Exhibition Run: Nice just warming up!

Sailing, Sports, Yachting — By on April 29, 2018 at 6:38 PM

Picture credits ©Morgan Bove / A.S.O.

To note:

– Actual-Grand Large Emotion dominates the Exhibition Run ahead of Sodebo Ultim’ and IDEC SPORT

– The public in Nice come out in force for this spectacular, unique event contested right next to the shore

– D-3 before the kick-off of the main event, the sprint around the Mediterranean, Wednesday 2 May at 1:02pm.

A festive atmosphere coloured this Sunday for the Nice UltiMed Exhibition Run. Original and spectacular, the start off Rauba Capeù set the tone, gathering together numerous spectators. Non-point-scoring, this new full-size test proved to be a great opportunity for some heated exchanges between the three Ultimes skippered by Yves Le Blévec, Thomas Coville and Francis Joyon. Making the most of the favourable weather conditions and very much in tune with their machine, the crew of Actual-Grand Large Emotion dominated proceedings ahead of Sodebo Ultim’ and IDEC SPORT. All the protagonists are now ready for the main event of the Nice UltiMed, the start of which will set sail on Wednesday 2 May, at 1:02pm, with Armel Le Cléac’h and Christian Estrosi, the Mayor of Nice sending the fleet on their way.

Traditionally, the starts of major sailing events take place offshore and you need to be on the water or in front of your television to be fully immersed in the atmosphere and intensity of a procedure. For the Nice UltiMed, the public have the opportunity to get up close and personal with these tense and spectacular moments from an ideal promontory, Rauba Capeù. The Mayor of the City, Christian Estrosi set a date with the city’s locals and they were out in force at Rauba Capeù and along the Promenade des Anglais to admire the start of the Exhibition Run, gathering together three of the fastest multihulls on the planet. And the show didn’t end there. Indeed, the whole of the course (looped circuits between Nice, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Monaco) was visible for all to see from the shore and Rauba Capeù took centre stage again for the race finish in front of a compact crowd.

Competitors through and through

Referred to as the “Exhibition Run”, onlookers might be led to believe that the sailors would ease off the pace a little. However, these guys and girls are competitors through and through and cannot help but get the very best out of their machines. As such, at the start, the crew of Yves Le Blévec, with Karine Fauconnier at the helm, weren’t making it easy for that of Francis Joyon. Perfectly positioned, Actual-Grand Large Emotion ‘removed’ IDEC SPORT from the line, forcing Joyon to turn back to recross it correctly, a manoeuvre that inevitably cost the 32-metre-long boat dearly…

Benefiting from a more agile steed with more potential for making headway than those of its rivals in these light conditions (8 to 12 knots of breeze), as well as being very inspired and accompanied by a honed crew, Yves Le Blévec really set the pace. Behind him, Sodebo Ultim’ and IDEC SPORT once again raced in contact, never letting up the pressure, but in the end Thomas Coville and his men secured 2nd place.

“Offshore sprint”, D-3: the pressure’s rising
This non-point-scoring confrontation served as the final round of observation prior to the main event of the Nice UltiMed, the three-day ‘offshore sprint’ around the Mediterranean, which will take the boats towards Corsica, Sardinia, the Balearics and the coastline of the Sud-Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region. The start will be given from Rauba Capeù on Wednesday at 1:02pm by Armel Le Cléac’h (skipper of the Maxi Banque Populaire IX) and Christian Estrosi. Sailors and spectators alike all got warmed up today so everyone can give their all on Wednesday!

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Reactions from the sailors at the end of the Exhibition Run:
Yves Le Blévec (Actual-Grand Large Emotion): “We have a fantastic crew, which made maximum use of the boat’s potential in these ideal wind and sea conditions. We really had a ball and any victory is worth having so we’re savouring it! It gives us confidence for the next stage of proceedings, but we’re remaining clear-headed because in the main race itself, Thomas Coville and Francis Joyon will benefit from conditions that are really cut out for their boats.”

Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim’): “We were very close to IDEC SPORT for virtually the whole race. This Run was great training for manoeuvring with six of us aboard, positioning ourselves properly, manoeuvring well together and outlining each person’s roles.”

Francis Joyon (IDEC SPORT): “We were penalised by fluffing our start, but Yves’ crew fully deserves its victory. We’ve identified a few little things to improve on with regards IDEC SPORT with a view to the racing on Wednesday. I was very focused during the start phase, but I did glance around a bit back to shore and I saw loads of people watching our boats with interest. It was a pleasure to see.”

Jean-Pierre Dick’s “Easy to Fly” craft have landed in Nice
Following a long-distance sprint from Saint Tropez, no fewer than four “Easy to Fly” craft made landfall in Nice today. These 26-foot (8.10m) foiling catamarans, designed by the Nice sailor Jean-Pierre Dick, will be racing around the Nautical Arena from 1 to 5 May, just metres from the Promenade des Anglais.

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