Women/In the Spotlight
It looks like the BWA ladies fleet is really hotting up this year as more top PWA sailors come to take part in the British tour. Dutch rider Amanda Beenen confirms she will be taking on the likes of Sarah Bibby, Justyna Sniady, Debbie Kennedy and more in the hunt for this year's title.
Name: Amanda Beenen
Sail number: H87
PWA ranking: 7th
Since January I've been in Cape Town, as I do every winter. It's for sure my favourite place to be in the winter time. Conditions are great to get ready for the competition season and of course a lot of the guys from tour are there to train as well, so it's also a lot of fun. Besides windsurfing it is also an amazing place for all kinds of other sports, on and off the water. I love surfing and when there are waves and no good or too little wind I'll be paddling. On the rare days that there are really no conditions to do anything on the water I try to see some of this amazing country. Because even though I've been here now four times I still need to see a lot. I basically spend every day windsurfing or surfing so the touristy stuff sometimes just doesn't happen but, this year I finally went hiking up table mountain haha!
I've been really focussing on my jumping. I already wanted to do it last year and I tried to, but I still had a lot of fear for injuring myself so it didn't work out the way I wanted it. I always found excuses not to go for jumps and just stick to what I know that I can do and that's waves. Now that I've been hitting the gym last summer with my trainer Tomas Grundahl in the Recovery Centre in Tenerife I feel way more confident. So the past few months I've been really pushing it to go for backies and still improve my forwards. I love waveriding the most and I think that's my stronger side so in the beginning it was sometimes hard to get myself to not waveride for a session but just jump. In the end however, I had so much fun with jumping because there was progress that I really started looking forward to jumping sessions in Big Bay. I just need to push my jumping to get up in the rankings and after this winter I am now really look forward to go back to Tenerife because there jumping will be loads of fun!
I am staying in the UK for a few months until the windy season starts in Tenerife. I'll be working a bit here and there and since I am here why not go to the BWA? I heard so much fun stories about the BWA from all the UK boys and I already wanted to go last year, but unfortunately I could not afford to go then. I heard there are loads of girls competing and that the vibe is really good so I really look forward to it. The plan is to do the whole tour but it also depends a bit on the PWA season. Because there are a few stops that might be or not be happening and when that is clear I know if I will be attending the events in October. But sure thing that I will be there in May!
And well, of course I am looking for the title, who isn't? But I think it will be a tough one for sure there will be some hardcore local ladies out there and besides that I heard rumors that Ingrid Larouche, AWT champion is coming to kick some butt. I don't really know her but I heard she absolutely rips! And of course reigning champ Justyna will be there she's been probably training hard in Australia this year and knowing her she won't give up the title without a proper fight so it will be an interesting ladies battle this year!
More Girls Please
Well, I think that all the girls and women should keep in mind that all the girls they see out there on the water ripping, once started with a huge board and uphauling the sail for hours! Man, if I think back I must have walked upwind at least 5 million times before I was able to sail back. Just make sure you have fun, always! Get yourself the right equipment, get a good wetsuit because nothing ruins your fun more than being cold or having to deal with equipment that doesn't suit you! Also never be afraid to ask people for help, advice and tips! Most of the boys (and girls) will be more than happy to help.
As for competing… I see a lot of girls that are ripping it up out there and when I ask them why they're not competing it's because they think that they are not good enough to compete. That's a shame because competition is not about being "good enough" it's also a great tool for learning new things, seeing where you are with your windsurf skills and seeing what you could improve. So, I think that girls should get more confident and just sign up! If youre interested in it, go to a local event and see how the girls windsurf, go look at how everything works get familiar with it. Everyone needs to start somewhere, also when it comes to competition, you don't have to go for the win! Go for yourself, to have fun and to learn!
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