All Photos / EuroTour - Georgia Schofield
Still can´t believe how well this weekend went, after my road trip to Prague I went straight to Zandvoort in the Netherlands to train and hang out with some friends before the race. The place is a super cool location for racing and you can definitely feel that the organizers have produced some big events before like the Red Bull mega loop. Zandvoort also has the F1 Circuit Park which was pretty sick to check out.
I felt really relaxed leading into the race and just took one step at a time, I was so stoked when the wind picked and started rolling in on Saturday. The race started at 16:00 o´ clock and I had a perfect start from the beach.
My Fanatic teammate and good friend Tom Auber (France) took the lead after a bit and I stayed right behind him, he pulled a little away on the downwind sections, but I caught up at the buoys with waves.
Tom pulled a little away after that and I played catch up for 8 km. With the “Tahitian powerhouse” Enzo Bennett (Tahiti) chasing me down from behind which definitely made me a bit nervous and pushed me, cause I was so stoked to be in second place and wanted to keep that place.
The technical course was pretty long (10.5 Km.) with really strong wind and current so it was pretty tough mentally when we were going upwind against the current, but the downwind stretch with waves was so much fun.
After the fourth lap going into the last one, Tom had set out a pretty big lead and I had set a pretty big lead to Enzo as well, so I thought that was the results and I was already more than stoked. I was feeling pretty tired on the fourth lap, but somehow I felt like I got more energy when I saw the lead I had on Enzo, I was happy and that made me push even harder. With about 500 meters I had closed the gap on Tom and the adrenaline starting pumping and I didn't feel any pain at the point (love that feeling). Going around the second to last buoy I decided to go for a different line straight through the waves instead of taking the outside line which Tom did, it's obviously a higher risk going through the waves/whitewater but also a much shorter line. That's the advantage of not always being in front, when you are in front you tend to keep it safe, but in second or further behind you have nothing to lose only to gain, at least in this case. (A good example would be when Casper won the world title in Fiji https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLVk1gQF3cQ at 2:47).
When I took the inside line, Tom and I where side by side and the race to the finish was insanely close, with waves and wind coming from the side we both fell in a couple of times and at the end I was just able to sneak in front, get around the last buoy and run across the finish line in first.
Everything went so quick and I couldn't really realize that I won, but I was so stoked and I still am, while looking back and writing this.
So my take away from this is that everything can happen in a race, so you should never give up, even though you're behind.
What a race! Huge congrats to everyone that competed in the brutal race and thanks to everyone for making the event possible.
Top 5 Men
🥇 Me 😉
🥈 Tom Auber 🇫🇷
🥉 Enzo Bennett 🇵🇫
4th Paolo Marconi 🇮🇹
5th Kjell De Bruyn 🇧🇪
Top 5 Woman
🥇 Emma Reijmerink 🇳🇱
🥈 Esperanza Barrereas 🇪🇸
🥉 Caroline Küntzel 🇩🇰
4th Susak Molinero 🇪🇸
5th Ella Oesterholt 🇳🇱