D – Defi Wind, Le Defi, France: windsurfing’s premier mass participation racing event

The Defi Wind event, or Le Defi as it’s more commonly known, is held each year at Gruissan Plage, Narbonne, France and has run for 18 years (as of 2019). A mass participation windsurfing race event it’s the biggest in the world of type with epic photos of hundreds of windsurfers tearing along the Occitaine Region’s coastline.

A Le Mans style start, before a 10kn dash and back, is what makes Le Defi unique and it’s draw for large numbers of windsurfers from across the globe is tangible. Relying on the region’s Tramontane wind gusts during particularly blowy years can be savage. Combined with so many other riders on the race course this makes Le Defi a challenge, but a doable one none the less, for any competent windsurfer.

On top of the actual sailing there’s a carnival/festival vibe on the beach with exhibitions, pro rider talks and coaching sessions, plus parties, which makes it one not to miss.

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