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Cycling, windmills and surfing new spots; rediscovering Holland

I am in the plane, on my way to San Francisco. I already finished two movies (and secretly cried watching one), drank a bit of red wine (because the steward kept insisting I should drink something more exciting and I thought he was right), I ate too much chocolate (never bring a lot of chocolate with you on a eleven hour flight), I cleaned up my Mac book but I still have more than seven hours left. So I started writing this blog post.

On the road again 

Most times when I write an update like this one (about what I have been up to for the past months)   it is after I leave a place or country I have been for a while, after I made some unforgettable memories again, after I met some amazing people and when I scored some great windsurf sessions. All of the above is the case again, except for the fact that this time that place was not a tropical island or city on the other side of the world but in my home country.

I came back from Bonaire end of April and I moved to a city called Haarlem. It’s in between Amsterdam and the ocean, so within ten kilometers of cycling I can either be in Amsterdam or at the beach! A friend of mine was very lucky to rent a beautiful house from a windsurfing couple who are traveling around Europe in a van, and because the house was big enough for the two of us we could rent it together. I drove there in my real surfer car (an old Peugeot 108 with a symbol of a surfer on the steering wheel) sponsored by ‘autobedrijf van der Weide’  with all my stuff. Just one bag of clothes but a car full of toys. I brought my freestyle board and freestyle sails, my wave board and wave sails, my wave SUP. my regular surf board ánd my race bike. I would definitely not get bored. Debra (my house mate) also took her bike and surf gear; lucky we were living in a big house.

Cycling near Haarlem 

I have lived in a lot of places in the world but it had been a while since I last rented a house in my own country. In the past few years I mostly just came back for a few weeks and in those weeks I always stayed at my parents house. I am very lucky to have very relaxt and easy-going parents who love me to stay with them. But it was so nice living in Haarlem; being so close to the beach and to the best wave spots of Holland! And of course to live together with Debra who cooks amazing dinners and who became such a good friend.

Chilling with Debra after a great surf and SUP session at Zandvoort

Sadly enough it has been a very bad wind season and I didn’t manage to get a lot of windsurfing in. But we had some nice waves for surfing and SUP and I spend a lot of time on my bike to stay fit. With two old injuries from my ankle and knee I always have to work out my legs to keep them strong and biking is a perfect way of doing this. My clothing sponsor ION is not only a surf brand but also a famous mountainbike brand and – lucky for me – they have a lot of bike clothes as well :-).

Surf session at Zandvoort 

Although the wind has been bad I did get a few nice sessions in. One was at a spot I had never been before; it was completely flat and perfect for freestyle. It’s on the ocean but it has a few sand banks in front of the beach and with low tide these sandbanks create a complete flat area to sail. I got a few wave sessions in at Wijk aan Zee and on the days it was just not enough for my small wave board I took my freestyle gear to play in the waves. The big advantage of doing both disciplines!

A cold freestyle session 

Typical Dutch scenery

On Monday I cycled the ’11 city tour’. It’s a famous tour through the province ‘Friesland’, where you stop by all eleven cities of the province. Originally this tour is a ice skating tour, but because it has not been cold enough for the past twenty years it has not been possible to run the tour on ice-skates but they organise is every year over the road, cycling, as well. In the past they have even done this 240 km tour windsurfing. Sounds pretty far and hard to me, but it must have been such a cool experience! On my bike it was quite a lot of fun as well, together with my sister, my housemate, my dad, my two cousins and my aunt. There was quite a bit of wind which made it a bit more challenging but I actually felt good the entire 240 km! I think only the first 30 km I still had to wake up a bit because my legs were feeling a bit weak (we had to wake up at 4:30) but the other 200 km were going pretty smooth. It took us a bit more than 12 hours to finish. It’s not a race, we were cycling in a good pace but we also wanted to enjoy the day so we had a few coffee and lunch breaks in between, and my sweetest mom was waiting for us at a few spots to hook us up with some nice snacks and drinks.

