A Saint Barth native and French windsurfing champion, Antoine Questel (FRA99) won his first senior title in St. Malo, France, eleven years after he won his first junior championship title in the same spot. On November 6th 2012 Questel won the French slalom championship, sailing into first place ahead of competitors Julien Quentel from St. Martin and Frenchman Pierre Mortefon. The championship comprised two events, one last April in Loctudy, France, where Questel was the winner, giving him an advantage going into the St. Malo event (a third leg planned for September was cancelled due to lack of wind). Two years ago he finished the slalom championships in second place.
Finally winning first place, Questel noted, “The French title is in my pocket, and what joy to stand on the highest step of the podium. I am extremely happy. Several years ago I envisioned being on the podium at the end of the season, but for the past three years I have been aiming to win the title. I have realized my goal.
“This has been a very good season, I started strong and finished strong even if I was a little weaker along the way,” adds Questel, whose sponsors include Starboard, Loftsails, The Collectivity of St. Barth, Sooruz, Eden Rock Hotel, and the St. Barth Yacht Club.
Questel finished the season 14th overall for the PWA World Windsurfing Tour. His titles also include two French vice championships in Formula Windsurfing. He will spend some time in St. Barth this winter training for next season’s racing, along with Mortefon, who also trained with him under the tropical sun last year. The next event on their calendar is the St. Barth Fun Cup, February 1st – 2nd 2013.
Ellen Lampert-Gréaux lives in Saint Barthélemy. She is editor-in-chief of Harbour Magazine and a longtime contributor to All At Sea.