The incredible Adventure of Ludovic Teulade at 2018 Watermana !

Articles - 18-01-2019
Watermana 2018, Ludovic Teulade, Teulade Brothers, Huahine, waterman, watermana 2018, Ludo teulade, paddle, prone, prone paddle-board, SUP, stand-up paddle, natation, Polynésie, mer, oxbow, oxbow sup, maison de surf, surf trip

Two months ago, our ambassador Ludovic Teulade was awarded a “wildcard” for 2018 Watermana (see our article on his selection for more information), which took place from November 25 to 30.

 

Now that he’s back home, we took the opportunity to ask him some questions!

 

Back from his incredible stay on the island of Huahine, French Polynesia, with the biggest watermen on the planet!

 

 

 

 

What was your state of mind before the competition ?

 

“Before the start of Watermana, I had the opportunity to spend almost 3 weeks in Polynesia on the island of Taha’a (just across from Huahine where the competition was held). I was able to get in some training, get used to the heat and the humidity, and to become familiar with the body of water on which I was going to paddle on SUP and Prone as well as swim.

So, I felt confident and fit on a personal level.

Although the schedule was released two weeks before, there was still uncertainty about how the days were going to go… ”

 

 

Tell us about the competition location ?

 

“The whole week of competition was held on the island of Huahine. Our accommodation was located in the main town of Fare in the North East of the island, close to two channels. The island is amazing because it really is a wild landscape with two mountains.

The weather was really nice, but the heat was quite stifling…

 

As for the water, we paddled mainly in the lagoon (about 1 km wide), but there were many reef formations to avoid! We also had the chance to surf some beautiful waves! The wind got up sometimes in the right direction, especially during the 45km SUP Race, which had some really nice downwind parts.”

 

 

 

 

 

How did you train for an event like the Watermana ?

 

“I paddle a lot during the year and a lot of long distance races; I’m experienced in very long distances (45 km in NYC in 2017), so the SUP event didn’t scare me too much. I swam and paddled in Prone almost every day during the last few weeks. I’m not a Prone specialist, so I had to get used to that very particular body position, especially for long distances. The swimming and the surfing were great practice, so the sensations came quickly and I really loved it!”

 

 

Can you tell us how the week unfolded ?

 

Watermana didn’t have a typical day, we didn’t really know what to expect the morning before leaving. There was usually a big event of some kind (30km of prone, 10km of swimming and 45km of SUP) plus a smaller surprise event (rescue, underwater rock runnign, strength training, Va’a, Big SUP and many others).

 

In any case, the days were long, lasting from about 7:30 to 17:00 ! The most tiring thing was being out all week in the hot weather, to put your body through so much and not have a rest period. As far as I was concerned, I was exhausted by the end of the first day!”

 

 

 

 

How did you feel about the events ?

 

“Each event was unique and special, the Prone was scaring me the most … Fortunately for me, the 30 km prone race was on the first day, so I gave it my all and managed to take 3rd place. I was a little surprised, but it really motivated me to give my everything for the upcoming events, because I knew that I could have a good overall ranking!

 

Other than that, honestly all the events were super hard. The plan was to try and and not go too fast because over long distances it’s easy to wear yourself out. You have to be in control both mentally and physically, because it’s not easy to go several hours of paddling under these conditions. I still managed to keep a fast pace on the various races and I know that this is due to my daily training throughout the year.

 

I really had to hold on during this week and surpass myself! In the end I took 2nd place overall after finishing 2nd in SUP, 3rd in combo and prone and 4th in swimming. Obviously, the result doesn’t matter as much as being able to participate in such an amazing event, to be able to share these moments with other athletes, and to make yourself proud. The whole, long week changed my views on SUP competitions!”

 

 

 

 

 

And more generally, how did the experience make you feel?

 

“Watermana is a week of competition but also a shared experience for lovers of water sports and the world of watermen. We were all together in the same house, and it really allowed us to get to know each other outside of the events on the water. Everyone was very happy to share their experiences and it was nice to meet people from different worlds: surf lifesaving, swimming, SUP, prone, Va’a, surfing …

 

On the island, the locals were super friendly as always in Polynesia! The first day, we gave classes on the different Watermana activities to the town’s college students: it was great! They were super motivated and it was the first time they received such an outdoor instruction! I was at the command of Big SUP, I had a team of 13-14 year old girls, from the sports section of va’a and they paddled hard !”

 

 

 

 

What was your favourite memory of from the trip ?

 

“There are too many good memories to pick only one, the moments with new friends during the events, the surf sessions, and just the time spent outside on the island…

But I do have a little story! After the last event and the 45 km SUP race, we decided to go get a great burger and a Hinano, to recharge our batteries after 4 and half hours of racing in the Tahitian heat! When we got there, there was a little local child wearing an Oxbow t-shirt, with my picture on it! It was the first time that had happened to me, and to see that, at the other end of the world, it was so wonderful! We obviously took a photo and everyone shared a great laugh!”

 

 

 

 

And after Watermana ?

 

“Right after Watermana, I went on to the last stage of the World Cup at Nautic, Paris. I gave a good performance. It was an ideal way to complete 2018!

I won an invitation for 2019, with my second place overall, so I’ll be at Watermana again to end 2019! I think I’ll be able to go even better prepared and have an even better experience.

 

The schedule for 2019 is unfolding little by little and looks to be fully loaded already: a lot of SUP racing, Waterman races in France and two big projects with my brother ! Continuing with our SUP school for summer 2019, and a final project we’re working on which promises to be great !

 

This project will be more “extreme” than what we’ve been able to do up until today, and promises to be a real challenge for us! But for now, we can’t reveal more, all I can say is that there may be a few bumps along the way! See you soon!”

 

 

 

You can follow the Teulade Brothers’ adventures on their pages Instagram and Facebook !

 

// Pictures crédits Watermana //

 

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