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La Rochelle (Municipality, Charente-Maritime, France)

Last modified: 2017-03-16 by ivan sache
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[Flag]

Flag of La Rochelle - Image by Pascal Gross, 8 September 2001


See also:


Presentation of La Rochelle

The municipality of La Rochelle (76,848 inhabitants in 2007; 2,843 ha) is located on the Atlantic Ocean. A Protestant stronghold during the French Wars of Religion, the town was seized after a two-year siege (1627-1628) by Louis XIII's Royal army, commanded by Cardinal of Richelieu.

La Rochelle is particularly renowned for yachting industry, races and its main marina (Port des Minimes). The town gained also some celebrity in the 1980s because of the original transportation policy developed by the late Mayor Michel Crépeau. Most cars were excluded from the downtown and replaced with bikes that could be used freely.

Ivan Sache, 9 September 2001


Flag of La Rochelle

The flag of La Rochelle, as seen hoisted on the fortifications of the old harbour is white the town's logo, made of a blue triangle on which the word "TA ROCHELLE" is written in alternating black and white letters.

Pascal Gross, 8 September 2001


Historical flag of La Rochelle

[Flag]

Historical flag of La Rochelle - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 25 February 2017

The traditional, Protestant flag of La Rochelle, sometimes still in use by the municipality (as seen for instance in September 2001) together with the logo flag, is made of horizontal blue and white stripes.

Pascal Vagnat, 25 February 2017


Yacht Clubs in la Rochelle

Société des Régates Rochelaises

[Burgee]

Burgee of SRR - Image by Ivan Sache, 28 December 2004

Société des Régates Rochelaises (SRR, website) was founded in 1860. Until 1890, the only activity of SRR was the organization, every 15 August, of a regatta for rowing boats, fishing boats and a few yachting boats. The profit of the regatta was awarded to seamen's widows. In 1893 (or 1863?), SRR was state-pproved, which is unique among French sports associations.
In the 1950s, the SRR developed light and cruise sailing; the club organized in 1964 the first Semaine Internationale de la Voile, with 312 entrants. In 1990, there were 1,279 entrants.
The town of La Rochelle and SRR are today among the main organizers of deep-sea races for multi-hull sailing ships, including the Transat La Rochelle-New Orleans. In 1987, several members of the SRR were in the crew and technical staff of French Kiss, which competed in the America's Cup. In 1991, France won for the first time the Admiral's Cup, with several members of SRR on board. In 1998, La Rochelle was a stopover port of the Whitbread race, with SRR as the local organizer.
Current membership of SRR is 700. The clubhouse of SRR is located on the Port des Minimes. Would Paris have been awarded the organization of the 2012 Olympic Games, the yachting races would have taken place in La Rochelle, which has a natural racing basin (3,000 ha) protected by the islands of Ré and Oléron.

The burgee of SRR is white with a blue cross, the red letters SRR in canton and the emblem of the club in the middle of the cross. The emblem on the cross is a white oval with a blue cross outlined in red, surmonted with a crown and flanked by two fishes (?).

Ivan Sache, 28 April 2007


Yacht Club Classique

[Flag]         [Burgee]

Flag and burgee of YCC - Images by Ivan Sache, 3 December 2009

Yacht Club Classique (YCC; website), founded in 2005 and based at La Rochelle, has three main goals:
- to preserve the yachting heritage via the European Yachting Archives:
- to organize regatta and popular events for classic yachts;
- to promote the restoration of classic yachts.

"Classic yachts" are defined by the Scientific Council of YCC as follows:
- single-copy or prototype yachts matching the original plans and launched at least 25 years ago;
- yachts built in less than 20 copies matching the original plans and launched at least 50 years ago;
- yacht replica built after plans designed earlier than 31 December 1939, as well as yachts built after the spirit of that period.

