MARIGOT—French-side marine trades association Métimer on Saturday presented cheques to four outstanding water sport athletes to help finance their participation in international competitions at a ceremony held in the Ma Ti Beach Restaurant, Baie Nettle.
The donations came from proceeds from the recent Fête de La Mer event organised by Métimer after expenses were taken into account. Each year Métimer makes a donation to a worthy cause. Last year it was the turn of sea rescue service SNSM.
The four recipients are Maé Demanez (surfing), Théo Demanez (kitesurfing), Thomas Witczak (water skiing), and Eliott-Pierre Heym (windsurfing).
Thomas Witczak and Théo Demanez received 2,000 euros each as they are competing internationally while Maé Demanez and Eliott-Pierre Heym were awarded 1,000 euros each as they compete regionally.
Maé Demanez (14) was Vice-Champion in her category (Under 14) at an event in Guadeloupe last year and this year she is competing in the under 18 category as there are few girls in the younger age categories.
“I’ve been surfing for two years now,” she says.” I would like to be a professional. This sport is amazing, to do something you love for a job would be a dream come true.”
Her brother Théo Demanez (16) started kitesurfing when he was nine years old. Two years ago he was spotted by officials from Cabrinha, the kite maker, while on a visit to the island and invited to be a junior team rider. Since then he has been on the up and up.
He is referred to by Cabrinha as a “swiss army knife” because he can do so many different manoeuvres in kite surfing. His speciality however is riding the board without straps, as on a surfboard and making 360 degree turns.
In June he competes at the world championships in Tarifa, Spain, after receiving a wild card entry and will compete with adults in typically strong winds for that area.
Thomas Witczak’s (14) very impressive resumé includes reaching number one in the European ranking list in 2014 for his age group. In 2015 he was French campion in Slalom and Vice-Champion in tricks, jumps, and combinations. In July he competes in the French Championships and the European Championships in August in Italy.
While in Clearmont, Florida, in May, he was invited for the first time by the American league to participate in a professional tournament consisting of the world’s best adult skiers, for the experience.
Eliott-Pierre Heym (13) has been windsurfing for four years, learning the sport at Wind Adventures on Orient Beach. He competed in the last St. Barths Fun Cup, winning his age category. This year he is competing in the 15-18 age category because of his exceptional talent. His preferred disciplines are slalom, speed racing, and tricks.
He said his hero is Julien Quentel who also grew up learning to windsurf in St. Martin before turning professional and is now ranked in the top ten of the world’s best.
Source: Daily Herald
Métimer rewards water sport athletes from event proceeds