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Subjcet Lena Erdil rides the South Korean rollercoaster
Writer 관리자 Date  15-05-18 11:20 Hit  6941    

The Slalom Experience

Lena Erdil rides the South Korean rollercoaster


At the start of the season Lena Erdil (Patrik / Point-7 / Mystic / AL360) made her intentions clear that becoming world champion would be her main goal for 2015. The Turkish beauty finished last year as the PWA Slalom Vice-World Champion, but is determined to go one better this time around. Erdil made a solid start to the season by finishing second in Ulsan, South Korea, but the final day proved to be a turbulent affair. A good day could’ve been a great day, but for a dramatic final race which saw Erdil’s maiden event victory snatched from her hands in the dying moments of the event by Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins). After an enthralling opening to the slalom season we caught up with Lena for a full catchup about Korea and the season ahead, which looks as though we will see a terrific title race with at least three or four girls in contention for top honours. Read the interview below:

PWA: How was the opening event of the year for you? 

LE: “Emotional, challenging, exciting and mostly rewarding. I was feeling really good with my equipment I could really feel the benefits of my winter training whilst racing.” 

PWA: Second place is a solid start, but you were so close to victory - did it hurt to have it snatched from you and how did you feel when the fourth race was announced knowing if it had ended there and then you'd have won?

LE: “Wow that was an emotional rollercoaster! All morning I was focusing so hard on the possibility of racing again and hoping that the wind was going to kick in despite a bad forecast. I needed another race so badly as I was only 0.3 behind first place but ranked 3rd, I knew that finishing just one position before Sarah and Fulya would mean overtaking them and claiming victory. When the wind finally did kick in with not much time left till last possible start I couldn’t believe my luck and was determined to make this last race count. I managed to pass Sarah just before we reached the first mark and lead into the first jibe, from there on I managed to keep my lead and finish first. At the finish line I thought that was it for racing in Korea and was already celebrating victory in disbelief that I really did it. Actually people were already congratulating me and we were joking that they might run another heat, not even considering it as a real option. About 10 minutes later they made an official announcement to run another race so that we could get a discard, that meant that if Sarah beat me in this next race, she would win the event. I had a bad start to that last race there was a big pile up at the boat and I narrowly managed to squeeze past the starting boat, I made it to the mark in 5th position, but luckily managed to pass 2 people on the first jibe, from there on I was chasing Sarah and Delphine for the rest of the race, but despite my best efforts could not overtake them. This meant that I was now ranked second overall, unfortunately missing out on that first event win - ‘frown emoticon’. In 2 races I went from 3rd to 1st to 2nd, of course it would have been nice to win my first event, but I didn’t get upset or sad, in a place like Korea where a lot can go completely wrong and in general 2nd place is a good start to the season. Overall I am still pleased with my racing at this first event, it was nice to see everyones speed and I managed to race without any major upsets.” 

PWA: The level of the girls looks to have gone up again this year... Who were you most impressed with from what you saw?

LE: “In the girls fleet the stand out sailor of the week for me was Fulya. She was already really good the last couple of years, but she has definitely stepped up her game over the winter. Increasing her speed and by now also being able to add experience to the equation makes her a strong competitor. The fact that she managed to win most her heats and a final really shows that she’s got it in her to do really well and she will definitely be one to watch this season.” 

PWA: How did your new sails feel in your first comp?

LE: “I was really happy with them and I think they helped me a lot especially in the tricky and gusty conditions we have in Korea. I was amazed by the competition performance of my 7.9m, it has an amazing low end, planing and getting great speeds even in really low winds and at the same time the capacity to produce amazing top speeds when the wind picks up while remaining easy to handle. I think after putting my 7.9m to the test in Korea I can safely say I wont be using my 8.6m sail this year. Overall I have a lot of confidence in the high level of performance of my sails and I think not having to worry about this factor really helps me to focus my energy on other things.”

PWA: It looks as though there will be several girls in contention for the title this year... Are you feeling ready for the fight?

LE: “Yes super ready, I am now on my way to the Defi Wind but after I will go back into full power training mode. I love the competition side of slalom sailing the most and I think it’s great that we now have a field of girls who are equally able to win finals and perform excellently, it makes the racing more exciting and therefore more fun! I am already looking forwards to Alacati and wish we could have more girls slalom events in the future so that we can keep this positive momentum we have at the moment on the girls slalom side of things.” 

PWA: What will you be doing between now and Turkey?

LE: “I have some races in Turkey that I will be attending and I am thinking of going to the IFCA Worlds in Sylt, but mainly I will be spending the summer in Bodrum at my Windsurf Center ‘Lena Erdil Windsurf Center’ where I am available for private lessons and coaching. Ortakent, the bay in which my Center is located has super reliable thermic winds which blow every afternoon, therefore I am looking forwards to spending the summer here and being joined by Maria Andres again, who as last year will be my training partner this summer.” 

PWA: Will we see you making an appearance on the wave scene?

LE: “Yes I am going to try out my wave sailing skills in Tenerife this year, but I still have a lot to learn so it’s just going to be for fun and the experience.”

PWA: Great, thanks Lena. Good luck with Defi and your training.

If you’d like to stay up to date with all of Lena Erdil’s latest news be sure to ‘like’ her Facebook Fan page, which can be found here.