Hi Starboard fans!
My name is Axel Espeli-Blankholm. I am Norwegian and live in Oslo. I will tell you all a bit about myself and my windsurfing life! I sail in the Oslofjord as often as I can. I’m 12 years old and I love foiling and slalom sailing. I started windsurfing with my dad when I was 7. And it’s all about going fast and having fun!
How I started to foil and my tip for kids who want to foil
I started foiling last year when I got the iQFOiL equipment. I foil most of the time but when it’s a lot of wind I really like to go fast on my slalom board. It is really really fun. To get the most out of foiling, it’s good to learn basic windsurfing first on a bigger board. When you know how to use your harness and footstraps you are ready to start flying. Start with a big front wing as it makes it easier in the beginning.
What other stuff I like to do
In the summer when I am not windsurfing I like to wake surf, wakeboard, and play other water sports with my dad (he is a great boat driver, haha!). In the winter I compete in alpine skiing and my favorite discipline is super-g where I can go really fast. I really like to go fast as you probably noticed.
What I am training on these days
Right now I’m tuning my foil a lot to fly quicker and go better upwind. I also want to be able to fly every time in the jibes, it’s not easy. But my goal is always to go faster and faster and faster and faster. 25 knots is my goal for the season.
I’m on the junior development iQFOiL team at the Royal Norwegian sailing club KNS. At KNS I have over 20 friends on the team. I am the youngest and trying to beat the older kids every time. We train every day it’s wind and we go to different places for regattas and camps.
Going faster and faster every time that I’m on the water and be the fastest in my age group. I always sail with my watch to record the training and speed.
I’m U13 Norwegian champion in Bic 293 2020, and U13 iQFOiL champion this year. Next year I want to go to the iQFOiL junior worlds in Switzerland to compete in the U15 class and try to do my best. I really look forward to sailing with some other kids my age.
My dad who is my coach and I windsurf with him as often as I can! Other heroes are Bjørn Dunckerbeck because he is super fast, and Robby Naish because he is the king of watersports. Hope to meet them one day!
I love Mexican, and real Italian pizza (not frozen) and love to try new stuff!