2022 Défi Wind

Day 3: Nicolas Goyard and Delphine Cousin Questel confirm their respective Tramontada

2 additional races were completed on the famous spot of Gruissan, natural stadium of the Defi WIND. With 2 victories today, Nicolas Goyard (Phantom / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils) secured a clear leadership thanks to the discard and Delphine Cousin Questel (FMX Racing / S2Maui) is back on top of the ladies podium.
Race 4 started with “light wind”, with anything from 18 to 28 knots, with occasional patches of lulls along the course. Nevertheless, 986 racers left the beach ready to battle it out together. Equipment choice was the tricky decision of the morning: pros had to choose between fin or foil, whilst amateurs were unsure whether to compete with 4.0 or 5.0. Sailors who selected the right option were flying over the whole course like PWA commentator Ben Proffitt on his 6.3! Nicolas Goyard had no hesitation about his gear since the New Caledonian only carries foils in his boardbags. Good on him, after his 2 victories on Friday, the Phantom rider killed the race ahead of local event title holder Nicolas Warembourg (Patrik / Patrik Sails), surprisingly flying this time on a foil. Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne Sails) also chose to sail over the chop of Gruissan to cross the finish line in 3rd. Before completing their race, top ranked competitors had to overtake curtains of hundreds of recreational sailors, who were off the plane on too small gear. Approaching at full speed through a wall of standing sails on the course, trying to find a way out around the gybe mark was something special as the top racers recalled later. Sailors on fin were not left far behind with Ethan Westera (Tabou / Challenger Sails) showing good velocity to take 5th place. Delphine Cousin Questel made a strong come back in the ladies fleet with a 66th position finish, leaving more than 900 competitors behind.
For the final race of the day, potentially the last one of the event looking at the forecast for Sunday, the Tramontana leftovers offered good strength, but decided to shift to the north. The long stretch of beach of Gruissan is ideal for North westerly direction. With a touch of North, it made the first reach super exciting with a wide open angle. From the start to mark 1 was just a 9km blasting leg of speed and smiles. The opposite tack was not the same amount of fun, just like climbing up a mountain after a large downhill, without a chairlift. Racers on foil made it back easily, and only experienced slalom sailors knowing the specificity of Gruissan could complete the leg in one go. It was no surprise to see Nicolas Goyard claiming his 4th victory of the week out of 5 races. Not far away on his invisible trail, Antoine Albeau  (JP / NeilPryde) shows that the oldest pro rider still has some potential in the bag, even on a foil. Lucas Guiraud (Phantom / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils), Goyard’s sparring partner took a brilliant 3rd place. The first lady to cross the finish line was Dutch Sara Wennekes (Starboard / Severne Sails), easy in front of Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL) and Helle Oppedal (Fanatic / Duotone). The Défi spirit was fully respected when Goyard, Marion and Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins / LOKEFOIL) , Albeau and many others welcomed the last finisher who completed race no. 5 in 4 hours and 30 minutes, fully determined to achieve the distance.
Sunday, the last day of the 20th edition of the Défi WIND seems to be a day off in Gruissan with not much Tramontana in sight. With 4 x 0.7 points, foil expert Nicolas Goyard has a clear lead over the rest of the sailors. Antoine Albeau confirms his overall skills whether on foil or fin, and Antoine Questel demonstrates that fin slalom in windy conditions is not dead. Delphine Cousin Questel gets back to her favourite position of leader, ahead of young upcoming talent Justine Le Meteyer, whilst Marion Mortefon completes the podium.
Current Ranking 2022 Défi Wind - Men’s
*After 5 Races

1.     Nicolas Goyard (FRA | Phantom / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils)
2.     Antoine Albeau (FRA | JP / NeilPryde)
3.     Antoine Questel (FRA | S2Maui / S2Maui)
4.     Nicolas Warembourg (FRA | Patrik / Patrik Sails)
5.     Pierre Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins / LOKEFOIL)
6.     Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne Sails)
7.     Jordy Vonk (NED | Fanatic / Duotone)
8.     Basile Jacquin (FRA | FMX Racing / Point-7)
9.     Johan Soe (DEN | FMX Racing / Point-7)
10.   Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
Current Ranking 2022 Défi Wind - Women’s
*After 5 Races

1.     Delphine Cousin Questel (FRA | FMX Racing / S2Maui)
2.     Justine Le Meteyer (FRA | FMX Racing / S2Maui)
3.     Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL)
4.     Femke Van Der Veen (NED | I-99 / Point-7)
5.     Helle Oppedal (NOR | Fanatic / Duotone)