In part two of our interview with Björn Dunkerbeck at the PWA event in Sylt, we ask the multi-lingual, multi-talented multiple windsurfing champion about his globetrotting life, his Swiss-style sojourn and his plans for the future.
You’re half-Danish, half-Dutch… so how come you grew up in Gran Canaria?
My parents, Ulla and Eugen, moved from Denmark to Gran Canaria when I was eight years old and my sister Britt was seven – they windsurfed, and wanted to change their lifestyle!
"My life is windsurfing… it keeps me alive, and I still have fun competing"
And now you sail under a Swiss flag, like the America’s Cup holders. Do you follow sailing and other watersports closely?
Yes, and I’ll be staying in Silvaplana [in St Moritz, Switzerland] for a few years now. It’s great for snowboarding and having time off from the ocean in a beautiful central area of Europe. I have been the grinder on a sailing boat to see if I like it, and many other sailing boats, catamarans and multi-hauls! So, I do have an interest in other types of sail, yes.
You turned 40 over the summer. Most sports stars tend to be winding down their careers by then, but you’re still going strong. Do you think there will be a day when you wake up and just say, “That’s enough.”
My life is windsurfing – I still do it because I like doing it so much. It keeps me alive, and I still have fun competing. As long as it stays that way, I will do it!
Do you do any other sports when you’re not on the board?
Diving, biking, seaboarding and jogging keep me fit. When there’s no competition, I always mountain bike or surf SUP [stand-up paddle], or even windsurf. When I’m in the snow at home, I board almost every day.
Most sportsmen have superstitions and rituals. Is there anything you always do before you head out into the waves?
Yes. I just clear my mind and focus on enjoying myself and having fun.
When a day’s competition is over, what’s your idea of a perfect evening?
Here in Sylt, I stay at the Miramar, so I jump in the pool there after a sauna and do some stretching, have a good dinner with my wife and some friends, then get plenty of sleep to be 100 per cent the next day.
What are your plans for when you leave Sylt – any exciting future projects?
I’ll be at the Stock Car Challenge for Pro 7 TV in Germany next week. I’m planning a talent search project in November with Robby Naish and some young guns – Kay Lenny from Maui, Hawaii, who’s 16 years old, and Philip Köster, who’s 15 and the youngest ever world cup contest winner! After that, I’ll go off testing sails for Severne, boards for Star-Board and Proof + fins for next year. I’ll also spend as much time with my family as possible! I love to spend time with my family and friends…