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Olympic Flame to be carried by RS Venture Connect Inclusive Sailing Program Mare Inseme

by Bex Foot, RS Sailing 17 Apr 08:25 PDT
RS Venture Connect © RS Sailing

Mare Inseme, an inclusive sailing association in Corsica, has been selected to carry the Paris 2024 Olympic flame during the torch relay in the build up to the Olympic Games. Based out of Ajaccio, the inspiring initiative uses their fleet of adaptive RS Venture Connects to create a more accessible sailing community.

Pierre Gins, President of Mare Inseme, will be the torch bearer as it passes through Corsica on the 14th May. "It is a real recognition for our association, but also for all of those who work for the most disadvantaged. Inclusion is all about changing the way we look at disability and then moving those lines. There is so much to do in this area. Being recognised to carry the Olympic Flame is a real honour."

'Mare Inseme' translates as 'Sea Together' in Corsican. The association uses the RS Venture Connect in both its keel specification as well as the boat in its Seated Control System (SCS) configuration, so everyone, regardless of disability, can experience the joy of sailing. Mare Inseme's mission is to bring sailing - and the sense of freedom of being at sea - to those from all walks of life and their carers too.

"We address all types of disabilities, including social disabilities. Even if the latter is not recognised as such, we believe that people, often in great precariousness, suffer from isolation if they are deprived of activities," says Pierre. "By creating a social bond between them, our volunteers, and the sailing boat, we hope that our modest foundation contributes to a form of joy and reintegration."

The Olympic committee selects torch bearers who embody the 'three energies' of the Relais de Paris 2024:

  • Promotion: those who promote the practice of sport for professional and everyday athletes.
  • Excellence: those who undertake, innovate, create and embody French excellence, in all sectors of their sport's activity.
  • Accessibility: those who commit daily to a more united, inclusive, sustainable and just society.
Nico Honor, Manager of RS Sailing France, congratulates the foundation. "It is great to see Mare Inseme's commitment to inclusive sailing being rewarded by carrying the Olympic Torch as it travels through the Mediterranean Sea and Corsica. It rewards the fact that they bring sailing to many people on the RS Venture Connect."

The RS Venture Connect removes barriers to entry with its Seated Control System (SCS). All the mechanisms come to the cockpit so everything can be controlled from the seated position. There is also a sip-puff headset option, meaning the boat can be configured to suit virtually all disabilities.

Since October 2022, Mare Inseme has supported 330 people with disabilities, 180 accompanying carers, with 170+ sailing excursions and 350 half-days of activities. It also supported the Ajaccio training programme for professional para sailing duo, Ange Margaron and Olivier Ducruix. The pair went on to win gold at the Para Sailing World Championships 2023 in a momentous moment for inclusive sailing in France.

RS Sailing are thrilled that Mare Inseme is entrusted with the flame. Holding the torch will be an unforgettable moment for the foundation as they pave the way for the Olympic Games 2024. It's brilliant to see Paris 2024 are choosing to include inclusive sailing as part of their torch carriers. RS continues to support Para World Sailing as a bid to re-include para sailing in the Olympics in the future.

Pierre will carry the flame in Ajaccio on the 14th May as it passes through Corsica on its way to Paris 2024. He invites everyone to come along, support the flame's passage and find out more about Mare Inseme. "If you, or one of your loved ones, has a disability or activity limitation, do not hesitate to contact us to find out more. Come and enjoy a great outing at sea with your loved ones. See you soon on the water!"

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