Even though Aruba is just a small island in the Caribbean Sea, it is also the birthplace to many international athletes. Such as 26-year old curly haired Sarah- Quita Offringa, who holds the title for World Windsurfing Champion for a consecutive 8 years and who with her charming demeanor is one of Aruba’s national treasures.
In this intimate interview Sarah- Quita shares with us her fears, her dreams and her experiences during her life changing journey whilst making this film.
What is the central theme of the movie?
The central theme of the movie is about my experiences as a female windsurfer traveling to different countries to fulfill my windsurfing passion; making friends along the way and sailing waves with the most amazing ocean backdrops. Before this film there has never been a windsurfing movie in which the protagonist is a female. This is the very first. So besides the beautiful landscapes, funny stories and action packed windsurfing shots, the movie also focuses on how it is to be a girl road tripping with a bunch of guys, sleeping in the same car like we did for 5 weeks in Australia for example. It gives you an in-depth look at this globetrotting lifestyle. My fellow windsurfers and role-models Kiri Thode and Taty Frans from Bonaire are also featured in this movie, as they are an important part of my personal story. Bottom line of the movie: it’s all about my passion for windsurfing, the places I visit and the people I meet.
Where do you feel at home?
Well of course here in Aruba, this is where my windsurfing passion started. At the moment I am traveling a lot so I don’t have an address, but besides Aruba I would say the Netherlands in Utrecht where I stay with friends and in Maui where I stay with a family who have lived in Aruba. The most important aspect for me to feel at home is the company I’m with.
What were the best and worst experiences throughout your journey?
Iceland, definitely Iceland. Breathtaking landscapes, which reminded me of the Lord of the Rings, combined with a paralyzing cold of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I hate the cold, I am actually terrified of it and when I hit the water in Iceland my hands just hurt so much. Imagine having to put on an ice-cold ‘wet’ wetsuit 3 times a day! What kept me going was the realization that the pain and the cold are only temporary. But the country itself is gorgeous and the family we stayed with was incredibly nice. The people there have a great sense of humor.
Another great experience was to be windsurfing with this international crew in Aruba at Westpunt, were there were incredible waves. Afterwards we watched the sunset and chilled, leaning against our cars.
" Even though we may come from a small island in the Caribbean, anything is possible". SQ Offringa 2016
What special feeling do you have with Aruba?
I travel throughout the entire year to so many different places and every time I see Aruba’s beaches from the sky when we’re about to land, it takes my breath away, there is nothing like it! It is so beautiful! Take for example the beaches in Hawaii; the sand there is not as white as ours and the water is not as blue as ours either. Add to that the warmth and friendliness of Arubans, which you feel the moment you arrive; other places just don’t have this. What my producer Julien loved about Aruba were the many contrasting landscapes for the relatively small island. In Australia you could drive for hours and the landscapes wouldn’t change, here in Aruba they change all the time.
What do you hope to accomplish with this film?
In the beginning I didn’t really think about that, I just thought there has never been a windsurfing film with a girl in the lead, and also there was a lack of a good windsurfing film. So that was my first motivation.
Now that we have finished the film, I want to make people aware that even though we may come from a small island in the Caribbean, anything is possible. Realize that we, as Arubans, have a lot to offer. For starters we speak 4 languages; any tourist that comes here we most likely will be able to answer back in their own language. This flexibility in our people is characteristic to Aruba.
Where do you want to be in 10 years?
I would like to have finished my Masters; I just finished my Bachelor in Innovation Management at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. I would probably be living in Aruba, sailing through the Caribbean on my very own boat with my family.