Paris 2024 Olympic Games: La Rochelle skipper Clément Péquin to conquer Olympic gold

This is one of the very good French chances of a gold medal at the next Paris Olympics. Rochelais Clément Péquin and his Baulois teammate Erwan Fischer will be the big favorites in the 49er category (double dinghy) in the Bay of Marseille. They are quite simply world champions in the discipline. A first for French sailing in this category. Aged 25, the Rochelais living in Châtelaillon-Plage is looking forward to his first Olympic Games. Two months before his first Olympic regatta, Clément Péquin confides his impatience.

Are you counting the days until the first regatta at the end of July in Marseille?

Exactly ! It’s a childhood dream to participate in the Olympic Games. Here, I admit that I still have a little difficulty realizing exactly the scale of the event. But the more the days go by and the closer we get to the first day of competition, July 28 for us, the more I will become aware of the scale of the event. I know it’s going to be something fabulous, incredible, because I’ve been dreaming of it for a while. In any case, we are conditioned with my teammate Erwan to give the best of ourselves during the seven days of competition and win the medal we have been coveting for some time now.

Did the title of world champion give you some certainty?

Yes, it’s true that we had a fabulous season because it was strewn with pitfalls due to injuries in our crew. It started with me. I completely dislocated the outer meniscus of my left knee. I had three and a half months of convalescence. In September, Erwan suffered a serious back injury in a fall. He had a road accident on his way to training in Marseille. He fell on his back and broke some vertebrae. Erwan was sidelined for three months from competition and training. In any case, we are very happy with the performances behind. We won a world champion title. It’s something exceptional.

Rochelais Clément Péquin, 49er world champion, dreams of Olympic gold © Radio France
Eric Le Bihan

A historic title for French sailing?

This is something that has never happened in French 49ers. It’s quite historic to say that we are the first to have registered our name alongside many sailing legends like the New Zealanders Peter (Burling) and Blair (Tuke), who passed through this medium- there. Being able to put our name next to these people is something fabulous. And above all, it boosts us even more. Casually, we have changed status in relation to the 49er fleet. It gives us additional motivation to tell ourselves that we have the ability to achieve exceptional things. We will put everything in place to get there this summer.

The Olympic regattas will take place in Marseille and not in La Rochelle. Do you master the water?

We would actually have preferred that it happened in La Rochelle, especially as a Rochelais. But as soon as we found out that Marseille had been designated to host the sailing events, we immediately moved. We chose our training camp there. We’ve been training there for about four years to understand the water as best as possible and try to have a little extra advantage over our opponents. We already benefit from the infrastructure designed for the event. We feel good there. It’s a bit of a second home for us. Even if my first home is and will remain Châtelaillon!

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