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Racer Of The Fortnight – Austria’s Kathrin Ortlieb

Round 1 of the European Cup kicks off on the River Danube Vienna Austria June 10th Kathrin’s home country . We put Kathrin in the hot seat for this edition of Ski Racer of The Fortnight

Kathrin Ortlieb


When did you start to ski?


The first time that I skied, I was about 6 years old. It was in my hometown Tulln in Austria where there was this little waterskiclub at the Danube. I saw somebody skiing and I told my parents that I also wanted to do this. Two years later my dad bought our own tiny boat and at the age of 8 I competed at my first waterskirace, on two skies.


The biggest influences in your skiing career?


The following years I did some Austrian national races with my dad as pilot and my grandpa as observer. At the age of 13 I joined team Mozart with Driver Günter Schmutz and observer Jürgen Wagner. With this team we went to different international races the following years. At the European Championships in Plymouth (GB) in 2002 I ended 2nd at the juniors behind the Belgium Kenny Weckx. This was the first step in my skiing career.

But times changed and for personal reasons I stopped skiing for a couple of years. But I never stopped loving it and when I went to see my little sister and brother competing at the European Championships in Harderwijk (NL) in 2006 I just had to start to ski myself again! No sooner said than done: In 2007 I started again, behind the F3 of my dad. But this was boring pretty soon and I learned to know F2-skier Tim Lisens and his pilot Frederik Bastin from Belgium. I joined their team the year after, which was the second big opportunity in my skiing career.

I also want to thank my whole family here, because they always supported me in all my decisions and in my dreams.

Kathrin & Gunter


What’s your best achievement so far and your plan in the future?


In 2009 we became world champion in ladies F2. This was an unforgettable moment in my life. I trained hard to reach this, with many help from my personal coach Hilde Vrijs, where I’m still training with.

But my goal isn’t quite reached yet. One day I want to be World Champion in F1.


Tell us about your team


To be able to ever reach this dream, I had to search for a “good” team in F1. So I’m happy to be part of team Unpredictable with driver Ewald Wisman and observer Eugeen Senten since this season. We’re going to the world’s in Australia in September, where I want to get one step closer to my dream.


What’s your choice of equipment?


During the most years I tried a lot of different kind of skies, but I’ll always feel best on my Maherajah, where I also won the World Championships with in 2009.

Next to this it’s very important to me to protect my body as good as I can, so you’ll never see me skiing without my backprotector, nekroll or arm-restraints.


If a new competitor was coming into the sport, what advice would you give?


Search for a team where you can have fun with, because that’s what we’re doing it for, but that also can bring you further. And if you really want to achieve something, always remember: “Who fights can lose, who doesn’t fight has already lost” (Bertolt Brecht).


Published by Karen Brooks

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