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Women/Xenia Kessler

New Year's Honors

The PWA unveil the 2010 World Tour Season Rookies of the Year

The Rookie of the Year title has long been considered one of the most prestigious accolades to be awarded to aspiring windsurfers hoping to make their name on the professional windsurfing circuit. In the past years, the winners have included the likes of Philip Koster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Dakine), Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North) and Kai Lenny (Naish / Naish).

Joining this distinguished list of athletes, it's with great pleasure that we announce the 2010 Rookies of the Year as Jamie Hancock (Tabou / Vandal) and Xenia Kessler (JP / MauiSails).

PWA: Xenia. Congratulations! What does being recognized as Rookie of the Year mean to you?

XK: "Thank you very much! I am super happy and proud to receive this title! It means a lot to me. An appreciation like this makes me want to improve more, and obtain better results in 2011. It is very motivating! I look forward to competing on the PWA tour in 2011, and hopefully to see more women doing the same thing.??"

PWA: What was your highlight of the 2010 season?

XK: "There has been a lot of good moments really. To finish top 5 on the PWA women’s freestyle world tour was for sure one of them. Also winning The Curacao Windsurf Challenge earlier this year was a great experience, and it was my first win on the international scene. But when I look back through 2010 there is a lot of nice memories; instructing on the JP Young Gun Camp, clinics in Denmark, training in the Canaries, training in Bonaire and a lot more. This was the year I got my first board sponsor as well, and my first ever new freestyle board. I’m still very thankful for that! Super sick!"

PWA: Historically, winners of the PWA’s rookie of the year award have gone on to do big things later in their careers, do you think you will live up to the expectation?

XK: "I hope so, and I am gonna do my best! For sure this gives an extra push, and also a bit of weight on the shoulders, but I like it. It motivates me a lot!??"

PWA: What are your career ambitions in windsurfing?

XK: "I like to push and challenge myself, and I would like to move further up the ranking on the World Tour. I take small steps, and work my way up. Also I don’t want to forget how I got to where I am, and I really want to keep doing clinics, presentations, camps and loads of free sailing with all the up and coming windsurfers at home and around in the world. I want more people to enjoy the sport of windsurfing as much as I do it myself.??"

PWA: What are the strongest and weakest aspects of your sailing?

XK: "My strongest aspects are probably that I have a hard time giving up. I think that is important especially in freestyle. You have to really want it, and work hard, stay persistent. And I also like to just play on the water, and try new things, having fun with the surfers around me. My sailing style is pretty smooth but powerful when I am at my best. My weakest points are still my lack of real power moves, but I will keep on working on that."

PWA: What aspects of the tour have you found most challenging?

XK: "The first year I was a bit shy. I did not know the girls so well, and there was a lot of new impressions and also practical things to learn."??

PWA: How will you be preparing for next year’s tour?

XK: "I just came home from Tenerife, where I spend some weeks in December to get some wind and warmth. My favorite spots at home are all covered in ice, so it’s amazing to get to some warmer spots. Next up is Bonaire, where I like to be training in the winter. It looks like I will go to Vietnam first though – I’m super stoked that women’s freestyle in Vietnam is being confirmed! So cool! I really look forward to go. Big ups to PWA and the organizers in Vietnam about this!"

PWA: How will you be celebrating becoming the 2010 Rookie of the Year?

XK: "Ha, ha, besides being all happy and stoked, and super motivated for the coming year, I know my girls will be running for champagne when I tell them the news!"

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