During 30 years at the highest world level, Antoine Albeau has been in contact with the old and the new generation of windsurfers, facing many opponents who have become friends over the years. Testimonies...
Antoine Albeau has been one of my biggest inspiration in windsurfing. A real talent and a champion. I was watching him competing and then I competed against him and it was mind blowing. I had the best fights on the water of my career against him in Fuerteventura 2016 and 2019 and in Portugal 2018. I can’t be anything but grateful for being one of his opponents, all of us windsurfers owe him something.
Antoine is a friend. We have formed groups of friends that have evolved over time. Julien Taboulet, my brothers, Antoine and I, then Julien Quentel, my brothers, Cédric Bordes and Antoine. At the beginning, we had some great years at AHD together with the shaper Jean Boudoires with top concepts for each of us. With a lot of victories and great fights. As far as competitions are concerned, Antoine is an outstanding competitor, who on the water is ready to do anything to win and who goes back to normal after the competitions, that's what made his strength.
It's almost a surprise to learn that Antoine has decided to finally stop the World Cup at the end of the year, so much so that he postponed this moment! Even if it has not always been easy between us, especially in this rivalry for the title all these last years, I can only salute the performance and the immense career he has had through all these different eras. I would retain two things that impressed me beyond the results, the versatility (winning all the racing disciplines, freestyle and his very good level in the waves) and the work to always be there, always find new equipment, new things... Bravo and good continuation for these new challenges.
Antoine is a totem. Nowadays, the word legend is not overused and too often used, but that is what he is and will remain in the future. What he has done year after year is monstrous. I have learnt a lot from him, he has a huge will and an intact motivation. He knows the importance of enjoying the pro life, the board has always been his reason to get up and his whole life was dedicated to it. His priorities with his family have changed a bit lately and that's fine too. I'm lucky to be able to consider him a friend, even though in the last few years, because of our different sponsors, we have been working a bit in competition. It's perhaps a regret that we couldn't really work together, but that's life.
Where to start... There are so many things to say, both on a sporting and friendly level over the years. I think the first time we met was on an French championship event in Carro. Afterwards, he came to Saint-Martin for a competition, and since then we have never left each other, both in competitions and in life. He taught me to be rigorous and ready in the management of my equipment and, at the same time, in my life, as everything is linked when you think about it! On the water, it has always been a war, people think that Tonio let me pass or made some rounds easier, but since the beginning of our relationship, he never let me win, he said: "Juju you will enjoy 1000 times more the day you win ». Tonio has a strength that nobody has! The ability to bounce back when you screw up a round, to have the mentality to come back and win it. He's been fighting with the biggest legends of windsurfing and the younger generation, he's still been putting us on the back foot for all these years. It's not for nothing that he has 25 world championship titles, in almost every discipline. Tonio is leaving the PWA but he will always be in the windsurfing world with all his future projects. Good luck Tonio!
What a career you had ! Slalom, Formula, freestyle, speed, Super-X, pretty much all disciplines you dominated except waves, because you didn’t put much effort on it. I’ve had many great memories on tour and in life with you and I couldn’t be more proud to see what you achieved in your career and in your life, Thanks for all that you have done for windsurfing and for inspiring me to be better (and to caddie me in some events !). To me, you are one of my favorite existing athlete, achieving 25 World Titles in pretty much all disciplines! Our crazy and funny memories will be forever in my mind and heart, and I am really looking forward to travel with you to some amazing places to finally see you wave sailling! Good luck on your next chapter of life and be sure that you'll always be a legend in our sport! The GOAT!
Antoine was a great adversary during my career. I remember when he first came onto the scene and had great fanfare around him to do great things. He certainly lived up to this during his long, successful career. We were competitors on the water, but also great friends off the water. I had the great privilege of visiting his home and meeting his family, which gave him great support to do what he did. I also had the chance to be his teammate for many years and test and develop equipment together. His dedication and commitment to his sport and his lifestyle was amazing, he was constantly working on his gear and his body to improve and make himself better. He was fiery on the water, but he was always friendly and cooperative with fans and others, always taking time to sign autographs take pictures or answer questions. He is a true champion, it was an honor to be able to compete against him and be able to call him a friend. I know he will be as successful after his competitive career as he was in it!!! I wish him and his family all the best!!!
Antoine was always a great racer and competitor. We didn’t have any run in our entire career which was nice, and he always was a great racer!. I’m shocked how long he kept doing the tout and congratulate him on an awesome career!
Definitely the strongest race slalom speed rider that I raced again after 2005 till today In the very top ! Long strong sussefull career and I am sure lots still to come ! Good luck in the future and congratulation on so many great years at the top!
I remember well starting the PWA World Tour at a similar time as Antoine (1992), we came up through the ranks together with many fun times travelling around the world in the ’tour family' for training and competing. Antoine in my opinion was always exceptionally well prepared - equipment, physically and mentally, for this I always had a deep respect, because it shows that if you put the work in then one can get a (very) successful outcome. He was also naturally fast in all conditions, plus had very good wave skills, a true 'all-rounder’. So many battles on the water together, superb memories all of them, and almost always no matter what happened during an event, it was smiles and fun at the end. Antoine had a good relationship with almost everybody on tour, he was well liked and respected, even before he started winning many titles. At the end of the day Antoine will always be a true legend of our sport, and I want to extend a very warm congratulations to his amazing career. Full taquet!
Antoine has had quite a career in windsurfing! Along with Bjorn Dunkerbeck and myself, Antoine has been able to stay focussed, committed, passionate and competitive for over decades. He has been able to adapt to equipment changes over the years, winning on old school slalom boards, new school short and wide boards, foil boards, and of course has always remained a top wave sailor as well. And through all of these years, Antoine has remained soft-spoken, approachable and humble…. Setting a great example for younger athletes to look up to. Although I see him less often than I used to, I still consider Antoine a friend, and I certainly wish him well in whatever direction his future takes him, both on and off the water!
Source: Matteo Iachino - Cyril Moussilmani - Pierre Mortefon - Cédric Bordes - Julien Quentel - Ricardo Campello - Micah Buzianis - Kevin Prichard - Björn Dunkerbeck - Finian Maynard - Robby Naish