Jonas Handekyn could win the Begian Wave Championships, which took place end of October in France at Wimereux and Sangatte, which is close to the Belgian border. Belgian photographer Jonas Roosens sent us this nice picture and a little interview with the winner.
1. Jonas Handekyn
2. Nur Olivier
3. Fabrice Devos
4. Arno Claesen
Did you expect to finish this high, or even becoming the new champion?
No, actually I didn’t expect this at all!! In the morning I was actually in quite a bad shape and still feeling really tired from the drive down there and getting up early… I also thought a few times during the competition ‘that’s it, I’m out!’, even before some heats started. Especially for the heat when I was up against Nick De Wannemaeker, who is also a good friend and training partner, I thought it would be over. He was the vice-champion for 2009 so you are sure he can perform really well. But I made it in the end and am superhappy.
You just got your new board 30 minutes before the competition started. Wasn’t this really hard?
Yeah, it wasn’t easy for sure! It really adds some extra stress to have to screw on your straps and fins, run down to the beach and sail your first heat without having done a single testrun to check the setup. As you can guess, my first heat was not the best one I ever sailed, on the contrary!! But after a few runs to get used to the board and playing with my fins and mastfoot position, I really started to feel more comfortable on my new Thruster and in the contest.
Do you have any plans to go and train in warmer and more consistent climates during winter?
I am still at univesity in Ghent where I do Physical Education Training so I will propably stay in Belgium for most of the time. But I am lucky enough to be able to organise my own schedule and take time off when it’s windy, so I am sure this winter will see us making a lot of trips down to Wissant in France… After my exams in January I will propably take about 3 weeks off go to a place with better temperatures and hopefully a lot of wind, but I haven’t decided where that will be.
Are you considering to step it up a bit and compete on the PWA tour?
Not really, I think the PWA-level for wave is extremely high, way above what I can do right now. I also believe it would be very difficult to combine it with a higher education. But who knows, maybe with a lot of training, never say never… (big smile)
Any final words?
Yeah, first of all I would like to thank my parents for the years of support! Without them I would not be where I am today, so big thanks to them. Also, all my sponsors -RRD boards, Hotsailsmaui, O’neill, Dakine, Reptile masts and Zuidwest6.nl- who have been making sure I get the best possible gear to sail on. And last but not least, all my friends for their support, for their help, motivation, for driving me,… BIG THANKS TO ALL!!!
More pictures of the event you can see here on www.swell.be