17th Fort Boyard Challenge: register for the epic Double-Downwind

On October 7 and 8, Fouras-les-Bains, on the French West Coast will host the 17th edition of France’s largest multi-sports event: the 2023 Fort Board Challenge. Professional and amateur windsurfers, windfoilers, wingfoilers, 6-man outrigger canoe paddlers, and of course, stand-up racers can register from Thursday June 15 at 10 a.m. (local French time)!

4 events with the Fort Boyard always in sight

Tested and approved by participants over the last 17 editions, the 4 main competition events (Windsurf, SUP Racing, Wingfoiling and V6) will remain identical to previous years, with, if necessary, a last-minute adaptation to weather conditions.

In stand-up paddling, under the guidance of race director Fred Bonnef, a double downwind (one on Saturday and one on Sunday) of up to 14km each will be proposed to competitors who will embark on an inter-island ferry in search of the best possible course. Paddlers will then jump off the boat with their boards and will line up on a virtual start line in the middle of the ocean.

In Outrigger Canoe, race director SĂ©bastien Ogier will organize two legs of some 50km each, enabling paddlers to test all local conditions. As in 2022, the Fort Boyard Challenge will have a French Cup status meaning there’s sure to be a challenge between all crews involved!

Technique, strength and an insane desire to rub shoulders with the stone giant are the ingredients the riders will need in order to reach the famous Fort Boyard on the windsurfing course set by Anthony Rigaut. Categorized as a long-distance event in the same category as the La Tranche > Ile de RĂ© raid, the FBC windsurfing event is also now open to a new discipline: Wingfoiling. Given the popularity of this new sport, Wingfoilers can now register for the event!

After a two-year absence due to Covid, the Corporate Challenge made a successful comeback in 2022. In teams of up to 4 paddlers, corporate teams will compete in 500-meter outrigger canoe races… until the best one wins!

Target: 600 participants

With 580 participants, the 2022 edition broke all records. The FBC, which celebrates its 17th anniversary this year, has come a long way! The organizers are hoping to welcome as many, if not more, entrants for this year’s event, bearing in mind that the number of stand-up paddlers is limited by the number of places available on the boat, i.e. 150 entrants.

Over the years, the race format, the nautical line-up and the quality of the organization have won over the hearts of participants. Coming from all corners of France, and even from abroad, riders also appreciate the conviviality of the event, and consider the FBC a must in the sporting calendar.

The presence of the FBC’s ambassador, 25 x PWA World Champion Antoine Albeau, i.e. the most successful French sportsman in the history of the sport, should encourage some to come and measure themselves against the “colossus of the Ile de RĂ©”!

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About the Author

Mathieu Astier

Mathieu is the hyper-active founder of TotalSUP and a multilingual online marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience working for top international internet companies. His love-at-first-sight for Stand Up Paddling in 2013 led him to build one of the leading online media dedicated to SUP in English and French and to turn his family lifestyle towards the ocean.

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