Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring - Cruising

Interview with Antoine Albeau at 49.09 knots

by Markus Schwendtner on 17 Mar 2008
Antoine Albeau going for 49.09 knots windsurfjournal.com . http://www.windsurfjournal.com
Double world champion in 2006, triple world champion in 2007, Antoine Albeau wrote himself into the history books on March 5th 2008 by setting a new world record for sail speed. With his 49.09 knots, the big Frenchie has set the bar very high indeed and establishes himself as the men closest to that 50 knot mark, and very much the man to beat. Here's the WJ interview with a champion in every sense of the word !

Windsurfjournal.com : The record is still fresh in your mind, how do you feel now about that mad day ?
Antoine Albeau : Before I got the record, I really didn't think it would be possible to hit those speeds, I'd had a good look at the forecast and I wasn't expecting so much wind. But now that it's been done I think it was incredible the number of falls I had.


WJ : And yet you arrived in less than tip-top condition...
AA : The time difference is nothing really, it's the hours of traveling that are irritating, I got back to Paris the day before at 9.00am, I had to get to my house on the west coast and down to the canal on the south coast and do it all in less than 12 hours. I got there at half past midnight and got up at 6.00am to rig my equipment, that was the hardest part !!! It was very cold and I wasn't sure where I was any more. I made my first run at 8.30, and my last at 6.30 in the evening, ten hours in a wetsuit !!!

WJ : It was a very hard day physically, how did you deal with that element ?
AA : Most of all I was tired from my journey over from Florida, we'd ridden 3 rounds on the Sunday in almost no wind, but there were so many other things going on that I hardly looked at my watch. I really felt most tired during the 2 following days.

WJ : And were the conditions more apocalyptic than ideal for the record attempt ?
AA : Yeah, right, conditions were a bit fierce with a freezing cold, very strong wind. As far as the wind strength goes it was exactly what was required. We'll need that again if we're going to break 50 knots.

WJ : So what was the rig you used for the record run ?
AA : For the board, it was a Starboard 37cm custom, with a NeilPryde RS :Racing 4.8 m2 sail that, with Robert Stroj, we'd just made to fit between 4.6 and the 5.0. I think that to hit those kind of speeds you need the perfect combination, that's exactly why we built this sail. The fin was a custom Deboichet made specially for the canal.

WJ : There were plenty of fallers on the day and you weren't spared that fate… An Antoine Albeau wipe-out, how did that feel ?
AA : It hurts !!! I had a few myself, specially one at 49 knots that's currently on YouTube.com. When that happened I didn't know if I was in Florida, the Ile de Re or on the canal ! I was a bit stunned, I'd broken my harness strop, the harness, the forward boom mounting and I managed to rip the sail head with my feet, all that in one fall. I had a few falls that day but the conditions were completely radical and I was pushing the limits completely to try and give it everything on the run.

WJ : That puts you now in the position of 'defender' of the water sail speed record. Do you think you'll be concentrating more on speed now to try and improve on that record speed ?
AA : I did exactly what I'd hoped to do, firstly to beat the French record, then the world record. Now, thinking about 50 knots, that's another story, it's going to be really hard. It'll need a bit of luck to have the ideal conditions, but if the conditions are there we'll se what can be done. Personally, I didn't really think the world record would be so important, but now I'm completely stoked to have done it. It's immense !

WJ : Anything else to add ?
AA : I'd like to thank Pascal Maka, Christophe Simian and everyone who worked so hard so we could use the canal again. They did a fantastic job and we tried to show our appreciation by breaking those records. I think a lot about the number significance too… The number 192 has been with me for some time, and I noticed that when you look at the time of the record run ( 12.12pm) and the speed (49.09 knots), if you put the two 9s in the middle of the 12s, it gives you two more lovely 192s !!!

Interview by http://windsurfjournal.com/

North Technology - Southern Sparsupffront 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

SoftBank Team Japan achieve first foiling tack
SoftBank Team Japan announced today that they cracked foiling tack earlier this year while training with their AC45 boat SoftBank Team Japan announced today that they cracked the foiling tack earlier this year while training with their AC45 Sport test boat in Bermuda.
Posted today at 3:15 am
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
America's Cup - Architect of NZ Qualifier withdrawal steps down
The Commissioner for the America's Cup General Dr. Harvey Schiller has stepped down from the role The Commissioner for the America's Cup General Dr. Harvey Schiller has stepped down from the role and will finish at the end of the month. The move was confirmed today by America's Cup correspondent Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press.
Posted on 23 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
PredictWind - One stop shop
PredictWind have taken the bold step of adding government provided forecasts to their award winning forecasting software PredictWind the world leader in forecasting believe that more is better, and have taken the bold step of adding government provided forecasts to their award winning forecasting software.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug
35 Copa del Rey Mapfre - Armin Strom Sailing Team in action
Armin Strom Sailing Team remain in contention for the top of the podium throughout the 35 Copa del Rey Mapfre this week. Heading the leaderboard from the start and quickly finding a ‘turbo’ foiling mode saw Armin Strom Sailing Team remain in contention for the top of the podium throughout the 35 Copa del Rey Mapfre this week.
Posted on 8 Aug
American Windsurfing Tour – Final day
Ferdinando Loffreda slashed his foot open in the campo last night so retires from the Pro bracket. Ferdinando Loffreda slashed his foot open in the campo last night so retires from the Pro bracket.
Posted on 7 Aug
35 Copa del Rey Mapfre - Final day images by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from the final day. Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from the final day.
Posted on 7 Aug
Azzurra wins 35th Copa del Rey Mapfre
Azzurra, the boat flying Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s burgee, has won 35th Copa del Rey Mapfre placing first in a race Azzurra, the boat flying the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s burgee, has won the 35th Copa del Rey Mapfre placing first in a race even in the final day of the event.
Posted on 7 Aug