Happy New Year 2021! We wish you a healthy and happy start into 2021 with many great windsurfing sessions ahead! 2020 was quite a different year for everybody but we really hope you make it well through the Covid crisis. Keep the stoke alive and see you on the water! 

But how did the windsurfing stars celebrate Christmas, make it through the crisis and what are their wishes for the upcoming year? We caught up with Sarah-Quita Offringa, Victor Fernandez, Oda Johanne, Justyna Sniady, Alex Mertens, Balz Müller, Adam Sims, Kai Katchadourian, Arrianne Aukes, Dieter van der Eyken and Tony Möttus.

Christmas with the family for Sarah-Quita Offringa

Christmas with the family for Sarah-Quita Offringa

Sarah-Quita Offringa

Everything good here in Aruba! I have been home for almost 2 months now. November is the most windless month in Aruba but it’s been a good time to take a break and focus on other things and spend time with the family. I know that time flies and before I know it I’ll be traveling a lot again.
My last windsurf session was on the 23rd of December. Super fun on 4,8 with some waves forming at the huts! We get such different conditions this time of year so that’s fun too. I organized a kids camp together with Jordan for 6 days and that was a great experience and fu way to end the year.

Kids Camp in Aruba with Sarah-Quita & Jordan

I celebrated Christmas with my closest family and we’re so happy to have family over from Namibia as well. They had to take a million Covid tests to get here but it’s been worth it.

Sarah-Quita Offringa taking care on the next generation
December is my favourite time of the year in Aruba. even though everything was a bit more low key this year I feel like in Aruba everything is still very free compared to Europe for example.
New year’s s all about the fireworks and I love it !!! Check in on me if I still have eyebrows on the first of January haha.
I know many people have struggled through 2020, for my self I can say that I’m super fortunate to be in the position that I am. I even travelled to Europe for three months so honestly for me 2020 has been a good year and maybe it was just very necessary to have a break from all the traveling and competing. I am feeling pretty energized but I don’t think I have had my dose of adrenaline for this year. So I am absolutely revving to hit the competition scene again. All the best C7!

Iballa Moreno

I spent Christmas in Canary Islands. This year was a different year away from my family for Covid reason but I spent a few days with Daida after Xmas. Sailing has been unstable but fun with some starboard tack conditions. Hoping to enjoy more in the next few days. Happy new year to everyone !

Iballa and Daida Ruano Moreno

 

Matteo Iachino

I’m back in Tenerife for the winter training and the reopening of my windsurf center, which was closed due to the Covid situation. I had my last windsurfing session one hour ago. I had a pre-Christmas at home in Italy with my family, then left to Tarifa and spent Christmas there with my girlfriend and her family. I had a really good time.


I hope 2021 will be full of sport and good vibes for myself, my friends and in general. I really hope the virus situation will ease and we’ll be able to enjoy great time in and out of the water. The crisis hit everybody and I was not special in that. I tried to stay positive and enjoy all the moments I could have. I spent time with my family, friends and traveling by van in Europe. I also tried to give good feedbacks to my sponsors doing extra work on other sides of windsurfing that was not just competition and testing.

 

Balz Müller

I can‘t complain as I am having a great time doing what I love the most spending all day in the water.  I‘ve been enjoying some great days in Tarifa with the classic wild Levante wind. 

For the first Tarifa Wing World Cup I travel with Eva (Wyss) to South of Spain, Andalusia, where we both could celebrate a successful event, my birthday at the beach. But we‘ve been to tired from all the water action to celebrate new year at the local time so we celebrated a timezone earlier and slept great in a new year, bring it on! 

My wishes for 2: Let’s stay positiv (except corona) keep on being creative and challenge myself on the water in any water sports and looking forward to meeting all the good people along (hopefully soon without mask) 

 

 

 

 

Justyna Sniady

I just came off the water in Gnaraloo, Western Australia where we scored a great last day of the year with wind and waves pumping until sunset. Not all year was this great of course. Throughout 2020 I found myself in multiple lockdowns and two quarantines with many of my friends and family members actually getting diagnosed with COVID-19. Luckily they all recovered well. It’s been a very scary year, one full of unknowns. But also one of great solidarity and support from amazing people in my life. I had a chance to spend much more time back home in Poland with people who are very dear to me. I also managed to travel to Gran Canaria and scored probably one of the best summers for wind and waves in all my years over there and got to test all the new Naish gear, too. I’m also very lucky to be back in WA now where Covid19 is pretty much non existent – it feels like I’ve travelled back in time or arrived in a parallel universe.

Cosy bonfire night for Justyna Sniady in Australia

For new year I’m hoping for more normality for all of us around the globe. I hope we will find a way to manage Covid 19 and that the vaccine program will prove successful. I wish everyone everywhere good health and mental strength to push through any challenges coming from the pandemic. I am hoping to be able to meet all my PWA friends in 2021 and hopefully run some competitions too. Happy New Year everyone !

