the Olympic flame heads to the Antilles on a trimaran

The Olympic flame returns to the sea. Arriving in mainland France via the Old Port of Marseille from Greece a month ago, the symbol of the Olympic Games embarked, Friday June 7 evening, in Brest, aboard the trimaran Ultim Maxi Banque Populaire XI to reach Pointe-à-Pitre, in Guadeloupe.

After walking on the tip of La Torche (Finistère), a site famous for surfing, the flame arrived on the beach of Moulin Blanc, in Brest, late in the afternoon on Friday. She crossed the city to Quai Malbert, at the commercial port, where thousands of people were gathered. Sea shanties, bagads, dance or judo demonstrations: entertainment and a large crowd awaited the flame along the route, under a blue sky.

Former Miss France and TV presenter Laury Thilleman lit the cauldron then brought the flame, enclosed in a lantern, towards the Maxi Banque Populaire XIa 32 meter long trimaran among the fastest in the world

For a week, skippers Armel Le Cléac’h and Sébastien Josse will guide her across the Atlantic Ocean with four budding sailors: the three-time Olympic athletics champion Marie-José Pérec, the playwright Alexis Michalik, the former Miss France today doctor Marine Loiseau and star chef Hugo Roellinger.

Read also | Paris 2024: the Olympic flame will go to the Antilles by trimaran with Marie-José Pérec and eight other personalities

“The crew is ready (…), they will spend the first night at sea on a boat. Plus, on an Ultim, it’s still quite special. But the conditions are not bad for the first twenty-four hours, it will be a smooth start”commented Armel Le Cléac’h before the start.

The trimaran, which can fly on the water thanks to its foils, left the port in a light wind and on an oily sea. He then had to follow the coast to Pointe Saint-Mathieu to head out to sea in the evening.

Already nearly 1.2 million people on the path of the flame

Upon her arrival in Pointe-à-Pitre, scheduled for June 15, it is Marie-José Pérec who is the first to carry the flame ashore. “For me, it is a great honorthe 56-year-old athlete told the press. It’s a great recognition for all the islands, what they have brought to the sport. It’s also a nice way to say thank you to them. »

“I am the first Olympic champion from Guadeloupe. To think that I’m going to bring the flame home is very, very strongdeclared the athlete, triple Olympic gold medalist in 1992 and 1996, visibly moved. Guadeloupe is in my heart. I missed her a lot. And coming back like that, I never dreamed of that. So, it’s something very strong and very big. »

Former French Olympic athletics champion Marie-José Pérec aboard the trimaran, before the departure of the flame to the Antilles, in Brest, June 7, 2024.
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“I would never have imagined myself sailing with Marie-José Pérecadded Armel Le Cléac’h. I saw her, like everyone else, winning her gold medals in front of the TV. It was crazy. And seeing her with me today on the boat is going to be great. It’s going to be a great adventure. »

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Since the arrival of the flame in Marseille aboard the Belemnearly 1.2 million people attended his journey, according to the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin.

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The World with AFP

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