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Big yacht races

Course nautique
Fred Le Lan

The Pertuis sea, a recognised body a water

Prestigious yachting calender

All year La Rochelle moves at the same pace as its sporting events. With an important place in international sailing competitions, La Rochelle is part of one the busiest bodies of water in Europe with more than 120 events and regattas a year, covering a wide range of disciplines and challenges.

As well as being the port of call and port of departure for the most distinguished offshore races (Velux 5 Oceans, Solitaire du Figaro) it has also become a reference point for organising events for the world championship, particularly for Olympic dinghy sailing. After being chosen to host the annual French Olympic Sailing Week (Semaine olympique française - SOF) in 2012, this event has taken place here ever since. It is one of the biggest places in France where people go sailing, with all disciplines coming together.

In 2016 La Rochelle’s community was selected by Classe Mini to organise the Mini Transat for 2017 and 2019, a course that is sailed by the smallest boats that are used for offshore racing, measuring in at 6.5 metres! One of the key features of the city and which always piques everyone’s curiosity and admiration.

The Pôle France Voile

The Pôle France Voile, the national centre for sporting excellence, welcomes various national and international sports people to La Rochelle’s Port de Plaisance who are training for big competitions in the French Sailing Federation (Fédération Française de Voile) calender.

Every year the results these sports people achieve show just how prepared they are, like Charline Picon, a talented windsurfer with two European championship titles, a world championship title and she won a gold medal at the Olympics in Rio (Brazil) in 2016.

Water sports, leisurely sporting challenges

La Rochelle’s body of water is enclosed and sheltered by the islands of Aix, Ré and Oléron. Sheltered from the waves, it is a prime spot for practising and learning how to do water sports (sailing, rowing, canoeing, kayaking), giving it its renowned international reputation. This means you can still sail even when sea and wind conditions are not permitting outside of this area, which is called the Pertuis d’Antioche.

To each his own style

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