At 14, the SNO Nantes licensee has just been titled, two weeks apart, world and French champion. An unprecedented performance.
With the arrival of Lomane Valade, in October 2020, the oldest sailing club in Nantes, the Sport Nautique de l’Ouest, whose creation dates back to 1882, has enriched its gallery of champions. The young teenager, native of Dijon (Côte d’Or), arrived in Saint-Malo around the age of 6. The proximity to the sea and her mother’s wish for her to do a sailing course were decisive. She quickly put her bag at the Club Nautique de Rennes (CNR), in Saint-Suliac (Ille-et-Vilaine), on the Rance estuary. “I liked it and immediately started competing”, she admits. Its progress has been the fastest on the benchmark sailing school boat. The medals followed and Lomane became addicted to the competition. ” I like “, she said spontaneously.
“I wanted to make history”
Lomade Valade, aboard his Optimist on Friday July 16 in Quiberon. © FF Sailing
From there to realize what she did this first fortnight of July, she did not really think about it. First, on Lake Garda (Italy) where, at the world championships, for her first participation, on July 9, she won the gold medal… And ranked 7th in the scratch (57 nations, 259 competitors).
A nice surprise that she saw coming gradually: “Before the competition, we did a training regatta and I finished 3rd. It gave me confidence. So I was calm, not stressed. I wasn’t thinking of the results. And on the ground, I had fun, I wanted to enjoy it. “ But on the water, the competitor was focused. “I didn’t have bad races. “ Unlike her main rival, the Italian Lisa Vuccetti (silver), more irregular. Despite her apparent serenity, when she saw, on the last day, “That it was quite tight”, she admits “To have had a small rise in stress. “ The title was well worth that.
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Then, another great moment, in the bay of Quiberon where, on July 16, she was crowned, for the third time in a row, champion of France. A performance never before achieved. And her competitors, who applauded her when she arrived, once on the water, saw her sail only from a distance. She killed the suspense after winning the first seven races (a total of 9 wins out of 13 races, including the Medal race). This time, for her last Optimist regatta, she wanted “To make history, because no one has ever won three times in a row. “
A busy schedule awaits him now. A passage on 420 during France, in August, in Martigues (Bouches-du-Rhône), to test, with a coxswain of the SNO, Joan Marion. Next season, she will sail with Flavie Foucher, teammate of the SNO. And, at the start of the school year, her installation at CENS (Nantes educational center for sportsmen), where, a year in advance, she will enter second. Always one step ahead …
Lomane Valade surrounded by his friends from SNO Nantes, Anatole Thomas (left) and Armel Le Ny, first and second in the France Optimist boys. © Ouest-France / Daniel Le Drezen