“I am happy that I didn’t make a fool of myself,” said Nayra Alonso after her return to professional competition. Nayra, who lives with her two kids and her husband John Skye in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria, decided to participate in the 2015 edition of the prestigious Aloha Classic on Maui, 7 months after she gave birth to their second child Dany. No, she definitely did not make a fool of herself, it was the opposite: she surprised everybody and finished in 6th. The conditions at Ho’okipa were huge, but Nayra managed to show a great performance despite a long windsurfing break and showed again what’s her favourite move: pure wave riding.

Family life - Pic: PWA/John Carter

Family life – Pic: PWA/John Carter

 

Continentseven: How are you feeling, now, after you returned to competition and everything is over?
Nayra Alonso: I feel relieved that it’s over and that I managed to do all right. I am happy that I didn’t make a fool of myself! 

Continentseven: Was it hard to handle everything, getting into the competition mood, organizing the right gear, taking care of your two kids?
Nayra Alonso: Not really. There were a lot of people around all the time and everyone was happily helping with the kids (especially “aunty Carla!”). Everyone would play with Lily or hold Dany for a while etc. We had “set up our camp” under the tree at Ho’okipa and spent the day there: competing, feeding, playing, swimming. Plus the heats here were pretty long, so we had plenty of time for preparation. 

Continentseven: Did you have any stressful situations or was it all easy going? 
Nayra Alonso: I felt two types of pressure: I didn’t want to embarrass myself if suddenly I was sailing terribly and I was pretty scared when I saw the forecast with the swell that was coming. I didn’t have to compete the day that was absolutely massive (only the pro men did), but the other days the conditions were a bit chunky, too. To be honest I was pretty scared about it. I haven’t been on proper waves for so long that I was pretty scared of having a bad wash on a massive set. I wasn’t prepared or fit for it. That time that the wind was pretty marginal and the swell was picking up. I did get scared and I got a lift back (and a lot of help from local man Dany!). After that, the rest of the comp was on good size, not crazy big, so I felt a lot more confident and I started feeling good again when being out there to compete. 

Nayra getting rescued - Pic: John Carter/PWA

Nayra getting rescued – Pic: John Carter/PWA

 

Continentseven: Was it one of the biggest Ho’okipa’s you’ve ever windsurfed?
Nayra Alonso: No. Like I said, I didn’t have to compete on the day that was huge. I wouldn’t have gone out anyways if they had said I had to compete on that. So compared with the days I competed on, I remember I had been out on bigger days, but only back in the days when I used to come to here all the time and when I was physically in a a good shape. 

Continentseven: How was it meeting all the people and friends you didn’t see for a long time?
Nayra Alonso: It was actually a really nice feeling but a bit weird. It felt like a rewind in life. I had left all these scenes back a while ago and now I was doing the same thing: it felt a bit like going backwards! But it was really nice to see all the friends I don’t get to see now so often. 

Continentseven: Finishing in 6th is a top result, giving Sarah-Quita a rematch in the double. But Fiona stopped you just a heat later. 
Nayra Alonso: At that point I was so exhausted that all I wanted was to finish the heat. I could barely water start anymore. I would manage maybe a good first turn, but after I would crash because my legs and arms would give up. I knew Fiona was a tough heat and I had to do well if I wanted to pass, but I just didn’t have any strength anymore to fight more. (e.n. Nayra just lost by 3.5 points difference in her last heat against Fiona Wylde)

Continentseven: Did you honestly expect to windsurf that solid after having no real time for preparation?
Nayra Alonso: Not really, all I wanted was not to embarrass myself! But it just kind of happened and I sailed all right. Once I was on the water I felt good (apart from the lack of fitness) and it kind of felt natural. 

Nayra Alonso at Ho'okipa - Pic: John Carter/PWA

Nayra Alonso at Ho’okipa – Pic: John Carter/PWA

 

Continentseven: What was missing to make it on the podium this time?
Nayra Alonso: I think being fitter. It would have been tough to beat Fiona anyways as she was sailing pretty solid, but maybe if I were a bit stronger I could have done better on that heat. But who knows. We will never know! hahaha. 

Continentseven: Did you bring enough gear or did you borrow some?
Nayra Alonso: No. The contest wasn’t my priority, so I just brought the minimum to be able to go sailing here: 1 board (my wonderful Fanatic!),  3 sails (my favorite Severnes!),  1 boom (my favorite Aeron!) and 2 masts. Extension and bases I borrowed from John.  

Continentseven: Has the level in women’s windsurfing increased?
Nayra Alonso: I think so. The girls were definitely charging more I think. Sarah-Quita is rising quickly on the waves (she is 3rd overall already!), Amanda I think is improving also the jumping level on the fleet on port tack (apart from the twins obviously!) and Fiona showed to be super strong on starboard conditions. Also Ingrid Larouche was sailing solid out here and Sarah Hauser and Vickey Abbot were strong on the bigger days. Definitely a good fleet I think, both here and on the rest of the tour. 

Continentseven: Are you motivated to do a few more competitions in 2016?
Nayra Alonso: Right this second I am not. Like I said before all that is done and dusted. But as it felt kind of easy to do it here without pressure, I see how I feel when the Pozo comp comes. In the end I am there already anyways! But I am not going to train for it or anything. I don’t have the time! 

Continentseven: Will we see you more often on the water during the next weeks and months or was it just a short comeback to the windsurfing world?
Nayra Alonso: For sure! The fact that I don’t compete doesn’t mean I am not going to be on the water. I will be as much as I can: whenever I have time or the possibility to do it  I will go out. Here in Maui now we have a bit of “free time” so I will make the most of it, and when we go back home John will be with us at least until January, so we will make the most out of it too for sure.  One thing I really want to say is a big thank you! First of all to John: for all his support always. But also a big thanks to all my sponsors, the ones from the very beginning like Hot Sails, B3 to the ones that have been with me for most of my career: they have always been there for me, even during my pregnancies and afterwards: Fanatic, Severne, Aeron, Flying Objects. Massive thanks. 

©continentseven 2015