Les Tonnerres de Brest sailing festival

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The seaport of Brest in western France transforms every four years into a mecca for boating fanatics with “Les Tonnerres de Brest,” or the Brest Maritime Festival. This year’s celebration was another first for the new French president Francois Hollande after the Bastille Day celebrations came to a close. Along with close to a million spectators, President Hollande witnessed vessels from all over the world last week demonstrating centuries of their sailing prowess before setting out for a spectacular parade finale.