Interview with ANTOINE ALBEAU FRA192
What made you sign with JP Australia ?
“It was a difficult decision for me to take but I was watching the JP team on the tour and I could see that the team riders had always a lot of support from JP, I also needed to have a solid support for several years, It is much better to concentrate on competitions when you know that you will be with the same team for 3 years.”
I saw the team spirit between the JP riders like Micah Buzianis, Robby Swift, Kauli Seadi, Ricardo Campello and Jason and I was always impressed how they helped each other on the beach and how they train together. Micah, Robby and Jason also workout together in the gym, ride their bikes and hang out together. It is great to be part of a team like that especially when you are on the tour. So I really look forward to that.
Over the years I have seen the impact that the JP brand has had on not only the PWA tour but the windsurfing market in general, and not just in wave sailing either. I know that JP has been on the PWA Management Board for several years and actively participate in the development of our sport which is really important. They were very involved in the introduction of Freestyle on the World Tour – and I was happy to win the Freestyle World title in 2001. And then later JP were strong supporters of the Super-X discipline and I won that title too in 2006. Now JP are looking to develop Slalom racing even further (having pushed to bring back slalom to the World Tour in 2005) and I am happy to be involved with this too. Because we race on production boards everyone now has a chance to be at the top and Micah and Robby have certainly shown how good JP boards can be. I have been lucky enough to win the title 3 times in a row (06, 07 and 08) and I’m happy to be able to compete now on JP boards.
JP has really come a long way from when they were just considered as boards for wave riders and freestylers! Now there are boards in the range that are good for all levels and offer a high quality product to people who want the best.
As I said above as an athlete I also have to think medium to long term. I know the management team behind JP quite well and I am convinced that we will have a great long term future together.
What about your involvement in the development of boards?
I am really happy to be totally back on the development on the slalom and super sport boards, I will be working with Werner the JP shaper, Micah and Robby. I want to help to make event faster boards but also important to make those boards very easy to ride. In fact I will go to
Did you test the Generation V JP Slalom boards already which just came out and which you will be racing on in 2009
“I obviously tried the new generation 5 boards carefully and was very impressed with them. With those new JP boards I am all set for 2009 and I can’t wait for the season to beginn !”
You are now on the same team with Micah and will even work with him on the new boards. At the same time he is one of your main competitors on the Slalom tour. Isn’t that difficult? How does that work?
“Micah and myself have been competitors and friends for a long time. Whenever I am on
We already have been working together on the development of the NeilPryde Slalom sails and I think the success of them show how well this has worked. On the water we are competitors and will certainly both give it our best and try to win.”
Bjorn has now moved to Starboard and Severne how do you see that?
“It was pretty clear that the boards Bjorn used before did not work to well. Now with his new boards he is certainly a tough competitor for all of us again. We dont know much about Severne racing sails but I am sure Bjorn will push them hard. So overall it will be an interesting battle between us. But don’t forget that there are a lot of other talented guys around who are very fast as well like Kevin Pritchard, Ross Williams, Finian Maynard and the Moussilmani brothers, and obviously Micah and Robby Swift to name just a few. So it will not just be a battle between Bjorn and myself. “
What about Speed will you still continue to go for that?
First of all JP will bring a full collection of speed boards which I developed for them. So I will obviously go for the production speed record but I also would like to be the first windsurfer over 50knots and I think that it should be possible to break the 100km/h barrier on a windsurf board.
Any other plans?
“Yes, together with JP I want to give something back to this wonderful sport which gave me so much. We want to promote Slalom and long distance racing on a fun level. I will do quite a few promotions and will attend several long distance races. This is already happening quite successfully in
And I want to do something with kids to get more Youngsters into the sport. We don’t have any detailed plans for that yet. But JP is already very active with a Young Gun Team and various Young Gun camps so maybe I will attend one of those or we will do a special Young Gun Slalom Camp somewhere.”