Finally, it gets a little less hot on the Cote d’Azur. In addition to the new 38.3-degree record in Cannes, we were already very stuffy because everyone was secretly holding their breaths in fear of forest fires. We’ve had enough forest fires this year; a spark of a motor that drives too sharp on or a broken beer bottle in the sun can start a fire. And with the fierce Mistral wind, that fire can spread rapidly. Just as fast as the good news that Dutch soccer hero Wesley Sneijder will play at OCG Nice for one year.
Nice had showed a week before to Ajax how to play eager and offensive football until the last 90 minutes. In the Stone beach bar we witnessed live the ear washing with friends from the Netherlands. The moods got quite hot, but luckily no fiery fires. It will be a fun French Riviera football season; the more Nice continues to play in the Champions League, the better for the name of the Cote d’Azur. With a warm welcome to the new number 10 in the midfield, Nice has the wind in the sails.
We can not say this for the local yachting industry; the province of PACA wrote a letter to President Macron that almost all local ports see a decline of 30-40% less visits of major foreign yachts. Reason is the extremely increased cost for docking and local taxes. Fuel rates have also been greatly increased for all ships under foreign flag, so everyone with a yacht over 50 meters has been evicted to Italy and Spain. As always, the French government thought it was able to collect extra money from foreigners, but the result is disastrous; turn-over disappears and hence jobs in the ports. For the time being, the government is declining it as a ‘storm in a glass of water’.
More storm and wind is found at open sea and so we spent a week with a Hobiecat 16 on the water to find some refreshing moment. In the middle of the sea, the wind can suddenly become strong and then it is the art of sailing to release the sail on time. The owner of the 12-meter-long sailboat was doing other things which made the boat end on the rocks at Salis in Antibes. Somehow too much wind.
A lot of wind is not a bad thing and the main reason why the new government is being in a hurry to build large wind farms, both at sea and on land. Within three years, another 700 wind farm installations will appear, on top of the 1500 already running windfarms. The aim is to make the energy for France 10% out of wind. Apart from the hopefully green cooling down effect on the energy bill, the heat is still on. The meteo predict that it will be dry and warm again in the next ten days on the Côte d’Azur and so many local French are leaving to the mountains. A nice tip if you are looking for some cooling down; at 2.5 hours from the coast you can visit a beautiful cold mountain lake at Val d’Allos. Watching the movie is already refreshing!