The Eleven City Tour Team! 

ION bike team 😉 

The day after was not day off rest (although my body wanted one) because I had to pack my bags for the U.S.A. I got invited to participate at two events of the IWT (International Windsurfing Tour), one near San Francisco at a big river close to Rio Vista and one in Oregon at the Gorge. I went there last year as well and can’t wait to go back. The cool thing about these events are that they are for pro’s, amateurs and kids all together. There are different disciplines but it’s so nice to compete together with so many other people and to see the kids getting so much motivation from these events.

After writing the above I fell asleep in the plane and I didn’t manage to finish this blog post ;-). I will finish it now, sitting at the campsite at Rio Vista. Around 1am Dutch time / 4 pm California time I arrived at San Francisco. My passport check at customs was not as quick as last year, I must have not looked very innocent. They asked me a lot of questions and I had to go to another room for more interrogations before they let me through. I got picked up by the family Mertens and had a lovely dinner with the family at their house afterwards. I tried to stay up as long as I could to get used to the different time zone. That worked pretty well because I slept the whole night and didn’t wake up super early. 

Picking some oranges out of the garden of the family Mertens 

Today we drove to Rio Vista. I’m staying here at the camper of the family Mertens and have a huge van to drive around in. Tomorrow looks windy! Can’t wait to hit the water. The first two weeks I will be at Rio Vista and after the event there I will drive up together with the family Mertens to Hood River. This river can get super rough, on a good day you can jump backloops and push loops on both tacks from four meter swell!

Upcoming weekend I will organise a Ladies Clinic and on Monday I will probably go visit my family close to Lake Tahoe, one of the prettiest lakes of Amerika (apparently). I will keep you posted of my adventures here in the USA!

 

And just a few thank you’s because I couldn’t do all of this without you! Thanks to my mom for driving me to the airport with all my gear again. Thanks to KLM to not screw me over this time with my gear, thanks to Nikaj and Maaike for trusting us in their beautiful house, thanks to the family Mertens for their hospitality and help and to Donna Woods for getting me here! 

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Ladies Windsurf Camp 2

Due to so many excited windsurf girls who wanted to join my camp I decided to run two ‘Ladies Windsurf Camps’ this year, and after a very successful camp last week it was time for the second one last weekend.

One of the things I love so much about these camps is that I get to meet so many new and cool windsurf women. And what I love even more is seeing ladies joining again who have been on a Ladies Windsurf Camp before / who have been to my Yoga & Windsurf week and even who have been joining me every year since my very first camp in 2015! I guess that is one of the biggest compliment I can get :), and it’s so great becoming good friends, seeing them growing in the sport and getting better and better each year.

Friday night meeting each other (again)

The forecast for the weekend was not great although for a while it looked like Friday night could be a great start of the weekend with a decent south western wind. I started the day with a nice wave session in the morning at Wijk aan Zee. I was using my 3.7 HERO and 69 liter QUAD and it felt so good using a small sail again! Although it was a Friday morning the parking lot close to the ‘Peter Volwater Pad’ was completely packed with cars. I guess a lot of windsurfers are either unemployed or very clever to find a way to never miss those good days ;-).

It was nice to see my fellow team rider Eva Oude Ophuis back on the water after giving birth last year.

After two hours of sailing and enjoying the waves I had good hopes to top it off with a freestyle session at Strand Horst afterwards but unfortunately the wind was gone earlier than expected. By the time the clinic started and people were arriving nothing was left of the 3.7 wind I had at Wijk aan Zee in the morning. A bummer, but part of the sport we all love so much! 

Nevertheless we still had a great start of the weekend. Good food, good stories, nice windsurf goals and all full of energy for the weekend. Saturday morning we started with theory while the wind was building up. We practised the fast tack ( my favourite dance move ;-)), the jibe, duck jibe, harness and the right stance. It went from sunny and warm weather during the theory to lots of rain combined with wind while being on the water. Suddenly everyone was planing! That was a nice little surprise. The wind went down again and we were not able to plane anymore,  but it was a perfect wind to practise moves like the fast tack, helitack, beach start and duck jibe.

