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our first challenges


June 2022

MONACO (France) – ATHENS (Greece)
13 days / 1800 km / 6 rowers

During this Mediterranean crossing, our athletes, all of whom have won titles in international competitions, experienced epic conditions throughout the journey. They endured some nice storms and thunderstorms, faced periods of swell of more than 2 meters, headwinds and had some unexpected encounters with a shark.

These extraordinary conditions have certainly tested the morale of the sportswomen but have allowed to highlight an excellent team cohesion, both among themselves and with the crew, an important and determining factor for the good progress of the final project this winter: to join Peru to French Polynesia, 8000 km this time.

1800 Km


320 hours of rowing

discover the video !

“A journey of a thousand leagues always begins with the first stroke of the oar.”


CAP OPTIMIST : TEST expedition #1

October 2022

Bordeaux (France) – Biarritz (France)
4 days / 120 km / 6 rowers

From October 10 to 14, 2022, the Cap Optimist waterwomen embarked on their first expedition between Bordeaux and Biarritz. A week dedicated to meetings with the entire Optimistpartners (private, associations, medical) and project ambassadors. A week rich in emotions during which Stéphanie, Alexandra, Emmanuelle, Marie and Margot travelled through the Gironde, the Landes and the Atlantic Pyrenees in the form of a nomadic and sportive road trip. Several paddleboard crossings on the lakes of Sanguinet, Biscarosse, Aureilhan and Hossegor to their credit with sections also in the ocean with notably a night paddle Mimizan/ Capbreton (60km) and a day paddle Capbreton/ Biarritz (20km); the waterwomen have not only discovered incredible landscapes but have also met :

  • Nearly 400 children from the territory to present the Sport and Health educational program “A challenge in my school”.
  • about thirty private and institutional partners
  • 10 municipalities
  • the medical team of the Bordeaux University Hospital which will accompany the Hope Team East association in the follow-up of the
    Super Optimist
  • the association
    Entre Parenthèse
    based in Mont de Marsan with Mélanie, the first Super Optimist, who will follow the accompaniment program to achieve her sporting challenge
  • the ambassadors’ team led by Valérie Nicolas, world handball champion and Stéphanie Fernandez, former professional basketball player
  • the Horn sisters, Jessica & Annika, who had the pleasure of sharing their taste for adventure for 48 hours with the waterwomen

photo rowers with paddle

discover the video !

An incredible week
that boosted the team
for the rest of the adventure!

Sub-projects in the project! Throughout the week, the association worked to organize :

  • medical meetings to advance the programs of accompaniment of adolescents in post-treatment and insertion of optimist bubbles in pediatric onco services
  • pedagogical meetings to present the program Un défi dans mon école
  • the 1st edition of Hossegor en Rose within the framework of Pink October
  • a charity evening in Biarritz with nearly 150 people present to raise funds for the association’s new Sport Santé program
  • a conference on resilience in the face of life’s various struggles

beach rower cap o pas cap

2nd Expedition

2015 – CAP HORN crossing

Passage of Cape Horn (Chilli Point)
12 days / water at 2 degrees / 3 rowers

After two and a half years of preparation and negotiation with the Chilean army, a new Optimist expedition was launched in January 2015 in extreme conditions, namely 2-3 degree water, strong currents, the shallows of the Drake Passage and the mythical Cape Horn.

Stephanie is accompanied by Alexandra Lux and Itziar Abascal, also world champions in coastal rescue.

12 days of relay and more than 1000 km achieved by the extreme rowers – sponsored by Yves Parlier – mastering Cape Horn and its dangers.



2°C to 3°C

An educational program to raise awareness of the need to respect the ocean has been designed and distributed to 3,500 children in France, Monaco and several classes in Chile.

Many athletes such as Tony Estanguet, Jérome Fernandez, Stéphane Diagana and many others are part of the “Club des givrés” to support the expedition.

1st Expedition

2009 – CAP ODYSSEE crossing

54 days / 4 830 km / 3 rowers

In 2009, the day after the announcement of hersecond breast cancer, Stéphanie set out to attack the Atlantic with two world champion Coastal Rescue sailors and friends, Flora Manciet and Alexandra Lux. After more than two million turns of the arm, they take up an unprecedented world exploit by connecting Canada to France in paddleboard (small board of 5,15 m length and 50 cm broad), in relay and accompanied by a sailboat of assistance. Sponsored and skippered by Yves Parlier, the expedition enters the Guinness Book of Records.

21 Hours
of trains per day

10,000 people
on arrival

“We succeeded in our challenge: crossing the North Atlantic on a paddle board in 54 days. Lying on a tiny board facing this gigantic ocean, we took turns every two hours to move forward at all costs, facing fog, storms, icy water, currents, day and night.”