A man has been arrested after vandalising, while drunk, four boats used by French rowers seeking to qualify for Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

Four boats used by French rowers in preparation for Paris 2024 have been destroyed by a drunken man who has been arrested.

The incident took place on Sunday (March 26) morning at the Pole France d’Aviron boathouse in Nancy, while rowers were out training.

Estimates put the damage at between €20,000 (£17,500/$21,500) and €25,000 (£22,000/$27,000) and two of the four boats are said to be completely unusable.

The club has filed a complaint and is working to find solutions because at least three athletes - Théophile and Valentin Onfroy, 30 and 29-years-old respectively, and Emma Cornelis, 23 - use the boats in training as they seek to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

"They train every day and we can't afford to have blank days," Sébastien Bel, head of the high performance centre in Nancy, told AFP.

A boat stored in reserve has been put back into service and loans are being organised between rowers.

A new boat costs around €16,000 (£14,000/$17,300).

Bel added that at the time of the incident "everyone was on the water", and the boathouse doors had remained open as usual.

A boat weighs 14 kilograms and the man threw them to the ground, while the father of a rower affiliated with the club was able to film the scene with his mobile phone.

After being alerted police quickly arrested the man at the scene.

"The person concerned, 24-years-old and with no prior history, was prosecuted by tort (simplified prosecution allowing the imposition of a fine, community service or a sentence complementary)," the public prosecutor in Nancy, François Capin-Dulhoste, told AFP.