The 2021 Danish Nationals (Aug 14-15) were held in Rørvig, at the northern tip of the island of Zealand, about one hour from Copenhagen. The waters of the Isefjord are supposed to be sheltered from the Kattegat, the shallow and dangerous sea that stands guard between Denmark and Sweden’s western shores, but someone left the windows open that weekend, and a solid breeze filled the course in Rørvig, to everyone’s delight. Mingi Harttung won the women’s title (and finished 7th overall) and Brian Guhle finished 2nd overall. We asked the power couple to tell us a bit more about them and their love of windsurfing.

What would you do: buy a sofa, or go to Tarifa?

Mingi Harttung

Copenhagen, Denmark

Story: Mingi Harttung, Brian Guhle | Photos: John Olsen (, Brian Engblad (

I have always wanted to learn how to windsurf,” says Mingi, “but I never knew what equipment to use, or how to get my hands on it. Back in 2004, I took a loan from a bank to buy some home furniture, but instead bought a one-way ticket to Tarifa in Spain to try and find the meaning of life and finally learn how to windsurf. The two go hand in hand, don’t you think?”

“We live in Copenhagen, and Rørvig isn’t far away. I started to windsurf there in the Fall of 2017. At first, I was sailing mostly by myself. You see, it took me forever to lift the sail out of the water, and by the time I finally had the boom in my hands, the boys had disappeared on the horizon.”

“But I gained confidence and signed up for my first windsurfing competition. It was in Sweden, and the waves were so brutal that I never crossed the starting line. Not even once! I didn’t get discouraged though. I learn best under pressure, and in the summer of 2018, I registered for the Danish Kona Nationals. There, I got timed out on my first two races, but I completed the course on my 3rd attempt! In the summer of 2019, I signed up for the Kona Worlds on Lake Garda in Italy and managed to complete the world-class course three times! It’s all about making progress, and having fun doing it.”

“On the weekend of Aug 14-15 this year, I was the only woman signed up for the Danish Nationals, and therefore became Danish champion by default! There is no victory in that, of course. To me, the real victory came in the 4th and last race on the first day, when only four people managed to complete the race and I was one of them! It was blowing hard and 15 sailors withdrew before the race or abandoned along the way. I finished the weekend in 7th place overall out of 19 participants.”

“Proof positive that you can do anything, as long as you set out to do it. That’s a quote from my former riding teacher, Lis Hartel. I don’t like it too much when people pass me on the race course, so I want to continue to improve and climb up the rankings. There’s something irresistible about windsurfing, and I’m learning something new every time I’m on the water. I’m hooked!”

“I’m proud of my silver medal at the Danish Championships,” said Brian, “but I’m still looking forward to the day I can beat Tim Aagesen! Tim and I have been windsurfing together for the last 30 years, and we’re really good friends, but good friends don’t keep all the big trophies to themselves, don’t you think?”

“I’ve sailed in Formula and Slalom championships, but I am still most excited about the Kona One, as everyone is on equal footing in terms of equipment. You don’t have to have the latest equipment, and even a relative beginner can join the fun and not feel out of place. In Denmark and Sweden, we have a close Kona community, and after the races are done for the day, we’re not shy to take it to the dance floor with a drink in our hands!”

“We’re already looking forward to the next date!”

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