Babsy Strasser
Pannonia Soul Classic
Freestyle competition
Sept. 17th - 19th '99
Lake Neusiedl, Austria

The victory

Flat water action: winner Babsy Strasser


As if we had foreseen it. In our September-issue we had featured her ("German Soul"). And now she won her first competition. Against the men: Babsy Strasser.

Uli Hölzl: Freestyling at Lake Neusiedl
The PWA-freestyle-worldcup in Fuerteventura showed very clearly that freestyle is no longer a men-only-discipline. Radical performances by Tony Frey, the Ruano Moreno twins, Colette Guadagnino and freestyle-champion Karin Jaggi on one hand and some problems with the racing discipline on the other hand, proved that freestyle would play a very important role in future women windsurfing.


Local events like the "King of the Lake" on Lake Garda, the "Gorge Games" in the US or now even the "Pannonia Soul Classic" are intended to bring this freestyle- and party- spirit closer to the basis. And to bring local talents closer to competitive windsurfing. The men's freestyle ranking is already filled with examples for the success of this idea...


Lake Neusiedl, Austria, is a great spot for bump-and-jump-freestyling and recreational windsurfing. The PWA-freestyle worldcup at Lake Neusiedl is a big success in bringing the sport back to it's roots and showing the crowds what kind of radical action is possible on a lake. The Pannonia Soul Classic is intended to become the second big highlight for freestyle sailing there. And it is the home spot of your beloved chief editor!!!

Woman (Babsy) and man (unknown) doing their best...
Woman (Babsy) and man (unknown) doing their best...


four girls

Uli Hölzl (AUT-123) from Austria, doing some warm-up for the PWA-Grand Slam in Sylt
Babsy Strasser from southern Germany, who had already showed her talent in Fuerteventura
Tanja Emig (I-2000), a big talent from Austria (but sailing on Lake Garda, Italy) doing her first competition
Michi Wiener from Austria, perhaps inspired by her boyfriend, Austrias top-freestyler Ossi Krupitz
windgirls: Babsy Strasser and Tanja Emig

about 20 boys, among them

Alex Humpel (AUT-360), the father of the "King of the Lake" and modern freestyle windsurfing
Frank Lewisch (AUT-19), the local hero, who had presented the "spock 540" in Fuerte for the first time
Ossi Krupitz (AUT-10), perhaps Austria's best freestyler in technical respect
Johannes Markthaler (G-25), Germany's youngest freestyle-talent
Christian Sammer, a so far totally unknown guy from Austria who will for sure kick the pros' ass next year
Norbert Lattner and Michi Graupp, who had already some starts in the freestyle-worldcup
myself   ;-)

Althought the wind was something around force 4 only (some of the photos were taken the day after the competition) the action was great including air jibes, incredible willy-skipper-combinations, spocks..., and all the new transitions and tricks.

Babsy made her way to the Semi-Finals with a performance, that has never been shown here by a girl and that impressed the judges (e.g. perfect, high air jibes). Babsy eliminated boys like freestle-worldcuper Norbert Latter and worldcup-organiser Gerhard Polak. Unluckily the wind failed at the end of the competition and Babsy had to share the title and the money (ATS 30.000.-) with five of the world's best freestylers. The other girls said good bye in the first round.


Babsy Strasser
Frank Lewisch
Alex Humpel
Ossi Krupitz
Christian Sammer
Thomas Böhm

party: sex and drugs and local wine...


Babsy Strasser was THE heroine of the event, respected by the crowds and the other competitors. And it was a good idea from your windgirls-editor to invite Babsy and Tanja to come to the Pannonia...

Radical air, beautiful light: Tanja Emig
Uli Hölzl: radical loop
Austrian Tanja Emig and someone from Vulcan...


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text & photos: Andy Aichinger, © windgirls 1999