Photo credit (banner): Bertrand Jacquot / SNCF

Louis Giard

Meet Breton windsurfer Louis Giard, European RS:X windsurfing champion and—since summer 2018—a member of the communications team at our regional office in Rennes.

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Louis Giard, chargé de communication externe à la direction régionale PACA

His career

“If you live in the mountains, you naturally learn to ski. I grew up in Trinité-sur-Mer, on the southern coast of Brittany, so sailing was inevitable,” says Louis Giard. From his earliest childhood, he learned basic navigation, sailing an Optimist and taking long walks with his family around the port in Trinité-sur-Mer. At age 11, he committed to windsurfing. “I used to watch my older brother Paul. Seeing him pack his funboard gear made me want to surf too,” Louis recalls.

From the yacht club to the French national team

At Brittany’s nearby Carnac Yacht Club, his talent blossomed. Four years after he began windsurfing, Louis won the bronze medal at France’s Espoirs youth championships and in 2009 he won a medal at the under-17 world championships. Through hard work and sacrifice, he became the RS:X youth world champion, and his impressive track record earned him a place on the French national team in 2013, when he was just 20 years old.

Olympic dreams

Even as he studied at the Brest Business School, Louis pursued his windsurfing career with a single goal in mind: competing in the Olympics. But his ambitions hit a roadblock in 2016, when he failed to qualify for the Rio Games. Louis is clear-eyed about the experience: “Other athletes outperformed me. I probably wasn’t mature enough yet.”

Eyes on Tokyo

Since then, he has worked toward the Tokyo Games, building the perfect windsurfing physique with long runs and bicycle rides. In 2017 he won the European Championships and two rounds in the World Cup series, and in summer 2018, Louis joined our Athletes programme. SNCF is ‘a very “athletic” company at heart, with daily challenges to overcome and strong values’, says Louis, a member of the corporate communications team in our office in Rennes.

The new balance between work and training seems to suit him perfectly. At age 25, he knows that competing in the Olympics is a goal he can reach, and he doesn’t beat about the bush: “Winning an Olympic medal—and if possible the gold—would be the ultimate victory.”

World Championships

  • 3rd place, 2018, Aarhus, Denmark
  • 7th place, 2017, Enoshima, Japan
  • 5th place, 2016, Eilat, Israel
  • 8th place, 2015, Al Mussanah, Oman
  • 9th place, 2014, Santander, Spain
  • World champion, under-21s RS:X, 2013
  • 2nd place, 2011 junior world championships

World Cup

  • 3rd place, Marseille round, 2019 RS:X World Cup
  • Winner, Hyères round, 2017 RS:X World Cup
  • 2nd place, Santander (Spain) round, 2017 RS:X World Cup
  • Winner, Abu Dhabi (UAE) round, 2015 RS:X World Cup

European Championships

  • European RS:X champion, 2017, Marseille (France)
  • 3rd place, 2015, Sicily (Italy)
  • 8th place, 2013, Brest (France)

French Championships

  • Winner, French national RS:X championships, 2014
  • 2nd place, French national RS:X championships, 2017, 2013, 2012 and 2011
  • Winner, France Espoirs BIC 293D championships, 2009