Fourth edition of the Morbihan Paddle Trophy – Ouest-France 

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The fourth edition of the Morbihan Paddle Trophy Ouest France will take place on July 1st and 2nd 2017, in the « Golfe du Morbihan », Brittany, and 500 athletes are expected. The first two events were extremely successful, with 200 athletes taking part in the first edition, 280 in the second and 396 in the third.

On Saturday 1st, the « Elite » category will start at 10 am, from Locmariaquer and go up the river Auray to arrive in St Goustan harbour an hour and half later. At 11 am, the departure of the « Grande Marche sur l’eau » (The Great Walk on Water), open to all, will be given from Le Bono. The show will continue after their arrival in the harbour with runs, 200m sprints, SUP trials, yoga sessions on SUP…

On Sunday 2nd, at 11am, the « Elite » category will leave Le Crouesty harbour, paddle up the Auray river while at 11.30, the 300 contestants in the « Raider » category who will leave from Locmariaquer, will follow suit. Once the paddlers reach Fort Espagnol (Crac’h), the departure of the « Jeunes » category (under 15) will be given, thus giving us all a splendid finish that should take place around 1.30 pm for the earliest.

Registrations:

Fees include the participation in the selected races, transport by bus, goodies from our sponsors, not to mention everything connected with the overall organization.

  • « Elite » : Saturday: « Grande Marche sur l’Eau », runs, 200m sprints + Sunday: long distance race (25km) – 40€/person (approx. £35) – (+ 15€ after April 30th)
  • « Elite » + Coupe de France : Saturday; long distance race (14km), runs, 200m sprints + Sunday: long distance race (25km) – 50€/person (approx. £44) – (+ 15€ after April 30th)
  • « Raider » (open to all): Saturday: « Grande Marche sur l’Eau », runs, 200m sprints + Sunday: long distance race (14km) – 30€/person (approx. £26) – (+ 15€ after April 30th)
  • « Jeunes » (under 15): Saturday: « Grande Marche sur l’Eau », runs, 200m sprints + Sunday: long distance race (7km) – 20€/person (approx. £17.5) – (+5€ after April 30th)
  • « Grande Marche sur l’Eau »: 5km – 10€/person if you are NOT taking part in any of the previous races (included otherwise)

 

The second staging of the Morbihan Paddle Trophy Ouest-France event

 » A new sport, a new way of living « 

The second staging of the Morbihan Paddle Trophy Ouest-France event will be held on June 13th and 14th, 2015, in the Gulf of Morbihan. The first staging, which took place at the end of August 2014, was successful on a surprising scale as much in terms of the number of participants as the number of spectators and by the atmosphere, which reigned during two days in Vannes and the Gulf.

At the Paris boat show, the organizer, Gérard FUSIL, on the Morbihan General Council stand which supports the event, presented the 2015 event and underlined the ambitions which inspire it. He was surrounded by the partners that he has had from the very beginning: Jean-Paul BOUCHER, Managing Director of Ouest-France and Philippe MIRKOVIC, director of Ouest-France Morbihan as well as Thierry Verneuil, CEO of BIC Sport.

- Did you expect the first staging of the event to be such a success?

Gérard Fusil – I hoped for it! The sport is rather new in France but I knew that there was huge potential for such a gathering. Firstly, it appeals to a wide range of people: men, women, children, young people, less young, real sportsmen or leisure sportsmen, even non-sportsmen, are capable of standing on a board and of having fun very quickly, exactly like on a bicycle. Further, it is easy to get started with this sport. A board can be transported easily, especially the inflatable type, and a simple and cheap model already allows a lot of people to have fun. Getting into the water is child’s play; the basic equipment, swimsuit and paddle are affordable!

Added to these aspects was something that I did not expect: the pleasure of navigating together. Stand-up Paddle is a very sociable sport. Although the practice is individual, we have fun together, we speak and we meet up. The contact is easy and immediate, American-style.

Therefore, many beginners dared to launch among the 123 competitors who left from Baden on the 12 km Raiders course. As there was only one person who abandoned the race, I think that in 2015 all the practitioners, even the most novice, will have the courage to join us. Among the 77 competitors who did the 24 km Port-Navalo Vannes course, there were some of the best French competitors. We will have, in principle, all the best French competitors in 2015 and some big foreign champions too.

