by Amber, aka Defi Diva
(ed note – I changed the title of this post without Ambers’ permission….)
It had taken me close to two hours to complete the course. And while Wind Magazine and other windsurfing paparazzi were no where in site to document my return, I was on a high. I pulled my board and sail from the water and set them on a small piece of sand in between the hundreds of sails that blanketed the beach. I then walked over to the check in table, found my name on the clipboard and signed back in. It was now official! I had completed a race! I practically skipped back over to the Belgian Slalom team’s staging area.
As I crawled over the wall with a huge smile on my face, Xavier and Bart looked up. “I did it!” I cried. A hearty round of congratulations rose in the air. Bart then smiled and said, “We were talking, and decided that if you completed a race we would give you one of our jackets.” OOOhhh the coveted blue Belgian Slalom Team jacket??!! The Fashionista in me had goose bumps! This was a prize more coveted than any statue or bottle of champagne! I imagined myself being invited to Presidential balls and other Washington DC galas, where I would walk into a room wearing it and the women’s heads would turn eying it greedily. Perhaps I would even make the fashion watch section of Vogue magazine? It was official, I had now not only completed a Defi race, but I was also now an official Belgian Slalom team groupie!
I changed into dry clothes, and ate a huge sandwich. The next Skipper’s meeting would be in a couple hours. As I sat waiting, the winds began to pick up again. I watched carefully to see what was being rigged for the next race. It was all small. The discussions were again that the wind would be very strong that afternoon. Bart and Jurgen were sitting it out. My gear and shoulder told me that I would have to as well… We again watched the exhilarating start from the shore. They were off racing toward the far mark, and my toes curled with desire to be out there among the mass of shimmering sails…
That night there was a huge Defi party. Truckloads of hot muscles were brought in (ed note. seems like a Freudian slip to me. I think she means mussels!) and a BBQ dinner was provided. I talked with a few of the French sailors at dinner. I was amazed that this was their “play ground” and they had mastered these conditions. They were equally amazed that someone would come all the way from the United States to race in the Defi! By the time dinner was over everyone was tired and frozen. I returned to #43 Bungalow, took a shower that once again ran the hot water tank empty, and jumped into bed. Tomorrow the wind was projected to be fierce. I didn’t care. I was determined to race again.
The next day, I woke up early and checked Wind Guru. The projection had dropped a bit from the menacing dark brown it had been showing the previous night. My pulse quickened and I jumped out of bed with renewed confidence. I was excited that this might turn out to be yet another wonderful race day! When I mentioned the report to Bart and Els, they looked at me warily. They had just checked and it was still dark brown. As usual there were conflicting wind reports coming out. Bart lamented the fact that if it was again like it was last night, it would be too much wind for him. I stayed determinedly optimistic. I wanted to do another race. This was it after all, this would be the last Defi race and I very much wanted to do it.