Women/In the Spotlight
See Original article on Boardseeker.com for more pics and credits
At 4:30pm, 2x reigning American Windsurfing Tour women's Champion Ingrid Larouche clocks out of the Hood River Physical Therapy office for her last day of work in Oregon this season. One of the most decorated windsurfers in North America in the last few years, Ingrid is getting ready to head back over to Maui where she will balance her part-time work with training for the last stop of the AWT, only 3 weeks away. Her sights purely set on one goal, to attain her 3rd AWT title.
Unlike some of the pros that we've come to know over the years, Ingrid hails from a cold part of the North American continent in north eastern Quebec, far away from any environment that drums up the notion of wanting to become a full-time windsurfer.
After spending most of her winter working and playing in the snow or dirt up in Oregon, Ingrid's home base, she ventured to California towards the end of May, a week before the 1st stop of the AWT, The Santa Cruz Goya festival.
"Going early paid off, I scored a great south swell for the days leading up to the contest! Unfortunately, the swell was mostly gone by the time the event started. The competition ran in smaller, and more challenging, on-shore wind-swell conditions. Nonetheless we had a great battle between the ladies and I took first in the single and double elimination against talented riders like Fiona Wylde and Miho Tanaka. This was my 3rd year in a row winning here at Waddell Creek and I was excited to have such a great start to the season!"
The 2nd stop of AWT, the Pistol Wave bash, in Southern Oregon was in mid-June. Usually, when you head down to Pistol, you bring the smallest gear you own, and the warmest clothes you got. But this year, Pistol turned out to be relatively warm and light, with just enough wind to complete a single elimination. 7 ladies competed, but what was low in numbers, wasn't in skills!
"Getting back to the Gorge after Pistol, a mountain bike accident lead me to the ER, and, with 10 stitches through the palm of my hand, put a dent in my windsurfing momentum for a few weeks. The Gorge season being in full swing, sitting on the sideline for the best part of July was tough. But the hands felt ok enough to compete in the AWT Freestyle Frenzy and Xensr Big air later in the month, and I managed to win both parts of the competition.
Then off to Mexico for the 3rd stop of the AWT, the Baja desert showdown.
Unfortunately, the turn out of women wasn't great despite the free entry, food and lodging offered to female competitors by El Faro resort. Because of this, I got a chance to compete also in Men amateur, and master (thanks to IFCA rules allowing women over 30 years of age to compete in master division). I went down there with no expectations, as I was so new to port tack sailing, but was stoked to not only win the women, but also the men amateur and take a 5th place in the masters (losing in quarter finals to Kevin Pritchard and South American Champion Willhem Schurmann). Port tack sailing was so much fun and Pacasmayo was the best place to learn this new tack!"
"Getting back into Maui and the groove of Ho'okipa sailing is never easy. Ho'okipa is probably the most prestigious of the AWT event, and I am really looking forward to improving on my 3rd place finish from years prior. This event has been drawing so much attention and the talent that shows up here every year is something to watch for sure. I am really excited to be a part of it!"
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