Senin, 16 Juni 2008


Windsurfing: Raphaëla Le Gouvello windsurfs for the planet

In Papeete, the Tahitians gave her a triumphant welcome. After nearly three months of sailing, on Monday 3 November 2003, Raphaëla Le Gouvello achieved her ambition, and completed a voyage of nearly 8,200 kilometres across the Pacific Ocean, alone on her windsurfer. This slightly built forty-three year old Breton, who had already crossed the Atlantic and the Mediterranean by the same means, was keen to conquer the Pacific. So she set out from Lima (Peru), on 5 August, with no back-up, out of care for the environment. "I windsurf for the planet," she declared. A vet specialising in aquaculture, Raphaëla Le Gouvello did indeed kill two birds with one stone, for her sporting challenge is part and parcel of a scientific and educational initiative. She had signed a contract with the French Ministry of National Education to record her experience for French schools. Even the President of the Republic, Jacques Chirac, who presented his "warmest and most admiring congratulations" to the windsurfer, was bowled over by her achievement. "I have to salute," the Head of State said in an official statement, "the responsibility of your message, through which you wish to alert the public to the need to respect and preserve our environment."

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