The marina in Marseille will be the sailing venue for Paris 2024. GETTY IMAGES

The Olympic marina in Marseille, which will host the sailing events of the Paris Games this summer, was inaugurated on Tuesday in the presence of the president of the organising committee, Tony Estanguet, who praised a facility designed for the "top level" and "to inspire new vocations."

Located at the southern end of the Corniche overlooking the Mediterranean, the new six-building Roucas Blanc Marina took just over two years to complete at an estimated cost of €44 million, almost double the original budget (€25 million).

It has been home to the French sailing team and its athletes for almost a year now. From 28 July to 8 August, more than 330 sailors from all over the world will compete for Olympic medals in 10 disciplines. 

"I trained there for the Rio 2016 Olympics and we were housed in prefabricated buildings... So it's amazing, the buildings, the hangars, the space, it's great. It has everything you need to perform," Sarah Steyaert, who will compete in the 49er with Charline Picon, told AFP.

"Such emotion, such pride, such a beautiful collective achievement! This infrastructure is a miracle," said Tony Estanguet. "It is a facility designed for the very best, but also to inspire new vocations," he added. 

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, also raised the question of the "legacy" of a facility designed to last beyond the Olympic Games. "The champions will inspire careers and the young people of Marseille will be inspired by the victories of this summer," she declared at a press conference attended by French kite-surfing specialists Lauriane Nolot and Axel Mazella, who have a real chance of winning the Olympic title this summer. 

For his part, the mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, spoke of "a sea stadium where the best athletes will train a few metres from the children of Marseille": "Generations of Marseille people will learn to sail there," he promised.  "We are very proud of Marseille. It is a unique body of water in the world, the images will be magnificent and Marseille will dazzle the planet," concluded Amélie Oudéa-Castéra.