After all the controversy surrounding the final two stages of the women’s PKRA Freestyle World Championship it must not be forgotten that the world tour was a 10 stage event that started in March. After all of those stages and controversy aside, the winner was the very lovely Karolina Winkowska from Poland.
Now we have all had a chance to breathe a little, we sat down with Karolina to have a chat about the year that was, and what the next year has in store.
KSm: Karolina, can you describe how it felt in your own words to secure another world title?
KW: It was definitely my goal this year, and when you are able to achieve something like that it’s like the cherry on the cake. It was a hard year for me as the PKRA stops were almost every month, additionally I had to travel for my training and also did the polish Ford Kite cup championship (3 stops) in between that, so I was constantly living out of my bags, the whole year was pretty much preparing, competing and preparing again, it’s a super tiring procedure.
With only the two of us who were really in the running for the title I think it’s even harder than ever because it’s 100% up to yourself to be better than your opponent, no-one else is going to help you along the way. Winning the second world title was like the sign for me that what I do is going in a good direction and that the profession I chose is the one I am the best at!
KSm: Did the controversy that surrounded the win effect the feeling for you?
KW: It was a hard time for me as we were on hold for the re-run for like a week. Pumping up kites everyday and then waiting all day long in sometimes 30minute increments for an announcement about whether we are going to run or not is a very tiring ordeal. It was a very emotional week for me but luckily my mum was there with me and she gave me the best support ever.
The ironic thing was that after that whole ordeal whether or not I won that “re-run” of the Pingtan event would have made absolutely no difference because the last tour stop (Hainan) wasn’t completed and I still would have been the champion. Sometimes people forget that a World Title is about a combination of yearly results, not just wether or not you win the last stop.
KSm: Do you think this kind of situation is just an inevitable part of any competitive sport, or a problem that needs to be addressed in competition kiteboarding?
KW: I can’t speak for other sports, but this isn’t the first time something like that has happened to me on tour, it’s just the first time everybody outside the tour heard about it. I wish this situation or similar never happens to another competitor ever, but as most know the more corporate things get, the more likely it is that something strange might occur. That’s just life I guess.
KSm: How would you like, or where to you see the direction of the woman’s freestyle competition heading?
KW: Hmmm, I hope that the new world tour won’t change the rules too much. It’s rumored they want to change the format and score high jumps in between freestyle tricks. The women on the tour have to adapt to the scoring system, that is why right now most of the girls are working hard on their styles and their power to get better points in the comps. If we have to practice high jumps we will forget about keeping the kite low and progressing the sport further. Womens kiteboarding is finally starting to see a good level, it would be a shame to take it all backwards again! I guess we will have to wait and find out what the people in charge have in store for everyone.
KSm: Are you secretly a little tired now of talking about ‘what went on in China’?
KW: You could say that… It’s like when something bad happens to you, like braking a leg and everyone is constantly asking you about it, I would love to just move on and be done with it. I don’t like talking about it, but I know everybody wants to know what happened there so I can’t really blame them for asking. If I heard about something as strange as that I would probably want to know as well! haha.
KSm: Are you ready to get straight back into the competition again in 2015 to defend your title?
KW: No! Not yet! I am still on my holidays :) hahahaha.
KSm: What will you be doing and where in the meantime over the winter months?
KW: In the Australian summer surfing and maybe you will see me out in the snow in Europe as well!!!
Thank you Karolina, it has been a pleasure to talk to you. Enjoy the rest of your time off and we will see you again in the new year.