In the late 90's, the County Council considered providing the Morbihan with an original maritime festival, enhancing the Gulf's nautical and cultural features, taking place before high season and open to the general public for free ... In 1998, Polig Belenfant (Administrative Head of the County Council) and William Vogel (Director of Arzon Tourist Board), both experienced sailors and connoisseurs of the Gulf, got in touch and exchanged their initial ideas with the specialised agency Grand Large (Jakez Kerhoas and Anne Burlat). Not long after, Grand Large was entrusted with the feasibility study and the first edition of the "Semaine du Golfe" in 2001.
The Morbihan County Council with the support of its public and private partners.
The non-profit Association "Semaine du Golfe du Morbihan".
Chairman: Aimé Kerguéris.
Spokesman: Gérard d'Aboville.
This organizing association is managed by a Direction Board consisting of representatives of the founding members and of maritime personalities. It is assisted by the Agency Grand Large (Jakez Kerhoas and Anne Burlat) and employs a professional team of three people full-time (Anne Morice,Valence Lemaistre, Erwan Tanneau).
An international maritime festival, gathering boats "of character", taking place over all week of the Ascension Day and throughout the Gulf of Morbihan.
Gulf (Mor Bihan = Small Sea in Breton), its harbours and its moorings, its islands and inlets, the narrow bottleneck which separates and protects it from the open sea.... It is the particular geography and the physical specificities of this exceptional Gulf of Morbihan (tides, currents, eddies) that determine and give rhythm to the nautical program of the event.
Traditional and classic sailing boats, in other words boats of character, French and European. The sailing boats of the French Atlantic Coast make up the majority, but the festival also attracts many from the Mediterranean Sea, Cornwall (Kernow), the North Sea...
Since its 4th edition in 2007, the "Gulf's Week" has welcomed a "Special Guest" region which carries a beautiful flotilla, representative of its own maritime culture (the Alpes-Maritimes in 2007, Wales in 2009, the Spanish Basque country in 2011).
Registered crews (about 3 to 4000 sailors in 2011). All these sailors are pure amateurs whose pleasure lies in meeting others, and sailing in such a magnificent area and in an authentic maritime atmosphere. They are the guests of the "Gulf's Week" (the registration is free).
Morbihan Sailing Clubs and Associations take an active part in the organization of the water-borne events and supervise the regattas.
The volunteers of the local associations who take care of reception and provide services for sailors and visitors.
And also the musicians, the exhibitors.
The registered boats (more than a thousand in 2011) are divided into 8 homogenous and easily identifiable flotillas: Gigs and Sail & Oar boats, classic yachts, ancient fishing and working boats... as well as some thirty Tall Ships from 20 to 40 m from the European maritime heritage (three-masts barks, bricks), schooners, etc.). Every day, every flotilla follows its own program of navigation and stops over every evening in a different harbour.
The 15 associate ports welcome the flotillas alternately: Arradon, Arzon, Auray, Baden, Ile d'Arz, Ile aux Moines, Larmor-Baden, Le Bono, Le Hézo, Locmariaquer, Plougoumelen, Saint Armel, Sarzeau, Séné, Vannes. According to their characteristics and their means, these municipalities ensure one or several evening and night stopovers (only the Port of Vannes organises 4 consecutive evenings) and some of them receive the boats for a mere picnic stop at midday. In any case, every City goes far to offer the warmest and most festive welcome to the sailors and to the visitors...
The big final parade of Saturday: it groups together all the boats, all flotillas mingled, for an amazing nautical show which attracts many local boat lovers onto the water and to the coast …
The "Gulf's Week " never forget the general public and offers all the ingredients of a big popular maritime party:
Exhibitions and animations under tents and outdoors.
Oysters, grills of fish, local products.
Model making and sailing models.
Music of all kinds (brass bands, jazz-bands, Celtic music, choirs, folk song and shanties, etc.).
Night shows and entertainments: concerts, festou-noz, local dances and fireworks.
Pedestrian circuits all over the coastline.