Jordy Vonk: meet his dream and lifestyle

Jordy Vonk, one of the young talents in the PWA. From the Netherlands Jordy has been busy with work and studying during these first year of the PWA, while pushing to make his way in the full professional windsurfing career. Next weekend Jordy will take place at the Real Trip event on the 19-20th of Sept. He will be available at the Point-7 stand, so come meet him.  For the meanwhile, let’s find out more about Jordy, and the difficulties and route he is taking to obtain his dream.

Jordy, how old are you?
I’m 22 at the moment !

Who introduced you to windsurfing?
My father did, as he’s windsurfing over 30 years now.

Is your father faster than you?
He was for a while; he was the perfect trainings partner. Now I can have him, but still can’t bag down 😉

When have you started windsurfing, competing, and decided to give it a good try at the PWA tour?
In 2005 I tried for the first time, also in 2006 I was windsurfing but just in the nice weather. But from 2007 I really got addicted. I did a competition that year where I got first in the youth (because nobody could plane and I was only 40kg.), it got me so stoked that I was windsurfing for competitions ever since. From dreaming about PWA, in 2012 I did my first one in Sylt, after being on IFCA podiums for 4 years in a row I wanted to give it a shot.

Natural speed, good jibing, effort, training, fitness, skills, fun, passion, natural talent, focus, gear, what is the most important for having success on the course, and which are your main strong points?
Well, I would say natural speed, good jibing, effort, fun, passion, gear? Currently got an 8-month program for fitness, full wave set for skills and get some coaching for the focus. Got to be strong everywhere 😉 And natural talent is something others only can say about you!

You started racing from local racing, then PWA. So what are the differences in experience when you go to a local event, or you turn up at a PWA event?
I really enjoy racing on a local event, for me there’s no pressure and mostly having a good time with friends there. In the PWA it’s more serious, you go there for a good result and willing to give everything as the level is much higher.

How about the difference in pressure when there is 1 minute to the start?
The general pressure is higher in PWA, so of course also in the 1 minute to the start! Starting with 7 others that will be sharp for sure is different than a group of guys where you never really know (which doesn’t mean it makes it easier!).

What was your best event result in PWA? How is it going this year?
17th is my best result at the moment. This year is going terrible in terms of results. My speed is better than last year, I feel stronger and have the feeling I’m sailing better. But it just feels like luck isn’t on my side. In Korea I had an 8th and a plastic bag in first round counting… In Costa Brava I was top 16 and dropped to 26th after re-sailing my heat a few times, in Fuerteventura my IPhone, IPad, Camera, Money and fins got stolen right before racing and also in Alacati I dropped out of top 16 after resailing my heat 10 times and leading most of them…. At least I’m pretty much dominating in Holland!

PWA is an expensive tour. 6 events around the globe. How much money do you need just for the travels when you go on full saving mode, or if you would go without having to look to all saving options?
Well, I don’t know how much the trip to New Caledonia is, as I’m also skipping this event this year. But for the other events you got to need around 7.000 euro to do the tour. This includes sleeping in living rooms, living in a van and wait for hours on an airport as the ticket was cheaper this way. With a 10.000-15.000 euro you can do the tour a whole lot more relax !

Does the sponsor pay for your trips?
I have some outside sponsors who help me out financially, without it would be mission impossible!

How does it work than? Do the riders on the PWA count on the prize money to make a living, on industry sponsor or on outside industry sponsorships?

Well this year I didn’t make any prize money so far, so luckily I don’t need to live from that! But prize money can help a lot to make living more comfortable. I would say outside industry is the most important one to get some money, as industry sponsors are not having the budgets anymore as back in the days. Still some riders are just having industry sponsors, kind of respect how they survive!

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How important is a family support to start this kind of career?

It’s the key to a career. When you’re not 18 you need somebody to drive you around. You’ll probably don’t have the money to buy your equipment and you got to be pushed by someone. I’m pretty sure everybody on tour had family support!
You are studying and working at the same time. How does this work to find time to go windsurfing? Tell us a bit of your last year organization for example.

Which job were you doing, and what you studied? 

I have a job as ‘Art Handler’, easy said: truck driver with expensive stuff. Got in the company 4 years ago when I needed a little job to get some money for windsurfing/living. The company is helping me out a lot, they’re super flexible which helps me to do the full tour, train and also work when I have the time. Beside that I’m also studying sports marketing, a kind of commercial economics. To combine these three things sounds like a lot, and it’s maybe even more then you think 😉 Now I’m at the end of my study I kind of realize that it was too much! So I’m working less now and studying harder to get it finished as soon as possible.

You studied something which can actually be applied in windsurfing events and for your career. Have you already started making use of it?

Yes, my study is helping me a lot in some ways for windsurfing! I’m pretty active on social media and I have quite some stickers in my sail, so yeah I made use of it!

Do you plan to keep working on the side while racing?
Yes, but not like I do now! I want to do some work inside of industry, to be a bigger value for my sponsors. As soon as my study is finished I’ll be working on it!

