Name: Sarah-Quita Najive Offringa
Age: 20 years
First started windsurfing: At 9 years old in 2001
Why you couldn't get off a windsurf board once you started: I fell in love with windsurfing at the Bonaire regatta in 2001. Being there with all my windsurfing buddies from Aruba, meeting new people there and just having so much fun on and off the water made me stick to this sport!
Number of World titles: 5 Total (4x freestyle. 1x slalom) Number of individual PWA event wins: I think 13 PWA event wins (2 slalom wins and the others are freestyle wins)
Latest moves landed: culo, burner, crazy shaka’s
Favourite move: toad, shaka
Favourite world-wide location, other than home: Sorobon, Bonaire is such a sweet spot!
Biggest windsurfing influence: My brother who supports me a lot and is always giving tips. And ever since the Bonaire regatta I looked up to Bonairian sailors, in particular; Tonky, Taty, Kiri and Bjorn. I still do.
Another incredible year for you Sarah, tell us a little more and what were your highlights?
After my first slalom win in Vietnam, I didn’t think it could get any better. Winning my first slalom event was, and still feels, amazing.
The 2nd highlight was my 1st freestyle event of the year, in Bonaire, where I managed to pull off the heats I’d been dreaming of, and together with Laure, raising the freestyle bar in our last final there.
Looking back now the best highlight was competing at my home spot in Aruba. Winning in both disciplines, freestyle and slalom. I had already won the freestyle event, which I was really happy about. But fighting for the slalom win and in the end coming out as the winner was insane, very satisfying, and with that win I unknowingly secured the slalom title for the year as well!
In Fuerteventura I sealed the deal by winning the last freestyle event of the year and becoming freestyle world champion for the 4th time in a row without losing a single heat. I was quite relieved after that competition.
The last highlight was in Sylt where I could stand on the podium on the no.1 spot, in front of so many people and the Aruban anthem sounded over the beach. A dream come true!
So the question is, how do you plan to better this next year?
Hehehe… I probably won’t… I think that bar is set quite high… I’m just going to take it 1 competition at a time and aim for that 5th freestyle title.
You seem to be enjoying your relationship with your sponsors at the moment, can you tell us your involvement with them and how much say do you personally have in the shaping of the boards and sails?
I’ve been with starboard for quite a while now and if I do have a say in something then it would be for the freestyle boards, but they usually incorporate the whole freestyle team so we can all give feedback. I haven’t been with gaastra for that long and I’m not actually involved in the development of equipment. I guess they leave this up to the big guys.
As the world's finest female freestyle talent, do you ever wish you could compete on the PWA Mens tour, if so will we see you doing just that in 2012?
Yes I would love to do that but not to prove myself, or anything like that. Just to improve my level in competition. We’ll see about that…
What are your thoughts on having a mixed tour (with guys and girls in the same heats), or should it be kept separate to make it easier for spectators to follow?
I think it’s good the way it is. I don’t think it’s hard for spectators to follow? If they understand what’s going on on the water I’m sure they understand that there’s a men and women division.
I do think that if we’d have all female events the media would have to pay more attention to us, so the female side of windsurfing would be in the spotlight a bit more.
Jumping over to windsurfing movies now and a question we like to ask is what are your thoughts on getting brands to produce their own full length, high-budget feature films, similar to what is seen in the winter-sports industry and do you think windsurfing, as a sport, is a step behind this?
Dude! Yeah! We need more of this! The quality and effort put in all the short clips that have been posted online lately is incredible! So just a quick big up to all of you guys out there putting so much effort in creating a really nice clip.. Keep it up! In longer movies you have the chance to show the life style and what windsurfing is actually about and then also show the action side. Visually, I think windsurfing is amazing to watch. Non-windsurfers can’t imagine what is possible with a sail and a board and this is the way to school ‘em on how cool windsurfing is I mean, we do have some really nice videos already but I think we need to try and get them outside the windsurfing circle as well.
Tow-in windsurfing....ever tried it? Ever wanted to? There have been a few recent discussions about it being brought to the middle of major cities world wide, what are your thoughts on this and do you think it is right to show a wind powered sport in such a way?
I’ve tried it once or twice. After seeing all the guys flying through the air I thought I would rip straight away, but… I sucked at it.. Hehehe. It takes practice I think.
Technically because of the high speeds they achieve while being pulled by the jetski’s the sailors are creating their own wind right ?? So it’s not as if tow-in is unrealistic because these guys do the exact same moves when it’s actually windy!
What I think makes tow in appealing is that the sailors can come up close to the public and wow them with incredible tricks. Perfect for windless days.
Thanks for the interview and any final words from yourself?
Thank you! Like we say in Aruba: Bon anja y tur kos bon - Very happy new year and all the best!
Hang loose guys :-)