Windsurfing has quite a few extremes, and one of them is speed. Some windsurfers spend their whole life pushing the speed limit. Going fast on a board with a sail and the water banging on the board like a mallet at 90+ km/h. 50+ knots. 57+mp/h. That will sure get your pulse up.
So how does one go to achieve top speeds in windsurfing?
It’s was a total pleasure to hear this top speed windsurfing story of Heidi Ulrich.
Wow,... 2x Speed Windsurf World Record,... How does that feel?
🙂 that feels great. You know exactly that no woman has ever gone faster over this distance and that makes you proud. But I also try not to stop and push myself further to become even faster.
Is the road to Windsurf World Record long? How did it all start for you?
I started windsurfing around 2013. After I rode my first hard core Defi Wind with a 125 litre board and no loops (in 25-25 knots of wind) I went to Lüderitz to the speed channel with the Diethlem brothers. There I learned to surf loops and I watched the guys and knew, this is my goal. Ever since I work hard to get faster and better.
I take it this makes you a "pro rider"? Do you do this for a living?
It would be nice to be a pro rider 🙂 But I work 100% as a human resources business partner. Luckily my employer is very supportive and makes it possible for me to work remotely, otherwise it wouldn’t work.
Do you have a family?
I have a sister and a brother, wonderful parents… and a boyfriend who supports me from a-z and also does speed windsurfing and therefore also coaches me. That makes everything much easier 🙂
On Instagram I see you are windsurfing “all the time” - how does that work with the rest of your land life?
Instagram vs reality 🙂 🙂
Like everyone else, I work 🙂 But often in the morning or in the evening, so that I can also dedicate myself to training. I’m super happy that my boyfriend shares my passion for windsurfing. This way we can spend an incredible amount of time together on the water 🙂
Do you have a coach?
Do you also train on land,.. specifically for windsurfing - running, gymnastics, etc.?
I don’t like going to the gym at all.
But I do a lot of trail running, biking, climbing, canoeing and in winter snowboarding, ski touring, cross country skiing and windsurfing 😉
Any other “wild” Hobbies and Interests?
Climb and downhill mountain biking 😛
What are your windsurfing plans for the future?
To have fun. That’s the most important thing to me!
But I also have a score to settle. I would like to get the world speed record in Lüderitz in the canal. I missed it by 0.3 knots in 2019. Furthermore, I would like to ride 50 knots top speed and thus become the fastest windsurfing woman ever. For the 50 knots, I still lacked 0.8 knots in 2019.
What does your daily windsurfing routine look like?
Having fun in the water together with nice people, after a nice breakfast. Than a worm shower, eat and sleep 😊
Do you have some favorite pro windsurfers that you look up to?
Yes, Karin Jaggi. When I was starting to windsurf I learnd everything from her and Patrik. She’s so incredibly talented and so smart.
Can you give me a few of your favorite windsurfing spots?
I really love my homespot in Switzerland at lake Uri. There’s wind almost every day and also the famous “Föhnsturm wind”. It’s a type of dry, warm, down-slope wind.
Also the south of France – it’s just about the windiest place on earth,… La Palme (next to Gruissan and Leucate).
We always go speed training there, but we also had several wonderful slalom and wave sessions.
Do you also windsurf on a foil?
I started with foil, yes. It’s fun, but not more than windsurfing. At least not for me at the moment. I haven’t discovered the passion there yet. But at the moment I still love it too much to hear the board on the water and to make the fins glow.
What about Wind Wing? Have you tried it?
Not tried yet, but I will for sure.
Do you also teach windsurfing?
Yes, already two seasons. It’s fun to bring this passion and lifestyle to other people.
Any last words for people that love the wind and wind sports?
Enjoy every single second on the water when you feel the wind in your hair. That feeling of freedom is what’s so priceless about windsurfing.