Theory in the morning 

After some hours on the water a suspicious looking cloud turned out to be a thunder cloud. We had been expecting this a bit as we saw it in the forecast in the morning so we were all close to the beach and we decided to use this little thunder storm as a good moment to have some lunch and a break.

Dark clouds in the background 

In the afternoon we went back out on the water until it was time for a hot shower and a nice dinner. Telstar Surfclub made us burritos filled with vegetables, meat or cheese with salad and fries. After dinner (and coffee and cake) we went outside to avoid falling asleep straight away after dinner and our long day on the water. Telstar had some longboards we could borrow so some of us were cruising around on a long board while others where testing their balance skills or just enjoying the beautiful sunset, before going in an having a drink and playing some games.

Apparently everyone felt pretty knackered from a long day on the water because on Sunday we woke up from the smell of tasty croissants being ready for us at breakfast. This morning we went through some new moves on the simulator. Once they understood each part of a move or trick and they could all do it on the simulator we went back out on the water. Some ladies really wanted to practise the waterstart. There was not enough wind to really do the move, but with a board on the beach without a fin they could still get the feeling and understanding of the waterstart.

In the afternoon everyone was keen for some stretching / yoga to loosen up the muscles a bit. The wind had died off even more in the afternoon which made the lake completely flat. Pretty bad for windsurfing but perfect for yoga on a… SUP! Telstar was very kind to lend us some inflatable sups and I was actually pretty impressed how long it took before the first one of us fell in to the water!

SUP yoga 

Time flies when you are having fun and way too soon came it was time to finish the camp and to say goodbye. We all packed up our gear and were ready to leave but the terrace in the sun was too appealing so we ended up enjoying each others company a bit longer with some drinks and food!

THANKS to Telstar Surfclub for the great hospitality and this perfect location and to all ladies for making this camp so unforgettable again. Hope to see you on the water again somewhere soon!

Stay tuned for my next adventures! I will be in Holland for two more weeks before flying back to California beginning of June to take part in the American Windsurfing Tour at the Rio Vista Grand Slam near San Francisco and in The Gorge in Oregon. Afterwards will be the start of the PWA Tour for me, and I will be flying to several competitions in the Canarian Islands.

End of October I will organise one more Windsurf Camp at Telstar Surfclub, more information will follow soon!

 

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A great weekend!

Last weekend was the first of my two Ladies Windsurf Camps that I organise in every year here in Holland at the Telstar Surf Club. It was such an incredible fun weekend again and it’s amazing to see how much each of the ladies has learnt in those few days!

The camp starts on Friday evening where we meet each other at the Telstar Surfclub right in front of the water.

Meeting each other on Friday evening with a drink and a beautiful sunset 

Every weekend is different, and as most of the women who are joining I’m always very excited, but also curious to meet all the women! Some of the women I know from previous camps, from windsurf sessions or other places but there are always new faces. And like all the other camps I have done so far there were only very motivated, cool, fun and lovely ladies! Apparently different age or a different background is not important, all you need is a shared passion for windsurfing and you will get a group of women together who are having a great time together.

The spot where the clinic is held is at a lake called the ‘Veluwe Meer’, in the middle of the country. It’s a perfect place for a windsurf camp as it has nice shallow water, a sandy beach a surf center that rents gear and a beautiful Surf Club with accommodation, a terrace and great food!

We were (once again!) very lucky with the wind and weather. Although there was forecasted quite some rain and not a lot of wind we actually had sunshine the entire weekend and on Sunday afternoon everyone was planing. As I always tell my participants; a weekend FULL of wind sounds great and is definitely a lot of fun but for learning it’s better to having a bit less wind is even better. Out of experience I think that in the ideal situation the first day would be a light wind day and the second day would be windy. To learn something it’s important to understand the theory behind the move or trick and to practice it on land before trying it on the water, and when it’s blowing 40 knots people are getting restless and just wanna go on the water (which I totally understand ) instead of listening to theory and trying moves on a simulator. This weekend we had a bit of both; the perfect conditions!

