Discontent with Olympic Sailing in Marseilles

Published on May 8th, 2023

For the Paris 2024 Olympics, the Sailing venue to the South in Marseilles is receiving opposition due to the constraints the competition will put on the host area.

The Nageurs du Prado Collective (The Swimmers of the Prado), the Petit Roucas’ regulars, Marseille Vert, the Libres Nageurs (the Free Swimmers) are calling for a demonstration to be held May 21 on Petit Roucas Beach in Marseilles. Here is the announcement:

Authorities have planned to confiscate wide areas of beaches, both on land and at sea, to benefit the highly controversial kitefoil competition.

Kitefoil is normally practiced on vast areas of empty beaches because the “things” are very fast and excessively dangerous both on land and at sea. Planning this competition inside the city on public beaches is very risky and implies huge areas of exclusion, in the sand and on the shore, at the expense of all other water-based recreational activities, and for a long period running from spring 2023 to mid-august 2024.

Summer seasons, often undergoing heat waves, are harshly impacted. This is unbearable for thousands of families who use these beaches, that are already scarce in Marseilles in comparison with the number of people using them.

Besides, authorities plan to completely shut down the south harbor of Marseille, forbidding all water-based recreational activities over a huge territory of 35km² in the middle of summer seasons, two weeks in July 2023 and three weeks in July and august 2024, all this for the sole “security” of a few Olympic regattas!

We consider that this is an excessive undertaking, completely disconnected from the real security needs that must be applied before the games and not at the expense of the population.

However, we will be pleased to attend the sailing regattas from the top of the Corniche Kennedy, a very long and natural stand which can easily gather thousands of spectators! Big fans will also be able to attend the show from boats specially chartered by organizers, and also on big screens on the Vieux Port and in the newly opened water sports center.

Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program:
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Women’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Men’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Women’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Venue: Marseille, France
Dates: July 26-August 11

Details: https://www.paris2024.org/en/the-olympic-games-paris-2024/

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