From 25th April to 6th May, Nice will host a major sailing event unlike any the city – or the Mediterranean – has experienced before. Billed as an XXL boat race featuring the largest racing boats in the world alongside the sport’s finest skippers, Nice Ultimed is inviting ultimate-class trimarans to the shores of the Côte d’Azur.
“The aim of this event is to give fans in the Mediterranean area the opportunity to enjoy the amazing spectacle of these mind-boggling big boats,” says the event’s director, Jean-Baptiste Durier. “They are longer than a basketball court, have a height of 35 metres – equivalent to a 10-storey building – and derive their power from their sails, which have a surface area equal to that of 2.5 tennis courts!”
Following an ‘off-shore sprint’ format, the courses will combine off-shore racing with that of a nautical stadium. Racing will begin in the Baie des Anges before the yachts set off to Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearic Islands, later returning to the coastline of the south of France. In the run-up to the main event, on 27th April, the sail boats will depart from Marseille on a cruise along the Côte d’Azur – an excellent opportunity for some casual spectating from the shore.
“We have never seen anything like this in the Mediterranean,” says Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi. “It is a wonderful opportunity for Nice to reach a new milestone in its ambition to consolidate its great nautical traditions.”
Proud of his city and its accomplishments, during the planning of the event, Estrosi insisted that local Niçois skipper Jean-Pierre Dick be its patron: “He is a great skipper, an authentic champion and a magnificent ambassador for sailing in Nice.”
Recently crowned winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre, Dick says, “The latest gems of ocean racing are coming to Nice. It’s an outstanding event that should not be missed!”