Under Currents: ANTOINE ALBEAU talks about his year on tour.
2004 PWA Formula World Champion and number one in prize money ANTOINE ALBEAU talks about his year on tour.
Q: How did it feel to win the PWA Formula title for 2004?
AA: It was a big relief! I was hoping not to come second again and it was really my main aim for 2004 to win the title. I felt like I deserved it too because I know how many hours I have put into training and how much preparation has gone into making all my equipment work. I also wanted to win the title for my sponsors because they are the best and they have supported me for a long time now.
Q: Has that been your ambition for the last few years?
AA: Only since I have been racing on the PWA circuit!!! I have been Production World Champion before but not PWA Champion, winning the Freestyle title was great but it was the Race I really wanted!
Q: How nervous were you going into the last event in Almanarre?
AA: Very nervous! The week itself was difficult - I didn't answer my phone very much at the end as I couldn't handle any distractions and I spent the last 2 days in my friend's camping car playing cards non-stop! The waiting game was very hard but I was still ready to fight if the wind arrived. Luckily I had plenty of people to support me.
Q: Was there any particular moment or race that swung it for you?
AA: Not really - I took each race as it came and did my best.
Q: You are a big guy...does that make it much tougher when the wind is light?
AA: Of course there has to be some difference, and sometimes I wish I was as light as Ross or Gonzalo because they can fly in light wind. But I have very good equipment and tactics play a big part in any race.
Q: Did you have a special sail that you used last season?
AA: I was on productions sails but mostly 12m.
Q: Where have you been sailing over the last few months?
AA: Since Almanarre I have been very busy - we had the final national event in France straight after, and then I went to Maui for more testing with Neil Pryde and several photo shoots. Now I am at home on the Ile de Re waiting for the swell to come or for snow to fall!
Q: What are your plans for 2005?
AA: To do everything! I want to keep my Race title, get the Super X and keep going in Waves, Speed and Indoor whenever possible. I still think that it is best to be good in as many disciplines as possible. I don't know how the guys who only do one thing do not get bored - there are not enough events in any one discipline to keep me occupied! And I think it is good for me personally and also good for my sponsors to always give 100%. That is what I get paid to do - not just to sit around at home!
Q: How many days did you sail last year?
AA: It’s probably easier to ask how many days DIDN'T I sail.... well, just about everyday that there was wind and I wasn't in a plane or driving somewhere in my van. If I do take a day off from sailing then I go tow-in surfing or something. I'm almost always in the water! Its good exercise and it keep me in touch with the ocean.