VIDEO: Riding the wind

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The largest gathering of boardsailors in the world congregates each May off Gruissan, France, for an event that has to be seen to be believed.

The 13th edition of Défi Wind drew 805 professional and amateur boardsailors from 31 countries to push the laws of physics in 30-knot winds and 40-knot gusts off the south of France.

Click play to watch.

The average wind speed off this town on the Mediterranean: 23 knots. The area is known for the Tramontane, a strong, cold, dry wind from the north.

Since its 2001 launch, Défi Wind has grown tenfold into a festival with live music, films and parties.

At this year’s event, held May 9-12, French boardsailor Patrice Belbeoch sealed the deal and finished ahead of Italian Andrea Cucchi and fellow Frenchman Sébastien Bonhomme Allaire in the fifth and deciding final race.

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