From Lima to Mura, 8000 km

This Wednesday at 8 p.m., six waterwomen will begin an 8,000-kilometer race on a prone paddleboard — a board narrower and shorter than a stand-up paddle — from Lima, Peru, to Moorea, French Polynesia. Stephanie Geyer-Barneix, Alexandra Lux, Itziar Abascal, Emmanuelle Bescheron, Margot Calvet and Marie Goyeneche, accompanied by five crew members – captains and a doctor – who will be on board the sailboat, will take turns every hour from departure to arrival. three months.

After overcoming several cancers, Stéphanie Geyer-Barneix founded the Hope Team East association, of which she has been president since 2015, to help women with breast cancer through sports challenges. “ Our association is there to support people who want to follow a program with sports coaches, but it comes at a cost.he explains. We had to find funds and we told ourselves that we would overcome the challenge by selling every kilometer. A cat has been opened online for those who want to contribute to the adventure.

Experience mingles with youth

To achieve this challenge, Stéphanie Geyer-Barneix was surrounded by a team of elite athletes specializing in coastal rescue. ” Alexandra (Lux) crossed the North Atlantic with me from Canada to France in 2009. (Being in the Guinness Book of Records) he was sure. Itziar (Abascal) came with me to Cape Horn in 2015 and immediately joined the project.. Among the six water women, three are new to such challenges: Emmanuelle Bescheron, Margot Calvet and Marie Goyeneche. ” Emmanuelle and I have known each other since we did a beach rescue race in Polynesia. Geyer-Barneix says. Marie and Margot contacted me because she wanted to make a big transition. »

Marie Goyeneche, Margot Calvet, Itziar Abascal, Stephanie Geyer-Barneix, Emmanuelle Bescheron, Alexandra Lux (left to right). (J. Gabriel)

This adventure is a clash of generations. At 47, Geyer-Barneix will be the oldest to make the transition, while the youngest, Marie Goyeneche, is only 22 years old. ” Experience is essential when you’re gone for days or even months at a time. Geyer-Barneix, a former world champion in beach rescue in 2000, admits. I don’t hesitate to soothe the little ones when I can, which leads to great exchanges between us.. »

Careful preparation

To be physically fit, they followed a precise training plan in collaboration with Capbreton CERS. Mental preparation has been an integral part of the project, as each athlete has gone through difficult times and many health problems in his life. For this, the six water women relied on four mental coaches – Christian Ramos, Walter Geyer, Myriam Barneix and Jean Guibert. “ They are the best athletes with the ability to go beyond what we can imagine. Jean Guibert completes. We had to form a collective to help each other when we were in the middle of the ocean. The second part of our intervention was to empower athletes so that they can manage their own training, which is different for each individual. »

Nutrition and recovery are also carefully designed. “ We worked hard on these two aspects, but without forgetting the emotional factor, Geyer-Barneix says. We told ourselves that we should not judge our performance when we are on the board. The main thing is to succeed in our struggle. »

Marie Goyeneche during the Monaco-Athens transition.  (J. Gabriel)

Marie Goyeneche during the Monaco-Athens transition. (J. Gabriel)

Monaco-Athens, the test of a lifetime

Before starting the Lima-Moorea race, the six waterwomen ran together between Monaco and Athens (1,800 km) on June 5, 2022. This two-week transition allowed us to work and improve some technical points, clearly explains the initiator of the project. There is nothing better than testing yourself in real conditions. A few hours before the long crossing to French Polynesia, the group of six is ​​already in Peru, ready to get on the board. For them, it’s a test of a lifetime. “ I hope it will bring us together and heal us Stephanie Geyer-Barneix concludes.

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