarah-Quita: Well... My name is Sarah-Quita and I’m 18 now. I’ve been sailing since I was 9 years old. I have practiced many sports since I was little but none of them were as special as windsurfing! My brother and I train freestyle together so we give each other tips to get better all the time. I think it’s also the rush I get from landing new moves or speeding across the water that keeps me coming back to the water for more.
MP: I think you've figured out this competition thing - it seems to come naturally for you. What's a normal day in your life - how do you prepare yourself for competing with such authority?
SQ: I am naturally a competitive person so I actually enjoy doing competitions. It’s hard to perform well in a heat when you’re under pressure but once it all goes well and you stick all your moves you will definitely come out of the water with a big smile on your face! Before, during and after my heats I talk to myself a lot to keep me motivated and focused but most of all I pray.
MP: The moves you are doing nowadays are out of control! Who do you look up to and where do you come up with the tricks you are doing? Who are you training with?
SQ: Since I started windsurfing I have looked up to the Bonaire guys! I love their styles on and off the water. In Aruba I train with my brother Quincy. I think continentseven.com is also a great website to keep up with what all the other sailors are doing.
MP: So you are getting into slalom racaing! Aruba was always known as a great slalom location - how much time have you spent on racing gear?
SQ: I don’t practice slalom very often but occasionally I get a kick and just feel like being the fastest on the water, ha-ha-ha. I love going into a laydown gybe at full speed and to exit at full speed again. Because of the flat water here in Aruba it’s easier to work on gybes and perfecting my racing stance. I’ll be training more for the upcoming season though!
MP: That is gonna be interesting to see you on the race course... What do you expect of yourself for results? Are you gonna be bummed out if you don’t win or what's the story there?
SQ: I’m pretty new to slalom competitions and haven’t competed yet in different conditions. I know I can do well in strong winds but I don’t know how I would do in light winds yet. In Turkey last year I made many mistakes so I was pretty bummed out when I did a bad result but the day I got it all together and won the last race I was ecstatic! So losing is just part of the game :)
MP: What's your favorite freestyle move and why?
SQ: Shakas are awesome because you’re floating through the air. Konos are great when you're fully powered and just get launched in the air. You lose sense of gravity and on impact you are brought back to reality :-D
MP: Who is your favorite freestyler to watch and why?
SQ: Like I said before I really enjoy watching Kiri, Taty and Tonky sail. Steven has also developed a style I like very much!
MP: Your favorite location to sail besides Aruba and why?
SQ: Fuerteventura is a great spot to sail. It’s a very special spot to me. I had a lot of incredible sunset sessions to remember! First of all the water's blue. The wind's a little side-offshore so you can sail down the coastline. The water is flat on the inside and some nice waves breaking. Perfect for sliding and power moves!
MP: How about your goals for 2010?
SQ: To push windsurfing to new limits!!!
MP: Awesome! I’m happy to have you on the Gaastra team. I wish you lots of luck out there... Any words of wisdom you would like to tell all your fans?
SQ: I am delighted to be part of the Gaastra team. Smile while you're sailing! Enjoy your session on the water...
Photo: PWA / John Carter