Let’s get back on track and talk about the ‘girl power’ vibe I love within female windsurfing! From my first days as a rookie, one of the most beautiful things on the world tour amongst all disciplines has been to see the level of support amongst female competitors. More than rivals who are in constant competition, there is an atmosphere of community amongst the girls, a bond that is probably created by the feeling of being ‘lone warriors’ in a male dominated world. When I started, the top women in the sport were always tremendously welcoming and helpful and I remember slalom events with as few as 10 participants, racing with only 1 heat. Now we have doubled or even tripled these numbers! But the spirit has not changed. I do my best to transmit that same welcoming and supportive vibe to any girl who wants to join the world cup, and I hope that more girls will be able to choose the sport they are so passionate about as a feasible career option. Being friends and competitors is not a given—but it is the norm amongst the girls on tour. You would think that where money and resources are scarce, rivalry would be greater, but women in windsurfing have realised that there is strength in numbers and that only by supporting each other will it be possible to grow as a whole.
We have had many meetings in recent years concerning women’s windsurfing and as a result I have witnessed some positive changes. I have also seen things that I wish I could pretend did not happen. Three years ago at the IFCA World Championships in Sylt, the women competitors were told that IFCA was not going to be able to give out a World Champion title to the women because they didn’t have enough entrants and that there would have to be 50 entrants for 3 years in a row to make a change possible. A meeting was held and we complained how unfair this sounded and – tadaaaa – the next year at the IFCA World Championships in Croatia we were awarded an official title! I was happy to receive the first official title given out after many years, but in fact it came as a total surprise, as it was not previously announced and also after what we had been told in the meeting the previous year, I had attended the event for other reasons. In any case, I want to thank IFCA here for having made these changes. It was an important step and I am glad to know that we were heard.