Sports Listings: Plan ahead

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Lacanau, north-east of Bordeaux on the Bay of Biscay in the Gironde department, hosted last year's European Surfing Championships, a trial run for the World Championships, which will be held there from 19 September to 4 October. Its water, warm for the Atlantic Ocean, and climate at this time of year have attracted 36 countries, including a 14-strong British entry.

The surf at Lacanau is consistently good and powerful, and, with difficult currents, will prove testing for the surfer. This in turn provides excellent viewing over the fortnight for the spectator, particularly as the tide does not retreat too far. The promenade in this small town, a favourite resort of the Bordelais, is raised for easy viewing and dotted with cafes. Should the weather prevent competition, the proximity of the Medoc and the historic city of Bordeaux, which is less than 30 minutes away by car, provides all the mystique of a major wine-growing area at vintage time.

Travelling to Lacanau poses few problems. Air France and British Airways fly direct to Bordeaux from Gatwick daily. Air France has two flights on Sundays. The APEX fare is pounds 190 return. Lacanau no longer has a rail link with Bordeaux, but there is a bus service which starts from the main railway station in Bordeaux, journey time 1hr 20min. The TGV, the French inter-city train, takes three hours from Paris. Road links are good for the motorist from the chosen car ferry and Lacanau-Ocean is easily reached on the D6 off the N215 from Bordeaux.

Hotel accommodation in Lacanau-Ocean will be very limited as more than 600 competitors and officials are expected. Certainly, booking in advance will be necessary. However, as this town is a holiday resort, there are apartments and houses for rent. The local tourist office can advise on where to stay and there are six camp sites. Bordeaux is only 60 kilometres away with plenty of hotel accommodation.

For the surfer who follows football, Bordeaux, the First Division club, have two home fixtures, both evening kick-offs, during the Championships. On Saturday, 19 September, they play Monaco and the following Friday entertain Strasbourg.

World Surfing Championships, Lacanau Ocean, Gironde, France, 19 September to 4 October.

French Government Tourist Office, 178 Piccadilly, London W1V 0AL (Tel: 071-499 6911 - recorded information only).

Lacanau Ocean Tourist Office, Place de l'Europe, 33680 Lacanau (Tel: 010 33 56 032101). Bordeaux Tourist Office, 12 cours du XXX Juillet, 33000 Bordeaux (Tel: 010 33 56 442841).

Flight information and reservation: Air France (Tel: 081-742 6600); British Airways (081-897 4000).

Bordeaux FC, Parc Lescure, Rue Joliot-Curie, 33186 Le Haillan, Bordeaux. (Tel: 010 33 56 282179).

Details of forthcoming events with information on ticket availability and venues should be sent to The Sports Desk, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB or faxed to 071-956 1894.

Comments