Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

Mauritius Freeride Paradise Challenge - Sean and Baillie score

by Sean O'Brien on 21 Aug 2013
Antoine Questel (FRA-99) at Le Morne Sean O'Brien/Mauritius Freeride Paradise Challenge
It’s August and it’s time for the 2013 Mauritius Freeride Paradise Challenge! Four days of slalom racing across four venues, showcasing the best beaches that Mauritius has to offer.

Sean O’Brien and Luke Baillie made the epic pilgrimage down to the tiny and glamorous French/African island to score a full week of perfect windsurfing conditions and contest one of the most challenging, yet super fun, windsurfing competitions around the globe!

This Pro-Am contest is a teams event like no other. two-man teams compete in four separate disciplines; downwind slalom, speed, figure-8 marathon slalom and the final event, a 40km marathon race across the south-coast of the Mauritius island, finishing at the famous Preskil Beach Resort in Mahebourg. Competitors from all parts of the Indian Ocean, including South Africa, Australia, Mauritius, Seychelles and Reunion, as well as a contingent from mainland France, competed for the title, with the best scores from each team counting for the overall result at the end of the week.

The event kicked off at the famous wavesailing break on the south-western coast, Le Morne for the Malibu Classic. A radical break boasting some of best wavesailing the southern hemisphere has to offer, with huge swells breaking over razor reef surrounding a flat-water bay – perfect for slalom racing! The short downwind course started with a ‘Le Morne style’ beach start; competitors running 15m down the coral cluttered beach with gear in hand before entering the water for a four-gybe course finishing only metres from the beach right in front of the eager spectators. Antoine Questel from France, finished the day on top winning the last final, despite Julien Maurel and Fabrice Leclezio, the Mauritian hotshots giving Questel a run for his money and beating him in the first final. Sean O’Brien was fourth overall with a fifth and a fourth in the two finals with Luke Baillie in 11th overall.

Two rest days gave the sailors a chance to tune up sailing from the event sponsor’s backyard, the famous Preskil Beach Resort where the competitors could rig and launch from the front doors to their hotel rooms in perfect flatwater conditions. Racing resumed again with the Oxygen Cup and Ekip Speed Challenge – two days of downwind slalom and speed launching from Point D’Esny, inside the outer reefs – a perfect flatwater speed blasting location.

Antoine Questel cemented his dominance in these events winning five of the seven races in the Oxygen Cup ahead of Sean O’Brien who posted six second’s and Fabrice Leclezio. Questel punished the two speed races of the Ekip Speed Challenge ahead of Leclezio and Peter-John Lumley of South Africa.

The final and most challenging event of the Paradise Challenge was the Pheonix Crossing, a 40km slalom race with an upwind component, starting at Point D’Esny, gybing at Le Touressne Golf Course before returning back to Point D’Esny, pitching the best of the windsurfers against the best of the kitesurfers. A rabbit boat-start got the fleet away with Questel leading from the start ahead of O’Brien and Leclezio before O’Brien broke his universal joint and crawled back to 10th place by the first gybe…

The upwind runs on the return home changed the places with Maurel and Leclezio opting to take their big boards and 8.6m sails despite the 18-25 knot forecast, giving them much better upwind angle and the ability to pass Questel and finish first, second respectively. Christopher Tyack and Jean Francois Ulcoq, the next Mauritian team were fourth and fifth across the line ahead of Luke Baillie and O’Brien in sixth and seventh. With the results needing BOTH team riders to cross the line it was Mauritius teams first and second overall in front of the Australians, team South Africa (Mitch Wagstaff and Peter-John Lumley) and team France (Questel and Delphine Cousins).

The results over the four separate events for the teams meant the Mauritian favourites, Leclezio and Maurel were able to win the Mauritius Freeride Paradise Challenge for 2013 ahead of team France and team Australia.

A radical week of sailing completed at one of the most beautiful, scenic and windy locations the southern hemisphere has to offer, with strong winds for the entire seven days competitors were at the beach to complete the four-day competition.

