|wTuesday, August 29, 2006|
Training Camp with Mike Gebhardt
It's been quite some time since the last update, not sure where the days went, it's been so busy since I last came home. Arriving home at the end of July I thought I'd come back to a much needed rest. Instead, we (Zac and I) had a seven day training camp with Mike Gebhardt in Vancouver. Gebi is a two-time Olympic Medalist in windsurfing from the USA. The training camp was excellent. We sailed mostly in light to moderate winds, which are my weakest areas. I learned heaps and feel that I made some great gains.
It's unbelievable what some coaching can do, I now have a much betterunderstanding of the how and whys of windsurfing and I've added a few new "gears" to my sailing, very valuable information! Now I just need time to keep practicing these techniques so that I can do them without thinking and to be able to concentrate on the race itself. I then went to Miami where I met up with Gebi again to test some of my equipment and make it ready for the Worlds. Unfortunately on my flight home, both my boards were damaged quite badly. The next day, the only day I had at home before flying to Italy was spent repairing the boards. Thanks to Rob & Matt's help at Roberts Sailboards, I was in and out of the shop after 6 hours of repairing. I was initially going to go to China for the Pre-Olympic Test event, but decided a month prior to going that I would rather train and work on my sailing than to race in a regatta. It seems that after reading the reports from China that I have made the right choice.
The RSX Women have only had 6 races of 11 total and have only 2 more days of racing. The wind has been incredibly light and the current very strong. Now already one week has passed since I've arrived in Torbole, LakeGarda. I've attached a picture of our arrival. Romy came to pick Christine and me up at the airport. Needless to say, we got a lot of looks while loading the car (and this is only 2 sets of gear)! I am staying with 3 other girls (Romy: Germany, Gelly: Greece, Christine: Britain) and we all train together. It's been quite windy here and we've had great training so far. Some days we've had double sessions on the water, gym and running. There are many teams training here and we are allowed to join in on their racing, which is great as we areable to test our speed against the others while assessing the racing area.
Till soon, Nikola (www.nikolagirke.com)
posted by editors at 8/29/2006 08:41:00 PM | (0) comments
|wThursday, August 10, 2006|
Alacati PWA World Cup/IFCA Slalom World Championships
Verena Fauster on top
Karin Jaggi (F2, 2.), Verena Fauster (F2, 1.), Allison Shreeve (F2, 3.), photos: Choppy Water/surfnsound.org
Fresh from the testing conditions of the Fuerteventura Grand Slam, the PWA Slalom fleet descended upon the picturesque location of Alacati, on Turkeys Mediterranean coast. Famed for its reliable thermal winds, azure blue waters and luxurious hospitality, Alacati was all set to play host to the third stop on this years PWA Slalom 42 Tour. Alacati conditions were relatively simple compared to the choppy water and nuclear winds of the Canary Islands, with sailors gliding across the smooth waters, many on sails of 9 square meters or more, as much as double the sail size used by some racers in the Canaries.
For the women, races were short and sharp. With only a single heat final in each race, the slightest error could spell disaster for any of the eleven girls signed up. It was Allison Shreeve (AUS-911, F2 / NeilPryde) who set the standard for races to follow, showing blistering speed in the billiard table flat conditions. Karin Jaggi (SUI-14, F2 / North Sails), who was forced to sail on borrowed equipment, as hers had not arrived, was nowhere near her recent event winning performance from Fuerteventura, having to settle for second in the first race, followed by Sarah Herbert (FRA-61, Starboard / Naish) in third.
Catastrophically for Shreeve, she missed the start of the second ladies race and only crossed the line as the other girls were rounding the second mark. This was all the encouragement that Verena Fauster (ITA-31, F2 / Gaastra) needed and she pulled clear ahead, chased by Herbert and Jaggi. Jaggis bad luck then continued as she fell at the last mark, allowing Christine Johnston (GBR-93) to pass. Fauster won ahead of Herbert in second and Johnston in third.
Fired up by her own mistakes, Shreeve was taking no prisoners at the start of ladies race 3. Straight off the line, she began to pull away, leaving Fauster, Hebert and Jaggi in her wake. There was confusion at the first gybe as Fauster and Herbert got tangled allowing Jaggi to stay in touch with the leaders, but there was no catching Shreeve who won clearly ahead of Fauster in second, Herbert in third and a very respectable performance from Cagla Kubat (TUR-75) who rolled in fifth behind Jaggi.
Straight off the line in race 4, Jaggi was back in the game leading Fauster), Shreeve and an on-form Christine Johnston (GBR-93, Starboard / Gaastra), all the way to the mark. Fauster was pushing hard demonstrating more of the ability that has seen her frequently in the leading pack, but Jaggi was back on the pace and led all the way to the finish. Sarah Herbert (FRA-61, Starboard / Naish) made a valiant attempt to pass Johnston on the final reach but could not quite get past, leaving the finishing positions the same, Jaggi first, Fauster second and Shreeve third.
