WOMENS WINDSURFING TAKES OFF
An initiative which first was started by Iballa and Daida Moreno years ago at the Gran Canaria world cup has now become a norm as the PWA has announced equal prize money structure for women and men at world cup events.
The PWA states: “These changes will usher in a new era of equality in windsurfing and, combined with other adjustments to equipment rules, will help to further boost the already growing participation in the women’s divisions.“
Severne rider Lina Erpenstein has shared some of her insights into the effects of this decision.
Ramifications for women’s windsurfing
Lina: “I think its a huge step we´re doing. Compared to men’s windsurfing there are almost no professional windsurfing women. All have a job or an education next to the sport. With more funding, more women will be able to spend more time on actual training, making the level rise more and more and our sport just a lot more professional. We still have a huge difference in contracts and wages by the brands in windsurfing and equal prize money will be the first step towards real equality.
I’m also really happy for young girls coming into competitive windsurfing, who will be having a lot more possibilities. If you’re considering to concentrate fully on windsurfing and start competing, even if it is just for a while, it´s just so much more appealing if the money you can win at an event will actually pay for the trip.
We need more young girls with the opportunity to train as much as they want in order to raise competitiveness and push our performance to a new level. I would say this is a change, that has already started in recent years and I hope the implementation of equal prize money will contribute to that movement.
I would say it´s the chances that come with this change that really fascinates me. I’m excited where this will take our sport. I hope women’s windsurfing in the future will not be considered a „nice side event“ of the men’s contests but a full-on, high-performance battle for being the best in the world.“
Lina Erpenstein (left) and Daida Moreno (right)
Will more girls compete?
Lina: “I guess this might be an effect we will be seeing in the coming years. I hope we do! I think we are actually seeing it already.
Iballa Moreno´s girls camp on Tenerife last summer gathered such a good group of upcoming talents. Events like those are essential to connect the girls, make them push each other and prepare them for competitions. When I started competing after finishing school in 2015, there was no such thing, so I’m super happy to see this development!“
Iballa (left) and Daida (right) Moreno
What does this mean to you?
Lina: “First of all, I am really looking forward to getting back to competing.
Its just super fun and nothing pushes you harder than sailing for a heat win.
And I also feel a bit like it´s the recognition for all the hours of water (and driving-) time we put in the last years.
We already have been getting more and more support recently, people acknowledging the effort we put in. It has happened to me that people congratulated me (even though I lost) after coming off the water from a heat on Sylt for sailing good, telling me it was thrilling to watch. I mean, this is the best compliment you can get!
And moving to equal prize money now shows that the movement is not only verbal but that it´s really happening.“
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