On the green wave

The first European surfing competition in energy autonomy starts this morning on the spot of La Tortue in Saint-Leu. Until October 18th, 80 competitors aged 8 to 18 years old with their boards are going to jump into the water. Reunion Island, Mauritius and South Africa will be represented.

A sporting event placed under the sign of ecology! The Saint-Leu Surf Club (SLSC) is organising the first European surfing competition in energy autonomy. Sport and sustainable development are the major themes of the event. “ We wanted to use clean energy and make our competitors aware of the fragility of our ecosystem. ”, confieJean-Bernard Phaure, President of the SLSC.

" Usually a generator is used on the competition. This time, we preferred to find an alternative that is more environmentally friendly. We met with a design office, le Laboratoire d’Ecologie Urbaine to find out how to do", explained the organisers who presented the famous trailer yesterday.

" A solarist NRJ-sol-R was called in to create an installation supporting foldable photovoltaic panels. Everything had to be mobile ", says Jean-Bernard Phaure.

The machine, which cost around €14,000, will be used to supply electricity to the infrastructures (sound system, refrigerators, competition equipment, etc.).

Solar energy, but not only! Selective waste sorting will be set up on the site. Only recycled paper will be used. Precise zoning and marking of the site will make it possible to identify the areas to be protected. Dry toilets will be preferred to flush toilets... Green efforts!

South Africans and Mauritians invited

From today, the serious things start for the 80 competitors present. South Africans have made the trip.

" It's a great idea to organize this kind of competition. We're delighted to be able to take part in it. It's important to exchange with other countries... ", says the vice-president of the South African Surfing Federation, Marc Hoffman.

Among the six South African surfers, Beyrick de VriesThe 15-year-old, who lives in Umhlanga Rocks, has an impressive record of achievements and is one of the favourites to win the tournament. Sarah Baum14 years from Durban and Tanika Hoffman...16 from Cape Town should be just as fearsome.

Seven categories of girls and boys between the ages of 8 and 18 will compete until Saturday. In individual or team competition, each will defend their place. Two Mauritians will also be in the game.

" It's my first time surfing in Reunion Island. I'm really happy. It's a great way to connect with other young people... ", trust Jérémy Chan20 years old from Port Louis.

" I was here last year. I've been here four times already, I know the Saint-Leu spot well. We're motivated, there's a certain level. ", notes Jean-Eric Jonathan20 years old, the other Mauritian surfer.

Among the leaders of the circuit, Reunion Islanders have their place. Maxime Huscenot...16 years old, should raise the local flag. Johanne Panzini (17 years old), Lucas Jannier (12 years old), Martin Jannier (15 years old) and Johanne Defay (14 years old) also want to be on top of the waves. “ I love to surf, it's my passion. I'm hoping to put on a good performance. South African women are strong, but it's motivating. ", says young Johanne.

During the competition, surfers will also be able to discover the cultural activities of the city of Saint-Leu.

" Visits to the Kélonia farm, to the botanical conservatory of the Mascarins, to the museum of Stella Matutina will be organised. " says Fabrice Fridmann, director of competition.

Cleanliness, respect for the environment, cultural exchanges will be on the menu of this sporting wave.

Florence Labache

Source : Le Quotidien de la Réunion

Date de parution : 15 Octobre 2008

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