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Daida Ruano Moreno is the first Queen of the Lake.

The "King of the Lake" on Lake Garda, Italy, is the most traditional freestyle windsurfing event worldwide. But for years it had been a "men only" event, althought there had been some women competing on the first "king" back in 1996. Last year the organisers started a competition for young freestyle talents, called the "Prince of the Lake". With the help of Austrian freestyle legend and "king"-inventor Alex Humpel finally the organisers decided to have a "queen" this year, too.

Queen Daida I

Iballa - one hand body drag windgirls hanging around

But: The girl's freestyle tour 2001 does not really seem to be under a lucky star: At first the girls have not been invited to the important freestyle Grand Prix in Austria at all. After that they were told, that the "queen" will not be a PWA event all, which meant no points for the ranking (some powerful oceanwater-windsurf-pros managed to prevent also the king from counting for the world tour). In both cases this means a serious disadvantage for "Lakepeople" and semi-pros, who have to pay a huge amount of all their expenses out of their own wallets...

And: At that time it looked like Fuerteventura would be the only PWA freestyle for the girls this year. Bad enough, this should change 2 weeks before the event in Pozo, Gran Canary (july): Finally there was freestyle for girls there, but only a handfull of girls competing, as all the others were not able to manage and afford to go there in such a short time. This means that none of the non-pros will have a chance to be world champion in freestyle and that one of the "big names" is gonna win for sure...

Karin, Tony, Anne Tanja - Air Jibe Karin,Andrea,Julia,Anne,Babsy,Tony,Diada;Colette,Iballa,Conny,Tanja;Uli (not on pic)

Enough of complaints, when you are on a beautiful event-site like the Conca d'oro on Lake Garda and the heats are on, it is the best chance to show off and prove that not only men are doing "it" radically on the water. After some days of light winds and a heavy thunderstorm (and after the men's fleet had been reduced to the finals) the girls showed what they had trained the last months: Radical loops, air jibes, one hand body drags, even spocks. 12 girls competing close to the beach, most of them far away from being "real" pros. Finally a great event, and without doubt the girls made it much more attractive this year.

Again the decision was close and Daida took the honors against Iballa, Colette and Garda-local Tanja Emig (who had announced to beat the twins on "her" lake) in the finals. Daida took the honors. Not the crown, because there was none for the queen. Only for "King" Matt Pritchard, who beat world-champion Josh Stone.

Queen Daida Colette - 2nd place Iballa 3rd place Tanja - 4th place Tony 5th place

Again the atmosphere was relaxed, the "kings" spirit unique like every year and the fans were on fire. Partying was the favorite choice of most competitors. After the freestyle-farce in Gran Canaria, the Fuerteventura Freestyle Grand Prix will for sure provide some serious action. Check it out at windgirls. And: Congratulations, her majesty! Daida I.

RESULTS - Queen of the Lake 2001
1. Daida Moreno E-64
2. Collette Guadagnino V-711
3. Iballa Moreno E-63
4. Tanja Emig AUT-0
5. Antonia Frey GR-1
5. Barbara Strasser G-1
7. Karin Jaggi Z-14
7. Anne-Katrin Stevens G-200
9. Uli Hoelzl AUT-123
9. Angela Huber-Guertler AUT-1
11. Cornelia van der Schilden H-95
11. Julia Deutsch AUT-541
Ezzy Sails: www.redbullkingofthelake.com

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 text: Andy Aichinger, photos: Anne Stevens, Ulrich Grill; windgirls 2001