The last day of the 2010 Defi Wind was a special day. With the victory of Pierre Mortefon and Valérie Ghibaudo, and a single round ran only opened to the top 50, the Défi Wind is closing down under 1000 applauses.
Out of 1000, there were nearly 600 riders still ready to fight one last time on the water when the race director decided to cancel the sixth leg because of a north wind blowing at more than 50 knots. The danger was real given the problems already encountered before the expected start. “It is more reasonable,” said one amateur. “Not everybody has the level required to sail over 50 knots and we already have nearly 200 km on board.” Back to the beach for everyone. But the “défieurs” did not say their final word. The race committee decided to postpone the start but this time, only the top 50 of the provisional ranking was invited to this final race. “The conditions were really too extreme” explained Philippe Bru, the organizer of this wonderful event. “We still wanted to provide the public with an amazing show so we opted for a tiny run.”
This VIP race has pleased all the spectators gathered along the beach with top speeds over 60km/hour. Pascal Toselli repeats his feat in winning this race crossing the finish line more than a minute ahead of the Slovenian Tine Slabe. “I had a good equipment and good set-up on this leg. I’m really happy to win and to achieve the second place overall” explained Pascal.
Pierre Mortefon, on his side, has demonstrated a surprising regularity: winning two races, finishing second on another one and third today, “It’s great to win at home. I still do not realize that I have managed to beat Anders (Bringdal). I had trained a lot for this competition. It was worth it! Even if I think that the mindset was paramount on the final legs. This competition is really different from others! We have to be fast but still need comfortable equipment to keep up the distance. It has been really tough physically with this Tramontane blowing over 45 knots … The most important moment for me is when I overtook Anders few meters from the finish line of race n° 2. It is a huge personal satisfaction.”
Fanny Aubet, 2009 funboard French champion and slalom world champion of ‘less than 20 years’ category, explains her disappointment of not having participated in today’s race: “That’s too bad, I would have liked to see my performance in these conditions. But I understand the decision of the race officer to limit the start to the top 50 riders as the Tramontane is really strong today.” On the other hand, Alizee (16 years) who participated in her first Défi Wind confessed: “In any case I would not have run today. The wind was gusting over 55 knots at the end of the course … I would have never fitted in these conditions!” This safety plan developed by the organization, with the help of lifeboats and firemen, is one of the great strengths of the Défi Wind. The organization team’s experience ensures the smooth running of the competition under the best conditions.
Everybody is leaving this Défi Wind with stunning images in mind. The show, sport, fun and happiness have been the key elements of this weekend. When the 1000 competitors are being asked whether they will be back next year, the answer is YES … unanimously. So…1111 in 2011?
1. Pierre Mortefon
2. Pascal Toselli
3. Bieuzy Mauffret
4. Julien Quentel
5. Anders Bringdal
6. Tine Slabe
7. Antoine Questel
1. Valérie Ghibaudo
2. Lise Vidal
3. Olivia Piana
© Text: Defi Wind 2010