3 questions to Pascal Boulanger


With 19 participations in the Défi Wind, Pascal Boulanger is a pillar of the event in Gruissan! On a course that requires preparation and experience, Windsurfjournal.com asked F-800 for some advice on how to succeed in his races and his event... Interview!

Windsurfjournal.com: You're a regular and fervent participant. What's so special about the Défi Wind that other events don't have?
Pascal Boulanger : For a windsurfer, the Défi is the regatta you have to do at least once in your life, or even more if you're so inclined. I've done it 19 times now! At all levels, you'll enjoy yourself because the course is simple and easy to understand, and you'll be pulling your weight with your mates. Even if you're not very strong, all you're doing is overtaking, so that's really motivating and you're putting yourself in the red to get ahead of your mates. And last but not least, you'll be able to capture some exceptional images right from the start of the race, because a rabbit start is always really impressive!


WJ: What advice do you have on equipment and settings? Broadly speaking, what board should you choose, what sail, what type of harness and do you have any specific settings?
PB: Depending on which category you want to play in, the equipment remains important because the conditions change quite quickly on this place. The pros are still the pros, they know what they're doing, and even then it's not easy! Now, everyone needs to have a bit of gear, especially sails, with at least a 5.0 or even a 4.6. As for the boards, with a 100-litre board in a smaller volume, it's fine, even if the wind is strong. Then, when it comes to trimming, the most important thing to remember is to lengthen your harness lines and use a waist harness rather than a seat harness. It's easier to unhook and the position is much more comfortable for long-distance sailing. Don't overload the sail, try to start out comfortable. The aim is to cross the line and finish. Hydrate before the start and, during the race, breathe as if you were jogging, to avoid cramps. Before the start, try to test your equipment. At the start, try to arrive in a hurry. It's better to start a little behind but with your feet in the straps than at a standstill on the line. Remember, and this is very important, to often look behind you, because with today's foils, you can't hear them coming, and that can be very dangerous! Then, the basic rule, when you're on the course and especially from the 2nd lap onwards, is of course the starboard tack, when you have your right hand on the boom near the mast. You have priority, which means that on the outward leg, you make your own way. On the return leg, however, don't force your way through and always pass underneath.


WJ: There can be 2 or even 3 races a day, with a maximum distance of 40 km. How do you manage your effort during the race and between legs?
PB : Given that we can have several legs during the day, don't forget to look at your gear before returning and check everything at a glance before setting off again: the harness lines, the mast foot tendon, the footstrap screws. And above all, have a bite to eat with your legs in the air in the sun! Have fun, enjoy yourself, this race is magical and there's only one like it...


To find out more about Pascal Boulanger: www.instagram.com/boulf800


Source: Pascal Boulanger
Photos: Christian Laubaney

tags: Pascal Boulanger Défi Wind

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