Nicolas Huguet is an Olympic sailing coach, based in Marseille in France – The city of Mistral Wind! He has been following his windsurfing passion for more than 30 years. Read the interview we did with him below about his life as a windsurfer, and find out why he likes to race on the Phantom Raceboard.
Hi Nicolas! Can you tell us about your windsurfing career?
I did three Olympic campaigns (from 2000 to 2008) on Mistral One Design and then Neil Pryde RS:X.
My best results on Olympic windsurfing board were a bronze medal in 2004 world championship and a bronze in 2006 European championship.
I won as well the Mediterranean games in 2005 and got good results on the world tour.
I moved over to race board after that and got 3rd in 2015 Worlds and 2nd in 2017 Worlds.
In 2018, I ended up with a 8th place in the Formula Foil Worlds.
Why do you race board?
I like to windsurf on any equipment! Waveriding, longboarding, speed and now foiling.
I also like to race, play with others and try to get the best out of my tactics and technique. For this, race boarding is fun in any wind and enough challenge to get some adrenalin.
Who is race boarding for?
It’s for everybody! During my last clinic, I had a boy that was 17 years old and a man over 70 years old! You can just adapt your equipment and your pace to get the best out of your windsurfing sessions. Race boarding is nice to explore places, and to race too! And you don’t have to worry about wind, it works great even with a really small breeze! 8 to 15 knots are ideal wind conditions, but you can sail from 0 to over 30 knots with some training and skills!
How many people are race boarding?
You have more than 100 competitors in a world championship, but I guess they are everywhere. You just need to find some groups to sail with on social media.
Spain and France are two countries with a lof of race board sailors.
How can you travel as easy as possible with the race board on the car?
Just put the board on your roof rack – just as you would do with a SUP!
How is the race board feeling while sailing compared to sailing on a shorter windsurfing board?
It’s hard to compare! The feeling to rail upwind with the daggerboard is really nice, you have to try to understand!
Adjustable mast track and daggerboard makes it really versatile in terms of trimming. Just get the daggerboard up and mast track back and off you go full plaining.
The Starboard Phantom has the batwing concept that helps the board getting into early plaining. It also keeps your board at a nice speed downwind.
Tell us about your windsurfing clinics
The French race board association gave me the opportunity to share my experience with race board riders driven by their passion. The place was perfect on a lake (Maubuisson ) to get the best out the new Phantom L. I was impressed about how dedicated they were to enjoy every moment on the water, and their commitment to get better. I was happy to contribute to this clinic, and hope there will be more clinics in the future!
Any funny things you can think of that you want to share with us?
I used to do speed loops with my mistral one design back in the days… Maybe I should try with my Starboard Phantom!? What do you think?