We were expecting them at the beginning of April. They arrived in French Polynesia, a little earlier than expected. These six rowers had left at the beginning of January for… 8000 km of crossing! simply by the strength of the arms, sitting or lying on a board. 8000 km is the longest distance traveled in the world on a prone paddle board.
Of course, not everything was easy. An exhausting daily rhythm, with always this duty to dive into the water every night and confront a sometimes hostile ocean. Stéphanie Barneix, the leader, cannot believe what she has just accomplished. She tells it to Emma Sarango. “We had a lot of wind, head swell, this unpredictable ocean… We were very annoyed by the flying fish, we weren’t expecting that! We took it in the head, in the body…! We had a few sharks, but it’s ok, they stayed away! »
Followed by a support catamaran
The six rowers were followed throughout their crossing by an assistance catamaran, a kind of houseboat. Eleven people in total (rowers and staff), in a very small boat. With rationed food (no fresh produce since mid-January), Split sleep. Not easy to maintain a physical condition for such intensity. But they were accompanied by an osteopath. “We have some pain, but our osteopath took good care of us, we were able to avoid injuries. It is also a lot of rigor to achieve this result “.
For the fight against cancer
It is recalled that there was not only a purely sporting aspect for this crossing which also served several causes, in particular the fight against cancer. Since their arrival, the rowers have visited hospitals and schools.
But tonight they are reunited with their families and are going to take a little vacation!