Yentel Caers from Belgium had his best windsurfing season in 2019. The Belgian windsurfer won the PWA Freestyle World Title and the EFPT title. After a lot of training during the winter 2019/2020 he was ready and prepared for the start of the 2020 season. But the corona pandemic put a halt to almost all windsurfing events. The windsurfing professionals lost a big part of their jobs. So did Yentel, who doesn’t know when he will get the chance to defend his Freestyle World & European title. We caught up with the always relaxed Belgian.
Continentseven: Yentel, how are you doing? How did you make it through the coronavirus pandemic so far. Belgium was hit hard by the pandemic.
Yentel Caers: Yes like everywhere we got on lock down for quite a while, but we luckily were allowed to go outside for sports like biking and running. Nobody of my family/friends got the virus. So lets say it was just a long break of windsurfing.
C7: You just spent a few days in Sardinia, at Sa Barra recently. How was it?
Yentel: Sa Barra was just pure fun! We just went there for 5 days – it was a last minute decision- as there was a good forecast and we called up Gigi Madeddu (Sa Barra center owner) and Rossel Bertoldo (ex pro windsurfer) that we where coming to the windsurf center. They arranged everything for us over there.
C7: Did you enjoy the warmer areas again?
Yentel: I don’t mind to windsurf in cold as long the conditions are firing I’m like a happy kid on the water. But yes, it’s also nice to just go out in a shorty and sail all day long.
C7: There are no contests at the moment. The next event will happen in Switzerland in August, 20 – 23. How sad are you about this situation?
Yentel: It’s really strange to not spend the summer over at the Canary Islands. I was feeling ready for another year of competition. My winter training went super good and was feeling in good form. I still feel ready for it as the pandemic didn’t really effect my sailing. The Engadinwind at Lake Silvaplana will be the first event in 2020, but I see it as a show. I love tow-in, but it isn’t windsurfing.
C7: In 2019 you won almost everything and two big titles! And it looks like your pushed your level again? Your latest video from Sardinia is the best evidence!
Yentel: Pushing the level is what we always do! I feel like I improved quite a lot in consistency in my big moves. But I’m definitely not the only one who did so.
C7: Did you land any new combos?
Yentel: Not somethings special, but I’ve been training some waveriding as I want to do it as well in future.
C7: You sailed together with Jacopo Testa, a new strong team mate in the Black team. How was his level on the water?
Yentel: Yes, the freestyle Black team is strong with Taty, Jacopo and me. Jacopo was sailing same as always, lots of style and epic combos.
C7: Who else is on fire at the moment? Amado, Gollito, Steven, Jacopo, Youp, Balz, Sam?
Yentel: So many names to call! I think whole top 16 can be in for the title. Not to forget the Frenchies.
C7: Yes, of course, we should keep an eye on Adrien or Antony. Did you have now more time to test new equipment and develop new gear even harder?
Yentel: The problem is that the gear got so good that it gets hard to make it any better.
C7: What is be your biggest wish at the moment?
Yentel: Back to normal for everyone…
so much nonsene, not one answer goes a bit deeper
Continentseven never seems to dig much deeper, which also explained why they haven’t ever talked about the downright obvious problems associated with windsurfing as it’s mostly practised today. Not only are we using equipement that isn’t the least bit sustainable (it’s basically a throw away article, that can’t be recycled and that is made of an unsustainable resource (oil)), but the norm for most winsurfers is to travel large distances either by plane or by car – both powered by fossil fuels. I mean, one would think that intelligent people realise, that with global warming we will have to get… Read more »
Hey Silver,you are thinking too much. Make sure you don’t catch the corona before windsurfing gets CO2 neutral.
There’s no reason why we can’t do both at the same time. The two things aren’t mutually exclusive. Not sure why you even wrote that comment. What was your comment intended to accomplish? Do you want us to keep ignoring global warming? Are we supposed to just let other people do all the work, while we keep our CO2 intensive livestyles alive? I really don’t understand what you’re trying to say…
And then that strange remark about “thinking too much” as if thinking is a bad thing.
I don’t mean this in a confrontational way, and I don’t want to give the impression that climate change is not a significant problem (it’s a huge problem in fact), but surely there are better places to discuss these matters, no? Most of us come here to unwind and watch and discuss windsurf action videos, and we post our activism on activist fora or under C7 articles dedicated to this topic ..
Is there ever a right time to discuss uncomfortable truths? I don’t think there is. There are a lot of studies about this. There’s a disconnect between how worried people are and how often they talk about it in terms of global warming. In other words people are worried, but they don’t talk about it with their friends, aquaintances etc. That’s a problem. So to me every place is the right place. It’s what’s on my mind constantly so why not talk about it? Global warming concerns everything. It isn’t less of a problem because we’re unwinding or just… Read more »
I know that global warming is the key problem of the 21st century, I don’t quarrel with you about that. I just think a discussion on this topic is slightly misplaced under an interview with a windsurfer about his training diaries, that’s all. C7 occasionally posts articles about this topic (sustainability, climate change etc), and there are other places too that just seem to me are more fit for these matters.. Anyways, so long!
