thierrry devaux

Statue of Liberty

Extract from the chapter: The beautiful Girl.
Extract from the chapter: One flew over a crazy dream.

The history of a Great Lady

Starting in 1848, the French Republicans opposed to the future Napoleon III are fired with enthusiasm about American independence. They decide to honour the United States of America. The sculptor Bartholdi is seduced by the idea of providing the American people with a Statue of Liberty. The adventure will last almost 20 years and J. Pulitzer will appeal to the generosity of the American people to finalise the project. The inauguration is a triumph and America discovers "Liberty Enlightening the World".


Four attempts for a passion

1 - My first attempt at the Great Dame takes place in July 1993 (...) Impressed by the atmosphere (...)thierrry devaux I get to the top of the flame at 2 a.m. (...) Despite a lot of time in museums, some plans have disappeared and this exploration is intended to find certain exact dimensions (...) For twenty-one years, he is the only one who has climbed up in the enclosed area every Wednesday (...) In the bewilderment and then the understanding of Rangers (...).

2 - My second attempt took place on June 16, 1994 with my teammate Christophe (...) We need more than twenty rigorous visits to hide the elastic, the winch, our car battery, a metallic platform and other supplies, which is more than 60 kilos of equipment (...) From respect for places of interest, I took empty bottles to relieve ourselves during the night (...) We reach the top of the flame with our heavy equipment (...) In the early morning, an advertising crew exceptionally arrives before the opening to the public (...) We meet them across the shoulder of the empty Statue (...) In the torch, after more than one hour of check-listing and preparation, I end my warm up (...) The first ferry of visitors accosts and the second is waiting (...) We ready to go out at around 8:50 a.m. (...) while our cameraman arrives (...) The authorities are particularly vexed and nobody discloses the event to the media (...) The case drags on for months and gets lost in time (...). thierrry devaux




3 - The third attempt in November 2000, is certainly my ultimate attempt (...) I have the chance to be as inventive as creative. I still have to find new solutions (...) Alone, I will be much more flexible (...) During five years, I have been looking for solutions to go back up by myself on my elastic (...) The development and rehearsal are very physical (...) Otherwise the solution of an ultra-light paramotor to reach the level of the torch seems the most accurate with respect to sporting ethics (...) I make hundreds of simulations. I want to link carry out at least four different jumps (...) and finish with a simple abseiling (...). 9:10 a.m., 28 km/h: stable and laminar wind for 30 minutes (...) I am stuck three metres from the torch. (...) I pulled the brakes and by caution escape offshore (...) They did not see my bungee (...) The police asked me not to clutter the field (...) I go back Manhattan by tram devastated after so many years of preparations and training (...).

thierrry devaux





4 - The fourth attempt on August 23, 2001 is still more rigorous in the carrying out of my acrobatic jumps (...). The wind is perfect for one hour at 7 km/h (...) This means 12-16 km/h wind above the sea. Fantastic: perfect aeronautical conditions after so many years of rehearsal (...) At 100 metres above the ocean, in New York bay and on the Atlantic coast, I will get this constant breeze (...) My second approach “in eight” puts me ten centimetres, in the horizontal and vertical axis of my target (…) In these last seconds, I am forced to land at 22 km/h without wind (...) In this impossible vacuum, my emergency karabiner is (...) My feet are on the edge of the torch and the bungee pressing on the guardrail exactly as planned (...). Suspended 4 metres below the torch, I have never been so humiliated thierrry devauxin my life. I have all I need abseil down but I must admit to not thinking of it during my forty minutes of suspension (…) I am so humiliated after hundreds of flight rehearsals (...) It is too provocative to descend the bottom when the Rangers are a few seconds away (...) The police will take more than fifteen minutes to arrive (…). I am an idiot not to go down the 93 metres by myself as planned after my three acrobatics (...) Both policemen are very sportsman like submariners who are quietly efficient but do not know any rope manipulations. They are safe behind the guardrail and do not know what to do. One of them had some mountaineering experience in Chamonix (...) I explained how to use a rope and he ended up getting a damaged sailing rope (...) The three other policemen make a lot of disturbances and play the heroes. This excessive zeal of the police is annoying (...) The two submariners pat me on the shoulder and secretly congratulate me. The three other policemen still beat around the bush to help me to go down and to live the great American adventure which I know by heart in the staircase! (…).
From its official tribune in New York City, the police explains its own heroism at the risk of its life in front of the cameras (...) What an injustice after so many sacrifices (...).
(...) After all this media coverage (...) the judge sticks to my artistic intent and fines me $ 7,065 but I have nothing to pay. He decided that the auction of my equipment will pay the fine.

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