This multidisciplinary and international competition will be coming back to the Pays de la Loire; many European regions will be represented. Lifesaving is just one of twelve sports scheduled between the 26th to the 31st of August. Custodians of an incredible state of mind, The Atlantic Games are an excellent showcase for lifesaving. Lifesaving sport is one of the sports that appear on the menu of this great competition. « The lifesaving ocean events will take place on the spot of La Courance, in Saint-Nazaire, while the beach flags will be held on the main beach. German, Italian and Spanish teams are registered to compete against the French regional selections « explains Philippe Boucourt, official FFSS for the lifesaving.
Meeting with Didier Maurice
Coordinator of CASN * for Spain, Portugal and France
What will the 2018 edition be like?
This year the games are organized in Saint Nazaire and its metropolitan area and more than 350 young athletes will take part. It’s a little less than in previous editions, because stand-up paddle surfing is not included this year; La Courance beach is too sheltered to have waves.
What are the objectives of this international event?
This is THE nautical event for young Europeans. The Inter-Celtic Nautical Games (1995 to 2012), became the Atlantic Games (2013 to 2018) were born from the will of several European regions from the Atlantic Arc to publicise sailing via an international competition reserved only for young people. From 400 to 500 athletes compete each year to try and put their region on the highest step of the podium.
What is the goal of this competition?
The Atlantic Games have been remodeled to develop water sports in the Atlantic Area, whilst encouraging cultural and sporting exchanges between participants. Sports included in these games are sailing (dinghy and J80), rowing (sea rowing and Olympic rowing), outrigger canoe, kayak sprint, kayak polo, lifesaving, open water swimming, swimming with fins and stand-up paddleboard. In recent years, a lot potential stars in their respective disciplines have taken part in this competition.
What does lifesaving mean to you?
It’s more than just a sport for me! It’s a discipline that pulls people together, accessible to young people, but also an activity extremely athletic. One learns to save oneself and to save others. As well as that, it is also possible to pass the qualifications necessary for patrolling beaches and other water points.
A word about the organization?
For my part, I coordinate the CASN project in Spain, Portugal and France. I am part of the staff, chaired by Francisco Quiroga. Marcel Retaillaud, François Arbellot and Ywann Dupré complete the team. We work closely with the sports federations of the countries participating in our games; without this collaboration the games would not exist! A very good example this year: the Pays de la Loire CROS is organizing the 2018 Games.
Andy Osman and Bruno Magnes.
* Atlantic Nautical Sports Committee
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