SPEED World Championship 2023

5 JP riders in the top-10!

Victory for Antoine Albeau FRA-192 claiming his 26th World Champion title! Vincent Valkenaers BEL-62 in 2nd!

ISWC Speed World Championship – MEN (four 1-hour heats)

# 1 – Antoine Albeau (#4, #1, #1, #2 | 45.08 knots) – FRA-192

# 2 – Vincent Valkenaers (#1, #4, #3, #12 | 44.62 knots) – BEL-62

# 3 – Cyril Evrard – YOUTH (#3, #1, #2, #3 | 41.95 knots) – BEL-250

# 4 – Hans Kreisel (#16, #2, #5, #4 | 42.70 knots) – NED-85

# 8 – Jacques van der Hout (#3, #6, #12, #7 | 42.58 knots) – NED-35

# 9 – Pascal Boulanger (#7, #8, #16, #10 | 41.37 knots) – FRA-800

#15 – Andy Laufer (#6, #20, #13, #17 | 41.98 knots) – GER-93

#34 – Sam Esteve (#11, -, -, – | 33.66 knots) – FRA-79

Antoine Albeau, FRA-192 – no.1 – max. speed: 45.08 knots
“I knew I had a chance to win this championship but as always, nothing can be taken for granted… especially when after the first race, I only was ranked 4th. I chose gear that was too small.
Then, on the last day the conditions were almost perfect. I was flying with my gear that I know in and out: I was on my NP 5.8 and JP 50. I scored the fastest run of the week with an average speed of 45.08 knots over the 500m, managed to win the 2 first heats of the day and finished 2nd on the last one. So, with the discard I was able to take the event lead and ―am happy to tell you― that this got me a new title:
This is my World Champion title number 26!”

Vincent Valkenaers, BEL-62: – no.2 – max. speed: 44.62 knots
“When we arrived, it was great to see so many riders speed sailing and are coming for the first world championship.
The first day of my competition started on the foil at the and of the day we did one heat but with strange winds that were not what we are used to. My choice was to go big, and I took my NP Evo 6.5 and the JP Slalom 62,5. It was the perfect combo and brought the first heat victory! I was super happy with this start of the event.
Then, we had to wait a few days hoping for the wind to come. So, there was massive time to rig and trim the gear to perfection, to do some bike rides and a lot of talking! 🙂
The forecast was good for the last day and everybody was hoping for strong wind but still we had to wait to get sufficient wind for the speed board.
It didn’t blow hard enough for the gear I’m super fast on. So, I was really struggling during the day, swapping gear, not choosing the right size equipment and therefore I was not so happy about the my sailing. Nevertheless, I kept pushing to go as fast as possible. I was a bit disappointed in the beginning, then it got better and worked out okay. In the end, I’m really happy with my second place: I left all the best windsurfers in the world behind me … except the 26 times World Champion.
Now I know what to work for and will do better next time. I will come back stronger and want to try to have the fastest gear for all kind of conditions.”

Hans Kreisel, NED-85 – no.3 – max. speed: 37.28 knots
“We had a tough start with not much wind on the first day and the forecast for the week was less promising. So, we started this event in the given “light” winds to have a result at all. It felt so good to finally have a Speed World Cup again!
On the first day, I did some test runs and tried a new combo but underestimated the chop: When we ran the one-hour heat , my chosen fin was too small and there was not enough time to change in the short, windy period. Unfortunately, this resulted in spin-outs.
Fortunately, we could do 3 heats on the last day. I decided to play safe and score good results. To achieve this, I took the biggest gear of the fleet with the JP Speed 54 and a NP Evo 6.5 with a Z-fin 26 asy that resulted in a exiting first heat with only a small difference between me and A2 of only 0,05 km/h on average.
With gust up to 40+ knots, the second heat was a bit to windy for the 6.5 to be really competitive but I still achieved 2 times a 43knots run over 500m.
During the last heat the wind was a bit shifty and more square but I still had a good result.
Overall, I’m satisfied to claim the 4th place after a personally tough winter.
It was good to see so many speedsurfers going fully for it and smiling all the way. The adrenaline passion and fun is what it’s all about. Good to see it lives and seeing some old friends. I enjoyed every second!

Jacques van der Hout, NED-35 – no.8 – max. speed: 42.58 knots
“There was a good forecast for the last day so decided to make the long trip from Holland to the South of France and to compete at this super nice event on my favourite spot!
My first run in the first heat was the fastest of the whole fleet! The average of my two best runs pushed me to 3rd in this heat, just behind A2 and Hans!
In the second heat I had two ‘ok’ runs of 42+ knots. I decided to rest in my car and safe energy for later. This was not a good decision because I missed a period of good wind.
In the third heat –at least– i had enough energy to make two good runs.
I had no discard because I only was at the event on the last weekend. So, overall, I’m very happy with my 8th place in this championship!
Thanks Principe and Vanessa for organizing this great event.”

Pascal Boulanger, F-800 – no.9 – max. speed: 41.37 knots

Andy Laufer, GER-93 – no.15 – max. speed: 41.98 knots
“Der Event war klasse organisiert. Wir konnten einigen Wettfahrten bei sehr böigem Wind fahren. Allerdings hatte ich bei meinen Runs durchweg das Pech, so dass ich keinen Lauf mit Druck durchfahren konnte: Entweder es war gleich am Start oder kurz nach dem Start kein Wind mehr, oder irgendwann mitten oder am Ende eines Laufs.
Hinzu kam, dass nach dem Wechsel auf mein großes Material der Wind ordentlich zunahm. Als ich zurück auf das kleine Speed Board gewechselt hatte, ging ich direkt wieder “unter”.
Direkt nach dem Ende des letzten Laufs nahm der Wind dann deutlich zu, Vincent, Cyril und ich entschieden uns noch ein paar Testruns mit Kamera zu fahren.
Das hat sich auf jeden Fall gelohnt. Zwar mit Sturz am Ende – aber zumindest mit ordentlich Druck!” 🙂

Vincent chasing Andy
Cyril Evrard, BEL-250 – no.3 YOUTH – max. speed: 41.95 knots
“I had a really close battle with the other top Youth division guys and everything was possible because we were three riders with the same points before the final race. Unfortunately, the wind was not with me and I didn’t manage to make a good run in the last race and missed the first spot by less than 0.4 knots.
However, after the race the wind kick in and I managed to make a perfect run of 44 knots over 500m.”

Sam Esteve, F-79

Our young freestyler was in conflict where to compete: At the speed event or the first PWA freestyle event of the year? So, he was speed sailing on the first weekend in France and freestyling in Austria on the second. It has to be mentioned that he performed outstandingly in both !

How close to the beach would you dare to go ? At 30+ knots... Check how shallow the water is where the spectators stand! About ankle deep ... plus millimeters.
"Full Speed Vinc"

Thanks for all the help and working night shifts to Principe Baldini – “Forever Speed!!!” and the photographers Aurelien Toulan and Marc Solier for their excellent work!

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Andy Laufer, GER-93

“Right after the end of the event’s last heat, the wind increased significantly. Vincent, Cyril and I decided to do a few more test runs with a camera. It was definitely worth it. With a crash at the end – but at least with a lot of sail pressure.” 🙂

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