Majestic End Up for Defi Wind 2015
Two days after le Défi Wind… // A 15th historical edition in the World of Windsurfing
We still are writing you all from La plage des Chalets in Gruissan. Divine Tramontana is still blowing hard, again and again. Unbalanced and gusty, cold, bringing black clouds and rain. This week-end she was turning caravans round on the highway in Leucate, right next to Gruissan (once again !) while our loyal défieurs were playing on the water with Mrs Tramontana. What a chance to have her full powered during this 15th anniversary of the Défi Wind ! An other epic edition ! And we deeply think that the lucky one is our guru to all us, the one, the unique Philippe Bru. We used to call this luck Chatte à Bur which in English would mean something like Bur’s Pussy as Pussy would be the chance ! Well, kind of a joke. And we like this joke so much when it works ! Philippe Bru : the creator and conductor of this whole lengendary windsurfing event. And within 15 years, he always managed to allow all participants to be able to reach their goal and achieve their defi under safe conditions. As a Sea Shepherd, looking after his flock of windsurfers during 120 kilometres however the wind and sea conditions are (or almost), allowing them to enjoy incredible rides here in Gruissan and to perform their own defi. This year once again the result of the event is amazing and we can still hear the defieurs’ voices running within our head, full of joyce.
When asking the pros - but when I am saying professional windsurfer I mean world star legend, as they were (almost) all there for this 2015 edition, with their smallest equipment, to try to finish the course by any way. And you know what ? This wasn’t that easy ! Even the best riders had hardly raced into that type of extreme conditions during their career. The race of the century happened for real last week end in Gruissan and I hope you didn’t miss it !
But all these Champions are not in the place for winning. As the Hawaiian wave champion Jason Polakow who finally spent more time in the middle of the crowd signing posters than on the water ! He was on fire, and kept saying that Défi Wind is the most impressive event he’s never seen… What a tribute ! And he’s actually spreading his eyes of this unique event to the whole world.
The images of the 15th anniversary rock and make the first page of every French news, on paper and on TV, proud to promote this famous windsurf destination.
Défi Wind already was a legendary event. For fifteen years now the event make noise into the whole world of Windsurfing and extreme sports. The biggest Windsurfing stars at least already came once and windsurfers from all around the world secretly (or not) hope one day to make a start in this competition for 40 kilometers of Sea Marathon. 1200 participants did get their identification lycra this year but only 862 will manage to finish at least one course of this epic Défi as the sailing conditions were so extreme. A real Défi for everyone, riders and safety crew, for a global and magistracy success. What we get back from this windsurfing reunion is this sharing moment with intense emotion between members of the same tribe, who meet once per year in Gruissan for the love of their passion. 34 different nationalities, défieurs from 13 to 72 years old, photographers, fans, professionals, watchers, sea-lovers and tourists lived this wind meeting together during a week-end and spread talks about the Défi Wind to the whole planet through social networks. Images from air are just incredible and push Gruissan and its Tramontana as a central windsurfing place worldwide.
Philippe Bru and his team simply wrote a new page in the History of Windsurfing!
A beautiful last race launched on Sunday May 17th at noon to celebrate the end of the Défi Wind 2015.
We had already 4 races (including one discard) for the ranking but in Gruissan we don’t care and we always want to go further. We just want to take the best out of it finally, as every one of us. The wind has been really strong from the beginning of the event. Between 30 and 40 knots all over the course during every race. In a way the riders began to be used to it now ! The challenge was very hard during this 15th Défi. Physically, and mentally too. Every défieur went beyond his proper limits and some of them even got injured. Sunday, last day of the event, and it seems that Mrs Tramontana needed a bit of rest. The race committee jumped on the occasion to send the most popular windsurfing race of the event. 15th Anniversary => 5 races ;-)
The Tramontana was still blowing up to 30 knots with some stronger gusts, and this last day would be a new – and the last one – real challenge for the riders. But one more time, some defieurs will give up even if the conditions are less extreme. All participants have been under high pressure during this competition and the effort becomes harder and harder with this never-stopping wind. Some of them confy us that they didn’t succeed to finish any of the 5 races of the Défi. It was a wise decision, as the strong wind and sloppy water made it really hard to control and they finally decided not to brave the stormy elements. Others, maybe more used to strong winds, made an attempt and they will be not less than 767 participants to go through the finish line. A hellish Marathon of the Seas. Among them, our international champions, loyal and happy to be there (again) are amazed by the power of the event and never stopped saying "That's the craziest Windsurf event I've never seen in the World". But on the ranking, they do not appear on top. And this is when the pro-am dimension of the Défi comes to an end. The winner of this incredible long distance race is the young French Pierre Mortefon, promising talent who race on the slalom world tour for some years already and never loose any occasion to shine on national podiums. He already won one race in 2010. With strong wind too. But one race only. This year he was at the right place for every start, every mark, with a brilliant speed and an impressive concentration. Winning at home. On this water that learned you how to enjoy it when you were young. Under the addictive eyes of all the family who came to celebrate the exploit. And even more, in the women’s fleet the winner of the event is not less than his sister, Marion Mortefon. What a beautiful situation. Finishing 69th out of 1200 people, she represents so much for the never give up’ness of all women. Used to international competitions, Marion was on stand bye to end up her studies abroad. But the Défi is not a normal race, and she knows the place like she was born there. Even more, she loves strong winds. An emotive illustration of the Défi Wind way of life, where the youth is taking power over the ancient to push the sport beyond its limits. An impressive not-to-miss show on La plage des Chalets in Gruissan. Stay tuned and see you next year from May 5th to 8th // 2016 with 1500 entrants ?!