MARIGOT--The ninth edition of Fête de la Mer will take place on May 26 and 27, on the beach in Grand Case as before, French-side marine trades association and event organiser Métimer confirmed.

The popular event will be preceded by Sea Discovery Day on Friday, May 25. This day is aimed at school students to give them an appreciation of the sea, the marine environment, the marine trades, flora and fauna, and to also impress on young minds the importance of protecting natural resources.

The day-long excursion goes to Tintamarre Island on numerous sailing vessels and motorised craft. The students enjoy a lunch on the beach and can try a number of water-sports, kayaking, paddle-boarding, sailing, swimming, et cetera. Réserve Naturelle is also a partner in Discovery Day and their representatives give a lecture about the environment.

Métimer President Bülent Gülay indicated some 20 vessels are needed to transport about 150 students to the island. More boats are needed, and he appealed to skippers and owners to come forward to assist with this initiative. He indicated schools are again very motivated to send selected students on this excursion. In 2017, 120 students enjoyed Sea Discovery Day.

The Discovery Day leads straight into Fête de la Mer, the objective of which is to propose the maximum number of water-sport activities possible to the population, families in particular, at very low cost. The concept remains the same, whereby tickets are purchased from as low as a dollar or one euro for a chosen activity or buying a book of 10 tickets.

Activities include kayaking, wakeboarding, jet skiing, paddle-boarding, Hobie cats sailing excursions, a snorkelling tour around Creole Rock guided by Réserve Naturelle, and plenty of games and activities on the beach for small children. Look out for Tahitian dancers, mermaids, and paddle yoga demonstrations. Not forgetting in between activities one can enjoy lunch at the “lolos.”

The event is animated with music and running commentary, letting the public know the departure times of various excursions. The commentary was always done by Erwan Gentil and David Gozal. Sadly, Gozal passed away last year and a tribute will be held in his memory.

Fête de la Mer requires some 90 volunteers to make sure all activities are supervised fully. Volunteers are given free meals over the weekend. Last year some 6,000 visitors enjoyed the event. The closing party will be at Blue Martini on Sunday evening, May 27.