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Aug 15, 2011

Extreme Sports 4 All interviews Klaas Voget

Extreme Sports 4 All interviews Klaas Voget, german Pro windsurfer sponsored by Fanatic and considered one of the best sailors in the world.

-ExtremeSports4All: Hi Klaas! Firstly, we would like to tell you that we are really happy to interview you. Well, could you tell us about the last season in PWA Wave Men 2010, in which you finished 7th overall?
-Klaas Voget: Thanks! For me it was a good year, I’ve had two top 10 results in Gran Canaria and in Denmark, and I was 7th before my normally best event on Sylt. Well, that one didn’t happen in the end because of the lack of wind. Also, in Cabo Verde I didn’t have a result, so I stayed in the 7th position I’ve had after Denmark.

-ExtremeSports4All: Could you describe the 2010 KIA COLD HAWAII Event?
-Klaas Voget: Denmark was actually not difficult for me at all, as it’s my training ground. I’m living in Hamburg and I’m driving up to Klitmöller as much as possible to get some quality wave sailing when I’m at home. The place offers really good conditions every once in a while. Unfortunately it’s a bit inconsistent, as it works with low pressure, but when the forecast is right, you can be sure to have a good time up there. Some people on tour have problems with the colder temperatures up here, but that’s not a problem for me at all. Even sailing with booties when it’s needed doesn’t bother me.

-ES4A: Could you explain to all the followers of Extreme Sports 4 All how did you start in windsurfing competition?
-KV: I started with some slalom races for kids called the “Super8” series. I won a few of those and had a lot of fun in the competitions. In 2000 I received a wildcard for the World Cup Sylt, that was my first step into the international scene. My first opponent there, was Robby Naish. Unfortunately we had no wind in this year, so I didn’t get the chance to beat him before he finished his career ;-)

-ES4A: How about windsurfing in Germany? Do you have good spots for Slalom? Of course, you are interested in waves…so how is the german coast to train?
-KV: The german coast is not too bad for training. We even have some good spots for wave sailing. Norderney can be as good as Klitmöller in the right tide and wind direction. The problem is, that it’s not very consistent and doesn’t work as much as the danish coast. Generally it’s not really the place for windsurfing from November to April, so you have to travel at least half of the year when you are a professional windsurfer.

-ES4A: If we talk about windsurfing in Germany, Sylt comes immediately to our mind. Could you describe it as a german windsurfer you are?
-KV: Sylt is a very special place. It’s one of the most difficult places to sail. Usually the wind comes really on-shore, the waves collapse in a heavy shorebreak and the current can be super strong. All this makes it hard to even get out. Some heats are decided because one guy makes it out for the heat and the other one just gets worked in the shorebreak. Sylt is the only event on tour with loads of spectators on the beach and a huge media interest. Camera guys jump towards you from all sides when you get out of the water after your heat. For me as being german for sure this is a plus, as i get a lot of coverage there and have a big crowd of fans supporting me. That can make a huge difference also in the competition. I made it onto the podium twice on Sylt with a 3rd place in 2008 and a 2nd in 2009, both years in pretty hardcore conditions. I’m looking forward to this year's event.

-ES4A: Your sail number is G-4. Why #4?
-KV: Because it’s short and was not taken by any other active rider. Also I quite like the number 4 because I was born on the 24th of April.

-ExtremeSports4All: Fanatic, your windsurf boards sponsor has made several movies, one of them "Addicted To Ride" (6th part is coming soon). It has to be really funny to be windsurfing in many spots with different sailors, and different conditions. What could you tell us about this?
-Klaas Voget: The Fanatic movies are always a great collection of footage from the whole team – filmed all year round in different places, with the final filming on Maui during the photoshoot -. This year's version is of course the best one we ever made, called “Rail to Rail”. It’s just out. The guy who is doing the movie, Carl Nyberg, is a real “fanatic” windsurfer from Sweden. It’s great to work with him. He is super motivated and puts a lot of time and love into the project every year. He is also a good windsurfer who is not scared to hit some good sections at Ho'okipa. Actually he looks like my clone on the water, as he’s using the new Fanatic Quad and the new Simmer Blacktip, just like me ;-) .

-ES4A: Andre Paskowski, another german windsurfer which is not riding now because he was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. Really bad news for all the people who love windsurfing. How did you hear about this? Have you talked with him? How is he now? Give him our support!
-KV: Andre is a strong fighter against the cancer that was diagnosed last year. He had to go through several operations and chemo therapy and I hope he finally got rid of it now. He’s on the way to recover from another really hard 3 month of therapy. I’m impressed how strong he handles it and how much positive energy he puts against his situation. I think I speak for the whole windsurfing community when I say that we want him back on the water as soon as possible and I wish him all the luck that he was missing in the last 15 months. I’m looking forward to see his new movie that he was still working on even from the hospital. I think it’s going to be insane!

-ES4A: As we have already asked to another professional athletes…Would you like having been a professional athlete in another different sport? Why?
-KV: I think there are not many other sports where a professional has such a great life as a professional windsurfer. We travel around the World and windsurf the best waves on the planet without much pressure. For sure, the downside is that we earn way less compared to other sports like Tennis, but most of them have to work much harder and don’t have much time off. The right mix of income and quality lifestyle is probably in the surfing world. The top surfers earn enough to come along also after the professional career and they still have a good life with boat trips to the Mentawai Islands and Fiji, and pull into the best barrels in the world. But I still would prefer the windsurfing, as we don’t have to deal with hardcore locals and territory fights. The climate on the water between the windsurfers is so much more relaxed.

-ES4A: What are your challenges for 2011/12?
-KV: Well I didn’t have the best results on the Canaries this year, so I can just focus on Klitmöller and Sylt for the 2011 PWA tour. My goal is to reach another podium this year. It would be my dream to win on Sylt. Otherwise, my goal is to score some sick down the line waves this next winter. I hope to capture some of it, so you can see it in the next Fanatic movie ;-) .

10 Fast Questions/Answers

-Favorite food: Avocado
-Favorite drink: My local Tea
-Favorite music (or artist): Puuh…there are too many!
-Favorite movie: ...same
-Favorite season of the year: Fall
-A word: Go!
-A place: Matanzas
-Your board Brand/Model: Fanatic Quad
-Your sail Brand/Model: Simmer Blacktip
-Sponsors: Fanatic, Simmer, Chiemsee, ION

-ExtremeSports4All: Say whatever you want to your family, friends, windsurfers all around the world...
-Klaas Voget: CU on the water!

-ES4A: Finally, could you tell us what do you think about a website like ExtremeSports4All, offering many different extreme sports only in a unique website?
-KV: I think it’s great to see what happens around your own sport!

-ES4A: Thanks a lot Klaas! Now we can say that Klaas Voget belongs to the Extreme Sports 4 All history. Best wishes for you in windsurfing competition and in your life! Keep it up!
-KV: Thanks!

Here you have a video in which you can see Klaas Voget riding for Fanatic.

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