The Carbon Art team are now well and truly installed in Gruissan, France where the Defi Wind (www.defiwind.com) is being held. The Defi as it’s called by the locals is the largest windsurfing event in the world and has attracted 900 people this year. Next year they’re planning on 1000! As a point of comparison Robby Naish spoke at the opening and commented that the biggest event he been to before this was in 1976 in the Bahamas. 430 entrants!!
James and Vanessa turned up on Saturday and Paul and Brigid followed closely behind on Monday morning. The Defi is incredibly well organised – 100 people on the water in support and a total of around 250 people doing ‘stuff’ to get everything ready. Even three days ahead there were people hustling and bustling everywhere and the super friendly crew there hooked us up with a desk and gave us a tour of the site. On Tuesday Team Carbon Art set up the sexy wooden stand they’ve given us, rolled out the slalom range and a bunch of pictures of beautiful Taranaki in New Zealand.
Tuesday and Wednesday night saw the crew heading out to sample some local fare and bars. Beautiful food and some interesting appertifs as they call the kick-off drinks in France. Suffice to say it wasn’t an early night and celebrating James’ 40th birthday was never going to lead to an early night for us all.
Thursday was the briefing and wandering around meeting others. More and more people know Carbon Art now and we’ve been doing a roaring trade in demos for people interested in seeing what a New Carbon Art could do for their performance. Even with some pretty marginal winds there have been some good smiles coming in from the water. Everyone is waiting now for the Tramontaine, France’s answer to the Freemantle Doctor. It’s a roaring wind that funnels down from the Pyrenees and rockets out to sea at 30-40 knots. Without it the race won’t start so all fingers and toes are crossed. In the meantime we’re talking to all the locals, soaking up some rays and sharing stories of past events around the globe. The people here are fantastic. This is going to be a great tour for the Carbon Art team!!