3 questions to Louis Giard


One of the world's leading RS:X sailors and author of a rather successful transition to iQFoil, Frenchman Louis Giard has just decided to put an end to his sporting career, at "only" 29 years old. Speaking to, he talks about this decision and his career on the former Olympic support... What were the factors that motivated your decision to end your career when you seemed to be well underway on the iQFOil?
Louis Giard: First of all, my objective with the IQFOil was to have fun discovering the sport, to learn a lot of new things with the arrival of the foil, and of course to participate in this new adventure on the Olympic circuit. After two years, everyone is starting to get the hang of this board, and you can't leave any parameter out, unlike at the beginning of the sport. Talking about size, I never managed to exceed 81 kilos and I didn't feel good on it, it's far from the best. In the end, the Olympic Games are a speed race with very few competitors around, you can't expect anything if you are not among the best speeds and I know that with this size there would be no miracles. I'm curious to see what all this will give in the years to come. As for me, I tried to make the most of my racing experience but in a straight line, I was still far from the leaders. I'm someone who likes racing a lot and since the arrival of the iQFoil, our race formats are getting smaller and smaller, and I'm not so keen on it. Finally, I've been in the French team for 10 years and I didn't want to continue knowing that I lacked the real assets compared to the competition to hope for world podiums, selection for the Games and a medal.


WJ: You have a rich and busy sporting life, during your career what lessons have you learnt that will serve you for the rest of your life?
LG: I have always been passionate about sport. It is really the best school of life, you learn so much about yourself and in your relationships with others. Sport allows you to meet a diversity of people, it's really rich to meet so many profiles with whom I could learn a lot of things. The more the years go by, the more I find that the mental aspect is important. Over the last two years, I've really managed to sail in the state of mind that suits me, and I've enjoyed it, I think that's really the key to lasting at the highest level. This is the chapter of a lifetime for me, and I hope that I can transfer everything I've learned into my career now.


WJ: If you had to remember only one highlight of your career, what would it be and why?
LG: It's hard to choose, as you experience so many emotional highs in the good times and in the more difficult times. Mentally, the European Championship title where everything was reset for the finals even though I had won the week. I could have done 12th losing the quarter-final and I managed to go and win that championship in the last lap of the final. When I crossed the finish line, it was strong. From a sporting point of view, my podium at the World Championship in 2018 is a huge memory. I had started the week very well before hardly believing in the podium (I had already missed 2 opportunities in the previous years) and then I had some great days to finish with competitors who were losing their footing a bit. These two seasons 2017 and 2018 were quite crazy in terms of results, and it ended with a world podium alongside Dorian van Rijsselberghe, double Olympic champion, and Kiran Badloe who was soon at his best level before becoming Olympic champion too. Also, I really like the spirit of these two people on the water, they inspired the whole circuit with their approach, so I was proud and happy to be there. For the future, I will of course continue to sail in waves and such as soon as possible, and I would love to work in ocean racing and why not sail on these big boats.


To find out more about Louis Giard:


Source : Louis Giard
Photos: Sailing Energy - Bellande/BBN/iQFOil Class

tags: Louis Giard

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