The 2018 season of Waterman Tahiti Tour (WTT) is about to kickoff, with the 1st stop on 17th March at Punaauia, Tahiti, followed by 4 more stops in French Polynesia. The Waterman Tahiti Tour is made up of 3 disciplines all based around water, disciplines that remain a secret right until the event! The brainchild of organiser Stephen Lambert designed to keep athletes in suspense, but at the same time creates great team comradery!
French swimming champion Emmanuelle Bescheron recently took part in the Waterman Tahiti Tour – Ironomana. Emmanuelle tqlks to TotalSUP about her experience, what athletes should expect and why the WTT should go on our bucket list!
Hi Emmanuelle Bescheron, Can you introduce yourself and your link to the ocean?
I live and train base is in Hossegor/Capbreton, my passion is open water swimming, I started swimming from an early age and made the French team at 12 years old, then at 17 I started competing in triathlons, then gradually I turned my attention towards the sport of lifesaving. For the following 10 years I was a part of the French national lifesaving team, until 2014. Now I swim alot, and I also enjoy downwinds on SUP, prone paddleboards and surfski.
How did you get involved in the WTT?
In December 2017 I competed stage 5 of the Waterman Tahiti Tour, the stage named BORA BORA KXT IRONMANA . I actually won the place in a competition with a french sports magazine “L’Equipe”, they held a competition for people to try and win 2 tickets for the Ironmana. I sent a motivation letter, had an interview, and then I received a “WINNING” email ! It was an awesome surprise. For 2 years I had dreamed of going! and I never thought in my wildest dreams that it would happen!
Unfortunately I won’t be able to make this next stop on the WTT, because of work commitments, but I will hopefully be competing in the WTT Ironmana stage in December 2018, and if I can, I will try to compete in anther stage before December !!
Can you describe the WTT?
The concept of the WTT is “don’t expect anything, be ready for everything”, it is a concept that I love! It’s such a challenge and an adventure., you have to be ready for everything and anything, all day long, for 4 days. Its a combination of a team and individual event, we work together as a team, but at the same time we give our performance our best shot at each race/challenge. No matter the results, you learn so much above youself and your capacity to go deeper.
At the WTT I loved the swimming races ! But I really appreciated the SUP races also. I had been training by myself, in November I started training with Olivia Piana, who is the best french SUP paddler, and she helped me a lot! She gave me a lot of technical advice. I do have a big paddle history especially in my lifesaving sport, but we are used to paddling different watercrafts (prone, surfski). SUP is quite similar to them, except the paddle position. But once you know to paddle in ocean and catch runners (or bumps as you say in SUP), it is easier to start paddling on a new craft.
How does it feel not to know what event is next?
It is very different from what we are to used in competition. In swimming or lifesaving, you know when you will race or which distance you will do. It is quite challenging be unable to prepare yourself. You have to remain calm and relaxed, to recover as soon as you can, in preparation for the next event. It is more a mental challenge. It’s all about staying focused all day and being ready to give it all each time you to go to the starting line. You find out what event is happening about 5 minutes before! Even when you think it is finished Stéphane Lambert (the organiser of the WTT) is always happy to sneak in a last minute event/challenge !
What 5 words would you use to describe the WTT?
CHALLENGE, HUMAN, ADVENTURE, INCENTIVE, FREEDOM
Should we all be signing up?
Definitely !!! It is the best race I have ever done ! Racing in paradise, everyone is there to share the good moments and to give the events our best, you learn a lot about Polynesian culture, and you are so happy to have achieved personal goals it at the end !
Follow all 5 stops of the 2K18 Waterman Tour on TotalSUP!