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Fort de France – Grand Prix 2008

This competition took place on Saturday and Sunday, March 1 and 2 with 118 competitors from the worlds of windsurfing, kayak and paddling, from the Club H2Eaux (H20) to Fort de France, in front of the ‘Pointe de la Vierge’ at Texaco. The Texaco area was made famous by the novelist Patrick Chamoiseau, who wrote about the creation of this popular quarter on the Fort de France hinterland.

On Saturday, March 1st, it was the day of the windsurfers, with the knot winds that they so love. They had to complete the course between Pointe de la Vierge, the windward buoy at l’Ilet à Ramiers, and back:  “Three tough legs and some spectacular battles”, said the headline in France Antilles. In face the youngsters from the NOS gave their all.

“I think I beat my speed record,” said Sébastien, the winner of the youngsters group, a 21-year-old. “We raced three legs in 25-knot winds, with 22 fanatical windsurfers in pursuit, ready to burn up their sails! We’re just eleven teenagers and we love putting all our energy into this wind to pass each other, and outdo our own records.”

All races were dominated by Yannick Renard, who logged the best time in Fort de France. Then the seniors showed the youngsters what real speed was.
  
On Sunday, it was the turn of the kayakers and the paddlers.  All the participants enjoyed a lunch of paella and couscous, followed by a prize giving sponsored by the Conseil Régional et la Municipalité.

From Sébastien Bourdais: “I started windsurfing competition at the age of 16 on the small ‘Fun Kid’ courses, which took place at Vauclin. In my second year, I took part in the longer distance ‘speed crossing’ courses, and also the Formula races where I quickly progressed. After my first year of Formula, I finished as runner-up in Martinique and third in the 2006 World Championships in Belgium.

In my second year of Formula Experience, things went well with a second place in the World Championships in Estonia 2007, and a third place in the speed crossing (Martinique 2007). This year, I’m currently second in Formula Experience in Martinique and 3rd in the speed crossing. My aims are to get on the podium for the French Championships at La Rochelle in July and the August European Championships in Bandol. Afterwards, I want to launch myself into the RS:X class in order to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games.”

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