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Subjcet 2015 A Winning Start..Antoine Albeau

A Winning Start

Antoine Albeau makes the perfect start to his title defence after claiming victory in Korea

Last week saw the conclusion of the opening slalom event of the year in Ulsan, South Korea, and Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) continued to assert his dominance over the rest of the fleet with an incredibly consistent display, which resulted in AA making the perfect start to his title defence. The big Frenchman is chasing a famous hat-trick of PWA Slalom World Titles and judging by his start to the season he’ll be incredibly hard to beat. We caught up with Antoine for a short interview after his latest success:

PWA: You made the perfect start to your title defence in Korea - how was the event on the whole for you?

AA: “The event was super tricky because I was super confident on the weather forecast at the beginning of the event but every day it changed for no wind, and almost at the end we really were thinking that we will not have one day of wind, so was a lot of waiting but the days that Jinha Beach gave us were one of the best days we had in Korea, wind from morning to almost the end of the day, was between 15 to 25kts, I was on my 8.6 NP and medium board RRD 144.”

PWA: You last won in Korea in 2010 and in the last few years it has been a bit of an indifferent event for you… did you do anything different this time around compared to last time? And do you think there has been a reason you struggled slightly, by your high standards, over the last few seasons?

AA: “No nothing special, but the last time we raced there was 2013 and Alberto [Menegatti] won the event in front of me, Korea is a special place and you need to be prepare, I was super consistent on that day we got and

it paid off with a first place of the event.”

PWA: The level in the slalom fleet appears to be getting more and more competitive every year at the moment - would you agree there are no easy heats anymore? And does that put more pressure on you in the early rounds?

AA: “Yes all the heats are hard, we saw in Korea some fast sailors going out 2nd round and this is easy to lose it, you have to really concentrate and push for the start, Juan Antonio the race director placed a

long slalom, it was a bit more than 4 min and the last past year we where doing 3 min slalom, very short and hard to come back if you don’t take a good start, in Korea you could come back a bit.”

PWA: Apart from yourself, were there any sailors that really stood out for you? And after the first event of the year, who do you think will be your biggest rivals over the course of the season?

AA: “It is hard to tell after Korea, but Pierre [Mortefon] and Cyril [Moussilmani] will be good for sure, Julien Q is a great overall sailor, Matteo [Iachino] will do good as well, but there are so many good ones, Arnon [Dagan], Finian [Maynard], Josh [Angulo], Micah [Buzianis], Ben [Van der Steen], Ross [Williams], and I forgot a lot. Every year it is never easy, but I am super happy to have won over here because it wasn’t an easy event and I manage to get it, I am still in the game and this is cool and it keeps me motivated.”

PWA: Then just quickly… what will you be doing before the next event in Costa Brava? 

AA: “Now I go to the Défi Wind, the weather forecast looks unreal, windy every day and all the French sailor from the PWA are going to be there, Ben VDS will also come, it is going to be a f****** fight on the water I can tell you, but I like it. Then I will put my sailing school on the beach like every year ready to open for the start of the summer season, on ile de Ré.”

PWA: Congrats again Antoine and good luck at Defi.