18th of August 2004

Dorota Staszewska became four time Formula World Champion.

When I lost at 2003 Worlds I thought “well it had to come one day anyway”. But deep down I wasn’t ready to loose. Not yet… Or maybe it is just that you can be never ready to loose.. It is amazing that after winning a number of titles and events the hunger for winning is still there and still so strong. Sometimes I wish I didn’t feel it. Sometimes I wonder how to make it go away. Because a desire can be a bless, but it can also be a poison.

2004 Leba Worlds had special meaning to me. I fought back the World title in front of Polish crowd. I was preparing long for this event and I was more than ready. I finally set up my equipment to go fine in light wind. I was very fit. I had my PR manager and massage girl on the beach. Gaastra team mates were always there whenever I needed them. My family came to support me. Friends were sending text and calling. It was all on my side. And I knew I wasn’t going to blow that one off.

The week of the championships was exhausting. We pretty much waited for 3 days before the wind started to blow. Waiting like that is worse than launching from the beach in Sylt in October with 25 knots and swell coming in. But then when it came and it came from the East creating little swell, I knew it was playing the way I liked it. I don’t think it was possible for any girl to get me in those conditions. I was just going way to fast to feel any pressure on my back. The whole event I was on 10.5 Nitro5 of Gaastra, Starboard 158 and soft Deboichet fin. But there were few situations when the wind refused to blow or shifted to one or other side for few minutes. We all had problems with the lay lines. And every race could be the last one. So pretty much every start was a new deal and it wasn’t over till the race number 5.

Loosing last year made me so angry that the idea of getting this title back put me away from sleeping for many Winter nights. During this contest my head was permanently spinning, the level of adrenaline in my blood had be reaching the highest peak ever. I was so carried away that before one of the races when I was trying to pose for photographers on the boat I lost control over the gear and went straight on top of press boat. It was really scary. I was shocked. I thought I killed somebody. Many male sailors saw that and told me later to participate in Super X next year.

I can have a good laugh about it now, but the bottom line is it was really tough. It was a long journey. Big thanks to all my sponsors, my family and all people who support me. I would also like to thank all the girls who push it to the limits, especially Karin, Allison, Christine and Lucy. And thanks to all of the girls for fighting hard and showing great attitude on the water.

I would like to invite you to visit my new website at www.dorotastaszewska.com where we posted some nice pictures from Leba. See you soon back on the water.


Dorota Staszewska (25) is four time Formula World Champion. She is sponsored by Era, Volkswagen, Gaastra, Starboard, Billabong and Deboichet.

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