Published on 16 September 2021
A diverse and varied programme of entertainment!
Les Sables d’Olonne is renowned for its hospitality and it goes without saying that the organisers of the Mini Transat EuroChef intend to bang the point home over the next ten days at the Place du Vendée Globe. Their assets: a team of more than 180 volunteers, committed partners, enthusiastic sailors and, above all, a programme of entertainment that is as diverse as it is varied, for the young and not so young. We get the low-down on the highlights.
The Mini Transat EuroChef village opened its doors this Thursday 16 September, officially kicking off festivities. For the next ten days then, concerts, EuroChef round tables, beginners’ sessions, sea shanties, educational and culinary workshops, parades and debates with the sailors, will be just some of the entertainment on offer in Port Olona. The first star attraction of the event is bound to be the official presentation of the skippers, scheduled this Saturday at 19:00 hours on the main stage, but this is but one element on a whole raft of entertainment planned in Les Sables. Some elements, like that offered up by the Water Family, whose mission is to educate the public about water preservation, as well as Trivalis, a public-private departmental entity studying and processing household and related waste in the Vendée, are geared around education, with modules centred around knowledge, play and experience, the whole lot coloured by a positive narrative and the promotion of good practice.
Raising public awareness
“Our missions include raising awareness and sowing the seeds of change, especially in light of the ecological problems affecting the oceans and the coastline, particularly along the Atlantic seaboard. Through our entertainment, the public will be called upon to consider and come up with solutions geared around three topics: discovering, getting to know and protecting living things, being a responsible consumer and adapting to the changing world in order to become more self-sufficient, explains the Water Family. Trivalis pretty much shares this ambition by offering several entertainment hubs of its own on its stand. “Our actions are centred on the topics of selective sorting and the reduction of waste, zero waste, marine pollution as well as the lifecycle of packaging. Moreover, we’re putting on workshops to make a reusable sponge together with handicrafts like painting”, explains Trivalis, whose primary aim is to raise awareness about the preservation of the environment.
Something for everyone!
Meantime, visitors can also join in with daily culinary workshops hosted by a selection of local chefs, including Pauline Billaud, Morgane Perrichon, Sylvain Bourmand, Florian Boire, Sébastien Moreau, Nathan Cretney, Patrick Rougon, Jean-Pierre Pouvreau as well as Michelin-starred chef Jean-Marc Pérochon. “Various dishes comprising seafood like seaweed, oysters, sardines or hake will be cooked up and then shared around for tasting. The idea is to develop know-how and shine a spotlight on local produce”, explains Joanne Courtelle, from the event and protocol department of the Pays de la Loire’s regional council.
Furthermore, six EuroChef round tables presented by Edwige Richard will be held in the village in the presence of both skippers and guests. The latter will be structured around various and varied themes linked to the race, including sponsorship, organisation, means of communication as well as the notion of adventure.
On a more festive note, a series of free concerts is also on the programme with Vitamine Créole performing as one of the star attractions on 17, 18 and 19 September, and then Groupe 5 on the main stage on 25 September.
On land as well as on the water
Though there’s sure to be a magical ambiance on shore, the event also has plenty to offer on the water too. Indeed, thanks to the ISO (Ocean Sport Institute), in partnership with the town of Les Sables d’Olonne, those who are keen to climb aboard the schooner Fillao and take a trip down the famous channel of Vendée Globe fame will be able to go out for a sail on Saturday 18 and 25 September. On the same days, the public will also have a chance to discover radio-controlled model boats (Laser RC) from the pontoons. The main parade of Mini 6.50s scheduled for 22 September is sure to be a feast for the eyes, not to mention the race start, on Sunday 26, at 14:00 hours local time! Yannick Bestaven, winner of the Vendée Globe 2020-2021, will fire the starting gun and the start will be broadcast on a giant screen in the village. It’s safe to say then that the organisers have put on quite a spread for one and all!
Programme of EuroChef round tables:
- Friday 17 September at 17:00hrs: “the organisation and role of the support boats”
- Saturday 18 September at 17:00hrs: “a race with no means of communication”
- Sunday 19/09 at 17:00hrs: “The MT, an adventure for some, a springboard for others”
- Thursday 23/09 at 17:00hrs: “The Mini spirit, a race like no other”.
- Friday 24/09 at 17:00hrs: Why sponsor a Mini Transat?
- Saturday 25/09 at 11:00hrs: Safety with Plastimo, partner to the Mini Transat EuroChef