 

Practising on the simulator before hitting the water

Saturday we started the day with theory and rigging our gear after  a good breakfast with croissants, coffee, juice, eggs and bread. Knowing how to rig and tune your gear is so important but a lot of people don’t really know what to look for. Everyone made some goals for this weekend and on the simulator we were practising those goals. The wind was building and with the theory in our heads and the feeling in our body we went in to the water. After a nice lunch break at the terrace of Telstar Surfclub we went for our second windsurf session. In the evening we watched back the clips that I made with my Go Pro, to analyse and see what went wrong (and good!) and we enjoyed a good meal and relaxing evening.

Sunday we continued with theory and because of the stronger wind we could focus more on moves like the power jibe and beach start and waterstart. Everyone had a lot of muscle pain from the day before so we did some stretching to warm up and loosen up the muscles before hitting the water again. The wind was getting stronger during the day, and after a while I saw many ladies cruising around with top speed. No better way to finish of a great weekend than with a lot of wind!

Sunday afternoon; tired but very satisfied! 

I love the feeling of landing a new move, but I get the same feeling of excitement when I see someone nailing their first jibe or beach start after we have been practising this together.

Windsurfing is a male dominated sport and I never mind sailing with just men, in fact I quite like to be just one of the guys often. Sometimes people ask me why I organise Ladies Only Camps. I think the thing I really like about being just with women is that they are already getting more motivated just being with other women on the water, seeing other women trying moves and realising other women are also scared sometimes, or struggling with the same difficulties. Most men are stronger and can get away with not having the perfect technique because of strength and power, while women can’t. When I was sailing with just men when I was younger, I was never comparing myself with them and it never motivated me as much to try something new as when I was sailing with another girl.

At one point during the weekend I saw our youngest lady trying to teach one of the other participants the beach start. She was sort of lifting her up on her bum, trying to make her understand the feeling of getting the lift from the sail. It was so cool to see them helping each other and having so much fun together!

THANKS lovely lovely Ladies for this great weekend full of fun and lots of windsurfing and thanks Telstar Surfclub for the great hospitality. Hope to see you all again soon!

 

‘A fast tack is like a dance’ 

Time to hit the water! 

Amazing sunsets at Telstar Surfclub 

Sunday morning breakfast with croissants and juice. Everyone has muscle pain already.

Having fun on the water

After two days of sailing… 

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Yoga & Windsurf Clinic 2017

WHAT A WEEK! I’m still smiling thinking back. The improvement on the water and on the yoga-mat was awesome and to get so much positive feedback after this week is just wonderful.

The clinic was held from the 3rd of April till the 7th in Bonaire, in the beautiful bay called Lac Bay with Yoga right at the beach at Sorobon Beach Resort,  and it was the first time I combined Windsurfing with Yoga during a clinic.

After I started with yoga a few years ago for myself besides windsurfing,  I found out that yoga can really complement windsurfing and can greatly improve your performance in the water. Windsurfing makes you stronger, but the many hours on the water also causes sore and tensed muscles. Yoga brings this back in balance and helps being focused. Together with one of my best friends Ladina, who is a experienced yoga teacher and passionate windsurfer herself, we decided to organise this clinic where we wanted to combine windsurfing with yoga. And so it all started :-).

With an exotic cocktail and Caribbean life music we all got to know each other a bit during the welcome apero at Sorobon Beach Resort. And with all these nice, motivated and happy people joining our clinic I knew it would be a great week already!

On Monday we all met at 9:30 AM. Everyone had thought of some windsurf goals for the week and we started the morning with some theory. The very talented and famous Bonairian windsurf teacher Caesar Finies was joining us every morning to teach with me,  so we could split up the group and focus even more on specific things everyone wanted to learn.

