CATCHING UP WITH THE FREESTYLE PRO TOUR LEADER BEFORE THE PWA EVENT IN FUERTEVENTURA
Lennart Neubauer has had quite an exciting journey this year. He started off with an injury but managed to overcome it and now he is leading the Freestyle Pro Tour. He also achieved a great accomplishment by securing the second position in the Men Wave U20 competition in Pozo. Currently, he is preparing for the first Freestyle PWA event of the year. Looks like Lennart is truly on a fast track course to stardom.
GIVE US A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO YOUR INJURY. WHAT WAS THE DOCTOR’S DIAGNOSIS AND HOW DID YOUR EVOLUTION THROUGHOUT FEEL LIKE?
¨The injury happened on 18/11/21 in Carro, France. The original diagnosis was a Bone bruise on my left tibia, close to the knee. Normally this can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to 3 months to heal. About 3 weeks later I gave it a try and tried to go on the water but it was still very painful. This basically kept going for 5 months, from doctor to doctor. In March of 2022, I got in contact with one of Europe’s best orthopedic surgeons, Mr. Karachalios who recommended surgery. Less than a week later I was on the surgical table where I found out that the anesthesiologist was a windsurfer too. After that, I went straight to the Red Bull Athlete Performance Center (APC) to start rehab. Long story short, there were a few complications and it took me a total of 16 months to say that I’m 100% back on the water.¨
AFTER SUCH AN INJURY, YOU COME BACK AND JUMP RIGHT UP TO SECOND PLACE AT THE FPT IN BONAIRE. SHORTLY AFTER YOU TAKE THE WIN IN AUSTRIA, PUTTING YOUR NAME AT THE TOP OF THE RANKINGS. HOW DID THAT AFFECT YOUR MINDSET? IS IT WHAT YOU EXPECTED FOR THE COMEBACK, OR DID IT INCREASE THE PRESSURE?
¨To be honest, my goal for Bonaire was to get into competition mode again and to feel confident in my sailing. The second place was just like a bonus. From Bonaire to Austria tho, my mindset changed. I wanted to win! The conditions were tricky but we managed to complete a single and a double elimination, where I managed to defend my single elimination win. The pressure meter is at 0 right now for me. I feel far ahead of my goals for the season so the only thing in my mind is training.¨
YOUR RESULTS WOULDN´T SAY YOU HAD ANY, BUT COULD YOU POINT OUT A FAILURE YOU HAD THIS YEAR?
¨I don’t feel like I had a failure so far in my performance this year, apart from feeling a little nervous in Bonaire everything went as expected so far.¨
2023, IS THAT YOUR YEAR TO BECOME ONE OF THE YOUNGEST FREESTYLE WORLD CHAMPIONS EVER? OR WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST DREAM FOR THIS YEAR?
¨Oh, I really like the way this question sounds haha. I would be lying if I´d say that this isn’t my goal but I never try to focus on the outcome, instead, I prefer to concentrate on what matters at the moment. So if I´m in the final for example and I focus on what I have to do in that moment, the outcome will be positive.¨
IN BONAIRE AND AUSTRIA, YOU PROVED TO THE FREESTYLE WINDSURFING WORLD THAT THE SEVERNE FREEK 5.6 IS CAPABLE OF DOING ALL THE MOVES YOU CAN DO ON A SMALLER FREEK. BUT IN FUERTEVENTURA, WE EXPECT VERY DIFFERENT CONDITIONS, STRONG, CHOPPY, AND SOME GOOD RAMPS. ARE YOU LINING UP WITH A DIFFERENT GAME PLAN FOR THIS EVENT?
¨For Fuerteventura my game plan stays the same, of course, the moves change as the conditions are very different but the way I approach this competition stays the same. I feel like I’ve found the best way to approach things mentally this year so why try and change that?¨
FAIR ENOUGH! NOW THAT YOU CLINCHED SECOND IN POZO IN THE WAVE U20 CATEGORY, WILL WE SEE YOU TAKING PART IN MORE WAVE EVENTS? WHAT IS LEFT FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR?
¨For this year my only focus is freestyle, so the FPT and the PWA events. For the next year, I´d like to push the wave as well though, starting with my trip to Cape Town for two months in January. The short-term plans are PWA Fuerte, then a month of training at home in Greece before heading to the next freestyle events.¨
IMAGES BY: JOSE PINA & JOHN CARTER
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