No pain, no gain for tough windsurfer
SCARBOROUGH windsurfer Justyna Sniady (29) recently raced in 130km/h winds with a broken toe, placing sixth in the Windsurfing Association (PWA) World Cup Wave event in the Canary Islands, Spain.
“It was painful, but to be fair I’ve had so many other injuries... some of my nerves were damaged in an accident I had on the water three years ago,” Sniady said.
In 2012, she shattered five bones in her foot and sprained ligaments in training, with doctors saying she would never fully recover.
After five months of rehabilitation, Sniady returned to competition at the BWA Wave Championships in Scotland in 2012.
She moved to Perth five years ago for its wind and waves, after taking up windsurfing aged 12 in her native Poland.
“I started in the Baltic Sea, where we do have some waves, but it’s not like here where we get a swell and wind and I can go after work,” Sniady said.
In the early rounds of the World Cup competition, strong winds pushed Sniady’s board into rocks and smashed her mast, before she went on to a sixth placing in the world rankings.
She is now the reigning British Wavesailing Association Tour Champion, but said her standout moment from 2014 was winning the first Polish National Championships.
Sniady will next compete in a World Cup round in Germany this month.
“We go to where the sponsors are, and where the money is, and where we get 20,000 spectators because they’ve been doing it there for 20 years, but it means we are in five-degree water with onshore winds,” she said.
Champion windsurfer Justyna Sniady.