We were blessed with an amazing wind forecast during the week. We had good wind the entire week with a peak on Wednesday when it was very strong and a light day at the end of the week to practice some things which are easier with a bit less wind.

After every morning session we had a lunch break to fuel ourselves up and to give those bodies some rest. Most afternoons we started with some video analyses from the morning session. It helps a lot to see what you do wrong ( and what you did good ) and it’s nice to watch this back before getting out on the water again.

It was so great to see people improving even after a few days already. Understanding of what you are doing is so important and most people don’t realize how much theory and video analyses can help! It doesn’t matter what level you are, whether you are a beginner or an advanced windsurfer; with windsurfing the learning process never stops

But…. this week wasn’t just about windsurfing of course! Every afternoon we did finish the day with a yoga session. As a windsurfer herself Ladina knew exactly what our bodies needed after all those hours on the water. Depending on what the participants where learning during the daily windsurf-session, different muscles did work in different ways. Ladina made us learn how to activate  those smaller and stabilizing muscles, practicing different core exercises, to support the bigger muscle groups.

We practiced different breath-techniques, which helps to stay calm and for being focused. Some of the participants had some challenging moments on the water (very strong wind conditions, first deep water session, harness) where they could apply the calming breath techniques. As for myself as well, it helps me a lot to focus on my breathing before and during an important heat in a competition.

It was amazing to see how our clinic-participants did understand and feel the benefit from yoga with windsurfing! They did realize how important it is to stretch out tight muscles after windsurfing to prevent disbalances and muscle pain.

I would like to THANK all of our participants for joining us, for your enthusiasm and for this amazing week that we had together!

We are already looking very much forward to our next yoga & windsurf clinic in Bonaire! If you would like to see what our week was like don’t forget to check out the movie from our week below. 

 Ladina & Arrianne 

       

 

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Ladies Windsurf Camps

Het is weer tijd voor het Ladies Windsurf Camp!

 

Leuk nieuws! In samenwerking met Telstar Surfclub geef ik dit jaar weer een aantal clinics op Strand Horst waarvan de eerste natuurlijk weer een Ladies Windsurf Camp is!

DETAILS:

Waar: Telstar Surfclub op Strand Horst

Wanneer: 12, 13 en 14 Mei 2017  EN 19, 20 en 21 Mei 2017

Voor wie: Voor alle meiden / vrouwen die van windsurfen houden! 

Kosten: 239 euro 

Inclusief: 2 dagen windsurf coaching, 2 overnachtingen in de nieuwe Telstar Surfclub, 2x ontbijt, 2x diner. 

 

                                         Arrianne tijdens het EK Freestyle in Brouwersdam in 2016 

Wil je graag beter leren windsurfen; in de voetbanden varen, je gijp verbeteren of misschien kun je wel wat hulp gebruiken bij het leren van een nieuwe freestyle move? Geef je dan nu op voor het Ladies Windsurf CAMP weekend!

Samen met Arrianne Aukes;  professioneel windsurfer en officieel opgeleid windsurf instructeur ga je het water op en oefen je op datgene wat je dat weekend graag wilt leren. Arrianne heeft al meer dan tien jaar ervaring in lesgeven in zowel binnen en buitenland en vaart al vijf jaar mee in de top op de PWA Tour (het WK windsurfen).

Weinig wind of veel wind, het maakt niet uit voor de clinic. Als freestyler weet Arrianne als geen ander dat er altijd wat te leren valt! Ook kun je bij weinig wind altijd nog een grote plank of SUP huren bij Telstar.

De clinic wordt gehouden op Strand Horst. Dit is een van de bekendste en grootste surf spots van Nederland en ideaal voor zowel beginnende als gevorderde windsurfers door het vlakke en ondiepe water. We zullen verblijven in Telstar Surfclub, die haar deuren afgelopen lente voor het eerst heeft geopend. Deze top locatie direct aan het water zorgt ervoor dat we na ons heerlijke ontbijt zo vanaf de Club het water op kunnen, lekker kunnen douchen na afloop, en ook niet verkeerd; overnachting met uitzicht op het water.

