The establishment of Tribord in La Rochelle is making waves

The rocky pleasure boat shaken by the arrival of Decathlon Tribord

The arrival of the Tribord R&D centre, the Décathlon sailing brand, in La Rochelle, shakes up local pleasure boating. We interviewed the resigning president of the Société des Régates Rochelaise and the person in charge of the Tribord brand.

Tribord has chosen La Rochelle for its R&D centre

For many years, Tribord, Décathlon's brand of sailing and yachting equipment, has been developing its products in Hendaye, along with other lines from the French leader in sports shops. The company wanted to create a specific centre for its nautical division and open an R&D centre in a city that is emblematic of yachting. After a world tour, Décathlon announced in May 2018 his choice to settle in La Rochelle. " This is in line with our desire to make sailing accessible to as many people as possible, with a favourable local ecosystem: large sailing clubs, favourable public authorities and a strong local nautical industry fabric "summarizes Guénolé Havard, head of the Tribord brand.

Décathlon then agreed with the town hall of La Rochelle to set up on the site of the port of Minimes, which currently hosts the Société des Régates Rochelaise, SRR. The municipal building must be destroyed and the club relocated to a new building, with the Ecole de Voile Rochelaise with which a merger project is in progress.

SRR members in front of its buildings

Resignation of the SRR President

The consequences of the arrival of Tribord are worrying a part of the world of rocky sailing. SRR was divided on the subject, leading to the resignation of its president, Alain Mevellec, who was worried about the future of his club. He was unable to obtain support to oppose the project of his board of directors, which includes members of the family of Jean-François Fountaine, mayor of La Rochelle. The former president believes that the club lacks insurance on the file. " SRR is one of the major clubs at the FFV level. He organizes many events. We had a building that was certainly aging, but with many advantages. We were presented with a dossier with beautiful key words: mutualisation, partnership... But a move in December and the construction of new buildings in 3/4 years, while the municipalities are in one year: what insurance do we have? I'm afraid the temporary in algecos will become permanent. The Decathlon building project will take over the green spaces and the median. This will mean less space for rigging and moving. Sailing is not done on the 2nd floor of a building! However, I have no objection to the merger of SRR with EVR. "

Décathlon wants to continue the co-design of the project

When asked about the reaction of the SRR president, Guénolé Havard de Tribord avoided interfering between the town of La Rochelle and the club. " The occupancy agreement has been signed with the city and the building permit is still being filed. We are still exchanging with local actors and we want a project "built with", an open R&D project. "

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