BARNES Île Maurice
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Jean-Claude FARLA, the old sea dog



Local sea legend, Jean-Claude Farla was six times crowned swimming champion of Mauritius, before claiming another three victories as the Indian Ocean’s windsurfing champion. This track record has made him a true icon amongst fellow Mauritians, whom he inspires and advises on a daily basis. 

A lifelong athlete, Jean-Claude likes to go where the wind takes him, enjoying his two favourite disciplines or sailing aboard his pirogue. Since his retirement, he takes tourists on exclusive sea adventures between Pointe d'Esny and l’île aux Cerfs. 

Committed to the protection of the lagoon and its fauna, Jean-Claude wishes to sensitise tourists and proudly represent the colours and beauty of Mauritius. Foreigners have come to know him through word of mouth as well as Jean-Claudes great reputation in his lagoon and the publicity generated by famous tourist guides like Routard, Lonely Planet or Petit Futé. 

It is in Pointe d'Esny, the village where he grew up, that Jean-Claude and his pirogue are stationed.   

The southern coast, its lagoon, its beaches, its living together and its tranquillity, perfectly reflect the gentle, typically Mauritian lifestyle that I like to advocate, Jean-Claude shares. 

This old sea dog is extremely proud of his old boat, which he bought in 1998. It is a pirogue that is no longer built nowadays and of which he takes great care to keep it intact. Every year, he likes to make his own 11-meter nylon sail, hanging it on a bamboo mast.  

Jean-Claude shares his passion for sailing with his son, Jean-Eric, who also offers sea excursions on his own boat. His biggest regret is not being 20 years old today, to take advantage of the brand-new sports facilities that exist and see how far he could have gone in the two disciplines that shaped this true sea legend. 

Photo credit: Fred Cusin