Het weekend begint op vrijdagavond, waar we gaan bespreken wat je al kunt en wat je graag wilt leren tijdens het weekend. Zaterdag ochtend begint met een heerlijk ontbijt, waarna we vervolgens het water opgaan. Tijdens het weekend krijg je ook theorie uitleg, tips voor het optuigen en tunen van je materiaal, er wordt gefilmd en er worden foto’s gemaakt waardoor je extra goed inzicht krijgt in je fouten en verbeterpunten. En natuurlijk ook gewoon voor de gave foto’s!

In de avond wordt er gezellig met zijn allen gegeten, de dag nabesproken waarna ieder zijn eigen gang gaat. Een drankje drinken en heerlijk wegzwijmelen na een uitputtende dag op het water, spelletjes spelen of gewoon lekker vroeg je bed induiken, het kan allemaal.

Op zondag gaan na een power ontbijt even de spieren losmaken met een yoga sessie (alleen voor liefhebbers!), kijken we door het beeld materiaal van de vorige dag om te kijken waar we die dag op kunnen focussen om vervolgens volledig gemotiveerd het water weer op te gaan!

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2nd place EFPT Brouwersdam

Time for a little update about my latest freestyle competition, sitting in a little crêperie in La Torche in France waiting for the wind to increase.

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Last week was the EFPT competition in Holland. The EFPT stands for the European Freestyle Pro Tour and they organize the European Tour for the freestyle discipline. The competition was held at Brouwersdam, a famous windsurf spot in the South of Holland. It’s the third year in row they organize an international competition at this spot and it’s a great place for freestyle, and it’s the only EFPT stop where they also run a girls fleet.

I only had one day in between unpacking from Sylt and packing for Brouwersdam, swapping my wave boards and sails for my freestyle set. Nice to be home for one day, eating some healthy home made soup of my mom and sleeping in my own bed for one night!

The DamX event started on a wednesday morning. We had a good forecast and on the second day of the competition we started with the single elimination. I’m from the northern part of Holland so I am not a local at Brouwersdam and didn’t know what conditions to expect. We had a strong eastern wind which was increasing more and more during the day. The only bad thing about eastern wind is the COLD. It was freezing!

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I was using my 4.4 and passed a few heats to make it in to the semi finals. In the semi finals I was up against Maaike Huvermann, a fellow dutch competitor and 2nd in the PWA world ranking of 2016. I sailed a good heat but Maaike an even better one and it was her who advanced in to the winners final.

After the single elimination I was in third place, but since the wind was still blowing strong we straight away continued with the start of the double elimination.

The wind increased and I changed to my 4.0 IDOL. I was on my 86 liter, with my new 17 cm MUF fins PRO style.

In the double I first had to defend my third place against Jazzy Swerus before meeting Maaike again for 2nd place. I sailed another nice heat, landing shake’s both ways, a kono, switch kono, funnel, flaka, forward, puneta and spock. Just as in the single elimination I was happy with my sailing and performance, even before I knew I had won the heat. Maaike also sailed a good heat, but this time it was me who advanced.

Next up was my heat against Sarah Quita, 7 times World Champion freestyle and although I could not get close to her, I was sailing another good heat and I came off the water completely stoked after a long cold day of competing.

The days that were left there was not enough wind to finish a whole other elimination, but there was enough wind to do fun races, also organized by Dam X. Besides the fun races there were lots of other activities, stands and a food market.  On Friday it was my sisters birthday, and my parents, brother and sister all came over to Brouwersdam to have a birthday dinner for my sister. Nice to have my family around during a competition 🙂

On Sunday was price giving and I was very pleased to take 2nd place!

