The final of the AFF Championship France started yesterday in Saint-Malo at the rough Atlantic coast, located at the north western area of the Bretagne. The spot is located directly in the city, which has mor then 45.000 inhabitants. 58 competitors in total including 7 girls made the trip to the final of the French tour, which contains 3 events in total. 41 men competitors entered in the Slalom competition and 35 registered for the Wave. In the ladies category are 5, who compete in the Slalom and 5 in the Wave. Most of the big French names are competing in this final event. Just a few are missing.
Day 1 saw excellent conditions with 25 knots of westerly wind and little swell
The 41 men got divided into 4 groups. Two riders from South of France made in on top in the first elimination. Pascal Toselli, followed by Pierre Mortefon. Antoine Questel, leader of the standings in the Championship of France, took the 3rd place.
The losers final was won by Julien Quentel, currently fourth in the French overall ranking and 4th at the PWA World Circuit. A second round got started on day 1. The wind dropped a bit with 18 to 20 knots, but was still enough to see great action. This time Nicolas Warembourg won the winners final, followed by Julien Quentel and promising young talent Tristan Algret. Loic Legallois arrives first in the losers final, Yoann Fleury in 2nd and Gael Cousin in 3rd.
Delphine Cousin dominated the girls fleet. She finished first in two out of three races. Estelle Bar and Alizée de Sousa are 2nd and 3rd respectively in the first round, but Fanny Aubet, the best lady in Waves, then returned to the charge taking second place in the second round, with Alizée behind.
The third round was won by Alizée de Sousa, followed by Delphine and Estelle. There were several crashes on the last round due to the difficult wave and wind conditions. Fanny and Ocean Keruzoré did not finish the race.
The opening ceremony took place at 18:30 at the Surf School. All the riders, Matthew Bonno, president of AFF, Roger Christian, president of the FFA, Pascal Amiot, director of Surf School and all volunteers were there.
Killian Ducouedic, local hero and Wave Champion of France in 2009 stated: “There are great conditions all week. I hope we can get suitable conditions in the Wave discipline during the week. I’m pretty optimistic, there is a big forecast for Sunday. We are all very motivated. And for myslef I would like to surprise everyone! “
Here is a video of day one, which shows the Slalom action filmed from the beach. It got filmed by Stéphane Debuire, the filmer of the event.
Quentel and Aubet dominate Day 2
Beautiful waves suitable for surfing were breaking on the beach of Hoguette on the second day. But the wind did not arrive before early afternoon. The race committee decided not to run any wave heats on day2 and launched another round in the Slalom discipline. There would have been a chance to run waves, but teh time was extremely limited as it gets dark around 5 pm.
Between rainshowers and sun all competitors struggled with the unsteady westerly, ranging from 14 to 20 knots. Julien Quentel men returned very strong and won elimination number 3. Current Slalom tourleader Antoine Questel finished in second and Pierre Mortefon from Gruissan completed the men Slalom podium of day 2.
Fanny Aubet is also returned really strong on day winning both eliminations. Behind her on the first round (elimination 4) Oceane Keruzoré, a young Carnacoise lady followed, what´s a big surprise and Delphine Cousin in third. On the last round Delphine finished 2nd just behind Fanny Aubet, followed by Alizee de Sousa in third position.
This is the clip of day 2 by Stéphane Debuire:
On the evening of day 2 the local Surf School organized an evening in the presence of partners and an orchestra. Sarah Hebert, well known for her attempt to cross the Atlantic ocean on a windsurfing board, was also there to present her film on this challenging journey.
“I cross all my fingers, that we wil get wavesailing conditions. Staying at the beach in the cold weather it is frustrating. It could work for a wavesailing competition on Sunday or Monday, I really want as I am ready! “ Yann Sune says, one of the well known wavesailors, who registered for the wave discipline only.
Ranking Slalom after two days:
3.Alizée de Sousa