Which title means to most to you?
The slalom title 2011 in Texel. I hadn't had the best start into the season and came there being the underdog. For me a 10th place would have already been a great success. In the end I won 7 out of 11 eliminations. I am still thinking a lot about this event. It shows that you should always believe in your skills.
How has the professional windsurfing circus changed since you have been in there?
That question always makes me smile. Back in the 90ies, all top 64 guys were doing all disciplines on the world tour: wave, slalom and course racing. We travelled with 450 kg excess baggage. There were 30 (!) World Cups on the PBA, huge prize money and media attention. The level was incredible high, both at national and international contests, so you had to work hard on every discipline. My biggest opponents would be Dunkerbeck, Naish and Bringdal, to just name a few. At each regatta I sailed every day. Today, the riders are highly specialised on their main discipline, travelling with less equipment and compete in less events than we did in the 90ies. Let alone net racing time! It has been reduced significantly. I three disciplines you sailed every day, competing against the best [well, that's still the aim of a world cup ;-) A/N]. That might sound pretentious perhaps, but we had to train harder, work, fight and travel more. I travelled 9 months per year!
What is your super power?
Being authentic. Inspire people and teach emotional values.
What would you do if you found 1 Million Euro today?
Invest in my children's education and pension plan.
Why Duotone? How do you like your new sails?
For me, it is a new challenge that I am very much looking forward to. I have gathered my first positive impressions and I will do my best to make the sails even better! Also, Duotone cooperates with Robinson and I work with Duotone sails each and every day at their centers.
Where is your home spot, your favourite spot and your favourite conditions?
Norderney Januskopf. Big Bay Cape Town. Conditions: Port tack, 25 knots, 7 ft wave, Grip TE 102, Super Session 5.9
What keeps you motivated to teach windsurfing after all these years on the water?
Well, in the past, I wasn't teaching, but training myself to get faster day by day. I am windsurfing for 43 years now and have been experiencing and learning a good many things. Therefore, I am now good at spotting mistakes and work individually with every sailor in my clinics. That means I really invest time to focus on each participant and help him based on his or her capabilities. You can't just use error patterns and apply them to your students, hoping it'll work out. Everyone is windsurfing in another way. Sometimes, over the years, people established their own individual mistakes. We analyse videos and spend plenty of time sailing close together on the water. Like that, my students immediately feel the difference.
My next project would be the Robinson Surf Camp Flessner & Friends on Sal, Cape Verde in February.