O’Brien and Baillie, not new to reef sailing after finishing up at the Australian Slalom Championships the month before on the Great Barrier Reef on Australia’s north eastern coast finishing first and seventh respectively, have already confirmed their entry for the 2014 event – a perfect way to spend the southern hemisphere winter, racing at one of the world’s best kept windsurfing secrets! Pro-am is back!

upffront 660x82Zhik Dinghy 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82

Related Articles

Thrilling show in high-octane racing at KiteFoil GoldCup Act 1 wrap-up
The world's fastest kitefoilers put a thrilling display of tight racing as they battled each other The world's fastest kitefoilers put a thrilling display of tight racing as they battled each other and the conditions that spanned the full gamut of possibilities for a Mediterranean summer over four scintillating days of competition.
Posted on 19 Jul
High drama at thrilling climax of KiteFoil World Champs’ first Act
Uncertainty over the final outcome until the very last moment merely added to the spectacle for crowded weekend beach. Uncertainty over the final outcome until the very last moment merely added to the spectacle for a crowded weekend beach.
Posted on 18 Jul
French teenager almost flawless at KiteFoil World Championships Opener
The young French rider Axel Mazella showed his class and growing pace at the KiteFoil GoldCup The young French rider Axel Mazella showed his class and growing pace at the KiteFoil GoldCup with a string of bullets on a day when all the top racers found themselves competing in the same fleet for the first time.
Posted on 16 Jul
KiteFoil GoldCup - Tricky conditions on Day 3
Germany’s Florian Gruber shrugged off the mixed bag of weather that played havoc with the racing schedule 2016 KiteFoil GoldCup - Germany’s Florian Gruber shrugged off the mixed bag of weather that played havoc with the racing schedule at the KiteFoil GoldCup in Italy to snatch a flawless two victories from two races.
Posted on 16 Jul
Tough conditions test racers’ mettle on day one of KiteFoil Gold Cup
Florian Trittel (ESP) just overhauled Nocher on a searing reach to the finish on their last race of the day Florian Trittel (ESP) just overhauled Nocher on a searing reach to the finish on their last race of the day, but in doing so the Spaniard caught a mark line with his foil and was catapulted off his board. Still, it was enough to secure a win and deprive Nocher of five bullets from five races.
Posted on 15 Jul
63 riders from 26 nations gathered to battle in KiteFoil GoldCup Italy
In a taste of what is to come the 55 men and eight women tested equipment for sheer speed and upwind and downwind angles The globe’s fastest kite racers limbered up on the warm, smooth waters of southern Italy in gathering breezes, hours ahead of the first act of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) World Championship series.
Posted on 14 Jul
Emma and Andy selected for GBR at 2016 Youth Sailing Worlds in NZ
Wilson trains with fellow British Sailing Team member Hamilton and will continue to do this in her preparation for gold Wilson’s selection was confirmed following the RS:X European Championships in Helsinki, Finland (2-9 July) where she finished 11th European sailor and third under 21, just one point outside the medal race spots.
Posted on 14 Jul
Nine athletes set to sail for Canada at 2016 Rio Olympic Games
The Canadian Olympic Committee and Sail Canada named the nine athletes nominated to represent Team Canada in sailing. Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Sail Canada named the nine athletes nominated to represent Team Canada in sailing at the Rio 2016 Olympic. Sail Canada refused to nominate sailors in three events for which they had qualified in the Mens and Womens Windsurfer (RS:X) and the Women's Two Hander (470). Sail Canada rejected a further place offered in the Mens Skiff (49er).
Posted on 4 Jul
My Best Olympic Race – Dorian van Rijsselberge
Reaching an accomplishment can take a matter of days, months or even years but many know what it takes. Reaching an accomplishment can take a matter of days, months or even years but many know what it takes. Tying your shoe laces for the first time as a young child is an achievement, playing your first note on a guitar, getting those grades to get into college or delivering a knockout presentation to seal a deal. We’ve all been there.
Posted on 20 Jun
Riding dirty and days between...
Its been several season since I have been riding dirty with both feet in the foot straps but in different fleets. Its been several season since I have been riding dirty with both feet in the foot straps but in different fleets. It used to be that everyday spent kiting meant loosing a day of windsurfing.
Posted on 20 Jun