It’s Tuesday morning, day one of competition at the Iquique Para Todos 2015 ISA World Bodyboard Championship. 

All 14 nations have gathered at Punta 1 for the 8am call.  Every one of the competitors seems focused and ready to hit the water.  Everyone – riders, event staff, and spectators alike – seem anxious to get the competition started. 

Unfortunately, mother nature is not ready to give up the goods.  The pending swell has not filled in yet and the waves are not quite contestable.  The contest is put on hold with the next call at 10am.

French team at the parade. Photo: Sean Evans.

During the two hour wait, I sat down on the boardwalk in front of Punta 1 with two-time World Champion, and ISA Gold Medalist, Amaury Lavernhe.  With his morning cup of coffee in hand, Moz and I revisit a previous conversation from a few minutes prior before getting into my questions regarding Team France. 

One of the things I truly appreciate about discussions with Amaury is not only is he a very talented and physically fit world champion, but a very intelligent conversationalist as well.  So, after a couple of minutes wrapping up our thoughts regarding the history of bodyboarding we get into the more pertinent questions.

My first question for Moz is about his Gold Medal win in the Dropknee division at last year’s WBC, and what his plans are for this year.  He proceeds to explain that he will not be competing in DK this year. 

The French team pours their home sand. Photo: Jimenez.

Martin Mouradian will be in DK.  He spent six months recovering from injury, and really deserves to be here,” he said.

 With that situation explained, Amaury talks about competing in the Open Men’s division this year, stating, “I just want to do my best.”  He elaborates a bit more, talking about how sometimes he has been able to win an event but is not happy with his overall performance.  “I just want to give my best performance.” 

Amaury expands upon his comments, explaining that he finished second in the Open Men’s division last year to claim the Silver Medal and would love to win the Men’s Gold Medal this year. Still, he concludes his thoughts on the matter by reminding me, “The French title is the main goal.”  We discuss competing for a few moments, with Moz emphasizing, “Bodyboarding is such an unpredictable sport.  Anyone can win in any given heat, at any given contest.”

My next question is about the addition of 2011 World Champion and 2011 ISA Gold Medalist Pierre-Louis Costes.  “Yes, Pierre is here this year, which is good for the team.”  Almost as if on cue, PLC sits down on the boardwalk to join us.  I ask about Team France’s time in Iquique, Chile.  Out of all the delegations represented here, the French seem to be the most organized and structured.  They train together, they eat together.  Moz expands on that, stating, “We’re trying to have a good routine.  We’re all good friends and there’s a good vibe.  The team is official, but not too strict. Every day, we have an end-of-day meeting at 6pm.  Yesterday’s meeting, I almost cried.  I had chicken skin.”

Pierre-Louis Costes will represent France. Photo: Jimenez

As Moz takes his leave from our conversation to tend to team matters, I turn to Pierre with my final question.  I ask him about his Gold Medal in the Open Men’s division during the 2011 WBC in the Canary Islands, and how it feels to return to the French National Team.  “It feels good to be back.  It’s a different competition, different than the world tour.  It’s more about the team.  My main focus is to win a title with the team.” 

This seems to be the main focus and ultimate mission for Team France.  The French are all eyes on the prize.  They want the Team Championship, and they’ve assembled a team that could very well accomplish that goal.

A Lay Day was called at 10am, with the field of competitors now on call for 8am tomorrow (Wednesday, 8 December) here in Iquique.  Stay tuned to for all of the latest news and continuing coverage.

See also:

In the Action: Catching up with team Australia

In the Action: Chile look to defend their title