Located in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, Diamond Rock is one of Martinique’s tourist attractions. For transat drivers Jacques FabreIt will basically be the last traffic sign before the finish line. But what do we know about this rock? With an area of 0.053 square kilometers and a height of 175 meters, it is a remnant of volcanic activity found in the area.
Named Diamant because of its shape and the reflections of its walls depending on the time of day, it also gave its name to its corresponding village in Martinique: Le Diamant. But this rock, which would make Jacques Fabre’s transatlantic rivals feel the approach of the Fort-de-France bay, had its importance during the Napoleonic Wars in particular.
Diamond Rock website. © Google Earth
A key strategic point during the Napoleonic Wars
It was the scene of a clash between the French Empire and the Kingdom of Spain against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from May 31 to June 2, 1805. Due to its location, stuck in southern Martinique and north in the St. Lucia Channel, the strategic interest was real at the time because Diamond Rock allowed control of navigation between Martinique and the island of Saint Lucia.
Before the battle, the island was occupied by a hundred Britons, who did not hesitate to harass and sink boats wishing to go to the bay of Fort de France, using cannons mounted on the sides of the small island. It was the Franco-Spanish armed force that removed the English and regained control of the Rock. The latter remained under French influence until the British captured the Martinique Islands in 1809.
Read also. Our interview with Armel Le Cléac’h
Now more used to promote tourism in Martinique, the Rocher du Diamant remains of strategic importance … for sailing races. As the final sign of success for three of the four courses of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2021, the Rocher du Diamant will serve as the last peace justice before the final battle at Fort-de-France Bay.
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