With a new found lust for victory, Fauster hit the start line for ladies race 5 with renewed venom. Outstripping Switzerlands finest to reach mark number one first. Shreeve could do little apart from watch the two leaders battle it out in front of her as she tried everything she could to make ground on them, but it was to no avail. Fauster held Jaggi off through the gybes and maintained her speed along the reaches to give zero opportunity for overtaking. Fauster took the chequered flag ahead of Jaggi in second, Shreeve in third and Herbert once again holding her own in fourth.
As the wind refused to cooperate from this point Fauster was able to win the womens division ahead of Jaggi and Shreeve and thus take the IFCA World Campionship title. For the women it is all over for another year in Slalom, as there are no further PWA events on the womens tour. Karin Jaggis impressive career chalks up yet another title, but the impressive array of challengers pushing her this year has undoubtedly opened up the possibilities for the future. Verena Fausters performance in Turkey has been impressive and Allison Shreeve is an ever-present threat. Another name to watch out for is Sarah Herbert, who has definitely got the top 3 girls looking back nervously over their shoulders.
In the mens competition Finian Maynard has delivered a sizeable challenge to Albeaus dominance by winning here in Turkey meaning that the 2006 PWA Slalom title will now not be decided until the final Slalom event at the Colgate World Cup Sylt. However, to stand a chance of beating Albeau, Maynard must win the Sylt event outright and hope that Albeau finishes outside of the top 8, a tall order at the best of times. (source: PWA)
posted by editors at 8/10/2006 05:03:00 PM | (0) comments
|wThursday, August 03, 2006|
Having spent a year and a half in Munich, and now sitting in my new office in Vienna instead of travelling the world, I still stay in touch with the windsurfing scene through the internet. Doing so, I am astounded by the level of female freestyle windsurfing. When I think of the days when a vulcan made your heat, I almost can't believe how many girls have picked up windsurfing lately and how fast new talents translate their freesailing skills into competition results - especially in freestyling.
On one hand, there is chicks like Sarah-Quita Offringa, who demonstrated her tremendously slick moves last year on Lanzarote and Laure Treboux, who beat every single sailor at least once on Gran Canaria or Fuerteventura at her worldcup debut. And we should not forget quite some more who have trained hard, like Venezuelan Yoli de Brendt and Greek Evi Tsape who can now make it up the ladder against the more settled ones like Silvia Alba or Nayra Alonso, whereas Steffi Wahl and Uli Hoelzl are getting closer to the waveriding elite.
Frontloops, Spocks, Grubbies, Shove-it and variations are becoming standard moves
Sweden seems to turn into girls paradise with the likes of Nina and Marie Tjernberg, Anna Joensson and Emma Johansson really going for it. Japan is well represented with Nagoshi and Nishida, Germany has a new face in the worldcup with Britta Kuehn, and there is even a Russian citizen with Olga Malysheva. It's still Spain that would win a team ranking, followed by Switzerland (Jaggi and Treboux) but the women's worldcup is becoming more colorful and also more captivating every year. I strongly believe even Daida - used to win 9,9 of 10 heats - likes this new challenge.
Windgirls best online sports mag
On the other hand but at the same time, windgirls.com producer and journalist Andy Aichinger has been given the award of the Austrian association of sports journalists in the category "Online". Congratulations for making the online mag that helps girls all around the world to stay tuned, no matter whether they are on the water or in the office!
Windgirls, it is time to celebrate!!!
posted by Claudia at 8/03/2006 12:01:00 PM | (0) comments
|wTuesday, August 01, 2006|
Giant Garda Training Fleet
My body is exhausted; it's time for a break. This past week I've beenat Lake Garda in Italy, a long and narrow lake tucked in between huge mountains, where you sail under cliff faces. Lake Garda is an extremely beautiful place to sail, windsurf, bike and do anything outdoors really. I was able to join in with the Italian Team for their training camp in Malcesine. There were about 25 of us at times, agreat group of sailors from all over the world training together.Training consisted of two sessions per day, the first drills starting at 8:30am to around 10:30am. The mornings in Malcesine are the windiest part of the day; we sailed in winds ranging from 20 to 27 knots. We did some slalom races, testing our jibing skills, starting drills and some practice races. There were some pretty wild catapults and quite a few gear breakages too. I unfortunately broke something almost everyday and spent my time off trying to repair stuff so I can get back on the water for the afternoon session. The wind always shuts down at around 10:30/11 so there was a mandatory lunch break and siesta. Our next practice started at 2:30pm for another couple of hours. This time it was light air training, which meant lots of pumping, tacks, jibes, 360's, starts and races. When the day was over, each one of us was completely pooped. Video and debriefs of the day were after dinner. Now, I am back at home in Vancouver for a few weeks, starting another training camp on Wednesday. I head back toGarda in the middle of August for more training as this is where the RS:X World Championships are held from the 20th to 30th of September.
Hope all is well and till soon! Nikola Girke
posted by editors at 8/01/2006 03:21:00 PM | (0) comments