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Var laser artist Jean-Baptiste Bernas hopes to win his second world title in Australia

Var laser artist Jean-Baptiste Bernas hopes to win his second world title in Australia

At the Étoiles du Sport de Tignes, Jean-Baptiste Bernas was not really on vacation. He continues to train hard, feeding at every turn. After a few days off at Club-Med, the 2022 World Champion at Ilka-7 (formerly Lazer) completed an internship in Portugal before flying to Australia, where the Worlds begin this Friday, January 26. The new world champion will be known on the 31st.

How do you approach these worlds in Australia?

I will do it last in this category and it is important for me to win. Why not hope for a double after the 2022 title? Last year I had a bit of an injury and finished 4th.e. But there, I found my full potential.

Seven months before the Games, isn't this an important milestone?

This is one of the benchmark tests. We know that we are being watched by the Sailing Federation's selection committee, which at the end of the season selects the athletes selected for the Olympic Games. There are still countries that could qualify, and all have sharp teeth.

It allows us to assess ourselves one last time before we begin our work cycle for the Games. I feel like I'm already in the final stages.

At 36 and after four Olympics, what do you still want to improve on?

Today, I don't think I have any major weaknesses and I want to improve on my strong points. And especially this concept of departure. If we start at the first, we can clearly see that there is still a good chance of staying there. It's a never-ending job. I like to go faster and faster, constantly shaking up the codes and reworking some points, for example by trying new routes, sailing, other positions. What didn't work in 20 years works today. I try not to shake my game because I'm good. But I'm not always perfect. The proof is that I don't win every event. There are still things to explore.

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We feel very confident…

I'm not nervous. Of course there will be pressure, but it's good pressure because I'm ready. I changed coaches a year and a half ago and everything is going well, we have set up a course of action and he guarantees it. When I'm feeling a little down or giving up on myself, he gives me a little boost (laughs). Like my physical trainer, Oliver Pauli, who follows me around every day. At 36, there are no limits to my acting. And I feel that I have given myself all the means to achieve my dream.

After Australia, how are you prepared?

We are going to camp in Marseille and understand this body of water because every body of water is different when traveling. I have to go there with my eyes closed, so we're going to spend some time there. I visited Marseille a year ago. It's not a city that excites me the most, but I want to put all the odds on my side. The goal is not to lose freshness, so find a happy medium.

Do you trade with other browsers?

I am in an international group with 2020 German World Champion Philipp Bull, Norwegian Herman Tomasgaard (bronze in Tokyo) and Finn Karle Tapper. We have been preparing for the test every winter for three years. Every day gives me a change.

Which enemies in games can you fear?

There are many potential competitors. Seven can win, twelve can make a podium, so it's pretty open. My personal traps are the only traps. I don't think about someone surpassing me, but how am I going to control the urge, the pressure. I don't mind, but if there is one risk, it's spending too much time in Marseille, too much training and getting tired of it all. I'm at the end of my cycle and the laser is starting to get to me, but the game has to be won at all, it's a daily battle. I went all out on these games and I have no regrets at the end.

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Do you have plans for your later life?

I'm involved in the America's Cup Orient Express (French boat). It is my childhood dream to bring home this trophy, but there is still work to be done. In 2024, I'm going to spend some time with them because I want to be part of the team if they can find the budget for the next version. I'm already training on a simulator, getting out of my comfort zone and preparing for what's next. If all the planets align, there may be another Olympic program, but it is too early.