- You modified the dates of the event.

G.F. – The dates will necessarily change every year. We are dependent on the tides to enter the port of Vannes with the flow. Good weekends are not legion and, furthermore, it is important not to have a clash between events in Vannes and events in the Gulf of Morbihan, which are numerous. We chose a weekend in June, which was free at the time we made this decision, two months ago. I must add that our two objectives are to promote the Gulf of Morbihan and Stand-up Paddle. The return is better if we are placed at the beginning of the season rather than at the end of the season.

- And you have added a race within a race.

G.F. – There is a huge demand from young people to do Stand-up Paddle.

So we want them to have the opportunity to enjoy the sport too. Everybody runs together, the Elite with the greenhorns. The under 15 year olds can mingle with the champions. Like last year the « Elite » will leave Port-Navalo, but from the Grande Plage, in the face of the wave, in order to enter the Gulf of Morbihan with the current. The raiders will launch when the « Elite » turn around a buoy close to their starting line at Baden-Toulindac. The same goes for the young people who will leave Arradon in the wake of the champions and can finish the course with them.

- The weather is one of your partners?

G.F. – We are having difficulty agreeing on the contract! It is true that the weather plays an important role. But this celebration of Stand-up Paddle lasts two days, with a Saturday of « runs » and other events in Vannes. We have therefore worked, with our very experienced Race Director, Patrice REMOIVILLE, on plans B, C and D. We have tried to plan everything so that the race remains « fun », with winds and carrying currents in case of weather surprises. It means that we must be capable of adapting our logistics to course modifications made necessary by variable winds. As the 48-hour weather report is as a rule very reliable, we should be able to react in time and warn the competitors by Ouest-France at first and by radio but also by e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. They will all have to be « followers ».

It is not obvious in terms of organization because, for the second staging of the event, we will have a big village on the esplanade of the port of Vannes, festivities in the evening, and arrivals on the slipways in the port in the middle of the public. I would clearly prefer good weather, beautiful seas, and sun for 22 hours, as it will be the longest day of the year.

- You are asking for a lot!

G.F. – I fully believe in Stand-up Paddle. It is not a fashion. It is a sport, that accompanies a new way of living, a little bit like mountain biking, which appeared at the beginning of the 90s. These sports satisfy a need for nature, for togetherness, for gentle and simple movement, for discovery, for easy entry to places close to us but which remain foreign. It turns out that the Gulf of Morbihan is ideal for SUP. We are there at sea, but protected. It is beautiful, expansive and accessible. The coast, small cities, islands and currents make a wonderful world. With these ingredients and the best possible organization, this incomparable annual sporting event has to be a success.

The first edition was very sucessful
Second Morbihan Paddle Trophy Ouest-France 2015 June 13-14

200 competitors participated to the 1st Morbihan Paddle Trophy Ouest France last august 2014 : 77 « elite », 25 kms from the Morbihan golfe entrance to Vannes ;   and 123 « raiders »,   kms 12. Some were just beginners. Everybody but one finished.
The  « Golfe du Morbihan » is an inside sea. The scenary was  incredible. Thousands enthousiastic spectators cheered the paddlers.
Edition 2 will occur 2015 june 13-14 . Organizers are waiting for 300 or 400 competitors. The « Elite » competitors will leave a beach ocean side, and enter the Morbihan Golfe as like into  a superb  natural stadium, with the stream and, hopefully, the wind.
The raiders will be launched one hour later, for kms 12, when the Elites are passing-by. New category, the under fifteen, will be launched form Arradon for a 7 kms distance to Vannes.
Everbody is on the same course but with an appropriate distance depending of the practise level.
That is the key of the great atmosphere.

Normally, Saturday 13th is a day for runs and SUP feast in Vannes harbour which is in the heart of the city . Sunday 14 is the day  for the long distance race. However, the organisers are ready to modify the program if necessary, weather depending, as they want to set on the best course for the competitors to enjoy.
A lot of fun and a lot of prizes!
It is possible to register from january
www.morbihanpadletrophy.fr
gfusilmedia@aol.com