Defi Wind 2023
The world’s craziest race, Defi WIND in association with the PWA, is now just weeks away. The wild supercharged rabbit can’t wait to race along the start line to officially open the racing in front of 1300 excited windsurfers from May 18th-21st in Gruissan, south of France. Do you dare to sign up?
The famous Pro-AM race pits amateurs against their world champion counterparts, as they battle it out over the same course, along seemingly never-ending legs stretching 4 x 10 km in 35 + knots of wind. Legends Björn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne Sails) and Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) are Defi addicts, whilst current slalom world champions Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails) and Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL) are all gunning to etch their name on the trophy. Meanwhile, reigning event champions - Nicolas Goyard (Phantom / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils) and Delphine Cousin Questel (FMX Racing / S2Maui) - will be vying to successfully defend their titles… whilst mere mortals will have a chance to compete against their heroes, however, the burning question remains… will your legs be able to handle the pressure?
Challenges within Challenges
Défi means challenge. So, are you ready to accept the challenge and challenge yourself? Burning forearms, cramps, gasping for air, but you can’t give in if you still want to finish in front of your mate. Are you ready to challenge the distance? 40, excruciating kilometres without stopping, 10km long runs on the same leg - have you ever accomplished that feat? I told you it’s a crazy race! Are you ready to face a wild rabbit? Excitement is palpable when the countdown turns green and you experience the rabbit boat unleashing over a thousand angry sailors onto the course. Timing, vision, and relentlessly putting the hammer down are all prerequisites to stand a chance of glory. It is a truly unique feeling to experience and one that a windsurfer should experience at least once in their life!
Are you ready to challenge the howling Tramontana? The wind threshold for the event is around 20 knots to ensure sure that everyone is on the plane in order to maximise the fun factor. The thing is… the local wind is ferocious - often exceeding 35-40 knots. Are you ready to challenge more than a thousand opponents? To say the starting line is packed is an understatement. It is more like rush hour, but at full speed, so you really have to have your wits about you, as you are engulfed by a solid wall of sails. On the run, if you are in the lead after the first gybe, just imagine the view heading back towards over 1,000 sailors: How do you negotiate your way through the traffic? You also have the second option… which is starting last and trying to catch up - in a manic Pac-Man-esque sailing mode. As it stands today, 1,200 windsurfers have already registered for this year’s edition. There are still some places left if you want to experience the craic…
FIN IS NOT DEAD!
You all know that foiling has massively changed the face of windsurfing. Defi has played a significant role in high wind racing on the foil. In 2023, we will undoubtedly see foils in front, BUT at Defi WIND, we don’t want to kill the fin. If foiling brings amazing potential in light winds, opening unbelievable angles and sensations, sailing on a fin remains extremely fun. Antoine Questel (FMX Racing / S2Maui) produced a sublime performance last year, completing all races on the fin to complete the prestigious podium. Gruissan is a high wind spot where blasting around on a fin will remain forever. Windsurfers in their masses will stay on the fin once the wind is beyond 20 knots, and we have sailors, who are slalom fin experts from around the globe, who are amazingly fast, but didn’t jump into the foil craze yet. For all of those sailors, we want to keep the flame alive.
So, here’s what is changing this year:
All racers will still start together on the same course.
All racers will fight for the overall result, but we will create 2 new categories for Fin and Foil, for those who purely use one kind of equipment, which means you will have to decide whilst signing up online whether you want to compete on fin only, foil only, or lastly, if you want to leave the door open according to the conditions and have the opportunity to mix Fin & Foil.
You can watch videos of last year’s edition on the DEFI YouTube channel @ youtu.be/nJM-kq9uV6o
If you want to take part in the 2023 DEFI - please click the following link to sign up @ https://www.njuko.net/defi-wind-2023/select_competition
And last, but not least… Get ready, the countdown is almost on!