Two ENSM students at the Sail GP Inspire

From our student: Émilie Bouchet (student in Marseille), first in the female category

“I participated this year with Eliott Coville, a first-year student in Marseille, in the Sail GP Inspire event for the second time in a row. The event took place in Saint Tropez from September 7 to 11.

The Sail GP Inspire program is dedicated to young people under the age of 21. It takes place in parallel with the Sail GP event. The Sail GP event is a boat race on 50-foot flying catamarans with a rigid wing. Like the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the program is composed of 10 legs around the world (Bermuda, Chicago, England, Denmark, France, Spain, Dubai, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand). Innovation, speed and entertainment are the hallmark of Sail GP. Indeed, for each leg, a watersport stadium is established, to facilitate viewing and understanding of the event by the public. All the boats are identical and assigned to nations by the event organization, it is a professional circuit for sailors.

Sail GP Inspire aims to find the champions of tomorrow, but also to involve young people in the technological development of sailing and more particularly flying boats. 16 young people, 8 women and 8 men, are selected based on a national call for applications. The selection is based on performances and results in sailing. The organization provides “Waszp” (dinghy) to participate in the event. On the program: two days of training, on Wednesday and Thursday, then the qualifications on Friday and finally the regattas on Saturday and Sunday. The latter take place with public in attendance, before the official races of the Sail GP catamarans.

In addition, during the event, we had the opportunity to meet the sailing and technical teams of the Sail GP teams. The objective was to raise awareness on the different professions that make up a high-flying water sports team. Thus, the “team France” includes 5 sailors, with at least one woman. The positions on board are the pilot, the tactician, the wing adjuster, the flight controller, the wincher. Ashore, there is a technical team in charge of preparing the boats, as well as engineers who retrieve and analyze the data of each ship in real time.

Following the Sail GP Inspire national selections, the first man and the first woman from each country are selected to participate to the grand final which will take place in May 2023, in San Francisco. On this occasion, we had the chance to meet young people from different countries who share our passion. As in Saint Tropez, we will again be at the heart of the event and we will compete with the teams and the big names in professional sailing.

This year, I finished fourth, and first French woman in the Saint Tropez event. Elliot Coville ranks second. We thank the ENSM for allowing us to take time off school in order to train, while studying and continuing to perform in high-level sailing.”