Interview with Bjorn Dunkerbeck (ESP), 12 times overall PWA (Professional Windsurfing Association) World Champion, and PWA Wave World Champion in 2001.
Congratulations, Bjorn, on another World Championship Title! How do you feel?
I am very happy about the title and I feel great. The decision to concentrate on the wave discipline was the right one. I really wanted to win the Wave World Championship title this year.
How important was your equipment to your success?
Extremely important! The board and sail must work together effortlessly with the sailor to win a world title.
How were the conditions at the contests and what boards and sails did you use?
The conditions at each of the contests were quite variable.
The first contest was at Vargas in April. In the beginning, the conditions were side-shore, with a wave of up to 2.5 metres. I used my Proof Rip-Lines, 250 and 254, with 4.2 and 4.7 sails.
During the semi's and finals the wind weakened and turned to a mixture of side-shore and side/off-shore. The profile of the Rip-Line board was still ideal. This time I used my 254 and 258 boards. The sail size was at first 5.4 and later 5.8.
Did you have similar conditions at Pozo?
In principal yes, but in the summertime the wind blows stronger in Gran Canaria.
This July the wind strength was 40 knots and more. The conditions were side/on-shore, with a wave height of between 2 and 4 metres.
For me, the best choice was to sail my smaller Proof Rip-Lines, 246 and 250, using sails between 4.2 and 4.5.
Next came Sylt, where there was less wind….
Sylt was not great this year!
There was one day only of competition in variable conditions. At first, I was on a 5.0 sail and my Proof Rip-Line 254. Later I was completely under-powered, with a 5.8 sail on my Rip-Line 258. The wind also changed from side-shore to completely on-shore. Unfortunately, in these light onshore conditions and with my size, I did not stand much of a chance against the lighter riders.
However, next we went to Southwest Ireland where the conditions were much better. The wind blew side/off-shore, with 2 to 4 metre high waves. Again I used Proof Rip-Lines, 254 and 258, with 5.0 and 5.4 sails.
The competition in Ireland was also a success. I confirmed myself as the 2001 Wave World Champion.
What did you do between the events?
In March I went to Maui. I spent my time there getting myself ready for the competition season ahead.
Between the contests, I made 3 trips within my project "The Search".
First we went to Kadavu, Fiji Islands in May. We had superb, very powerful, 2- 4 metre high waves! The winds blew 6-12 knots, side-shore to side/off-shore. Here, my Proof Wavespecial 254 with 5.4 and 5.8 sails was put to good use. We also found ideal wave riding conditions. The waves were glassy and smooth. There was hardly another surfer or windsurfer to be seen. Perfect conditions, with calm effortless sailing!
Next came Bali in August. Here the wind was side-shore with 8-12 knot winds. The wave riding conditions were dreamlike. The long glassy waves were 2 to 5 metres high and very smooth. The ideal choice, once again, was the Proof Wavespecial 254 with a 5.8 sail.
Then in September, there were the Menta Wai Island, Sumatra. Here the wind was side-shore to off-shore and varied between 6 and 20 knots. 2 to 3 metre waves were very powerful. Again, the first choice was my Proof Wavespecial with 5.4 and 5.8 sails.
What are your plans until the end of the year?
I'm going to stay in Gran Canaria and have a little siesta - fiesta time with my family and my friends.
The winter swell has been is here already. I think I will stay here for the moment and relax with some surfing and windsurfing at home. Depending on wind and wave conditions, I will also visit the neighbouring Canarian islands. At some stage, I would also like to go to Hawaii.
Obviously, I will try to become World Champion again. I also will try to find some more perfect spots for surfing and windsurfing. The Search goes on!