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Ferrari windsurfing

"I like going fast and my favorite move is the power jibe." 26 year old Verena Fauster loves the big boards, big sails and the challenge of racing. Interview by Tanja Emig.

date of birth: 15-08-1978
nationality: Italy, resident at Kaltern
sponsors: F2, Deboichet, Gaastra, Circolo Surf Torbole
best results: Italian champion Formula Windsurfing 2000/2001/2002/2003; PWA World Cup Formula Race 2003: 2nd; FW Woman Cup 2002 & 2003: 3rd overall
When and why did you start windsurfing?
I started windsurfing when I was nine years old on lake Kaltern (where I live). First my dad started windsurfing. Then Thomas, my brother, and my mom learned it, too. Therefore I wanted to follow them on the water. My parents bought a 3 m2 sail and shortened a mast and a boom. So I had a quite light rig – nothing to compare with the kids rigs from now – and then they taught me windsurfing. I had a lot of fun with my small sail.
Did you like windsurfing from the beginning on, was it easy or hard to learn for you?
Yes, I liked it from the beginning. I cannot say if it was easy to learn or not, I don’t remember. But I don’t think so. If not I wouldn’t had continued. I only remember that in the beginning I went in and out on water every 10 minutes and my poor mom had to carry the board, a Windsurfer, which weighted about 20 kilos.
When did you do your first race?
There was a small race on the lake Kaltern. We were a group of about 6 kids surfing and we wanted to participate at the race. At the end I was the only one finishing the race, with the big ones. The boys all retired. I was so proud that I still keep the cup, which I got there.
But the first real race at which I participated, was the Coppa Primavela (Italian championship for guys under 14) in 1990. At this time the race was sailed on the One Design with a 4,5 m2 sail. We went there for a misunderstanding. My parents thought it was a camp. And being there I participated and won by the girls. Therefore I entered immediately the national team and the federation sent me to international races. At the beginning my mom was not really happy that I started racing. But she had allowed it to Thomas and therefore she couldn’t forbid it to me.
Your best result so far?
Second at PWA racing the last year. But there were many results where the satisfaction was nearly bigger, like winning the Italian Funboard championship as Youth, winning the One Hour on the lake Garda with my brother, winning the Super 8 and so on.
tough task: jibing a formula board
Isn’t it hard for a girl to do Formula Windsurfing? I mean, the sail is so heavy and the board so big to take it to the water...
No, I don’t think so. You only have to accustom. If you pass immediately from a 6 sail to a 11 it will be hard. But if you try more slowly you will get used to bigger sails then. The same is true for guys, not only for girls. I admit, sometimes for pulling out the 11 from the water I need quite a lot of time, but when you are on the plane you don’t feel the sail anymore. And with formula you plane immediately and it is also funny with stronger winds. Also for taking the gear to the water you get used to it. At the end considering the sizes both board and rig are extremely light. The problem only exists if there is high shore break. Some guys lift the whole gear over their head and pass the breaking waves. I fear I will never learn this. Anyway if it weren’t for a race in such conditions I would not go out with formula equipment.
What is your favorite windsurfing spot?
My favoured spot is lake Garda, which in the meantime got my second home. From the places, which I know it is the one of those with most likely winds. In the last years I have been there from April/March to September, except the periods of races, and I could sail almost every day. Only this year in April and March it was so cold that sometimes I refused to go on water.
What do you think about wave or freestyle windsurfing?
Sometimes I like watching the good sailors, but it’s nothing for me and I don’t understand anything about it. Occasionally I go out with small gear and try some small jumps and perhaps some little moves. But I’m not really able to jump and to try moves I get bored soon, perhaps because when I go surfing I don’t want to stay a lot in water - it’s funnier on water. And as soon as I see somebody going fast I follow him and try to pass him forgetting that I wanted to learn a move. I like going fast and my favorite move is the power jibe.
What about your future plans in racing?
I will try to do races as long as possible, because I really like to compete with others.
What are you doing when you are not windsurfing?
I’m studying. In spring I took my degree in microbiology and there are only a few exams missing to finish my second study. In autumn I should start working, I want to become a teacher.
Can you give 3 tips for girls who want to learn windsurfing?
1. Start windsurfing on beginners gear, not on your boyfriends small board, use a small, light sail. Start windsurfing in apt conditions, light wind and flat water.
2. Look for a teacher, who learned how to teach. In order to learn it right, fast and with less fatigue.
3. Have fun! Don’t force anything.

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interview & photos: T. Emig/Olympus windgirls 2004