Great to be at the first Paris 2024 test event last week in Marseille – an important step in our venue planning and overlay design for next year’s Olympic Games sailing competition!
The first Paris 2024 test event is taking place in Marseille in the south of France from 9 to 16 July. Ten sailing events are being held at Marseille Marina as athletes, organisers, volunteers and locals experience the Olympic atmosphere a little over a year before the next Games.
French flags are floating in the air of Prado Beach, one of the most iconic locations of Marseille. Dozens of containers, here to house sailing equipment, with team colours set next to the Olympic rings are lined up beside sailors heading to Marseille Marina in the summer heat.
The atmosphere of the next Olympics is in the air.
From 9 to 16 July, the first event of the Paris 2024 testing programme is being held in Marseille, the second largest city in France.
The venue is located on the edge of Marseille, 5km from the Vieux-Port, where the Olympic flame will arrive on 8 May from Olympia in Greece. From land you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Frioul archipelago.
It is in this holiday landscape that the Olympic sailing competitions will be hosted from 28 July to 8 August 2024, where 330 athletes will attempt to win medals in one of the 10 events.
This Monday 10 July, races are being hosted for kitesurfing, mixed events and dinghy. A lack of morning wind delays the competition start and athletes along with their personnel are waiting in the shade, as competitors discuss wind orientation.
All of them are waiting for an indication they can begin, which eventually arrives at around 1pm. A wind of around 10 marine knots (19km/h) allows the show to start.
Camille Lecointre: “You have to be polyvalent”
The city of Marseille is surrounded by the mountains of the Marseilleveyre range, the Frioul archipelago and high-rise buildings. Above the landscape, the warm climate is also playing a role in the conditions of the wind, which are constantly evolving.
“The venue is diverse in terms of wind directions. You have to be polyvalent and adept in several weather conditions,” explains Camille Lecointre , a double Olympic bronze medalist in women’s dinghy.
“The topography makes the sailing super interesting,” adds Hannah Snellgrove from Great Britain, who sails in the women’s one-person dinghy.
From the viewpoint of the sea, the scenery is that of a postcard.
The whole of Marseille harbour and its iconic monuments and sites can be seen: Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica, Velodrome Stadium, Calanques National Park and more.
“It’s a magnificent venue,” says Jeremie Mion , the partner of Camille Lecointre in the mixed dinghy and Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympian. “We can see all the islands, mountains and Calanques…”