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After the EFPT in Brouwersdam I had another short day at home, changing back to my wave gear and to get ready for the PWA wave in La Torche. I started driving on Tuesday morning and arrived at my family in France on Tuesday night. They live only two hours away from La Torche and it was great seeing them before the competition. For the past few days it has not been windy yet, but we had some very nice and clean waves so I have been surfing every day!

Today and tomorrow looks promising for the wind, so fingers crossed! After this event I will be flying to Brazil. Back to where it all started for me and to windsurf in bikini again after these weeks of sailing in 8 degrees. Can’t wait!

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Clinic Brazil

Jericoacoara, a small village in Brazil where the trades wind deliver wind every single day, with crystal clear water and no need for a wetsuit. A personal favorite destination!

Arrianne Aukes will offer four days of coaching for all levels. Arrianne Aukes is a professional windsurfer and a certified and experienced windsurf instructor.  So if you want to crank down those carve gybes, improve your waterstarts, or dial in your forwards then this is the perfect chance!

 

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DETAILS

Dates: 21 till 24th of November

Availability: Open

Minimum Level: Harness and footstraps

Equipment Hire/Transfer/Accommodation: All available on request and packages can be tailor made to your needs. Overnight hotel rental, long term rental, car hire, airport transfers, board/sail hire – we have all the experience to provide you a cost effective yet enjoyable trip.

Price: 300 euro

*Price includes: Professional coaching from Vice World Champion Arrianne Aukes with video coaching and analysis and live video feedback whilst on the beach.

Grab your place by emailing:  arrianneaukes@gmail.com 

 

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Real Trip Makkum

Last weekend was the Real Trip again at Makkum, a big and  famous windsurf event and competition in Holland. There was enough wind on Saturday to do a long distance race and it was so cool to race together with more than 200 windsurfers! There was not a lot of wind so I was using the 9.0 WARP and 129 liter FALCON with 44 cm fin. I had a good start and was sailing next to other women pro fleet competitor and Olympic sailor Lilian de Geus and we were right in front with the first men. Half way the first run I was taken over by Ester de Geus but I managed to claim third place. It was pretty uncomfortable sailing in one direction for so many kilometers but being surrounded by so many other competitors was just so much fun. img_3112

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They were also running a SUP race before the wind picked up in the morning. The week before the event I had my first ever go on a race SUP board but I was being pushed to give it a try on Saturday. And I am very happy with that little push because I managed to win the race 🙂

I never expected the SUP race to be that much fun, but I enjoyed the thrill of the competition and to play a tactic game and I would like to do some more races in the near future!

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In the evening the organization of the event organized a nice BBQ, followed up by a little party. It was so nice to catch up with a lot of windsurf friends that I had not seen for ages. Even got a chance to be the DJ of the party for a little while 😉

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Sunday there was not enough wind for another race sadly enough, but with lots of sun, some wind and sup racing it was a great weekend!

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Warming Up

A warming up is something a lot of windsurfers never do. I must admit I still forget about it myself sometimes because I’m to excited about my session or worried about the wind disappearing. But it is definitely worth taking a few minutes to warm up before hitting the water. You are not only protecting yourself from injuries but you can also focus better and you are even more likely to land that move earlier.

Check it out! (sorry…. it’s in Dutch;))

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San Francisco and the Gorge

My first AWT experience in the USA!

Surf Magazine published an article written by me about my adventures in the Bay Area of San Francisco and the Gorge in the United States. It was an amazing trip. I competed in two AWT competitions (freestyle and slalom) and won in both competitions. It was impressive to see how well organized both events were, how many people showed up and how nice the atmosphere was. Besides the great windsurf sessions in beautiful surroundings it was also great meeting so many incredible nice and helpful people who I totally owe a lot of credits for making this trip so unforgettable.

I want to thank so many people but a special word of thanks I do really want to give to is to the family Mertens and Donna Woods. You guys were amazing! Thank you all and hope to see you next year!

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