Pierre-Louis Costes: dropping into his second Annaëlle Challenge title | Photo: Thomas Deregnieaux/Qaptur

Pierre-Louis Costes has conquered the 2021 Annaëlle Challenge in France.

The prestigious invitational bodyboarding competition made a fresh comeback off the coast of Lampaul-Ploudalmézeau in Brittany.

The last time the event got underway was in 2015, with Costes coming out on top and raising the coveted trophy.

In the final held in challenging conditions, the two-time world champion bodyboarder beat Yann Salaün, Lionel Medina, and Jeremy Arnoux.

Salaün is a three-time French national champion (2006, 2015, 2019) and European bodyboarding champion (2008).

Lionel Medina is a vice junior world champion (2019), and Jérémy Arnoux is a two-time event winner and European champion.

But Yann Salaün didn't make life easy for PLC.

The local rider put his experience and knowledge of the French slab on the line and nearly stole the show.

"Annaëlle is one of the best reef waves in France, if not the best," expressed Pierre-Louis Costes.

"It's an intense wave and a little dangerous too, but it matches what bodyboarders are looking for. Well done, everyone, for making this competition a reality. You can all be proud of yourselves."

"Thank you, Brittany. Your passion for the ocean and bodyboarding is admirable."

Annaëlle: probably the heaviest wave in France | Photo: Thomas Deregnieaux/Qaptur

An Intense Slab

Annaëlle is not everyone's business.

The level of commitment required to tackle it is hardly even imaginable, especially during these days when the liquid beast reaches four meters in height.

Annaëlle was unveiled to the world at the turn of the 2000s by Laurent Jégoudez but remained a well-kept secret watched over by the handful of locals.

David Lefèvre, one of the first to ride the French slab, was also one of the 16 athletes to compete at the seventh edition of the Annaëlle Challenge.

Located north of the island of Roservo, Annaëlle is of difficult access.

The organization led by Gwen Renambot requires around 50 volunteers to run the competition.

They are responsible for transporting the necessary equipment and setting up the scaffolding using Zodiac boats and tougher dinghies.

The legendary offshore Brittany wave breaks over a rocky slab, meaning that several riders opt for wearing helmets.

Five bodyboarders from Finistère entered the 2021 Annaëlle Challenge: Morgan Le Quellec, Julien Le Séhan, David Lefèvre, Irwin Cloarec, and Yann Salaün.

2021 Annaëlle Challenge | Final

1. Pierre-Louis Costes (FRA) 15.73
2. Yann Salaün (FRA) 14.80
3. Lionel Medina (CNY) 12.70
4. Jeremy Arnoux (FRA) 12.66

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