Let’s go Ibaialde! After sailing twice along the St. Lawrence River in 2003 and 2013, Ibaialde-indianoak flows into the ocean to connect St. Pierre and Miquelon from Newfoundland.
In a boat that came from the Basque Country – , crew members will cover 500 km at sea from Plazentzia. They will cross the Avalon peninsula to reach Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. The crew composed of women and men, will obviously count many Basques, Hegoalde and Iparralde but also Quebec and Saint-Pierre. The expedition which begins on July 25 of Plazentzia, is sequenced in 10 stages. She will pass through Petite-Forte, Beau-Bois, Saint-Lawrence, Lamaline, Fortune, Harbor-Breton, Brunette to finally arrive in Saint-Pierre and finish in Miquelon.
There’ll be fun and games.
This is an enormous challenge for the rowers of this new expedition. Indeed, the two previous ones had sailed in fresh water, along the Saint Lawrence. The first had linked Sept-Îles to Trois-Pistoles in 2003. The second, Trois-Pistoles in Montreal. Next July, Ibaialde-Indianoak will take off … in the Atlantic Ocean. And, knowing that a train is made up of a crew of 14 sailors, 13 rowers and 1 helmsman, it is about twenty rowers who will take turns. Three teams will rotate to allow everyone to rest and recover for the next steps. Meanwhile, the crew refines its training between Adour and Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
A sporting challenge but not only… “More than a sport challenge it is an experience,” explains Michel Lastiri, a member of Ibaialde. This time the association has partnered with the Basque Pelota League of Saint Pierre and Miquelon to offer a cultural component to the expedition. The inhabitants of Saint Pierre and Miquelon are anxious to reconnect with their roots their culture and also with the Euskara which is unfortunately no longer spoken in the archipelago.
With this new perspective, they wish to set up, with the assistance of Ibaialde-Indianoak, a whole program of cultural and gastronomic exchanges around the expedition. It is for this reason that 10 musicians will come to animate the stopovers of the crew and will also participate in the great Basque celebration that will take place in Saint-Pierre. A school exchange program was also initiated as well as an itinerant exhibition. Finally, a promotion of the gastronomic products of the Basque Country will satisfy the hunger of participants who will also feed on Basque culture…
An Euskal Etxe in St. Pierre and Miquelon
Finally for the archipelago the arrival of the expedition will be synonymous of celebrating the Basque culture obviously but also the opportunity to lay the foundation stone of the Euskal Etxe and which will be inaugurated in October 2018! This Euskal etxe will bring together all the initiatives taking place around the Basque culture and traditions and will make it possible to host sports, artistic, musical groups ect. In order to perpetuate exchanges between the Basque community and the Basque diaspora.
Waiting for July 25th and the beginning of this great adventure, we invite you to look at the website and the facebook page of Ibaialde-Indianoak: indianoak.fr/fr/projet/