|windgirls-portrait: Babsy Strasser, G-1|
Freestyle is different. New moves, new gear, new worldcup events. And new faces. Barbara "Babsy" Straßer from Southern Germany is one of them.
She's got soul. She's got style. And she's got all the moves. Babsy Straßer is perhaps one of the best examples for a phenomenon that is already well known from the male freestylers. "Nobodies" impress the pros with almost incredible performances.
These freestyle-sailors live on spots like Tarifa (Beat Steffan, E-69), Lake Neusiedl (Frank Lewisch, AUT-19) or Lake Garda (Wolfgang Wiefling, G-33) and were nothing but local heroes even two years ago. Now that the freestyle-hype has brought new worldcup events, all the pros can spell their names. (By the way: Frank just created the new Spock 540°)
Babsy's story sounds similar. Radical, but unknown the 24-years-old Lake-Garda-local has never wasted thoughts on the PWA-worldcup. The first "King of the Lake" in 1997 has been her first and only competition (Babsy finished second then!). Studying maths and sports for a teacher at Regensburg-university in Germany and spending her free time at Lake Garda, Italy, Babsy got better and better all the time. Her models? "The guys I am windsurfing with!"
Her reportoire is certainly one of the best in these early days of competitive women freestyling: duck tack (her favorite move), backwind jibe, carving threesixty, willy skipper, back-body drags... The frontloop still causes her fear, but she's trying hard...
Babsy learned windsurfing when she was 9 years old, "mostly at Lake Garda" and after that she spent two seasons as a windsurfing instuctor at Myconos, Greece. Some trips to the Canary Islands, Tarifa and South Africa brought some wave-experience to the flat-water-addict, but besides South Africa ("I like it a lot"), Lake Garda her "home" is her favorite windsurfing spot. For 30 months she has been sailing only at Italy's temple of freestyle sailing...
But then the time was ready for something completely different: Her friend Wolfgang Wiefling, a dedicated freestyler and Garda-local, too, persuaded her to travel to Fuerteventura to take part in the first PWA-freestyle event for the women's fleet. Sponsored by NORTH SAILS and Mistral Babsy jumped into the "cold water" and entered the unknown world of professional windsurfing. (Her performance was radical, but her lack of competition-experience caused a lot of mistakes). Finishing on 10th place Babsy was everything but satisfied with her heats. But she was the only one in the whole fleet with really perfect willy skippers...
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