Shawna was raised in a coastal town south of Vancouver, Canada. Born to a dutch mother and an american father, she grew up in a multi-linguistic family with french and dutch buzzing around her head. By the age of nine, Shawna had learnt to swim against currents in Canada’s frigid seas at the CBSC swim club. She has always been passionate about both fine arts and athletics and ended up attending Emily Carr College of Art and Design after winning a scholarship.
Shawna was studying photography when itchy feet and a desire for adventure lured her to foreign lands. She spent three years in the Orient visiting countries such as Nepal, Vietnam, Laos, China and the rest of South-East Asia while she worked as a model for european television companies to accommodate her insatiable appetite for travel.
While in the UK, Shawna collided with windsurfing and they became inseparable. Within 4 years of trying the sport Shawna was a sponsored sailor, ranked amongst the top ten females in the world and became Britain’s female Wavesailing and Triple Crown Champion by 2002 and 2003.
Shawna lived on the west coast of Ireland for many years and was able to combine three of her passions and realized a perfect lifestyle out of travel, photography and windsurfing.
Over the last twelve years she has explored, sailed and has taken photos around the world publishing travel articles for the windsurfing press, from Australia, New Zealand, Indo, Venezuela, Barbados. Tobago, Puerto Rico, Ireland, England, Scotland, Holland, France, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Egypt along the west coast of North America and finally Hawaii.
As Shawna has always been eager to share her great passion for ocean sports, she started coaching in 1998 doing week long windsurfing tuition safaris in different locations around the world attracting hundreds of guests each year.