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The windsurfing icon shares his thoughts ahead of the World Cup later this week in #austria, on the banks of the Neusiedlersee Lake.
On May 4-8, windsurfers from all around the world will gather in Podersdorf, #austria. The 41-time World champion Björn Dunkerbeck is on location – so we’ve asked him what makes freshwater windsurfing different.
What makes Podersdorf’s World Cup stop so special?
The consistency. The World Cup has been held here for more than 20 years – and I was one of those here for the very first edition all these years ago (laughs). Another thing that is special is the fact that it is an #event held on freshwater, which gives windsurfers a totally different feeling than saltwater. Saltwater gives you more buoyancy, so when you ride on freshwater you need a larger board and larger sail to achieve the same results. But that’s something than only few people know.
So Podersdorf really differs from other windsurfing events?
Definitely! And not just from a sporting point of view. The #event has developed into a real all-round experience where visitors can try out lots of different watersports such as Stand Up Paddling, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
You also organize your own contest – the Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge. Tell us about it.
The #event is all about speed. There is a course, which generally runs parallel to the beach. The riders have an hour to pass through the course as many times as they want. Each time they do so their speed over 250m is measured via GPS. The two fastest runs are used for the ranking. It’s not about jumps or jibes, but instead it’s all about speed. The fastest competitor is the winner.
This is the last World Cup in Podersdorf. Good or bad news?
I don’t think it’s a reason to be sad. On the contrary, I am looking forward to the new wind at the new location. At the moment it looks likely that it will be Neusiedl am See. It seems like that would be a good idea. The transport connections there are good, so that may attract even more people.
Where is the best place for a windsurfer to grow up?
For beginners, two things are important: a good windsurfing school and a good instructor. Places with a warm climate are particularly good, so Italy and Spain are good locations for windsurfing. But when it comes to learning the basics, I think somewhere like Lake Neusiedl is ideal. You don’t need to grow up and live on an island to become a pro windsurfer – but of course it doesn’t hurt (laughs).
You have won many titles and events. What are your best sporting moments?
When you win a lot, your attitude changes. You have higher and higher expectations all the time. If you finish second then it is a total disaster. So the best moments are those when you realize that you were good enough to be one of the best in the world for a long of time. That does not mean that the feeling of winning isn’t a great feeling – you never get bored of winning (grins).
Which windsurfing record would you like to break?
I have my eye on the world record in speed windsurfing, which is currently at 100km/h. That would be a great one to break.
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