A unique event in France
London, Rio de Janeiro, Budapest, Abu Dhabi, San Diego, Indianapolis… over thirty cities, on all six continents, have hosted this prestigious race. But never a French city! Cannes is thus the first town in France to figure on the schedule for the global event: the Red Bull Air Race. The biggest air race world championship will therefore stop off in the skies over Cannes on 20, 21 and 22 April 2018. Famed for its cinema festival, La Croisette has all the assets needed to host the event and the thousands of fans that will come to watch the aerial battles by the Air Race giants.
The biggest air race world championship
Cannes is the 2nd of 8 stages in the World Championship. For three days, La Croisette and the beaches with see the parade, and then the battle of the best pilots in the world. The first day will be devoted to test flights and the second to the qualification rounds. The final will take place on the third day. This is a timed race, over a course marked out by inflatable pylons, a sort of giant aerial slalom where each pilot must make the best time while completing two return trips. At the controls of their plane, which can reach 370 km/h, they will deploy all their skills, combining speed, precision and risk management.
“It is a real honour to add the city of Cannes and thus France, to our 2018 world championship schedule. Our pilots are extremely enthusiastic about coming to compete in Cannes”, Erich WOLF, the general manager of the Red Bull Air Race was pleased to announce. An enthusiasm confirmed by the French pilot, aerobatic champion, Nicolas IVANOFF, delighted by this first date in France: “The Bay of Cannes is a perfect addition to this competition. I can’t wait to come and compete here, on the Mediterranean.”
Cannes, an aeronautic town since 1910
With this event, Cannes is renewing an aeronautic tradition that dates back over a century, and which is often little known. On 27 March 1910, just one year after the first Channel crossing by Louis BLERIOT, the “Civil Aviation Week” - a major aerial event pitting the best international pilots of the era against each other – kicked off in Cannes. This event was marked by the exploits of Nicolas POPOFF who, in front of a crowd of 50,000 curious onlookers, flew over the Bay of Cannes and Sainte-Marguerite Island for 18 minutes and 20 seconds at an altitude of almost 210 meters. “Cannes was already the Capital of elegant sports,” David LISNARD points out, “but also a town for aerial meetings as of the start of the 20th century. We are thus renewing this tradition and this aeronautic link. The Red Bull Air Race is great news for Cannes, and for its drawing power as a tourist destination”.
To ensure the success of the most awaited extreme sport event of the year in France, over 900 volunteers have been recruited b y Cannes Town Hall and the association Cannes Volontaires. Their tasks: guide spectators, control access, provide information to participants, seat spectators, assist persons of reduced mobility and much, much more…