Interview with Antoine Albeau World Freestyle Champion
John Carter catches up with Antoine Albeau of France, this year’s winner of the PWA freestyle tour for the following short interview
NAME: ANTOINE ALBEAU.
NICKNAME: TONY ELBOW AND TONIO.
BIRTHPLACE: LA ROCHELLE, FRANCE.
DATE OF BIRTH: JUNE 17th 1972.
WAIST SIZE: 36.
YEARS SAILING: 24.
SAIL NUMBER: F192.
CAR DRIVEN: VOLKSWAGON LT 2.5 LITRE VAN IN FRANCE. 7.8 LITRE V8 FORD VAN, IN MAUI.
FAV’ MOVIE: THE HURRICANE.
FAV FOOD: PASTA WITH VEGETABLES.
JC: How did you feel when you realized you had become the freestyle world Champion?
Antoine: "Being World Champion had always been my lifetime goal and it was an amazing feeling to finally realize it! "
JC: Is that your first overall world champion title?
Antoine: "It is my first PWA world title, but I was already Production World Champion twice."
JC: I guess you partied hard at the end of Fuerteventura?
Antoine: "Just a little – At that time I didn't know I was World Champion then, so it was not a huge party for me."
JC: At the beginning of the season did you imagine you would finish up as world freestyle champion?
Antoine: "At the beginning of the year you always are hoping to be the best and you fight to get good results, but you can never be sure what will happen during the year."
JC: Were there any tough key heats, which could have gone either way?
Antoine: "Yes, especially in Pozo against Nik - he was doing really well and also I was up against Matt - they were both really tough to beat."
JC: I guess the wild winds of Pozo suited a big guy like you?
Antoine: "Yes, of course I could cope better with the strong winds but it is not just for this that I won: Fuerteventura was not so strong."
JC: How often do you train at freestyle?
Antoine: "Approximately for one third of my time."
JC: What are your favorite moves?
Antoine: " The "Tonio" and all kinds of spocks and lollyspocks."
JC: What is the Tonio?
Antoine: “The Tonio is the famous maneuver I did in Pozo, back side air into a
JC: Is it tough for a heavier guy like you to compete with light guys like Josh Stone, Kauli, and Ricardo Campello?
Antoine: "Yes it is tough. I have to work on my equipment a lot and it is harder because I have maneuver bigger boards and sails."
JC: I guess you just have to hang on to a bigger sail?
Antoine: "Yes, and it doesn't look as good to the judges!"
JC: How about the competition this year, who were the toughest rivals?
Antoine: " Josh, Kauli, Nik, Matt and many others, depending on the spot."
JC: What about the whole freestyle scene, how do you think it is developing?
Antoine: "I think we will have things like slides and ramps in places like Lake Garda where it is flat."
JC: I guess you have a lot of young kids to watch out for these days?
Antoine: "Yes, especially in France!!"
JC: So, can you do it again, how about next season?
Antoine: "Of course I can do it again - and in every discipline!"
JC: What are your plans this winter?
Antoine: "I will be in Maui for developing of boards and sails and I have one or two trips in mind too."
JC: Anybody you would like to thank?
Antoine: "All my sponsors (Neil Pryde, AHD, Quiksilver, ATAN, Select) and of course
Sarah who is very good at writing in English!”