Featured Rider: Jean-Robert Wilhelmy

What is your history with the AWT?
I met Sam Bittner in the OBX about 5 years ago for one of the first editiona of obx-wind. We had tons of fun and it was a great success with many participants in all the different activities. I am following all the events online now and hope to be able to join future events especially the one in Punta San Carlos.

What are you excited for in the 2017 IWT?
Super happy that the IWT is joining in to the obx-wind event in 2017 its going to be the biggest windsurfing event of the year with over 100 racers from the USA and CANADA. All the clinics are full and we have a huge raffle and tons of Demos.

Who are your sponsors?
My main sponsor is MAKANI Fins since I am the co-founder 😉 of the company! I now also ride AVANTI sails for 2017.

Who are your inspirations?
Since we started MAKANI I had the chance to ride with the best riders in North America. Tyson Poor and Wyatt Miller helped me bring my sailing to another level and their dedication to the sport is amazing. I now get to ride also with Philip Soltisyak also and its great to see him shine in the PWA. You need a lot of dedication to be a pro-windsurfer these days.

What is your favorite spot to windsurf?
I don’t really have a favorite spot since what I prefer to do is to discover new ones. Each single spot has their secrets and my goal is to find them every time I sail. Slalom or wave I love all the aspects of the sport.

What is your favorite travel trick when traveling with windsurf gear?
My favorite trick is to bring only my wetsuit and harness in a carry on and find a place where they rent good gear like Pro Windsurf La Ventana. Its so easy to get there now with all the flight offerings to Los Cabos. The rental gear is top of the line and conditions are super fun. So the trick is to travel light!

What has been your top windsurfing moment?
Day of the giant in Kanaha on a big wave day … I sailed along humpback whales, giant turtles and Antoine Albeau!!

Tell us about your favorite AWT trip.
Well the second OBX-WIND I had so much fun with the pro crew sailing in Hatteras in less then 10 c … Had to use all my enthusiasm to convince them to go out and windsurf!! haha

Tell us about your first memory windsurfing.
I remember using my sisters gear when I was 12 or 13 years old and used this big heavy triangle sail with the 3 meter boom over my head … did a few tacks and I was hooked. The year after I took all my savings and bought my first windsurf board.

Who do you wish you were windsurfing with right now?
I am windsurfing in hatteras now with all my friends and Makani fins riders at the obx-wind event so I can’t wish for more.

11. What do you hope to accomplish with your windsurfing this year?
I hope to be able produce amazing carbon weed race fins. We started this project and have 8 prototypes so we are very close. First production is scheduled in June and we are testing now the first prototypes! So exciting!!!

12. Tell us about a comical or extreme rescue you’ve experienced.
I was sailing on the St-Lawrence and surfing some nice swells and my back foot slipped out of the straps and I ended face to face with my carbon boom. Broke my nose and had to drink so much blood I felt like throwing up. Once back to the beach I didn’t feel much pain but with all the blood all over the suit and myself all my sailing friends thought I was about to die !!! Had to go through surgery to put it straight again.

13. What is your favorite post session meal?
Simply bananas with lots of water.

14. What is on your pre-competition/session playlist?
I dont do much competing but do like to listen to the Chemical Brothers or Trance music before windsurfing.

15. What is your favorite non-windsurfing AWT memory?
Probably the first trip I made to Punta San Carlos and hitting my first waves with Tyson Poor yelling behind me when to go and when to hit the lip!! So much fun and so addictive to ride waves over there.

16. What is your sail/board combo?
My favorite combo in my local spots is my slalom gear since I can take it out so often. This year I have the JP 71 – Avanti 7.7 Machine-5 – Makani weed carbon proto 38 or Kaulia 38 cm

17. Where did you learn to windsurf?
I learned to windsurf in a big lake called Lac-St-Jean in Canada.

18. How long have you been windsurfing?
I learned at 12 years old but had to stop many years due to university and family life. Back at it since 2005.

19. What do you do when you are not windsurfing?
I have 2 businesses to run and 3 kids so fills up to agenda .. winter time I enjoy snowboarding and skiing!

20. What’s you’re favorite windsurfer joke?
texting friends at 5 am .. Its windy let’s go 😉 .. 15 min. later nah its not !

Previous AWT Events:
Planned 2017 IWT Events: Obx-wind.com
Home Spot: Quebec city
Gear: Jp 71 slalom, Starboard flare 93 & Kode 77, AVANTI 7.7 machine m-5, FENIX 4.8 & 4.0 – MAKANI FINS (many)