2 World Titles | 1 Year

Delphine Cousin Questel On Becoming a 5-Time World Champion After Winning Both The 2019 Foil & Slalom World Titles

Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) successfully defended her slalom world crown in 2019 after a tense final event battle with Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone). Cousin Questel only required a top 3 finish to guarantee herself a 4th slalom world title, but after winning the first elimination of the contest, Cousin Questel then went off the boil with her foot injury hampering her - perhaps more mentally than physically - which left the title race hanging in the balance heading into the final day. However, with a world title on-the-line Cousin Questel was able to bravely overcome her injury concerns and rattled off two bullets and a second place in the last 3 eliminations to deservedly claim the world title, which was the cherry on top of the cake after Cousin Questel also became the first Women’s PWA Foil World Champion after winning both events in Japan and South Korea earlier in the year! After another excellent year on tour we caught up with Delphine for an interview:

Hey Delphine, congrats on winning your 4th slalom world title - how does it feel to win your 4th world title and how does it compare your previous titles?

Thanks! Winning a new title is always a new victory for me and each one is different because the circumstances are different! This year I had to fight until the last day of competition to win this 4th title and when the last race was over it was a huge relief! 

After a great start to the event, winning the first race, you then had a mixed bag of results for the next 3 or 4 races… was that due to your injury or what do you think happened?

Mentally I was not at my best because I was thinking about my foot and I was scared to get more injured and I was not 100% focused on the race. After the 2nd day I just forgot everything I did and began a new competition in my head! I concentrated on my starts and jibes and I finally managed to sail at my best! 

Heading into the final day you were only 1.9 points ahead of Maëlle Guilbaud in 4th place - how much pressure did you feel heading into the final day? And do you think that knowing you couldn’t afford any more mistakes in some way helped you to sail so well on the last day?

I didn’t sail with this type of pressure for a long time and I just try to do my best race after race. I tried to not think too much about the title and I never checked the points during competition. My goal was to win each race until the end! When you know you can’t make any mistakes you have no choice. You have to hold this pressure otherwise it’s over…

What do you think about the level on the tour at the moment?

The level on the tour is really good. Everybody is fighting at the start, jibes… until the end of each race! In France we are lucky to have a great level with Marion and Maëlle, so we are always pushing our limits and training to be at the top at the French competitions! I was little be sad that some girls like Jenna [Gibson], Fulya [Ünlü[, Sarah [Quita Offringa], Oda [Brødholt]…etc couldn’t come for the final in New Caledonia as we had a great battle in Denmark together, but more and more girls are joining the tour and pushing the level up!

As well as winning the 2019 PWA Slalom World Championship - you also won the first event Women’s Foil PWA World Championship - how does it feel to have won that title and to have won two titles in one year?

To be the 1st Women Foil World Champion is unbelievable! It was a new discipline and it was hard to know the level of all others girls so after the 1st day of racing in Japan I thought I had skills to do something good and after a lot of exciting battles with Alabau sisters and Marion, I finally won the 2 events on the tour! Winning 2 titles is just more than I expected and now the hardest thing will be to do the same in 2020! 

How did you celebrate your latest world titles?

I celebrated with my family around a nice dinner and of course some champagne! I would like to share this moment with people who are the most important to me! 

How will you be spending your winter?

I actually just arrived in St Barth and I will be there for 1month and half! With Antoine [Questel] we planned a boat trip for one week in the British Virgin Islands in January and we should continue our training in Tarifa from mid February until mid March before the 1st event of the year, which should be in France at the beginning of April. 

Thanks, Delphine. Congrats again on your latest world titles. Have a great winter and see you in 2020.