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The Heroes of Le Defi 2015

As the news still churns out from this spectacular event we decided to catch up with two heroes of Le Defi, our favourite entrants, the tandem team that have been rocking our facebook page front cover; Regis Bouron and Raf Filippi.

We spoke with Regis to find out more about their event and what it is like to cover a 40km race in 60 knots of wind! Over to Regis…

We crashed into some “Défieurs” because of the time it took to communicate…with strong wind and the helmet I couldn’t hear a word Raf was saying.

BS: Défi Wind 2015 on a tandem, why?

To me, 2015 was the best Défi ever. The wind didn’t stop during the 4 days of competition and at least it was very very strong. For two years Raf Filippi and I decide that we needed to do a real challenge (which is exactly what Défi stands for in French) and that was to compete on a tandem board.

BS: Tell us about the board of choice?

Last year we were looking for a board and after a month of the research we decide to modify Raf’s old Mistral Pacifico. It was quite nice because the board was super easy to use but we were very slow… and we tried it only 5 minutes before the first race of the défi. At this point we realised that it was possible to do the race on a tandem but with any old big board it wouldn’t be a huge challenge. So, this year we arrived with an old racing board, an F2 Lightning and it was much much better. The speed was not so bad but the real problem with the board is that it doesn’t move, even with 60 knots of wind! This actually made it quite easy to control in the strong winds. Obviously we eventually got it going and yeah the speed wasn’t bad, we used our 3.7’s during a race and actually once it was going it was much easier than a normal tandem board to control.

BS: Were there any particular highlights/lowlights about the tandem?

Well the hardest thing (other than putting up with Raf Filippi for 40 km, which was a real challenge) was at the critical moment of the gybe. We crashed into some “Défieurs” because of the time it took to communicate… in fact, the guy behind (which was myself) has to steer the board whilst the guy in front of the board has to check what’s going on but with strong wind and the helmet I couldn’t hear a word Raf was saying. One week before we were able to pull off all the gybes perfectly but in the Défi it was a little bit more hard core.

Also during one race, we did a fantastic start straight into the boat! we crashed hard and I think that Raf (who was in the front of the board) actually pooped in his pants… last year we had the same experience… it wasn’t pleasent.

BS: How did you do in the end?

Firstly, we were just happy to finish all the races but in the end we managed to finish inside the top 300, which is not so bad considering as there were 1200 entrants. If we decide to invest some Euros in a watch we are sure that we can improve our result even further. 

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