With 300 days of sunshine annually and five million visitors per year, Nice is the second biggest tourist destination in France and also possesses the 2nd ranked international airport in France, with more than 12 million passengers per year. The attractive and dynamic fifth biggest city in France has also become, over the years, an exceptional venue for major international sporting events such as the Alpes-Maritimes Marathon, the IRONMAN event and the Paris-Nice cycling race, as well a host to occasional major events that have found excellent reception and organisational conditions in Nice: the ice skating world championships in 2012, the 100th edition of cycling’s Tour de France in 2013, the European Masters Games in 2015 and more recently, football’s Euro 2016 with four matches that attracted more than 135,000 spectators to the Allianz Riviera and 175,000 visitors to the Fan Zone. Indeed, Nice was elected by the public as the most popular host city in Euro 2016, which was a fine reward for a city that knows how to welcome and how to organise. Following on from this, Nice will be a host city for the Women’s Football World Cup in 2019 and will welcome the Ironman 70.3. World Championships during the same year.
Between the sea and the mountains, Nice boasts the shape of a wonderful natural stadium, in the heart of which lies the biggest urban community in France: Nice Côte d’Azur, with 49 municipalities and 550,000 inhabitants. It is only logical that its superb Baie des Anges has established itself as a top quality water course for the biggest sailing events over the last few years: the Louis Vuitton Trophy in 2009, Extreme Sailing four times between 2011 and 2014 as well as the Tour de France à la Voile, a race which made its return to the capital of the French Riviera in July 2014.
It is a grand tradition that has been reborn under the impetus of the city’s mayor Christian Estrosi, because the history of Nice and yachting dates back to 1883 with the creation of the Club Nautique de Nice, the organisation of its first international regattas in 1886 and the presence of illustrious members and supporters who built the reputation of this yacht club at the end of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century: the King of England Edward VII, the King of Italy Victor Emmanuel III, Gustave Eiffel, Victor Massena, Jean Médécin and Henri Matisse or also Sir Thomas Lipton who, with his yacht “Shamrock”, took part in the America’s Cup in the 1930’s. Today, it is the skipper from Nice Jean-Pierre Dick who is talentedly continuing the success of this wonderful tradition by having met the challenges on the world's finest ocean races for the last 20 years.
Through hosting the start and finish of the first edition of Nice UltiMed, the city has gone a step further in its nautical ambitions. It has also reinforced its status as capital of the Mediterranean, because Nice plays a central role in the Euromed network which it has chaired since 2012.
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