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01/25/2012 - created by Ed Sinclair

Sailor in Focus

If he wasn’t windsurfing he would be a tennis player, and he is currently learning to backloop with one foot and one hand. This week we catch up with Jules Denel.

Extremely talented French windsurfer Jules Denel (Exocet) shares all in this week’s sailor in focus. In 2011 Denel was seen throwing monster double forward loops in a bid to win precious points from the judges. Alongside his wave sailing efforts, he was balancing competing on the whole slalom tour where he maintained his focus and was able to come second in the under 22’s category.

PWA: Firstly, what are your thoughts on the 2011 season and how would you rate your results?

Denel: “2011 was my last season in the youth (U22) category, and I am very happy to finish 13th in the waves and second in youth in waves (after Koster) and in slalom. It was a very busy season for me as I competed in two wave competitions and the whole slalom tour. I had many great experiences and I have progressed loads.”

PWA: How long have you been windsurfing?

Denel: “Since I was 9 years old. My father was a windsurfer and he gave me his passion in WISSANT, my home spot in the north of France.”

PWA: Who has been you biggest influence on your sailing?

Denel: “Thomas Traversa and Julien Taboulet for their radical style and maximum engagement.” 

PWA: What would you be doing if you weren’t windsurfing?

Denel: “I would probably be a bad tennis player.. haha!”

PWA: Where is your favorite place to windsurf and why?
Denel: “Of course I love to be at my home spot Wissant in the north of France but I also love Fuerteventura for its warm water and its radical waves for wave riding, and Fuerteventura is not far from France.”

PWA: Do you prefer the wave tour or the slalom series?

Denel: “I took more pleasure in the wave tour but the atmosphere with the French team for slalom is great”.

PWA: How do you balance both competitions and train for both?

Denel: “It’s difficult, because it’s a lot of time, a lot of budget and at the end of the year I miss time to train and to practice a discipline in depth, and it’s why this year I will give a priority to the waves. But I want to keep doing both, and we will see next season."

PWA: What is your favorite move and why?
Denel: “Double Forward, I trained a lot to nail it last year and now I can land them in loads of conditions.”

PWA: What move did you find the hardest to learn and why? 
Denel: “I think push into front, not so many people are doing this move. It's very hard to pull a front rotation after back rotation!”

PWA: What new moves are you currently learning?
Denel: “Back loop one hand one foot”.

PWA: How do you learn your moves? Videos? Watching others? 
Denel: “The best way to train is with others guys who are doing the moves, also watch a lot of video and try to imagine the move.”

PWA: Where is your favorite spot on the PWA tour and why?
Denel: “For sure Capo Verde is my favorite spot. I started the PWA wave circuit to Capo Verde in 2008, and I qualified for the trials. It was a great moment for me!”

PWA: How does competition make you feel? And how to do prepare for your heats?
Denel: “In general, I don't want pressure, I'm 21 and I try to give the maximum every time, I try to gain experience, and I want to enjoy every moment. But I also like win my heat and in competition I try to focus so I can do the best I can.” 

PWA: What do you do when you’re not windsurfing? 
Denel: “I spend time with my family, my friends.”

PWA: What are your goals for 2012?

Denel: “My goal is to achieve my best level in windsurfing, enjoying all the good times I spend with people. I love traveling to places that are always more beautiful and more extreme. For 2012, in accordance with my partners Exocet / XO sails / Soöruz / Unifiber / Numa / Windsurfingzone, I will give priority to the wave circuit and take the opportunity to train a lot in this discipline and to try to be the best.”

PWA: Thanks for your time Jules, we look forward to see you out on the water this season.

If you would like to follow what Denel is up to you can check out his website HERE.

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