 

Arrianne Aukes

On the 3rd of December my daughter Aya was born, so I am very busy with her and still recovering from giving birth. My last windsurf session was end of August in Turkey. By that time I was 6 months pregnant. Of course it was not like my normal windsurf sessions.. I was just very carefully cruising up and down a little, without any freestyle or anything that I would not feel 100% confident about. I would never recommend windsurfing while pregnant to anyone but for me it felt safe and good. I never felt, or even had the feeling that I was just a tiny bit out of control.
 
Arrianne Aukes with Aya

Arrianne Aukes with Aya

 
I celebrated Christmas in Holland with my parents and sister, very small but it was cosy. New Year I was so tired that I barely made it to 12 o clock! And after not drinking for almost a year I felt pretty dizzy from the one glass champaign I had!
Covid was hard, but actually for me it was a not so bad as I got pregnant and could not have done any competitions anyway this year. The pregnancy was not planned, but the timing was pretty good for that matter. 
In this case I did not lose my ranking (which you normally do if you are out for a season because of pregnancy). So I hope to be competing again this year in Fuerteventura. Let’s see how Covid is by that time
It has been the first time in 12 years that I did not spend part of my winter in Brazil. Because of Covid and because of Aya I could not this year, and I must admit that I have to get used to the cold and dark winter days in Holland. Never seen my hair this dark in years! (it gets white by the sun and salt water)
 

Victor Fernandez

My last windsurf session was in Almerimar on 3.4m on December 19th. December has been a very good month of windsurfing compared to November. Currently I am in Switzerland celebrating with Manuela and her parents. It was really nice and we had snow that day. In two days we will travel to Maui. During these rough times of COVID I try to stay positive and avoid the crowds. I just hope everything gets better soon.

 

Dieter van der Eyken

I’m doing very well, been lucky to be back in my base in Tenerife where live is still somewhat normal & the possibilities for outdoor sports are endless. The last month has been great with a good trip to Fuerteventura & Gran Canaria scoring on both occasion some really good sailing, also Tenerife itself hasn’t been bad with plenty of swell around for surfing & some good down the line windsurfing as well. On the days it hasn’t been windy the MTB tracks have been amazing and to be able to do sports outdoor 4 – 5 times a week this time of the year makes me enjoy my time here on Tenerife to the max!

My last real windsurfing session was on Christmas Day with my father. It wasn’t a really long one but it was really great to spend it together with him while my mother could enjoy watching from the beach in the sun! This great session was followed by a great dinner together with my parents and my girlfriend. Two days before we scored some amazing waves in the North of the island with just a couple of person out to have a great finish of sailing for 2020!

Dieter van der Eyken in Tenerife

Dieter van der Eyken in Tenerife

My wishes for 2021 are mainly that everyone can get through these times healthy and with their spirits still up high despite all the complications of 2020. I hope everyone keeps searching the out doors again when they can and appreciate more the options we have in this day & age when things do get back to normal eventually. Besides that I obviously hope events start to come back and we can travel again like normal to visit new places and sail together with new friends.

It has been an interesting year, being locked up for nearly 50 days at home in Spain at the start of it all has given the time to reflect on some things & really allowed me to find out better what I wanted to do further in the future. I have been lucky to continue part time work with Severne to have a financial backup & live so close to the beach here in Tenerife with so much access to different sports I love! The Covid crisis also has given me the time to learn new things I never had the time for before due to all the traveling. It also has reactivated my love for coaching which I hope to build out further in 2021. It has given me new perspectives and goals for 2021, also on a non competitive level and simply made me appreciate even more what I managed to do in the last 10 years thanks to the windsurfing sport! Now I’m looking forward to see what 2021 has in store, let’s make it as good as we can!

 

Oda Johanne Stokstad Brødholt

I have been lucky to sail a lot in 2020 so I can really not complain! My last windsurf session was 27th of Dec in Brazil on my 4.4 and freestyle board! Jericoacoara is my 2nd home and it was a good season there. I celebrated Christmas away from Norway (home) for the first time ever! I was with good friends so it was easier than expected. For new years I am in Holland and tomorrow I will fly home to Norway again. I’m ready for the cold!

X-Mas session with Oda

X-Mas session with Oda

Thanks to my best friend Sarah-Quita I can call this year one of the best ones. We still manage to sail a lot and we have been in Australia, Aruba, Greece and a Euro trip! Thank you SQ! It would never have been the same without you! Also I am very grateful that my family and friends are healthy. 2020 has been the best and the worst at the same time, but I have spent my time with the best people and trained a lot! I’m very grateful for the support from my sponsors in a difficult year! 2021 I really hope we will be back competing! Really motivated for what to come.

