Our Dream Team champions have agreed to share their winning secrets. Delphine Cousin, Sarah-Quita Offringa, and Philip Köster are the 2019 PWA World Champions! Philip Köster wins his 5th Wave World Title, Sarah-Quita Offringa takes home her 17th PWA World Champion Title. Delphine Cousin also adds another 2 World Titles to her name in 2019 bringing her score up to an incredible 5 Titles. It seems that once you win one title the next ones will follow, or if your name is Sarah-Quita, the next 16. We caught up with our Champions to find out their winning secrets.
Interview with Sarah-Quita Offringa
Hi Sarah, first of all, big congratulations! At Starboard we are extremely proud to have you on the team since the very start of your windsurfing career and have enjoyed witnessing your tremendous development into one of the most versatile riders in the world. No other rider has won titles in all 3 disciplines in recent years. You have become the living legend of female windsurfing and an inspiration for many young windsurfers with only 28 years of age. It seems that the wave title you just won was the last missing piece of the puzzle for you, and we saw you dedicating a lot of time into improving your skills in the waves, especially in the last couple of years. Having accomplished this long term goal for the first time, how do you feel?
Hi! Thank you so much!
It’s a bit of an unexpected dream come true for me. I did really put my mind and effort into wave sailing over the last 3 years. And this year I was feeling really good in the Canaries, but I didn’t start too well with two third places in Gran Canaria and Tenerife.
So looking back now to the end of the Canaries leg, I didn’t think the year would end up like this. Winning the Aloha Classic, and with that my first wave title, feels unreal and is the cherry on top of what was already a ridiculously fun year! I just love windsurfing as a whole and want to enjoy everything this sport has to offer, hence I’ve been applying myself to the different disciplines.
Already having won titles in all 3 disciplines we can only wonder and ask what’s next on your list of goals?
What’s next! Well, let’s say that most of the motivation comes from wanting to improve. So even though I have won the title now, thankfully there’s still SO much I can learn in windsurfing. There’s a couple of jumps and wave tricks I still need to learn. So I will definitely keep on competing so that I keep pushing myself to the next level. Other than that… I think I’ll enjoy this for now, and at some point, I’ll reset and focus on where I really want to go next with windsurfing.
What’s your secret to winning? For most great athletes it’s a state of mind, how would you describe yours when you’re competing?
Yes, I think it’s a state of mind. I think once the green flag goes up I do switch into this tunnel vision competition mode where I feel like nothing is impossible, given I’m not too nervous, I have been able to control that though and usually, I´m able to put down some good heats.
I guess when I compete I just don’t see the option of losing. In it to win it…hahaha.
AND I think the main thing is that I do enjoy competing as well, like… I live for the challenge of having to step up my game against others. It’s a rush.
You use all the high-performance boards in the Starboard range. The iSonic for racing, the iGnite for freestyle and the UltraKode in the waves. What are your favorite sizes and what do you love most about Starboard?
Boom! What an awesome range of boards we have. I love the team I’m on. The riders on Starboard are all very inspiring to me, and everyone helps each other out where they can. So the iGnite 93L has been a blast to freestyle on this year. All my moves are SO easy to bust out right now because of the shorter length. And I’m sure I’ll be able to improve a lot this winter with the iGnite.
The UltraKode’s are radical boards designed by Jeager Stone and his dad. I use the 76, 80 and 86L boards. The great thing about them is that they work in a big range of conditions. I will use this board in freestyle/wave Pozo, Gran Canaria as well as down the line Margaret River, Australia. So it’s radical yet playful!
The iSonic´s have been the best racing boards on the market for a while now. Many slalom boards out there are great these days, but the iSonic is so good because it’s a high-performance board that is incredibly easy to use. Quick on the plane, easy to control and smooth jibing. Put any sail on there and just GO! Don’t tell anyone.. but the 72 wide is my favorite size! Oh and the 63.. and the 83… Hahahaha. Oops. They’re all so good!
