Me and My Kit: Christine Spreiter: Professional Windsurfer

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The Independent Online
Coping with the kit is a nightmare. I have five coffin-shaped suitcases eight feet long to hold the sailboards, which are different shapes and sizes for different events like slalom, wave-jumping or races. Then there is the scaffolding, 12 masts and booms, a large and small for each board, 12 sails to fit, and 10 different types of fin to give me directional stability. Add to that a jacket that has to be buoyant, even though it is weighted with lead to give me extra leverage.

After that, the rest is easy. Over a swimsuit I pull on a rubber wetsuit, short legs and sleeves for warmer locations, then a pelvic harness to attach me to the wishbone boom of the sail, then the buoyancy aid. No boots unless it is very, very cold - you get a better feel through your bare feet - and tons of the highest factor sun block plus sunnies to protect my contact lenses from too much salt spray.

And if I have any room to spare? About five kilos of books. Waiting around for the right racing conditions can be a tedious process.

Christine Spreiter, who competes full-time on the professional boardsailing circuit, is currently in Brighton for a World Cup event.

(Photograph omitted)

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