3 questions to Cédric Bordes


Among the best slalom sailors in the world, the image of Frenchman Cédric Bordes has been closely linked to the Gaastra/GA Sails brand for more than 10 years, until he recently decided to race under the colours of Severne Windsurfing... For Windsurfjournal.com, he talks about this change of brand, which surprised many people!


Windsurfjournal.com: For many years, your image and results have been associated with the Gaastra/GA Sails brand... What explains this surprising change of sailmaker?
Cédric Bordes: Simply time and the family that has grown in 2021. As many people know, I had several jobs at Tabou and Gaastra, from distribution, to importing, to the development of quite a few ranges, with the arrival of the wingfoil, complete ranges of foils for all types of support, the management of part of the team, photoshooting as well as racing in PWA and other events. It was really great but it takes 100% of energy in a particular context. So last year I stopped importing in this sense, to continue to have time to do the things I had to do well but also to have time for myself and my family because our son is already 6 years old and sometimes I feel like I missed some moments. In the end, I almost kept the same workload, the break was not real because it's hard not to answer and be involved with the people who have always worked with you, the importers, the shops, the magazines, the riders... So I had to make a clear decision and I can assure you that it was not easy. I hope I made the right one! For Tabou, I was wondering about that too until very recently to be honest. But the story is different, there is the fact that everything started from there when in 2005 Fabien Vollenweider contacted me to do the first tests. Since then, I think we have made a good partnership with reference ranges on the market! There is also a great project with the workshop in Marseille which will work very quickly.


WJ: What memories do you have of these many years spent as a racer and developer at Gaastra/GA Sails?
CB : In the end, it's the experience of a lifetime, I learned so much on a personal level as well as on the management of a company day after day, month after month. It will always be useful to me. There are great moments when you see the evolution of things, the cycle of a product from its idea, to its realisation, to its production and at the end the customer who sails with it and has fun. I will always thank Gaastra and the people I worked with for that. There were other times, of course, when it was harder, but I think I never gave up or gave in, and I'm proud of that. You have to realise that there is a huge gap between the reality of things on a day-to-day basis, what is really important at the end of the day, and what may seem important from the outside, where communication has taken precedence over the real work in my opinion and distorts the situation. But you also have to live with the times and know how to evolve, because this is not only unique to windsurfing I think. Gaastra is a leading brand that has been able, year after year, to take the right decisions and build an efficient global system between production with its own factories, concrete ranges that perfectly match the real and not folkloric needs of the market and an efficient national and worldwide distribution despite the situation. There are all the assets for the future in the short and medium term, new people will arrive and emerge to continue in this direction. As a rider, I managed to finish 5th in the world in slalom on the PWA tour one year and to win World Cup heats. And this is thanks to teamwork because even though windsurfing is an individual sport, you don't get very far on your own. I was also lucky enough to beat 50 knots in speed in Lüderitz in 2012 and ride Jaws in solid conditions. When I was younger I would never have thought it possible, being a pro rider was already not an option when I was a teenager or student so imagine! I've often felt lately that I didn't deserve it or really focus even though I was pushing hard on every run and every start because I wasn't ready like I should have been. At least not like other riders who show real ethics and self-sacrifice year after year and direct their lives towards the top level.


WJ : At 37 years old, you still have many years of competition ahead of you, what are your ambitions for the future with this new partnership?
CB : We have the almost unique chance in windsurfing to be able to practice at a high level quite late because windsurfing is a mixture of technique, sensations and experience above all. We will have to recover a bit first and get back on track with a different rhythm and this can't be done in a few weeks. I especially want to sail a little more for myself, to run a little less after the conditions and to go out on the water when I want to whatever the support. I contacted two brands quite late at the beginning of the year when normally all the deals are already done and I was lucky that Severne was super reactive and professional. I really wanted to sign with a big leading brand if possible, well distributed and with a good team to help each other. Matteo Iachino is pushing hard to get some revenge on the world cup, we get along well so that was an important element. As soon as I signed, he called me and I went to Tenerife for 10 days, it was short but already great.


To find out more about Cédric Bordes: www.instagram.com/bordescedric


Source: Cédric Bordes
Photos: Dieter Van der Eyken - TWS Pro Slalom Training - Carter/Pwaworldtour.com

tags: Cédric Bordes Severne Windsurfing

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