Thanks Sarah, one last question: Will we see you foiling as well next season?
I have finally ordered a board + foil and I will be practicing, but I don’t think I’ll be competing next year.
Interview with Philip Köster
Hi Philip! You just won your 5th PWA Wave World Title – Congratulations! How are you feeling after that?
It feels amazing to get my 5th world title in waves. I would never think that I would get 5 and not in such a short time. This year it has been really tricky since I haven’t won any event. I’ve been on the first 3 on the podium but never thought I could end the year with the title. Now I’m back home to celebrate a bit with my family and friends!
You’ve won more world titles in the Wave discipline than any other rider in recent years, what would you say is your secret?
I enjoy to compete a lot and I try to have as much fun as possible. I think one little secret is to not give up before you run out of time. I got the title thanks to my last wave at Hookipa with 10 seconds left which gave me enough points to stay on top of the rankings.
The winter season lies ahead what are your plans this year and how will you prepare for the next season?
Right now I’m enjoying being home but let’s see what will happen in the next few months, I’m sure I will do a quick under forecast trip somewhere warm and nice. Looking for the best waves possible.
Thanks Philip, and finally we want to know which is your favorite board in the Starboard range, and what do you like most about it?
My favorite board is definitely the UltraKode in the carbon reflex technology construction. On the Canaries, I use it as a twin fin which gives it a very loose feeling and it is very fast to get high jumps. Once I get to spots where it is more about wave riding I change the fin setup to thruster or quad to get the most out of the board to do very tight turns and difficult sections.
Interview with Delphine Cousine
Hello Delphine! Huge congratulations on taking home the Slalom World Title No. 4 in New Caledonia as well as winning the first-ever Foil World Title this year! How are you feeling after this extremely successful season?
I am just so happy about my performance this year. Winning the 1st Foil World Title is just amazing as I really like this new discipline, and the fights on the water with Marion and the Alabau sisters were so exciting! About slalom, it was my main goal this year and after a good start at the beginning of the season (winning in France and Korea, 2nd in Denmark) I felt confident after Denmark, but unfortunately, I injured my foot straight after this event! The final in New Caledonia was a little bit difficult as I was thinking too much about my foot, but in the end, I sailed at my best level and finally won the world title!
What would you say is the secret to winning?
There is actually no secret! Hard work always pays off and for sure mentally you have to be strong! I am working more on this aspect because when sailors have the same level this is the point where you can do the difference!
For most great athletes it’s a state of mind, how would you describe yours when you’re competing?
When I started competing I was very stressed. I had some difficulties to control my emotions and sometimes it’s still the case. But now after more experience, I know that being angry for example is just a loss of energy and I´m happy I changed this point of my behavior in competition. Today when something goes wrong, as at the beginning of the competition in New Caledonia, I can stay calm, analyze my mistakes and start from zero on the following races. I am never doing any races without telling myself that I have to win it! Always being at the top in life, in general, is my motivation when I wake up every morning!
With 5 titles in 2 disciplines under your belt, what is next on your list of goals?
I am still in love with competing in slalom, even if it’s already been several years I am on the tour. For now, I want to be there in 2020 too! About foiling, I love it so much too and next year should be interesting to do slalom races. It’s a new challenge and I will prepare myself for that this winter. Now, iQFoil is officially the new discipline for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 and I would like to try this new discipline. It would be a new challenge for me but it’s a little bit early to take a final decision about that!
You mainly use our high performance slalom and foil boards in the Starboard range, what are your favourite sizes and what do you love most about Starboard?
In slalom, I love all the boards! But if I have to decide my favorite board I think I would say the iSonic 67 as I can use my 6,3 and my 7,0 on it. For foil boards, it’s the Foil177 as the board is just very easy to use in many different conditions. The board is just perfect to foil upwind/downwind, but also for slalom races! In general Starboard boards have a very wide range of use and it allows me to be confident in the competition even when I have to make difficult choices.
Photos by PWA/John Carter