For almost a year, the organising committee of the Semaine Olympique Française has designed and developed many measures to welcome the elite of Olympic sailing in the safest conditions possible. All scenarios were considered and proposed to the DIGES (France’s inter-ministerial delegation for major sporting events), but unfortunately they have not given their permission and the event will not be able to take place in April.
Coming a few months before the Tokyo Olympic Games, the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères was to be the key event for Olympic sailing. Several different series had been planned to make the Hyérois event the highlight of the season. The Finn class had planned to award their European title there, the RS: X their World Champion title, and the Laser the last 4 European quotas for the Olympic Games. This historic event, one of World Sailing’s World Cup events, was initially to be held from April 17 to 24, before a new version scheduled over four weeks was proposed to meet the health constraints governing physical distancing between people.
“We made the difficult decision to cancel Hyères’s 2021 Semaine Olympique Française following the response from DIGES,” Nicolas Hénard, President of the FFVoile (France’s sailing federation), said. “We studied all the ways we could guarantee an event that would respect health standards and guarantee all the athletes attending watertight health and safety. We hoped that this event, focused on sailors engaged in an Olympic programme, would obtain the necessary agreements, especially after re-planning it over four weeks. But at this point, due to the ongoing health crisis, we cannot hold this event. Of course, my thoughts also go out to the organising committee, our partners and our volunteers, who are so enthusiastically involved in making the event such a success every year. My thoughts are with the members of the French team too. They are experiencing a unique Olympic build-up. We were happy to be offering them a high-level home event ahead of the Olympic Games. Unfortunately, we’ll have to do without it, but I’m sure they’ll be able to bounce back and arrive in good shape in Japan this summer.”
A virtual regatta from April 17 to 24
As in 2020, the organising committee will be offering a Virtual Semaine Olympique Française from April 17 to 24 on the Virtual Regatta Inshore platform. The great novelty of this virtual edition will be that the players will discover a new body of water this time – the bay of Hyères in the Toulon Provence Méditerranée area.
We’ll meet again! April 23 to 30, 2022
The focus of the organising committee is now on the 2022 edition, and with Toulon Provence Méditerranée and World Sailing as partners they will prepare an exceptional event from April 23 to 30. It will be an international competition even more notable for hosting the new Olympic disciplines for “Paris 2024”.