 

Adam Sims

All well thanks, just out here in Cape Town and trying to catch up on some serious lost water miles during the European summer season. Actually just yesterday, Brandvlei Dam was cooking and I scored an awesome freestyle session with my fiancée Alina and a couple close friends who also managed to get out here; Flo Ragossnig and his girlfriend and the one and only Nutella Champion Marco Lufen.

Our original plan was to head back to Europe for Xmas, however we’ve learnt that original plans don’t happen in 2020, none of them. So we extended our planned 3 week trip to around 4 months and will lay low out here for the entire season. We spent Christmas Day on the water, surfing and some more surfing, then caught up with family via zoom calls. The plan for New Year is to find wind and waves, surf a bit, then an evening Braai to close out this year as quick as possible.

The wishes for the New Year – aside from the glaringly obvious good health to all, it would be nice to see our professional windsurf scene kick back off. I’m confident we see some good events in 2021 both on the World Tour and EFPT – they’ll be media heavy events no doubt, so watch out for some quality online coverage. It would be nice to see a lot of the guys and girls back on tour, I’m sure it’s going to be a year full of surprises.

My company (AALVAA Media) and crew had been offered the chance to take on the media production for the PWA, including all livestream, highlights and broadcast material, I’d invested heavily in a customized livestream production unit for this as well, and not a day after delivery the pandemic was formerly announced, within weeks most events were dropped with a few still grasping on to the hope that they would go ahead. It was a tough year in that sense. It was also very nerve-racking later on in the year as those close to me were catching the virus. In the end, the way myself and Alina handled it, at first we tried to be ultra organized, then realized it literally doesn’t work so switched to ultra last-minute planning and ideas, being totally flexible, this opened a lot of unexpected doors. When you are free and able to just say yes opportunities come up that before you would never had the chance to do. It turned out well.

Adam filming - Pic by Alex Schwarz

On a side note, Alina and I also launched wavesofchange.online – it’s a small charity that we’ll be working on as and when we can, it’s about being able to just do what we can when we can, something that gives directly to those in need, from hand to mouth, with no questions about who does this really reach. The idea came up as I cleared out my equipment storage throughout the summer months and realized I had a few items that were gathering dust, or well used, and I knew too well that they are in useable condition with plenty of life left, just with certain flaws. So as long as the flaws were clearly marked then someone could actually have use for this latest equipment, so each item gets auctioned off, starting at €1 and all proceeds go directly to individuals we will be highlighting on our social channel as we go through this project. It hasn’t taken long to get more donations, and we already have the likes of Jordy Vonk, Julian Wiemar and more offering up equipment. We welcome all donations for this project that doesn’t just support those in need but also recycles and repurposes old equipment. Thanks C7, have a great New Year and I look forward to seeing everyone in 2021.

 

Kai Katchadourian

I could not be happier to be with my family here in Finland after making it to this point. We are healthy, happy and have a roof over our head and food on the table.
My last windsurfing session was in Hookipa about two weeks ago. Firing mast high and 4.5. It was a run for the ages out there. For next year I plan to wake up everyday and tackle life with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Keep in touch with what matters and do your best to stay positive in what can be a chaotic situation.
 
Kai Katchadourian
Staying with my family for most of the season showed me all that matters sometimes is not what is on the other side of the world but rather what is right in front of you.
 

Tony Mõttus

I’m doing well, luckily Vietnam has been like in another bubble throughout the Covid period. Life has pretty much maintained the same rhythm, just with much less people. From November on it has been already full on windy and wavy with conditions in Phan Rang getting outstanding.

My last windsurfing session was on 31st of December on my smallest gear S1 4.0 and Quad 74l. One of the strongest winds I have ever experienced here in Vietnam during my 4 years living here. It was just maxed out. Waves 4+m, wind gusts 50-60knots. What a crazy way to end that year!

During Christmas and New Years Eve I was in Vietnam Surf Camping celebrating two good nights with some friends around.
I wish the new year is going to be windy and full of windsurfing. I wish for best health and good times to my close ones and that things in our integrated world normalize.

Tony Mõttus

 

Alex Mertens

My last windsurfing session was back in Mojave in November… haven’t really had a chance to hit the water since then because of schoolwork, work, etc. I always try my best to spend Christmas with my family and this year was no different.

Alex with his family

Alex spending more time with his family

I was able to be with my family for Christmas and it’s actually the first year in 10 years that we spend it at home and not in Baja. Pretty crazy but it’s because of all the complications from Covid. We also don’t want to risk it since multiple members of my family are in the high risk group if we get infected. To get through the Covid crisis, I just kept myself busy. Being a student, I found that I almost always had stuff to do. And when I didn’t, I was usually working on other things like video work, or making music with one of my close high school friends. This crisis was hard! I think if everyone really works at it however we will get through it. 

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