Last years freestyle Vice World Champion was none other than the Dutch delight, Arrianne Aukes. Off to a good start in 2014, Aukes was set to find herself on the podium once again, however a nasty bought of bad luck saw here down and out just one day before competition started at the final ladies PWA freestyle event of the year. We caught up with her for a few words about her injury, recovery period and if she has to undergo surgery, read on.

I went to a few doctors in Fuerteventura and one of them told me that it was still possible to sail with a brace and a cortisone injection

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So Arrianne, now you've had some time to recover, can you tell us what happened exactly in Fuerteventura the day before the event?

The day before the event started I went out for a little session. I always try to take it easy the days before a competition as I think being rested is most important but at the same time I think it’s good to check out and get used to the conditions (they can vary a lot in Fuerteventura and its pretty difficult sailing). While going for a Ponch on the way out my front foot went out of the straps and I landed badly on my ankle and tore some of my ligaments in my ankle completely.

You left pretty soon after, mid-way during the competition, were there any hopes to compete before you changed your flight?

As soon as I crashed I knew that I would probably not be able to compete the next day as it was incredibly painful and very swollen, I couldn’t move my foot at all. The next day I went to a few doctors in Fuerteventura and one of them told me that it was still possible to sail with a brace and a cortisone injection. But although I would do anything to compete I knew I had to be realistic with myself.

You train the whole year for your competitions, and with only two competitions this year Fuerteventura was very important for me but I knew it would not be possible to sail a good heat with a foot you can’t even stand on and being twice as big as normal. Above all this, I did not want to risk any more damage to my ankle, and maybe not be able to sail for a very long time. So I made the very difficult but sensible decision of going home to recover.

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There will be no more freestyle events for the ladies, some serious bad luck for you, are you motivated for next year?

Yes I think I have never been more motivated than I am now!

I was watching the live stream from the competition in Fuerteventura at home in Holland, and it felt so strange watching a competition you always take part in.

We saw you sailing before the competition, you looked at the peak of your game, what were your aims for Fuerteventura and do you think you had some strong threats to take your overall podium spot?

Yes I felt very ready for the competition, I had some really good weeks of training before the event, I really enjoyed sailing and managed to stick some new moves and got some moves pretty consistent for the competition, one of which was the ponch…;). I always really like the competition in Fuerteventura and think the strong wind, tricky conditions and waves suit me well.

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I was not completely happy with my result in Bonaire so I was of course very keen to try to claim my second place back from last year ☺ I think the level of girls is really high now. Maaike Huvermann showed some impressive skills in Bonaire and with her second place in Bonaire she was a serious threat for my overall place but I think in Fuerteventura the conditions would have been a bit more in my favour.

Looking to the future what are your goals for the winter and 2015?

This injury made me realise more than ever that I want to keep competing and I really want to push myself to a higher level next year. It feels like I'm getting close to a next level with air moves like culo, burner and kono’s and I would really like to be able to land them consistent. As for travelling I think I want to go back to Brazil for some freestyle training and then do a winter trip to either Cape Town or Australia to get some practice in waves as well. I would like to compete in both disciplines next year, the plan was to compete in Tenerife as well this year but due to my injury I did not go. Unfortunately my ankle also made me miss out on some prize money and overall incentives from sponsors so I have to find some money first!!

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Injury can be a serious motivator, combined with time off the water, is this the case for you, are you desperate to get back on the water?

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Have you had to undergo surgery, if so can you tell us more?

No I just got the results from my MRI scan yesterday and I don’t need surgery. They saw a piece of bone flying around on one of the X ray’s so they were a bit worried I had some cartilage damage, but it looked good and they will just leave that piece of bone there ☺

Recovering is going really well and I’m planning on doing a clinic in Greece in two weeks and hopefully I will get a wildcard for the indoor event in Poland beginning of September!

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