Continentseven: What did you do better than your opponents?
Sarah-Quita Offringa: From what I heard on the beach I was doing powerful rail to rail turns. And I was hitting the critical sections more often.
Continentseven: Kai Katchadourian said in the live commentary: „Sarah-Quita returned with great body english and is a brutal competitor,“ and Rob Funk said: “Sarah-Quita is a wave rider now.“ How does it feel hearing comments like these?
Sarah-Quita Offringa: Yes!! I can join the wave riders club now! I’m happy to hear those comments. I started the full wave tour 2 years ago and these guys have seen me progress. For example I went from making my fins spin out to really use the rails in my turns. What’s nice is that these guys and many more people supported me a lot and would always give me tips on how to do better. So to hear these comments means a lot to me. I do hope they will keep on giving me advice, because there’s still so much more to learn!
Continentseven: After the 5 lay days we saw a different Sarah-Quita windsurfing at Hookipa, focused and determined. What did you do in these 5 days?
Sarah-Quita Offringa: Thankfully, Maui has so many activities to offer! I hung out with the girls. I’ve been to the west side a couple of times for snorkeling and surfing. Hiking to waterfalls. Watched Jaws. All the while consuming lots and lots of coffee. The coffee is great here by the way.
I think nobody really expected a last day of competition. I had already settled for my 5th place and was looking forward to doing better next year. So when I woke up and felt the wind I realized that it could happen and that I would get a chance to work my way up. When you get a chance. Grab it !! That’s when I set my mind to do the best I could.
Continentseven: Can you describe the conditions on the final day. Were they difficult and how hard was it to be on the right equipment?
Sarah-Quita Offringa: I sailed 5 heats and the conditions changed all day. In the morning I was blasting around and jumping with 4,7 and 5,0. My board is a custom by Rémi Vila about 85liter. By the end I was floating around on my 5,3 and the wind had swung off shore. It was interesting how the conditions changed during the day. I practically had to change tactics every heat. The good sets were head high or even logo high. After the huge waves the week before I was way more confident in the smaller waves. I thought these were fun conditions!
“For me it was a bit of a surprise win. I never really set my mind on winning this event.” (Sarah-Quita Offringa)
Continentseven: Winning the Aloha Classic – the event has been existing since 1984 – is something huge. Is it the biggest title a wave sailor can win and is it your biggest title in your career so far?
Sarah-Quita Offringa: What !? It started in 1984! Wow! Well, I do think that the Aloha Classic is one of the dream events any wave sailor would like to win in their windsurfing career. But I would say the same for Pozo for example. Those spots are exactly each other’s opposites and highlight different aspects of windsurfing and wave sailing. Having said that… winning an ALOHA classic title is really special!!
For me it was a bit of a surprise win. I never really set my mind on winning this event. Not this year at least. It was one of my goals, but something for later you know? Because I feel like I still have a lot to learn. Especially last week, those massive waves crushed my confidence and it was a very humbling experience to abandon my heat because I didn’t feel ready for those conditions. To get a second chance on the last day to fight my way back all the way to first place felt amazing.