Shaken not Stirred - Rafael de Windt is Back!

Brazil

April 3, 2024 by Maarten Molenaar

Rafael de Windt used to be a staple on the international windsurfing scene. The Curacao island boy with a powerful style secured himself a couple of impressive results in the past, but then faded out of the scene to pursue a medical career. He recently graduated and “the wind doctor” is back on the water! In autumn he travelled to Jericoacoara in Brazil and he just released a clip from his eventful trip. Check out his explosive comeback and catch up with Rafa in an interview below!

FPT: Hi Rafa! Sick to see you back on the interwebs with a clip! How has life been for you in the last years?
Rafael de Windt: Life has been really good lately. In January 2023 I finished my studies and since then I have been working as a medical doctor. This, alongside my windsurfing results, is one of my biggest accomplishments to date. The moment I received that diploma gave me a similar sense of achievement to standing on the podium during the PWA indoor event in 2014, affirming that the years of hard work studying had truly paid off. At the same time, it opens up a completely new chapter in life – figuring out what kind of doctor I want to be and how I can still pursue windsurfing. To be honest, it’s an amazing adventure of discovering who I am and who I want to become.

FPT: How has the serious doctor life been? Did you miss windsurfing a lot?
Rafael de Windt: To be honest, in the last few years of studying I kind of lost touch with windsurfing. I had many internships and not a lot of time in between them. I also didn’t have the financial means to go on a windsurfing trip. So every time I was sailing, I felt like I was not really progressing anymore. Last year I fell back in love with windsurfing though. With my job I now have the financial capabilities to pay for trips myself, and I can also plan my own vacation days. Funny enough, the serious doctor life gave me more freedom than I expected and as a bonus I’ve also got the means to go on windsurfing trips. Being back on the water with friends now, I feel this new kind of energy and a renewed sense of excitement and progress!

FPT: You went on a trip to Brasil to catch up on your freestyle and released an action clip, how was the trip for you?
Rafael de Windt: One word: AMAZING!!!!!! It was so nice to catch up with old friends and at the same time make new friends for life. That is something really special about the freestyle windsurfing world. It doesn’t matter how long you haven’t seen your friends; the moment you are together again on the water, it feels like old times. It was so much fun to be ripping with everyone there, being on the water the whole day and pushing each other to new limits, and afterward, being salty, enjoying a coconut, and watching the sunset while talking to each other. It doesn’t really get much better than that.

FPT: And we understand you had to doctor yourself a little bit? You got injured during the trip?
Rafael de Windt: Aww yes. Well, that was also an unforgettable day, but I didn’t enjoy it too much… Let’s just say that ducking the sail, losing control of your board and then still going airborne is a great recipe to break your hand. Luckily, it was a small and easy break. Still, that meant the trip was over for me. However, that gave me a chance to try out all the coconut and açai places while everyone else was sailing. And when everyone came back from the water, I could be a bit of a tourguide.

FPT: Back on the water now? Will we see more content from you soon?
Rafael de Windt: Definitely! I’m living in Rotterdam which is close to Brouwersdam where I get to sail a lot now. I’m very happy to be back on the water there and I’m also planning a few trips for this season. Fuerte, Jeri and/or Cape Town are all on the potential list for example… Everything is possible and I will hopefully see many freestylers there!

FPT: Any plans to compete and represent Curacao on tour again?
Rafael de Windt: I really enjoyed my time on tour in the past and also miss it a lot. So if I can combine a surf trip with a Freestyle Pro Tour event, then there is a big chance you’ll see me in one of those colourful competition lycra’s!

FPT: Thanks Rafa! We hope to see you on the water soon!