ALBEAU STILL KING
This year Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) won back-to-back world titles for the first time since 2010, having the relinquished the title for the first time in many years to his arch nemesis Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Chris Benz / Dunkerbeck Eyewear) in 2011. This season Albeau showed the consistency, speed and tenacity needed to dominate again and there's no sign of him slowing down anytime soon. Will 2014 see him claim a prestigious hat-trick? After another phenomenal performance this year we caught up with Albeau, who now has an incredible twenty-one world titles to his name. Read the interview below:
PWA: This year you won back-to-back world titles for the first time since 2010. How does that feel?
AA: "Yes 2 years back to back, this is a great feeling especially after the battle with Bjorn [Dunkerbeck] in 2012, but before that I was wining for more years in the row, but I am super happy to have won those 2 years that I was with RRD as well."
PWA: Who do you see as your biggest competition for next year?
AA: "Every year is a different year, I know Bjorn wants to come back on the top and he is very determined, Alberto [Menegatti] (Starboard / Point-7) and Julien [Quentel] (RRD / NeilPryde) will be serious guys to battle with, but for sure there will be some other ones, like Cyril [Moussilmani] (Starboard / Severne), Ross [Williams] (Tabou / Gaastra), Arnon [Dagan] (RRD / NeilPryde), Ben [van der Steen] (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Different), Micah [Buzianis] (JP / MauiSails) and some other ones.
PWA: After the final contest in Sylt you went to Namibia for the Chris Benz speed contest, how were the conditions this year?
AA: "Yes I just got back from Namibia where this year the wind didn't blow as much as we wanted, Anders [Bringdal] and me went just over the 50kts but that was all. Then I was in Cape Town visiting my friends from Baysport in Table view, Waggy and Mitch. Was good in Cape Town, I had to do some shooting for RRD and Eric Bellande was there to take the pictures and videos, we had such nice time there with wind wave and good SUP session."
PWA: Although you didn't quite get the right conditions this time around, did you still have a good trip?
AA: "Yes I had a good trip because I brought my SUP, my wave kit and my kite, so almost every day I was in the water doing something and making report on my FB athlete page "Antoine Albeau F192" so it was good that I had all my toys."
PWA: The canal looks extremely narrow is it intimidating/scary to sail there?
AA: "Was good this year again, yes it is narrow but at the end you get used to it and it felt super fine, I like it a lot and now it doesn't feel too narrow, but can be dangerous still."
PWA: Did you have any close calls or crashes during the event?
AA: "Not one!! The wind wasn't so strong so no crash for me, last year I had a really hard one, I touch the upwind side of the canal and flew for 50m before stopping on the downwind side and broke all the rig." (Ouch)
PWA: Do you think there's a maximum speed for windsurfers? Any idea what you think it might be?
AA: "There is not max, never, we need to work on new gear and see how it goes, if the kite and the Sailrocket can go that fast I think we can do it as well."
PWA: Apart from Namibia, do you think there are any other spots that could see the record fall? And do you have any plans to try and set a new record elsewhere?
AA: "Yes for sure we have in the south of France some great places like in Leucate, the Tramontana is really frequent and strong and I think it would be great do find a place to make a canal there, this would be the best place for speed after that, already the Dutch guys drive for 2 days every time the wind blow in Leucate so imagine if Leucate make a speed place it would be heaven for speedsurfers !!!"
PWA: How will you be spending the rest of the off season?
AA: "Now I am at home resting after a long year again, I will be at the boat show in Paris 9 to the 15 December and then spending Christmas with my family."
PWA: Thanks Antoine, enjoy the rest of your winter and we look forward to seeing you competing again in 2014.
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