The team on board Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, skippered by Pierre Pennec, restored their confidence after a grueling Act 5 in Cowes, UK, to finish in second place overall. "We've come a long way since the Cowes Grand Prix," commented Pennec. "That's especially true of my own mindset because our counter performance there was something I found very hard to digest. It was a bit of a battle with myself to make a comeback here and put the disappointment and bitterness to one side."
The French spectators will be spoilt for choice on who to cheer loudest for with the all-French teams on board Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and offshore hero Jean-Pierre Dick, skippering Team Extreme Nice Côte d'Azur. Perhaps their allegiance will be more inclined towards Dick who was born in Nice and is revered for his offshore successes, including his emphatic victory in the 2010/11 Barcelona World Race. Jean-Pierre Dick will be taking on the role of skipper/tactician with 2011 Solitaire du Figaro winner Jérémie Beyou on the helm, supported by trimmer Billy Besson and bowman Arnaud Jarlegant.
If The Wave, Muscat became the first team in 2011 to score two Act wins, there is little doubt the other ten Extreme 40 teams will be desperate to secure a second victory themselves as the Overall Series stakes increase in the latter part of the series. Although the Italian team of Luna Rossa only finished in fourth place in Trapani, that result elevated them to top of the Overall Series leaderboard, just one point ahead of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild with The Wave, Muscat in third who are on equal points with Emirates Team New Zealand. Dean Barker will be back at the helm of the Kiwi team in Nice, and Terry Hutchinson will be driving Artemis Racing. Act 8 in Almeria, Spain will be the penultimate round with the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series concluding in December in Singapore. With only three Acts remaining, the teams focus is on the overall prize now.
A diverse international city rooted in history but looking towards the future, Nice is the capital city of the Côte d'Azur nestled between Cannes and Monaco in the heart of the French Rivera. "It will reinforce the already internationally well-known nautical tradition of Nice Côte d'Azur," commented Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice and President of Nice Côte d'Azur. "It will offer a top quality race course in this natural frame that is our superb Baie des Anges. It will offer to both the locals and the numerous visitors a beautiful and great show only a few metres off the Promenade des Anglais. It is truly a rare show to watch these Extreme 40s race at high speed very close to shore. The very high level of this regatta is a guarantee to the great competition that our waters will witness over the course of five days. This is why I would like to thank once again the organisers for choosing Nice for one of the Acts in the circuit."
The Extreme Race Village will be located on the Promenade des Anglais, right in the heart of Nice with the race course set on the Bay of Angels, in front of the shore, an unmissable location for the French public and English tourists.
In addition to the 11 Extreme 40s battling it out on the sparkling Mediterranean waters, the on-water action will be complemented by Optimist dinghies raced by local children, a multinational fleet of 49ers and for the first time the Neil Pryde Racing Series which will see twenty or more of the best professional and amateur windsurfers competing for the Nice title, including Olympic medalists Faustine Merret and Julien Bontemps.
The media partners of newspaper Nice Matin, who is printing an exclusive Extreme Sailing Series supplement, and France Bleu radio will ensure the public are kept informed of all the activities going on at the Race Village along with the commentary team of Pierre-Louis Castelli and Jimmy Pahun and Britain's Hannah White keeping the English-speaking guests, tourists and online audience informed.