SAILOR IN FOCUS
An interview with Delphine Cousin, who won the PWA Slalom Youth World Champion title.
Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde) enjoyed her best year to date on the PWA World Tour, as she narrowly missed out on a place on the podium, after finishing just behind Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft / AL360). The Frenchwoman still got her just rewards for an excellent season, as she was crowned the PWA Slalom Youth World Champion for 2012. The twenty-one year old impressed throughout the season, with her flying starts making everyone sit up and take notice. With a bit more experience and tactical know-how Cousin will certainly be challenging for top honours over the coming years. Read an interview with her below.
PWA: Firstly, what are your thoughts on how the 2012 season has gone and how would you rate your results?
DC: “I am super happy about my 2012 season. My goal was to be in the top five so to finish fourth was good. However, I am a little bit disappointed because the 3rd position was very close! It was a big battle with Lena Erdil and I’d like to congratulate her on taking the final podium spot.”
PWA: This was your best finish, 4th, ever on the tour so far, what do you think helped you to improve so much this season?
DC: “This year, I moved a lot to test my gear. Indeed, I was in St barth for two weeks where I sailed a lot with my big gear and I went to Tarifa to sail with my small gear. Moreover, it was the first year that I was able to attend all of the events and I think I have gained enough experience to believe than I can be the best now.”
PWA: How long have you been windsurfing?
DC: “I started windsurfing when I was 12 years old, so I have been windsurfing 9 years now. It’s a big passion and I love this sport.”
PWA: Who has been you biggest influence on your sailing?
DC: “I think it’s my brother who taught me a lot and helped me to push my own limits.”
PWA: What would you be doing if you weren’t windsurfing?
DC: “Sports are really important to me and if I wasn’t windsurfing, for sure I will do something else. Before windsurfing I was horse riding, so maybe I would have been professional but nobody can know…”
PWA: Where is your favorite place to windsurf and why?
DC: “I have been very lucky because I traveled until now! I don’t have a favorite place to windsurf because there is a lot of place where I love windsurfing: for sure in Brittany,France at home, St Barth in the Caribbean or Margarita, Venezuela, was nice too. However, I am never been to Hawaii for example and in my mind there is a lot of spots that I don’t know about for the moment.”
PWA: What aspects of your slalom sailing are you currently trying to improve?
DC: “In slalom for the girls the jibe is the most important and it’s really hard to be perfect so I am trying to be as close to perfect as possible! I am always trying to go faster and for that there is a lot of testing i.e. gear/fins/masts etc. There is always something to work on.”
PWA: How do you learn your moves and improve your sailing? Videos? Watching others?
DC: “I think watching others is a good way to learn, but after it is just a lot of time on the water that is needed to improve. I listen to advice from my brother and other guys too. Sometimes I use videos but it’s not very often.”
PWA: Where is your favorite spot on the PWA Tour?
DC: “Honestly, I like all the spots because each time it’s different. This year, Korea was really nice because the water was really choppy and technical like Vietnam in 2011. For sure Turkey is the paradise with the sun, wind and flat water…”
PWA: How does competition sailing make you feel? And how do you prepare for your heats?
DC: “Competition is what I prefer in windsurfing because I have always loved competing in all sports. I am always stressed before a heat and I get worked up about it. Before my heat I need to be alone to concentrate on myself and forgot everything around me. I go on the water 10 minutes before and I perform some gybes to warm up.”
PWA: What do you do when you’re not windsurfing?
DC: “I am currently studying, so I must go to school! But during my free time and if there is no wind I try to do other sports like running, horse riding and other watersports too.”
PWA: What are your plans for the coming winter and how many hours per week to you try to windsurf?
DC: “I am waiting for my new 2013 gear and I will go to St Barth, Caribbean in January to discover it and to be ready for 1st event next year. I would like to go somewhere else, but with school it will not be possible. At the same time I will continue to prepare myself physically for the year ahead.”
PWA: Thanks Delphine, good luck with the studies and for the upcoming year of competition.