Erika Heineken banner image

Nickname: Heiny

Hometown: Larkspur, CA

Resides: Corte Madera, CA

Erika Heineken

"Our mutual passion depends on a healthy environment, and this requires the entire sailing community to take an active role in protecting the oceans. 11th Hour Racing brings together some of the world's elite sailors to represent this concept and to share it with others."

Erika’s dad instilled in her a love of the water and was a passionate windsurfer throughout his life. Erika grew up around the water but didn’t start sailing competitively until college. A few summers of windsurfing and skiff sailing got her hooked, but in 2008 she learned to kite board and everything else was put by the wayside and her passion has grown stronger by the day: “being involved in the development of the sport and equipment is unique and exciting!”, says Erika.

On Ocean and Sailing Passion...

Kiteboarding encompasses so many aspects of my life that I love: sailing, speed, board sports, freedom and the water. I can go for a kite session all on my own, or with friends, in a new place, or the same place over and over. The San Francisco Bay and surrounding ocean provide the most incredible playground for sailors alike, and it’s important to appreciate it and protect it.

Career Highlights

  • 2-time Formula Kite World Champion
  • 2012 Runner-up for US Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year
  • 2013 Nominee for World Rolex Sailor of the Year


Connect With Me


  • Cool Trick: Big air
  • Free Time: Work (I'm an engineer) and gardening
  • Bad Ass Moment: Winning the world championships with my brother (2012)
  • Hidden Talent: Volleyball skills
  • Guilty Pleasure: Siestas
  • The Fridge: Veggies and beer
  • Best Advice: Loop it! (It's a kiting term. Meaning loop the kite. Send it, go for it, etc)
  • Hobby: Being outside
  • Fun Fact: Love training with the junior kiter racers


Ozone Kites. MikesLab. F4 Fins. St Francis Sailing Foundation.


  • My foilboard and foil kite, a thick wetsuit, 20 kts.
  • Or some waves, a surfboard and 25 kts.