Starboard Welcomes French SUP racer Gaetan Sené to the Team

France’s Stand out racer Gaetan Sené, formally of Mistral, will join the Starboard SUP team in 2012. His first big event will be to represent France and Starboard in late February at the ISA Global in Peru. Gaetan will compete on Starboards 12’6 x 26’5 BOP and the ACE flat-water 14′ x 25 Board. Right after Gaetan, signed with Starboard, he sat down for an interview with Get Up Stand Up Paddle Magazine, (English translation below). We at Starboard would like to welcome Gaetan to the team and wish him great success in the upcoming 2012 season!
Gaétan Séné signs with Starboard (English Translation)
After the arrival of Eric Terran at Bic Sport, it is the turn of one of the top sup racers of the Hexagon, the breton Gaétan Sené, to sign with Starboard. He will therefore leave with his new Starboards for the global ISA stand up paddle event (beach race and long distance) to be held mid February in Peru. Before his departure, we contacted Gaétan to learn a little more about this transfer.
You arrive at Starboard after a year at Mistral, what are the reasons of this transfer?

After a first year 100% in SUP Race, I’ve progressed technically and I wanted to compete on a more “committed” board. The M1 Mistral is a versatile board, but despite a few returns to see it evolve I had little hope of a new form in 2012 (Mistral did manufacture a full carbon specially for Gaétan in Tunisia but he decided to leave the brand for Starboard in the meantime, Editor’s note). Starboard has a wide and diverse range, the brand has a strong presence in most countries, their investments in research and development of new shapes are very important. Similarly, via their international network, travels will be simpler. I hope to finally have the perfect board under my feet.
Also, this summer in Maui, I ran on a Starboard (the Gaétan Mistral had not arrived in time, Editor’s note). I have retained a very good impression and a lot of fun on the water, I also tested a few models in France and the first sensations were good.
The Starboard France team spirit was also a source of additional motivation (team composed with Pascal Pouget, Sebastien Cattelan, Sophie Routaboul, or promising Arthur Arutkin), and some other more personal or confidential reasons have weighted in the balance.
What will be your main goals in 2012?
My first objective is in a few weeks in Peru to represent France the best way possible at the global ISA. Then the French Championship and the BOP (Battle of the paddle) in California are the two deadlines for which I will try to have a specific preparation. A few other races in France and in Europe will be intermediate goals. My goal will mostly be to manage the many events of the season to stay in shape, motivated and financially on top.
You will be leaving soon to Peru for the global ISA, what boards have you planned to take with you, did you have time to test any before your departure?
Unfortunately, I have not had time to test the 12’6 x 26’5 BOP for the moment, I should in a few days though. ” However, for the past two weeks, I trained with a Flat-water 14′ x 25 Board that I have tested for my first time out at sea on a small downwind with perfect and well oriented breeze. I am conquered, despite a bit unstable board under these conditions of sea. I had a lot of fun and I noted a huge capacity to take the bumps (go surfing on a chop or swell, Editor’s note) . I liked also directing the board to seek the best trains of swell and thus maintaining a lot of speed. A real treat!
What are the differences between your Mistral and your new Board?
Apart from the length, everything is different. The width, the volume and weight are the most important differences on the 12’6 and on the 14′. My new Starboards are more specific, more committed and lighter but adaptation should not be too long in view of my first tests with the 14′x 25.
Naish, Mistral and Starboard today, you have trouble settling down or is it just a contest of circumstances?
For my first year doing Sup Race in 2010, as a partner, you can also add my brother who helped me to make “the anvil”, my first prototype which was a kayak transformed into a SUP. Then there’s the Magic Board shaped by Marc Pelloquet (Hyperbolic) and finally Naish. If I managed to become known and famous, I owe it especially to Marc who was able to shape and lend me an innovative Board in 2010. If I had been able to continue with him, I would have without any hesitation. In 2011, Mistral has helped me to continue progressing with financial assistance and material, providing me with a good versatile board that I allowed me to obtain good results. In 2012, as I explained earlier, Starboard has a significant range, very interesting and performing, and this is what mainly motivated me to change partner.
I do not have trouble settling down, it’s just that Sup race is a very young sport where one should be reactive to the evolution of the shapes, to not be left behind. I think that Starboard has this ability. It is more a contest of circumstance in my opinion, I have for proof Fen for surfski kayaking and Select which have been my two partners for several years.
Will you keep the same paddles in your quiver?
Yes, I continue with Select. The paddles are efficient and there is a range specific for racing that I really appreciate. In addition, they are listening, they innovate and there is no doubt that with the arrival of Eric Terran in the team, it’s going to continue.
Credit Photo : M.Pelloquet

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