Karin Jaggi, Z-14

Swiss chocolate

PWA World champion Karin Jaggi about taking risks, European culture and boys talking "bullshit". And why she doesn't want to pose for the PLAYBOY.

If you look back at last year. What has been the greatest moment for you?

Winning the freestyle championship! That was really a great moment, because I didnīt expect to win this title. We had no racing there, we had a laid back atmosphere, we had a great time there.
And perhaps Sylt, where I could win in the waves last year.

What will your life look like, when you are letīs say 35? What will you be doing then?

Windsurfing off course! By all means! I cannot understand people who stop windsurfing. But I donīt think I still will be a professional windsurfer in 7 years. I hope that the image of the sport will change, especially in terms of being considered to be a macho sport.
It's a big problem that raising money for all the expenses during the tour is so hard for most of the girls. This is very hard for someone who does his/her first steps in competitive windsurfing. For me, as the world champion, this problem no longer exists. Iīm doing very well in this respect now (laughs). And Iīm free in what Iīm doing. Without anybody interfering all the time. But at the beginning you have to struggle very hard and I hope the situation will improve in this respect.

What can be done to broaden the basis of women windsurfing?

First of all the boys have to stop talking bullshit!
Well there is some progress... they do not longer laugh at us when we sail in masthigh waves. They respect us now. What we still lack is this respect among average hobby surfers, among the typical couple where the man cannot accept a women windsurfer at his side.
On the other hand the one to blame is the windsurfing industry. They have neglected women as a target group so far. Now we see the first steps in this direction with Starboard and Bic-Tabou producing special boards for women. Things seem to get better now.

How do you spend your time when you are not on the water?

Learning, for example. I want to finish my studies after my windsurfing career. It is impossible to find the time in order to do both properly, windsurfing and my studies.
At the moment sport is my favourite hobby. Going to the movies, to the theater now and then. From time to time I write stories for windsurfing magazines, perhaps I will end up doing a job in the windsurfing world one day. Or something completly different. What will be very hard for me is going back to Switzerland and living there 12 months a year. I cannot imagine to do that. Donīt get me wrong – this is my home and I love coming home.
You have to jump into the cold water

What if one day the telephone rang and the Playboy invited you to do some photos? Would you agree?

In principal I donīt think so. I think that would have bad influence on our sport. But I donīt have any problem to show people "Hey we are women, we look good and we are athlets at the same time." There is no contradiction. Perhaps if there was a very good idea... But, no, I don't think so.

Would you describe yourself as a courageous person?

That depends. Taking risks in sport – no question about it – by all means! I'm ready for that.
In daily life I'd say that I donīt have to think too much about tomorrow. On the other hand Iīm from Switzerland you know and I want to be on the safe side. I always have a second plan.
But with my first plan I am always willing to take more risk than average people, I think.

Some people say you are a shy person?

I was very shy when I was a child. The sport helped me developing my personality. I would recommend that to everybody. I learned so many things: the travelling, the different languages, just organising yourself. You have to stand your ground and jump into the cold water. And I think Iīm an open person, I donīt have so many secrets.

Early this year you had the first ever freestyle competition on a lake. What do you think about it?

The event on Lake Neusiedl, Austria was perfectly organised. This incredibly huge crowds and strong winds – I could use my small sails, great because I almost hate my 6.5. At the end of the day I must admit that it couldnīt have been any better. The event exceeded my expectations.

You have just visited Vienna, Austria. Quite different from Maui, right?

I donīt want to live in Maui some day, or in Australia. I would miss Europe, the culture. If you walk through the streets of Vienna, itīs a different world. Thatīs super beautiful. Iīm European, no question about it.

Top of the Page photo gallery HOME text: Andy Aichinger; photos: windgirls, Indra Đ windgirls 2000