Sète has a history of hosting top international sailing teams: the city played host to Alinghi and Victory Challenge in 2002 prior to their departure for Auckland, New Zealand and French Kiss in 1986 before the America's Cup in Fremantle, Australia.
The 'Little Venice' of the Languedoc Roussillion region in France promises excellent race conditions which will see the fleet demonstrating the thrilling close quarter combat the Extreme Sailing Series has become renowned for. Gilles Chiorri, Event Director commented, "Sète provides us with a natural amphitheatre as we will be racing at the entrance of the harbour, which is very close to the heart of the city, a great location for first event of the year. The wind conditions are usually good at the end of May, consistent winds for the Extreme 40s to fly their hulls within metres of the shoreline, putting on a great show for the public."
Sète is the most important fishing port on the Mediterranean Sea, nestled between Marseille and the Spanish border with 12km of fine, sandy beaches. It is visited throughout the year by tourists taking in the sights of the canals that criss-cross the city, fronted by houses with colourful facades. The city is renowned for its unique 'water jousting' tournaments which take place during the Saint Louis festival in August.
The Mayor Monsieur François Commeinhes welcomed the circuit to Sète: "It is a true honour to have sailors of such a high pedigree racing here in the heart of our city in conjunction with Escale à Sète. This spectacle and that of the French round of the Extreme Sailing Series promises to be truly exciting and we look forward to starting the European Extreme Sailing Series circuit here in Sète which has a long-standing reputation for hosting sailing projects of the highest calibre."
Two other Extreme Sailing Series Europe venues have been announced to date: Trapani will host the penultimate event at the end of September before the circuit finishes in Almería, Andalucía. The final two venues in the UK and Germany have been confirmed and will be announced shortly.
Three French skippers are anticipated to take part in the European circuit, joining at least five other international teams, all of which will be announced shortly.
2010 Extreme Sailing Series Europe Venues & Dates
27-30 May - Sète, France
23-26 September, Trapani, Sicily
9-12 October, Almería, Andalucía, Spain
The UK and Germany venues to be announced shortly
2010-11 Extreme Sailing Series Asia
Nov-March: 4 to 5 venues expected