Thanks @Rene, @ Silver, @Splash and @siaweew for your input through your comments. We really take it serious and often discuss as a team how we avoid unnecessarily impacts on the environment in our daily lives. We also hope that there will be a change in the consciousness of many people, including many windsurfers. Dramatic reports about glacier shrinkage and record temperatures in Russia & fires in the forests (38°+ in June & in the beginning of July) or in Spitzbergen (21° on July 25, 2020) – the long-term average is 5 – 8+ degrees Celsius. Actually we are in… Read more »
“We guarantee you that it is also very important for us at Continentseven to discuss these topics or problems and take positive steps. The earlier the better!!!” Then please do that. Have a look at surfing. They are building various wooden board designs with a substantially smaller enviromental impact. There are wetsuits made out of natural materials. They are developping epoxy resins from natural materials. How about sharing such products on continentseven? I personally go windsurfing several times a week with a tiny electric car (and all my equipement in it). How about sharing similar stories? How about… Read more »
Thanks @Silver for your positive input! It’s great that you try to live CO2 neutral. We can see big efforts by a few companies in windsurfing, who work hard to reduce CO2 emissions, avoid unnecessary packaging materials, use specific plant based epoxy resins, recycle and upcycle plastic. Recently we joined web presentations of some of the biggest brands and they presented their plans & strategies to make windsurfing/SUP/Foil/Kite more “sustainable”. Give products a second life on the second hand market for instance, produce sail bags or foot straps of recycled plastic bottles or used fishing nets. And of course: they… Read more »
“Actually we are in a cold period with a predicted cooling of about -1.5°, which will be reversed by the accumulation of CO2, Methane, also caused by mankind.” I’ve been reading the scientific literature on global warming for well over 10 years now. I think you might have fallen for a bit of fake news. There’s no global natural cooling trend of -1.5°C. There’s a solar minimum expected by some, but that won’t cause -1.5°C of cooling (even if pretended that there was not warming due to CO2). In fact it it would be barely noticable in the coming… Read more »
It’s great @Silver that you are reading the scientific literature over the past 10 years. Are you working as a a scientist in these fields? Can you share any actual graphics or numbers or can you estimate how much of an effect/impact the water sport has. I studied Geography and would be quite interested in the latest knowledge in that topics. By the way: I meant that we are still living in a “cold time”, but the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere has been huge over the past 150 years, which causes the world wide temperatures to rise. We… Read more »
@chris “Are you working as a a scientist in these fields?” No, i just studied physics and chemistry and have since been working as a chemistry, physics and math teacher, while in my spare time i try to continue my education for example by reading about climate science, since i have always been interested in how they were able to calculate how much the earth will warm if we increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by a certain amount. It’s just a fun topic in regards to the physics and chemistry (apart from dire consequences). … Read more »
it’s great that you profile yourself in this comment section to a random windsurfer’s interview. just write that article and don’t just show off
I’m not “showing off”. I just don’t think that i’m the right person to write that article. I can write comments and share knowledge, but writing an article is a totally different thing.
When i try to write an article i usually just ends up being overly technical an probably boring to most people. As i’ve written i’m willing to colaborate with someone who wants to write such an article, but i won’t write it myself.
I consider myself as someone who tries to avoid unnecessary CO2 emissions wherever I can. However, it needed Silver’s comments here that I finally started to think about the negative externalities of my favorite sport. Thanks Silver. You changed (at least) one person’s mind.
Dear Silver, As I see your remarks, you are calling us, the European middle class, to the order regarding CO2 emission. Your phrases include “economy class”, personal CO2 emission, traveling, vacation windsurfing and so on… But what you miss is one word: China. Or two words, China and India. And probably some other countries. Usually, ecologist preachers don’t have “balls” to criticize China, because of fear or they are on CCP (China Communist Party) pay list. Most ecological preachers today, in my opinion, are nothing more then CCP paid Marxist activists trying to “destroy” Europe in favor… Read more »
@Georges I agree. If china and india become CO2 neutral then obviously we can keep burning fossil fuels. And of course there’s also no need for us winsurfers to help solve the problem of global warming – we’re much too small! At the same time in a little village in china they’ll have the same conversation. “We’re just a small village in china. It doesn’t help if we do anything as long as russia and the US keep emitting so much CO2!”. And of course every familiy will say: “We’re just one family. It doesn’t help if we reduce our… Read more »
Good comment, agree 100%. And thanks for your time.