Well it seems that some of the rumours we heard are looking pretty real as they have now been semi-confirmed from many other web sources.
Its looking very likely that Antoine will be joining JP as we predicted. It wont be confirmed for a couple more months due to contract restraints, but expect the current World Champ to be on new boards in 2009.
As to the rest of the JP team? Well rumours are flying around that there will be some major changes in the whole NeilPryde/JP team. Both are strongly linked so whether all the changes are to make way for Antoine is unknown but there is quite a list of supposedly dropped riders. Levi, Alex Mussolinni and Finian are all said to have gone from NP. Then there is Ricardo, Normen Gunzlein and Baptiste said to have gone from JP and NP…. Obviously its still early days and we wouldn\’t be surprised to see a few of these guys beg their way back on to the teams, especially Ricardo who has to be worth a lot to JP.
North sails have apparently got rid of the whole F2 side of their team, with Peter Volwater, Patrik Diethelm and Karin Jaggi all moving on. With Dunkerbeck gone as well, its a drastic shrinking of the team, equal to NeilPrydes.
So what will happen next? Well RRD have already grabbed a fair share of the top guys in the last 12 months, so maybe they will have a few more before the start of 2009.
We also heard that Exocet have snapped up Dany Bruch and together with Gonzo (signed in the summer), they now have an impressive world cup team and look to be stepping up.
For all the Maui based guys, expect to see a few turn up next year with Goya Sails. For many, if there is no money to be had they would rather be riding for a friend, and Goya is a much loved man out there. Not sure they have the budget for him, but if Levi cant sort something out with NP my guess would definitely be Goya sails, espeically with the strong link to Quatro.
Anyway none of this will be fully out in the open until January 2009 so until then they will just be rumours. Interesting stuff though!
Main source: beachtelegraph.com
Photo Credit: jc/pwa