The giants make landfall in Marseille
- The Sud-Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region to host the Warm-Up for the Nice UltiMed from tomorrow
- For two days, the public will be able to admire Actual-Grand Large Emotion, IDEC SPORT and Sodebo Ultim’, moored in the Vieux Port alongside the Quai d’honneur, opposite the City Hall
- A public reception point is set-up in front of the giant trimarans (opening hours: 10:00am-7:00pm)
- The Sud-Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region Prologue will set sail from Marseille on Friday 27 April bound for Nice
It is in Marseille that the first edition of the Nice UltiMed kicks off tomorrow. For two days, from Wednesday 25 to Thursday 26 April, the local public will be able to get up close and personal with the extraordinary trimarans moored at the heart of the Vieux Port and meet the crews of Thomas Coville, Francis Joyon and Yves Le Blévec. The event is an important one as these giants of the seas are coming together for the very first time in the Mediterranean, with some fine moments of exchange in perspective…
It is not every day that the biggest offshore racing trimarans come to the Mediterranean, so it makes complete sense to enable as wide a public as possible to enjoy it. In this way, within the context of the Nice UltiMed, the Sud-Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region is putting on a two-day exhibition in Marseille. It was the Sodebo Ultim’ helmed by Thomas Coville, which was the first to be tied to the dock in the Vieux Port, early this Tuesday afternoon, putting on an extraordinarily spectacular show just on its own. “It’s magical when you arrive here by sea to be able to make out the cliffs and then this city of Marseille with its ochres, its whites and its red roofs… The closer you get, the more grandiose it is”, gushes Thomas Coville. “It’s the first time that Sodebo Ultim’ has come to the Vieux Port in Marseille. It’s rather atypical to get in here with a machine like this measuring 21.50m wide.” Between now and tomorrow morning, two other giants will be making towards the Bonne-Mère, the famous basilica which graces Marseille’s skyline: Actual-Grand Large Emotion and IDEC SPORT, respectively skippered by Yves Le Blévec and Francis Joyon.
“Proud and honoured to be here”
For the city’s local audience, it’s a wonderful opportunity to admire these giants of the seas. Having just many landfall, Thomas Coville’s crew has already become acquainted with a group of schoolchildren who were particularly enthusiastic about the chance to climb aboard such a machine, and understandably so! And this is but an early indication of the festive, sharing ambiance in store over the next two days. “We’re in a fabulous setting with incredible weather. We also have the great privilege of being right opposite the city hall, at the back of the Vieux Port. We’re honoured and proud to be here. We’ll be available, eager to listen and ready to inspire the locals and Mediterranean dwellers as a whole to become even more switched on to the sea and get more interested in offshore racing. Make the most of our iconic boats that break the mould”, Coville says encouragingly. “With this first Nice UltiMed we’re at a turning point in offshore racing in France. The Mediterranean has everything it needs to create a proper meeting that is set to last and that’s our objective.” Page one of the story begins tomorrow…
A reception area to welcome aboard a new audience in oceanic adventure
With family or friends tomorrow and Thursday, the local audience in Marseille will be able to discover the outrageous proportions of the trimarans that make up the Ultime Class and get to know the great sailors who are part of it. In the reception area, open from 10:00am to 7:00pm opposite the boats tied to the dock along the Quai d’honneur, spectators will also be able to get some educational information about the race and enjoy presentations of the boats and the skippers via a speaker. It’s worth noting that Land Rover, Official Partner to the Race, will also be setting up a space nearby enabling the public to get a feel for 4×4 driving on dedicated modules.
After the two-day exhibition in Marseille, the Ultimes will set sail on the Sud-Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region Prologue on Friday 27 April at 11:00am, bound for Nice.