June 21, 2024

More than a Swiss champion

More than a Swiss champion

Katrina Stari was 31 years old when she moved to Switzerland from Egypt. Before that, she mainly devoted herself to surfing, playing sports as an athlete, but also as a teacher. It was not so easy in Switzerland: “Lake Constance is very beautiful, but not very suitable for windsurfing. The wind is not enough for that,” says Katerina Stari. This is how I got into windsurfing.

In this sport, it is a boat that creates a wave that the athletes then ride. But they do not just equip them, they show tricks, play with water, play with the board, which is attached to their feet without laces. There are two majors: Wake Surf and Wake Skim. The board itself makes the biggest difference; In surfing style, it is heavier and has fins, which makes jumping easier. The Skimstyle, on the other hand, spins faster because the board is lighter, allowing for faster movements.

In Montreux it was also a close decision

In September, the Swiss Championship was held in Montreux, where both disciplines were in the program. Katrina Stari was clearly the best at jumping, with a ten-point lead over her first chaser, and thus deserved to be crowned Swiss champion – for the second time, which is no small matter for a woman who has only been in the sport for five years.

It didn’t quite come to the title at Surfstyle, where Katrina Stari had to settle for second, defeating Rashi Seeger, the only woman she had previously defeated on the Swiss Tour. 1.25 pips made the difference. “The judges told me that I made difficult decisions,” Katrina Stari explains.

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At the beginning of the month, Katrina Stari was on top of the podium in Montreux.

In the Swiss Tour, which consisted of three events, Stari had to qualify for the Swiss Championship. Strong women manage it easily; She competed in two competitions in two fields each and was the first three times and the second once at Murten and Lachen SZ.

An athlete without problems, diplomatically they are there

Events are very kind to Katrina Stary, and she says that she has met many people who share her passion. “It’s also good to be part of this sporting community,” she adds, “in Switzerland it has opened new doors for it, in sport nobody looks at where someone is coming from.” Because in an international comparison, Katrina Stari faces problems that are not of a mathematical nature, but more diplomatic. She is Ukrainian, but only holds Russian citizenship. She is currently unable to participate in competitions in the United States. The United States is home to most water sports.

It is possible to participate in the World Championships of the Competitive Wake Surf Association (CWSA, one of the two largest in its sport) via video, but of course it is not the same. Teamwork is missing. The experience of being together. Sports comparison is the bulk of the competition, but it’s not the only part.

“Excluding Russian athletes doesn’t help anyone,” says Katrina Stari. He adds: “Sports connect people, not divide them.” In an already small sport, which is not a large general sport, there is a danger of not exploiting its full potential.

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You can’t make a living surfing on your own

Of course, the term “micro-sport” does not mean not to underestimate the performance of athletes. Instead, he explained, the scene in the sport isn’t that big in Switzerland – usually Katrina Stari on a roster of about a dozen in national competitions. So she can’t live on it. She has sponsors, and they also make life easier for her as an athlete.

But training takes a lot of effort. Katrina Stari goes out and cruises on Lake Constance four to five times a week. In addition, she is particularly interested in two areas: photography and sports psychology. As a trained psychologist, she often took care of athletes who, with her help, made a leap forward. “If two people are of equal strength in a competition, the one with the strongest mind wins,” she says. And in the photo she finds herself again. This can also be seen on social media, which Katrina Stari maintains with great commitment and where beautiful pictures can be found.