Sarah-Quita Offringa claimed her fourth successive victory at the Alacati PWA World Cup 2015. During her two weeks stay in Alacati Senada Sokollu – she is a journalist and windsurfer, who grew up in Munich, Germany – interviewed Sarah-Quita Offringa. They both windsurfed together and Senada spoke with Sarah-Quita about her time in Turkey, her future plans and the secret to her success.
Interview by Senada Sokollu, photos by Ozan Pektas and John Carter/PWA
Senada: You spent your holidays here at the windsurfing spot in Alacati for two more weeks after your competition. It seems like you like this place a lot. How do you feel here?
Sarah-Quita: It is the 7th time that I come here to Alacati and for the past years I came here ahead of time. I would be here like 10 days before the event, cause the people here are very nice. If I am in Alacati and it is windy before, I can train for the event. And this time I arrived two days before the event, so I didn’t have so much time. Since I like it so much here I decided to stay for two more weeks. Also because I am filming for the Cabeibusha movie with Julian and we wanted Turkey to be in the movie. Cause both Julian and me really like this place. In the end I have met a lot of friends here and I feel at home thats why I spend my time here. The people treat my like a local. Every time I just need to say a word and they are like: „Sarah do you need help, do you need something?“ So that is also really nice here that they take care of me when I am here. Two or three years ago, when I didn’t have a place to stay I emailed friends who I met already in Cape Town and they kind of took care of me to stay at the house of the surf school ASPC and I just ended up chilling here at this school most of the time cause they helped me out and I like the crew here. So it is really nice to be here.
Senada: If you compare the windsurf spot in Alacati with other spots in the world – what is the biggest difference? What could be improved even?
Sarah-Quita: Other spots are different. I just really like Alacati cause for freestyling it is a lot of fun. There is flat water and wind and for your level you can choose where you want to surf. It can get amazingly windy here and there is also light wind, so you have kind of everything here. So for freestyling I really enjoy it and for Slalom it’s fun and it’s quite an easy spot because it’s flat water and also well suited for practicing and for testing your equipment. Alacati is just a really relaxed place to windsurf. And I have never seen so many windsurfers on one spot like here.
Senada: Is the level of windsurfing here different compared to other spots?
Sarah-Quita: The thing is, that almost all windsurfer focus on Slalom here and the level in Slalom is actually pretty high. 3 Turkish female riders for instance made it into the top 5 in the World Cup event this year. With the men the competition is really hard, but local Bora Kozanoglu finished in excellent 10th place, Ertugrul Icingir in 27th, Erkan Morgan in 34th and Enes Yilmazer in 36th place. The other disciplines are not that strong because they don’t practice those disciplines really. They don’t do freestyle and waves here. But world class Slalom is good here.
Senada: How did you start windsurfing and how did you develop your love for windsurfing?
Sarah-Quita: I started when I was about 9 years-old and my parents and my brother kind of kicked me to the beach cause they didn’t want me to sit in front of the television. So I did a lot of sports in my life. And then I also tried windsurfing. But I was really bad in it because I was young and I couldn’t hold the sail and so on. My brother was really good and was windsurfing around me. So I stopped for one year. And the year after my brother competed at a local event and the vibe was so nice. Everybody was having fun windsurfing and even though it was a competition it was so nice. Out on the water you are friends and you meet new friends from all over the world. And I told my mum that I want to try this again and she entered me in another event, which was three months after, so I had time to train every weekend. To this trip we went with a group of kids and it was the most fun trip. I had so much fun. It was again competing, but making friends and just sharing the passion for Windsurfing was amazing. So since 2001 I am hooked to windsurfing.
Senada: What is for you the best and the worst part of windsurfing?
Sarah-Quita: Windsurfing itself is so much fun. It is an individualistic sport and you are alone on the water on the board, but you are always sailing with friends and that is the fun part. Afterwards you tell stories to each other what you experienced that day and the fact that you are working with the wind, you have to really go with the wind and the water and stuff like that and fight nature, so that teaches you a lot. Second part I like a lot is that I have been able to travel with it and meet a lot of people from around the world.
The worst part is also traveling because of all the bags. Especially for the competition you need to take all the equipment with you and you have to check them in and you have to pay extra. Thats actually is the hardest part to make it to the place you want to go. But then you forget about it, so it’s worth it.
Senada: What is the secret to your success?
Sarah-Quita: I don’t know. Basically I just love windsurfing. I started when I was young. I windsurfed for hours and hours and windsurfed a lot. I surfed with the boys a lot. In Aruba not many girls are doing it. So being as good as the boys was my aim and later I started competing with the girls and I realized that there was a difference between the guys and the girls, so it made it easier for me. But I still don’t think that I am that good. I have still a long way to go. The moment you start thinking you are good, you stop improving. For me, I think I still have a lot to progress.
Senada: What is your aim? Where do you wanna be in the next years?
Sarah-Quita: I want to be the best windsurfer in the world (laughing). No, I mean I have my new challenge. Now it is to be good in all the disciplines. So most sailors are doing just one discipline: Slalom or Freestyle or Wave. But I am doing all three right now. I have 8 titles in freestlye right now, I have one in Slalom but I have no titles in wave. So the goal is to improve in wave, to finish in the top 3. Maybe by next year I want to finish in all disciplines in the Top 3. But that is competition wise. On the other side I would love to pick a place and travel to that place and just windsurf for fun.
Senada: Which place would that be?
Sarah-Quita: I already went to Australia and Cape Town. It was one of my dreams to go there, so I did that already. But places like Mauritius, actually in the Carribean also Barbados and so. Basically to have time to travel to the places I want to go to. That’s one of my aims.
Senada: Where will you travel after Turkey?
Sarah-Quita: After Turkey I took some time off. I had four events in a row in my legs and I need some time to relax. The next stop will be Sylt, Germany and then France the week after that. Then Maui and New Caledonia. So four more events until November and then I will be done for 2015.
Senada: One part of your movie as you said is playing in Turkey. How is it proceeding?
Sarah-Quita: The trailer just came out. We finished actually almost everything. We went to Australia, Iceland, Aruba, Maui, France and the Canarian Islands. Both Julian and me we like Turkey and it was windy, so we decided to also film here and Turkey is the last part. So now we have to pre-edit the movie itself and i think the raw movie should be done in like another ten days or something. It has been a lot of work but we are almost there. (e.n. The movie will pemier during the Worldcup on Sylt on October 2, 21:00 (Kinowelt Westerland)
- watch the “Cabeibusha – the curly gem” trailer here
- pre-oder “Cabeibusha – the curly gem” for a special price here
Senada: And now say something in Turkish!
Sarah-Quita: Türkiye seni seviyorum. (I love you Turkey). Iyi Bayramlar. (Happy Bayram). Arubalih Allahin Adamih. (I am from Aruba, I am gods child).