Jules Denel (FRA-41) is probably one of the best overall windsurfers, who actually competes on the PWA Worldtour. He already made it in the top 16 of a PWA Slalom event, but decided to stop Slalom racing on the top level in the end of 2011 to focus more on wavesailing. And it seems that this step paid off. Jules improved over the season and had his highlight at the final PWA event in Sylt. Now the 22- year-old French sailor got offered a deal by JP-Australia and Neil Pryde and he decided to sign and left Exocet after 4 years of collaboration. Jules, who lives in Lille in the North of France, close to the Belgium border sails mostly at his homespots Wissant and Wimereux. 


Jules Denel (FRA-41) is ready for 2013


C7: A change to NeilPryde/JP-Australia – not many insiders would have expected such a move from you! That’s a big step, also for you?

Jules Denel: Yes it is! It’s really important for me to feel a support of my sponsor and the Prydegroup, Neilpryde and JP Australia showed me, that they want to support me a lot. After my good result in Sylt I am more motivated than ever before. So I am going to train a lot this winter and try to be prepared very well to be competitive this year.


C7: What were the reason for their offer? Your great results in 2012, winning the Storm Rider event in Israel, travelling to Island with Thomas Traversa and Sophia Regerbis or the 7th place at the PWA Wave final at Sylt?

Jules Denel: I think JP-Australia and Neil Pryde were searching for a French rider, who progressed in the Wave discipline and who sails a lot in real European conditions. I think that my good result at the PWA Sylt event and all what I showed during the 2012 year in competition, with my partners, or the trip with the TeamFranceWindsurf were the main reasons for their this proposal! All the work realized with Thomas, Sophie and all the TeamFranceWindsurf to promote Windsurfing is important and brings visibility for us and the supporting brands!


Jules already sailed with his new gear in 2013.


C7: Is your contract for one or more years?

Jules Denel:  The contract is for 2 years and it’s important for me and for brands to build something up in the long term. 


C7: JP-Australia and Neil Pryde has a worldclass team with worldchampions of all classes and disciplines. Will that fact help to improve even faster? 

Jules Denel: For sure it will help! It’s not a secret that if you sail with guys, who perform better than you, that you progress faster and learn easier some new moves! It was something, which took a big part in my decision to enter on this prestigious team!


Jules is used a lot to heavy side onshore conditions.


C7: Is it a bit of a dream, that you made it in such a big team, in the team of Jason Polakow?

Jules Denel: If you would have said to me when I was 15 years old, that I will finish twice Youth World Champion in Formula Windsurfing, 2 times French Champion in waves and and the last 2 years in the top 15 PWA wave ranking and also that I entered in the JP-Australia and Neil Pryde International Team with Polakow, Campello, Köster….. for sure I would have answered to you “Guys please… haha! Shut up!” And now … all is possible! You must always believe in your dreams !


C7: You are used to side-onshore waveriding conditions as your homespot is not Ho’ okipa. Your homespot is Wissant and there are typical Euro conditions. Does this help on tour?

Jules Denel: Yes, my home spot is Wissant and the conditions there, are side-shore. This was really an advantage for the two first rounds of the single elimination in Klitmoller and for all my heats in Sylt because the wind was side. But I need to progress more in on-shore conditions like Tenerife or Pozo… I really hope that in 2013 we can have more variety of condition on the PWA circuit!


C7: Did you ever sail on Maui?

Jules Denel: Yes, in 2008 with Pierrick Wattez and Julien Taboulet! It was my first real trip! It was really cool, sailing or surfing every day, but I didn’t return since this time because it’s a bit expensive and there are too many people on the water sometimes. But this year I will participate in the JP Australia and Neilpryde photoshoot and I am really motivated for this !!


C7: You used trifin boards at Exocet and most of the time 4 batten wave sails from X.O. Sails. What models of boards and sails will you use from your current sponsors?

Jules Denel: I will use the Neil Pryde “The Fly” and the JP-Australia Single Thruster. I really like this combination, which is perfect with my style of surf!


A little aerial off the lip at the beginning of the year. Much bigger ones will follow soon!



C7: Will you use production boards or customs for wavesailing?

Jules Denel: At the moment I only have production boards and sails, but I hope that I will have some 2014 prototype stuff during the year, when I will participate in the development process of the 2014 gear!


C7: Will you compete in the Slalom discipline as well?

Jules Denel: Actually you must concentrate in one discipline, if you want to be on the top! The level is so high in wave, slalom and freestyle. Maybe I will be present in French slalom events from time to time, It can be cool! But not on the PWA circuit!


C7: You for sure will start to travel soon and try to get used to the new gear? What are your plans for the next weeks and months?

Jules Denel: I go to Capo Verde with the Wesh Wesh family tonight for 10 days ! And afterwards I go to South Africa for one month ! It’s the first time that I am going to travel to Cape Town and I am really exited for this. I’m also extremely motivated to train hard this winter.


C7: What do you wish for 2013?

Jules Denel: First, I want to push my level, and then I hope to enter the top 10 in the PWA ranking this year!! Let’s see!!

Thank’s a lot for the interview and read more about Jules on his website


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