Windsurf catch up with world number four in the men’s PWA slalom rankings, Jordy Vonk, for the low down on life as a racer as he prepares for the unknown this season!
Photos; PWA/ Carter
WS: Tell us how the Corona situation has disrupted your season so far?
JV: Well by now we would have done two PWA world cups already, but as everything is cancelled nothing happened so far! So, I can definitely say that the Corona situation has disrupted my season, just like all other world cup riders. It is a bit strange as in all sports we have no idea when to be ready or if and when we will be able to travel anywhere.
WS: Are you on lockdown?
JV: Luckily not, I’m in Austria and we are allowed to do sports outside, as long as we keep distance. So, I’m lucky enough to hit the waters a couple times a week! Within an hour drive from Salzburg where I am living, there’s a couple of lakes where there’s either normal or thermic wind. This time of the year the water temperature is still pretty cold, but so far, I could go out with 7.0 slalom up to 8.8 foil, so plenty of nice conditions. It feels really good to be able to hit the water, but I am also feeling sorry for the people that can’t. While it is allowed for people to go running, why aren’t they allowed to go on the water? It’s harder to stay within 1.5 meters from each other, than to keep the distance we have to take!
WS: What does it feel like being a racer and not knowing if and when there will be any events?
JV: Actually, watching the documentary of Maciek about the last 8 winters in Tenerife I got super hungry to race again! I’m full power training at the moment to get strong and super fit, having a new physical training program with also plenty of hours on the bike to get fitter than ever. But of course, it feels strange not knowing when we would actually start. I just try to push like there’s an event coming next week, and I’ll see when something happens.
WS: How are you staying fit?
JV: Well as just mentioned I have a new trainer who’s making sure we are using the time right, so plenty of running, hiking, biking and strength training in the garden. Currently my weeks look like four days of endurance training, which is in total about 6 hours of biking and running. I usually do this in the morning and fill up the afternoon with a strength and core workout. Together with preparing plenty of healthy food, it’s actually 4 full days! On the other days I am doing yoga sessions and some physio treatments to get a bit more flexible and take care about my body.
WS: How are you keeping your head together mentally?
JV: Me and my girlfriend are expecting a little surfer dude in mid-July, so we have plenty of preparations for that which keeps my mind fresh!
WS: Are you in touch with the other racers?
JV: Yes, from time to time I facetime with some guys to see what’s happening on their places! I have spoken to Ethan Westera, Amado Vrieswijk and Mateus Isaac to see what’s happening at their places! Also, we’re still in touch in the TWS Pro Slalom training Whatsapp group, keeping each other a bit up to date of what’s happening. Currently it seems like Spain, Italy and France are the worst places to be as they are on full lockdown, means they can’t go anywhere. Elsewhere for example Germany, Holland and Austria we’re allowed to go outside and even drive to a lake or sea to get out on the water. Although some popular spots are closed to avoid people gathering together.
WS: Do you think you will compete again this season?
JV: I was convinced yes, but honestly starting to doubt more and more, I hope so for sure, but I’m afraid the chances feel like they are getting smaller and smaller.
WS: How has the shutdown affected your testing and training schedule?
JV: I’m not able to leave the country, so for sure I’m limited in the places I can go. But there’s no rush on anything, so that takes the stress away. Beside that gyms are closed too, but with weights at home there’s plenty of opportunities to get stronger!
WS: What was the highlight your 2019 season?
JV: My elimination win in Korea, I think, if you saw me fist pumping across the finish line, that said it all! It was such a special and nice moment! I remember having a solid start and perfect trim going to the first mark. Once arriving at the first mark it was Tristan Algret trying to sneak on my inside and he even hit me, but knowing that I was leading the race made me able to push through and lead the race until the finish. I have to admit, the last jibe was tough, even when I was having a solid lead! Knowing that if you make a good jibe, you win that race! It was a moment I’ll never forget, although a second time won’t feel the same, I’m still hungry for it!
WS: Is the Fanatic / Duotone gear going to be even faster this season?
JV: Faster every year!! Ha-ha. It is tough to improve equipment every year, for example our medium and big board are same as 2019, once you can’t find anything better, there’s no reason to make a change. Of course, we keep on pushing the development and always trying to be faster or more comfortable. To me it doesn’t seem like we’re going much faster than a couple years ago, but the gear has become so easy to go fast you don’t realize it. That in itself is probably the biggest difference.
WS: Why do you love windsurfing?
JV: That is a question that is somehow hard to answer, because windsurfing is so much in my system! I can’t imagine a life without windsurfing anymore, blasting around a lake or sea, trying to be the fastest and searching for the edge all the time, that feeling is just amazing!
WS: What are your words to live by?
JV: Enjoy, if you don’t enjoy the things you do, you’ll never reach your potential!