The burgee of YCC is blue with a red triangle, charged with a white star, placed along the hoist. The triangle is separated from the blue field by a white fimbriation, which also divides the blue field in two equal, horizontal parts, each charged with a white "C". Among the members of YCC, only the owners or co-owners of a classic yacht are granted the burgee of YCC.
The flag of YCC (photo), is similar to the burgee, but with the star tilted to the upper right corner of the flag.

Ivan Sache, 3 December 2009


Stade Rochelais

[Flag]         [Flag]

Flag of Stade Rochelais, two versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 28 August 2016

Stade Rochelais (website) was established as a sports club in La Rochelle in 1898. In 1902, the US Consul in La Rochelle, George Henry Jackson, founded a rugby section. Stade Rochelais joined the Fédérale, at the time the top division, in 1948; from 9 January 1949 to 24 October 1954, the club remained undefeated in its home stadium (28 matches). The club adopted in 1997 the professional status, playing in the first league in 2001-2002 (Top 16), 2010-2011 and since 2014 (Top 14).

The modern expansion of Stade Rochelais is connected to the Élissalde family, of Basque origin (the family's name means "near the church" in Basque). Arnaud "Nono" Élissalde (1926-2016) moved from Bayonne to La Rochelle in 1947; he played for the club and coached it from 1947 to 1971, founding its youth academy.
His son, Jean-Pierre Élissalde (b. 1953 in La Rochelle), played as half-scrum for Stade Rochelais from 1973 to 1988, except a short enrolment with Aviron Bayonnais (1978-1980). He gained five caps with the French team in 1980 and 1981. Later on, he successively coached Stade Rochelais (1988-2003), AS Béziers (2003-2005), the Japanese national team (2005-2006), and Aviron Bayonnais (2006-2008, 2011-2012).
Jean-Pierre's son, Jean-Baptiste Élissalde (b. 1977 in La Rochelle), gained 102 caps, as the scrum-half or fly-half, with Stade Rochelais from 1997 to 2002. When the club was relegated from the Top 16, Élissalde moved to Stade Toulousain, gaining 191 caps and scoring 1,776 points; he won the national championship in 2008 and 2012 and the Heineken (European) Cup in 2003, 2005 and 2010. Jean-Baptiste Élissalde gained 35 caps with the French national team from 2005 to 2008, winning the Six Nations in 2004 (Grand Slam) and 2006. In 2010, he was enrolled in the coaching squad of Stade Toulousain, winning another two national titles in 2011 and 2012.

The flag of Stade Rochelais (photos, photo, photo, photo) is yellow with the club's emblem. The emblem, designed in April 1961 by Georges Gaïlleul, shows a yellow caravel (the town's emblem) on a black field; it was used for the first time in 1968 during a match of the last 32 played against RC Toulon in Montauban.
The yellow and black colours were selected in 1902 by Georges Henry Jackson. The tradition says that in early practices on a muddy field, the players from the tow camps could not be easily identified. Mother Joseph, the owner of the neighbouring pub, knit for them yellow and black flannel belts.
[Club des supporters de l'ASM Clermont Auvergne]

For the sake of sponsoring, writings and emblems are sometimes added on the yellow (photo, photo) or black (photo) field, for instance the emblem of the department of Charente-Maritime.

A flag with eight yellow and black horizontal stripes and the club's emblem in the center is also used (photo, photo). The flag's pattern refers to the team's jersey, the players being nicknamed "Bagnards" (Convicts). The nickname also recalls that the convicts spent their last night on the French continental territory in the jail of La Rochelle, before embarking to Guyane, New Caledonia, or Ré island.

These flags are now obsolete, since the club adopted on 22 August 2016 a new emblem. The logo was modernized and simplified, the caravel sailing now towards the viewer's right. The name of the club was reverted from Atlantique Stade Rochelais to Stade Rochelais; accordingly, the word "ATLANTIQUE" was dropped from the logo.
[Sud Ouest, 27 June 2016]

Ivan Sache, 8 August 2016