Joves Navegants and the Gitana Team meet in Brittany

7/5/2012 - Education

They were six to arrive at Lorient airport wearing shorts on Tuesday 5 June in real Breton sailing weather. Accompanied by their official skipper, Raimon Martinez, and Paco Segura, Vice President of the Joves Navegants Foundation to which they belong in Palma de Majorque, they were there to meet the Gitana Team.

Daniel, Gabriel, Frederick, Miranda, Tao and Salva, aged between 16 and 18 years old, are all passionate about sailing. For the past two years, they have regularly attended the sailing events organized by Joves Navegants: mini environmental cruises during the summer, training and competition in the Ruta de la Sal, a race taking place between Barcelona and Ibiza for Easter, and weekend regattas around the island: any excuse to escape to sea. For these young people who come from difficult family backgrounds and have special educational needs or may have even dropped out of school altogether, the world of sailing, with its rules, values and professions offers them a positive way out. They learn about living together, sharing and taking day to day responsibilities; Those who are most committed can then opt for a professional training in the nautical universe.

Six of the 300 young people supported every year by the Foundation have the opportunity to come to Brittany to visit the base of the Gitana Team, the sailing team sponsored by the Edmond de Rothschild family. Chosen for their high levels of motivation, passion and sailing ability, most are leaving Spain for the first time. Neither the rain, the wind, the cold, nor any linguistic barriers could bring down their contagious enthusiasm.
The Joves Navegants logo has had pride of place for the past two years at the top of the Extrême 40’s mast, but this is the first time that the Gitana team has welcomed a group of young people. All the members were astonished and delighted to see their interest and to reply to their highly relevant questions. Cyril Dardashti, Director of the Gitana Team, led our young apprentices on a guided tour of the base and the different boats moored there. IT, logistics, communication or architecture, nothing was forgotten to give them a concrete idea of the professional opportunities offered by the nautical universe.

The meeting with skipper Sébastien Josse was a highlight! Particularly when they set sail in the early morning. The weather conditions in Brittany enabled the crew to impress their apprentices for the day: acceleration, speed, showers, rapid sequences of manoeuvres; clinging to the net, the experience was unforgettable. Later, proud as peacocks in their new Gitana bomber jackets, they were lost for words to describe the intensity of the sensations. Even the biggest troublemaker remained silent...
A real moment of discovery and sharing punctuated by French lessons, questions on situations in extreme crossings and on the married lives of sailors. And one refrain: how to get there and work in the sailing industry?

At the crossroads between philanthropy and high-level sporting commitment, there is the human dimension. A brief but intense encounter, which might just have changed something in someone’s life: a desire to grow, to teach, to do better.
The final word: “can we sew a Joves Navegants badge onto our new Gitana bomber jackets?” Spread the word, the future of the team is all planed!

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