The Final Race! 

The women class at the PWA is growing in numbers of girls taking part. The record was touched in the last event in Turkey, where 32 girls were divided in 4 heats!

The battle for the title is tight between many girls. Especially for the second place!  Our black team rider, Lena Erdil is in second place, but sharing same points with other 4 girls.

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The final of the girls in Alacati proved that the level is high, and great to watch. The PWA slalom for the girls in 2015, is divided into 3 events: Korea and Alacati, New Caledonia will take place in the end of November. Three events means no discards. Each event counts, and this could make some girls happy and some unhappy according to their last event result. Will be interesting to watch, so don’t miss it!

Lena, how were your results in the 2 PWA events, and where are you standing overall?
Korea was actually really good for me for the first time ever. I narrowly missed out on my first ever event win but started the season with a solid second place. Going into Alacati i was super motivated I was leading the turkish league by quite some races and also had just won the IFCA world championships in Sylt, so I was fully confident that i was going to end up on the podium… But with little wind in Alacati and a strong girls fleet things did not go my way at all! I made it through to all the finals by playing it safe but then somehow kept playing it safe also in the final, so with a good average of results and only 3 completed races on the last day I was sitting in second place of the event and praying for no discard or 2 more races as most the other top girls had had at least 1 race where they didn’t make it to the final or even semi-final… The the last day came and the wind was super dodgy heats were cancelled and rerun a lot of time but somehow we managed to get all the way through to another final where i decided to not play safe anymore and fully go for it i was setting up my race nicely and wanted to start at the pin. I counted the last 5 seconds in my head but i guess with all the adrenalin i must have counted faster then what a second actually consists of and went over early.. that was it for the event and me devastating going from second place to 6th on the last race on the last day…. I actually thought I had screwed up my whole season but then my boyfriend Simon who is always quite spot on with calculating points came and told me that with the results that the other girls had posted on the last race we somehow had all ended up having the same point and that i was still in second because of my second in Korea.
Magic, how exciting though, it shows just one more time that in slalom everything is possible.

What got you second in Korea, and sixth in Alacati?
Thats a difficult question I think it was probably my starts. But also in Alacati the wind was quite a bit lighter then Korea, yet I was using the same equipment, my biggest combo…

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What happens in New Caledonia of you…win, you are second or any other position? Did you already made some calculations?
Well with the current points being the same for  positions 2-5  it looks like whatever position (except for 1) you do in Korea you end up getting on the overall ranking.
I’m a little bit sad as before alacati i still had my goal set to winning whereas with only 3 events and 2 event wins already in Sarahs hands this seems to have become impossible.
She would have to not come for anyone else to get first realisticly…

What do you think about the fact that there were 32 girls in PWA Alacati? Why was this?
We have a lot of good turkish girls in Turkey who take the opportunity to try themselves on world class competition once its in there homespot.
But actually 20 girls were not turkish, I think its less scary to come to an event like turkey were the conditions can generally be described as friendly. Flat water, medium strength wind, nice weather….. I think all these factors and the fact that women windsurfing in general is growing has all played a role.

Do you think it was tougher to compete with 32 girls in 4 heats, rather than 16 normally?
I really enjoyed competing with so many girls, like this making it to the final is also challenging and actually more girls means that there can be bigger point differences quicker which leaves no room for mistakes.

Is weight, height as important for the girls as for the man division? Or is it  more about gear and technics?
I think its the same for the guys as for the girls

There were lots of new girls racing for the first time. Most were coming from other PWA disciplines, freestyle, slalom. What do you think was their first impression on this kind of discipline? Do you think they will continue?
Yeah it was great to see so many freestyle girls join us for the slalom races, I think that its definitely put slalom on the map for them and I think they enjoyed the racing and will probably consider doing more slalom in the future. Specially with the shocking number of freetsyle events they have!

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How is the athmosphere between the girls on tour?
There is a really good atmosphere actually, everyone is really helpful! I think because we all have the shared goal of promoting and growing the women representation in professional windsurfing we all train hard and have a really professional approach to the sport.

You had the fastest speed in Alacati on the GPS. Why is that, and how much was your speed. Which equipment where you using and how windy was it? We need to get our windsurfing friends to compare to you !
I don’t actually know which fin I was using at the time, but I have a feeling it might have been quite big as I was trying everything on the last day to improve my speed and get me through the lulls. I was using 7.9 ac1 and 115 patrik fin sizes from 38-42 😀

Esther de Geus is the other Point-7 girl which is racing. Do you girls train together?
We had a chance to train together in tenerife this winter briefly, I am really impressed with her progress this year! She made it to all the finals i think and was racing really well in a tough field of competitors! We also had a chance to race together at the IFCA worlds where we made the podium together!
I think we will train together more in the future so stay tuned.

How is the relationship between the women and man competing in the PWA?
I think it really depends most guys are really supportive of the women and know how important it is to push both genders, but I also know there is some guys that probably think we should stay at home and look after the kids hahaha . No but on a serious note I think women and man should be exactly equal, yes we are less numerous at the moment but its also harder to make a professional career if we get payed less, its like a vicious circle. We had a general meeting discussing some of the inequality problems and i think we achieved some positive change and will continue doing so. I think its also important that the guys don’t feel threatened by the girls growing representation, like that we will take away from their sponsorships or their price money or whatever. I think most importantly we should all work together in growing the sport in general!

We saw you have a special caddy on tour, Simon, does he come to all the events?
Yeah Simon is the best Caddy ever and he is also my Boyfriend, he can’t come to all the events, but I really appreciate when he can be there as it helps so much to have someone there to do things like making sure that your mast is still in the shade and not breaking in the sun, giving you water and just generally helping to carry all things to the beach and back. Of course Simon is even more amazing as he can also windsurf my kit all the way  to the starting line and give me hugs when i need them 🙂

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You are running your own windsurfing centre in Bodrum. How do you manage your day between training and business?

I have a great team in the centre so that helps a lot I am usually busiest in the pre season when we set everything up. But also in the season so May-October I work a lot dividing my time between the centre and training and all other things that fall in the job role of a professional windsurfer 😉
The winter month however i have been going to capetown the last few years were i mainly just wavesail all day  long!!!

You are one of the girls which is supported by good outside sponsors. What do they expect from you ?
I try to represent them as best as I can in competition weeks but also things like coverage and other projects outside of competition are important.
All the rest really varies from sponsor to sponsor.. I think its important to form a good relationship and make sure that both sides are getting a good deal.
Tell us how your first year on the black team was?
I felt really confident as my speed was better then in previous years. But at the same time I also really enjoy the team atmosphere that Cucchi has created. I think working as a team has obvious advantages we can all help each other specially when there is no caddies around 😉

Did you take part at any other event this year, apart from the PWA?
On an international level I went to the DEFI wind and the IFCA world championships in Sylt. Nationally we have 4 races in different locations all over Turkey its called the turkish windsurfing league and has been really fun so far.
Also i am super excited to be going to the RAIATEA GLISS Festival in Tahiti in 2 weeks!

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