The Défi has been on my bucket list of events for a while. Ever since the legendary high wind events of 2015 and 2016 I always thought it looked fun and a nice sort of challenge. In 2017 I finally made it to Gruissan Plage in the South of France, but unfortunately there was no wind, so this year was my first real taste of Le Défi, and what a taste it was!
I arrived late the night before and as RRD had a stand booked, the first priority was to get all the gear onto the beach whilst we still had a chance. The following morning there would be 1300 people swarming around so access would be difficult. The guys that had made it there early said it had been quite light that day, only 25-30 knots! The event site is an amazing setup. A large stage sits in the middle, with exhibition stands to the right and a large party/drinks/food tent to the left. Then as you walk towards the beach you pass more exhibition tents and restaurants before finally on the beach there is a ring of yet more exhibition tents. For those that went to NWF at Hayling, imagine that times 2 or 3. This event is not only about racing!