900 words from Lena Erdil, to summarize her 2016 season!

2016 an eventful year for me, coming as close as ever to my first world title, entering my first wave event and a lot of exciting travelling! Maui and Tahiti in the same year and now I am back to where i started this year, in Capetown. Life as a Pro Windsurfer doesn’t get much better !

The PWA world tour circuit this year was unfortunately rather short ! With only 2 events for the girls this year which unfortunately both had only few days with light winds it meant that there was no room for mistakes, or bad luck for that matter. It was my first year on Starboard and especially on my 114 Isonic i felled suer fast and I think it has made a big improvement to my top end speed in Lightwinds, combined with my Point7 AC1 I was feeling really good going into the season!

Winning the event in South Korea to kick of the season was incredible! It was my first ever  PWA event win after many years on tour and coming extremely close last year finally standing between Sarah and Delphine like that for the first time was really special to me! Actually a dream come true and a great motivation for the rest of the season.

However a lot of our PWA events got cancelled so I had the time to do some alternative events. So first I went to the IFCA worldchampionships in Croatia on Brac island, which turned out to be a lot of fun! We had nice racing conditions and I was stoked to win this event and in the end after many years of competing on the IFCA actually got awarded a IFCA world champion title! This title hadn’t been given out to women for many years, so i was super happy to be able to bring this one home in 2016!

After this I got invited to the Tahiti Freeride Cup in Raiatea, French Polynesia, I had been once before, last year and i can only say that this place is really heaven on earth! The event was so much fun and me and my friend Maria Andres have got a nice video about this trip still coming out soon, so stay tuned for that 😉

 

Going from Tahiti directly to Istanbul, for the turkish championships , i was really looking forwards to race with my Starboard team riders and fellow PWA girls Cagla and Fulya. We got 2 days of nice racing with extremely gusty winds in Istanbul and using pretty much all our sail sizes. Again i was happy to claim another turkish champion title by the end of a week of racing in Istanbul and also of course get some good quality racing using all my equipment while racing just before our final event in Denmark.

Denmark was quite tough on me, racing good in my heats and feeling confident a mistake around one of the bouys cost me dearly in the first final, I finished 7th in this race and was so disappointed, because coming into this event I was leading the ranking. However in the next second final I manage to make up for the disaster in race 1 by winning the final! With one 1st and one 7th palce i was sitting in 3rd for the event now with almost no point difference to 2nd. Finishing 2nd would have meant claiming the overall title!!! We were on hold till the very last minute of the event with light winds teasing us all day but just not materialising into something racable,. This was probably the hardest wait for wind I ever had to bear! Really frustrating to come so close and miss out so stupidly. But in the end i’m racing with only the best girls in the world and bringing home another 2nd overall is nothing not to be proud of!

 

So finishing the slalom racing season in September I had time to focus on other things and decided to head to Maui to maybe take part in my first ever wave event. With great training conditions I felled good to go by the time the Aloha classic kicked off. I was so stoked to take part and have this legendary event be my first ever wave competition! Lets see if I will be able to at some more wave events to my calender next year 🙂

Right now I have just made my way back to South Africa for some more port tack wavesailing, windy and sunny training conditions and i have already sailed 3 out of 3 days! The forecast looks like it might just continue that way for another week at least so I will enter 2017 in style that is for sure 😉

So that was my year of events and travels in less then 900 words, pretty epic, lets do it all again and better in 2017 !!!

Aloha and Happy New Year,
Lena Erdil

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