From June 7 to 16, the Olympic flame will set sail, with beautiful people at its side. Nine personalities, including athletes Marie-José Pérec, Laura Flessel and Tony Estanguet, playwright Alexis Michalik and chef Hugo Roellinger, will be part of this “Relais des Océans” between Brest and the Antilles, the organizers announced Monday April 8 .

The flame, which will arrive on French soil in Marseille on May 8, will board the Maxi-Banque-Populaire-XI, one of the fastest trimarans in the world, which will first make a one-week crossing between Brest and Pointe-à-Pitre, with an arrival scheduled for June 15.

The boat will be piloted by Armel Le Cléac’h, who recently finished third in the Ultim Challenge, a solo race around the world in a trimaran, and by Sébastien Josse, his partner in the Transat Jacques Vabre won in 2023. Marie- José Pérec, Miss France 2013, Marine Ltemporel, Alexis Michalik and Hugo Roellinger will be part of this first crew, which will reach Guadeloupe.

A lantern for the flame

Then, on June 15 and 16, the trimaran will take on board the president of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tony Estanguet, the former fencer Laura Flessel, the swimmer Coralie Balmy, the skipper Kéni Piperol-Dampied and the surfer Thomas Debierre to reach Martinique.

“Offshore racing is not an Olympic discipline, but, through our little journey, we will also show our know-how,” Armel Le Cléac’h explained to Agence France-Presse. It is a pride to cross with this boat, with a renowned crew, [which] also represents French know-how. »

The objective will be to carry the Olympic flame across without damage. The latter, sheltered in a lantern, will be placed “in the very protected living cell. Those who are not resting will always have an eye on it,” continues Armel Le Cléac’h.

“We will be a bit like the guardians of the flame, we will have to watch carefully to make sure it stays lit the whole way,” says Marie-José Pérec. According to the former athlete, “accompanying the flame to Guadeloupe is a real symbol”. “People are going to have a piece of the Games, and that’s extraordinary,” adds the three-time Olympic champion. When we say that the Games are those of France, with a gesture like this, it becomes obvious. »