How was your performance in 2018? What were your strong and weak points?
In general I am satisfied with our performance in 2018. We are still working on making the boat better. At the end of the season our efforts paid off as the boat became very competitive.
Do you have any rituals just before the race?
Checking out the boat, being sure to double check everything. Afterwards I take a step back, relax, and concentrate on the coming race.
What are your goals for the 2019 season?
Have fun and continue to do that which I have always dreamt about. For sure finish the season on the podium in the HRL Championship.
Hydroplane racing is often synonymous with speed and adrenaline, but it is also an extremely risky high precision sport. Yannick Léger has always known that, but his driving has changed since the 2016 season, when his Supernova flew off. “It makes you reevaluate things, he says. As a driver, you have to enjoy the rush of speeding; be aggressive, yet patient. I try to listen to and respect my boat.”
2018 will mark the ninth season of the father of two young boys. He knows that one small mistake can be costly and therefore insists that the checklist be looked over a few times before the start of each race. “Before I get in my boat, I make sure that everything is perfect, he explains. I always hug each of my teammates, but most importantly my children and my wife. She always straps me in and then I give her my cap, which she wears over hers. It is our ritual to make sure that I always come back safe.”
Beyond the risk, there is pure fun and a true love of the sport. The Salaberry-de-Valleyfield native, who was before anything else a spectator of the Régates de Valleyfield, has seen his passion evolve over the years. Now, being a hydroplane driver is a lifestyle, a dream come true. From the sleepless nights fixing the boat, the hours working out at the gym and studying the competition to the precious memories made with his family, Yannick is in for the long haul: “I will always be around the boat racing environment. Even if I stop driving at some point, I will find other ways to get involved. In fact, if I was to completely stop, I’m not sure what I would do”, he says, laughingly.