How do you see yourself on the PWA tour, next year and in five years’ time? What is your goal with PWA?
From the moment I’m finished with my study I will have a huge pressure on my mind falling off, from that moment I can fully concentrate on the tour and hopefully in five years I’ll be one of the guys fighting for the world title. Of course the world title is my goal !

What are your position with your gear sponsors? Just racing or have you worked on different projects with them, photo shooting or development, or anything else?
With Point-7 I had the chance to go to Sardinia for a week of photo shooting! Really cool experience. Also I tried several prototype sails and in this way I’m giving my opinion for the development of the AC-ONE. Also I’m trying to remind the boss of some things that he can forget about…. 😉

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Jordy

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Your girlfriend is a pro windsurfer too?
Yes! Esther! She is in the Black team as well, and is racing on the PWA tour. Now top 10 overall.

Where did you meet?
That’s a good question. years ago! Probably during a windsurf competition.  

She got you, or you got her?
Actually she got me! I’m such a shy boy.  

Do you enjoy more racing when she is at the events competing as well, or not?
I’m always doing my own thing to keep my focus! It’s nice for me to see her racing while having a break from my own heats. So I enjoy racing when she’s there as well!  

Is it more romantic to go for dinner or to go windsurfing together?
The dinner might be more romantic, but I prefer windsurfing together for sure!

What happens at PWA Parties when you are with her, and without her?
We’re having fun! Dancing around, talking with friends and have some beers. Not much different when she isn’t there.

Who is a smarter racer? You or her?
On a slalom course I think me, on the course race (like formula/RSX) she’s probably smarter.

Who is doing better in the PWA?
She does, little rock star! 

Who cooks dinner?
Definitely Esther! Or my mom 😉

Who is more keen to go training?
We’re both keen to go training, only I prefer a break sometimes while Esther always wants to go.  

Who is faster in rigging and getting on the water?
Ha-ha, ME!

Do you help her rigging?
She can rig on her own, sometimes I give some advice. I help more with de-rigging…

Tell us the nicest windsurfing day you had on the water with her?
When we were about to get in a relationship we were sailing on the Brouwersdam seaside, I was following her whole the time to give tips and make her faster. Sometimes playing a bit with holding her mast while sailing. As she was pushing so much she was making a huge catapult on the straight line. I was straight there to see if everything was fine. After that we sailed back to the beach, while I was getting so close again I hit the back of her boom and she made a massive catapult again around my equipment. It was a bit dangerous, but so hilarious! It was a long day on the water and I enjoyed it a lot!  

Why is her sail number NED 172?
Actually it’s NED-16, but I don’t think there’s a specific reason behind it. Not everybody can have NED 69 🙂

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Esther

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Where did you meet Jordy?
We knew actually each other already for a long time, because we were both surfing since we were young. Seeing each other at some competitions in Holland. But when I came to Tenerife 2 years ago for the black team training, I learned to know him better. We shared an apartment and became closer friends. During the Dutch Nationals in Scheveningen it became more serious.

Jordy got you, or you got him?
I asked for the first date, so I got him?

Do you enjoy more racing when he is at the events competing as well, or not?
I really do love racing, no matter if he is around or not. But I am feeling more confident when he is at the event too, because he is always so helpful. I really appreciate that! For example when the wind dropped and there is not much time in between the heats, he helps me with changing sails and vin.

Is it more romantic to go for dinner or to go windsurfing together?
haha hard question.. Cold and rainy Holland is not so romantic anymore (we do that to oft I think), but if he takes me out for a surf session on the Atlantic Ocean, I will go definitely for that instead of a dinner.

What happens at PWA Parties when you are with him, and without him?
For me the parties are the same with him or without him! We both love the PWA parties, having fun with all the riders on the party who are during racing your competitors.

Who is a smarter racer? You or him?
Him. He has much more experience than me in slalom. But I am trying to get smarter in slalom every day! I have to compensate my lightweight with smart sailing;-)

Who is doing better in the PWA?
Is also a difficult question! I know that Jordy is not happy with his results from this year and for my first year doing all the PWA events I am quite happy with my results. But I think you cannot compare the girls with the guys and also not their results. It is actually not really good to focus too much on your results. For sponsors yes but for your progression and development on long term not. We both made progression this year in speed, starts, tactics etc. so I think we both succeeded a lot this year.

Who cooks dinner?
Jordy sadly hates it, so I cook.

Who is more keen to go training?
On the water we are the same, but when there is no wind mostly I have to ask him to come with me to the gym.

Who is faster in rigging and getting on the water?
Jordy

Do you help him rigging?
No, he never asks me!

Tell us the nicest windsurfing day you had on the water with him?
I had a long day on the university. Frustrating day because it was windy, warm and sunny what happened not every week in Holland. Jordy was so sweet to pick me up from the train station and when I was on the beach everything was rigged and ready to go!  We surfed till sunset together! That was a really nice windsurfing day!

Why is his sail number NED 69?
It’s the number of his house? I don’t know you have to ask him;)

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