Douarnenez – evolving a maritime tradition

Douarnenez

Douarnenez has successfully navigated the route from a struggling with a hard-hit fishing industry to acquiring a world-famous name for hosting major international racing events and delightful Fêtes Maritimes. The Grand Prix sees representation from some of the most exciting racing classes, celebrating the intense joy of competitive watersports in everything from the mighty multihulls to kitesurfing. The town recently organised the Mini Transat race, with 72 solo sailors preparing in Port Rhu surrounded by 10 days of cultural activity and an operation that saw the involvement of around 200 local volunteers. This collective effort has paid off with no less than 700 media journalists registered on the event site returning some of the glory to this hard-working community.

Here the Port Director, Jean-Baptiste Fleitour describes his town:

Douarnenez is imbued with true maritime tradition; the history of the town being clearly defined through her bay and ports.

After a difficult transformation following the fishing crisis during 1980-1990, the city has managed to retain three major maritime sectors that boost the territory’s economy: fishing at the port of Rosmeur, racing and cruising in Treboul and maritime heritage with the museum on the bank of the river at Port Rhu.

Regarding water sports, a location deep inside Douarnenez Bay means that summer visitors are rarely tempted so far in despite the peace and charm of the port surroundings. The organisation of international regattas, such as the Grand Prix, Mini Transat the popular Fête Maritime provide continuous activity for the town from April to September. Without these events, the tourist season and the town would only really come alive during the two months of July and August.These events are highly motivating for all of those that revolve around the Port, having had the additional benefit of bringing together the local clubs and associations who in turn have come to work more productively with the various city services. Everyone has finally become aware that there is much to be gained by working towards a common goal, making Douarnenez a dynamic town that has not had to give up its maritime identity.

For more information on Douarnenez ports, visit the website: www.mairie-douarnenez.fr/nautisme/port-de-plaisance

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