Yacht Charters & Destinations » IGY Sète Marina: An Ideal Base for a Summer of Top Sporting Events

IGY Sète Marina: An Ideal Base for a Summer of Top Sporting Events

The vibrant town of Sète on the southwest coast of France has remained a hidden gem for decades, quietly attracting visitors in search of a taste of authentic France away from the madding crowds. Nestled midway between the bustling cities of Marseille and Barcelona, lovers of live music and theatre, great food and stunning hikes have been coming here for years, and now the growing appeal of something more real is putting Sète on the map for superyachts. 

The driving force behind the development of Sète as a superyacht destination is, of course, IGY Sète Marina, leveraging an acute understanding of the needs of yacht captains with razor sharp insight into the wishes and wants of owners. Mention the IGY brand and you might take for granted their state of the art facilities and exceptional service. Less obvious is the vision and expertise behind the scenes, cleverly turning problems into solutions to attract a most discerning clientele.

Extending the season

Like all tourist destinations in the Med, marinas too face the challenge of seasonality, and an early initiative pioneered by IGY Sète Marina to flesh out the shoulder months was the introduction of in-water maintenance services for yachts transiting east or west. Two years on, word has been spreading fast as more and more captains take advantage of the program’s convenience and significant cost savings, with the added advantage of having plenty of local attractions for the crew and a nearby airport for changeovers and contractors.

“Sète is a vibrant tourist destination during the summer months, which tend to be a quieter time in the marina – currently around 50% of the enquiries we receive are related to our shipyard services,” says General Manager Jérôme Cuaz. “To a large extent, Sète is still a hidden gem, which is also why people come here, but interest among superyacht owners and captains is steadily growing year on year, and we’re keen to support that.”

Attending the Olympic Games in Paris

This year especially, as France prepares to host the Olympic Games in Paris from 26 July to 11 August, IGY Sète Marina is promoting a special offer for yachts needing a convenient and safe base during the event. Ideally located thanks to the availability of high-speed trains to Paris and daily direct flights from Montpellier airport a mere 20 minute drive away, the marina concierge is also on hand to assist with guest transfers in both directions.

For crew remaining on board, the marina offers a private and secure environment where they can carry out works or enjoy some down time. “We have great feedback in terms of privacy, and the fact that they can carry out maintenance in a clean environment,“ says Jérôme. “It's not a dusty shipyard marina so they really enjoy working here.

“In terms of amenities for crew, we have a fitness centre, a beautiful rooftop with a bar and an amazing sound system, and a BBQ, so crew members can relax and have some fun in total privacy. If they prefer to go out on the town, they literally just cross the bridge and they arrive in the centre.”

The town itself has a packed calendar of summer events from live jazz and theatre to street art and local markets, as well as beautiful beaches and a fabulous choice of local cuisine - including the best oysters in the world, according to Jérôme. For shopping and night clubs, Montpellier has everything you could wish for, while nature lovers can head further east to the Camargue to enjoy horse riding on the beach and marvel at the incredible sunsets and unexpected flocks of flamingos - The Rhone delta in the Camargue is the only nesting site in France.

IGY Sete 4

Olympic sailing along the coast in Marseille

Further excitement beckons along the coast as Marseille proudly prepares to host the 10 sailing events of the Paris Olympic Games. A number of teams are already in residence for training and on 8-9 May the arrival of the Olympic torch will herald the start of another important chapter in Marseille’s long and rich nautical history. From 28 July to 8 August, the city will be awash with sailors and fans from around the world, keen to see the finest athletes in action across a range of events showcasing speed, agility and innovation.

The full list of Olympic sailing events includes: Windsurfing Men - IQFoil, Windsurfing Women - IQFoil, Single-handed Dinghy Men - Laser Radical ILCA 7, Single-handed Dinghy Women - Laser Radial ILCA 6, Double Dinghy Women - 49er, Double Dinghy Men - 49er, Mixed Kiteboard - Formula Kite, Mixed Double Dinghy - 470, Mixed Double Foil Catamaran - Nacra 17, and Formula Kite Women.

IGY Sete 4
Preparing for the Americas Cup in Barcelona

Hot on the heels of Paris and Marseille, fans from around the world will convene in Barcelona for the Louis Vuitton 37th Americas Cup taking place between 22 August to 27 October. For vessels prescient and lucky enough to have secured a berth in Barcelona itself, IGY Sète Marina is perfectly situated for vessels heading west in need of a secure base to conduct last minute preparations or light works.

With marinas in Barcelona and the surrounding area now full to capacity, for any vessels still searching for a solution, IGY Sète Marina is also stepping up to accommodate demand. Located just two and a half hours away by car, full concierge support is offered for the duration of your stay including assistance with transfers to and from the event.

All berths booked before the arrival of the Olympic torch in Sète on 13 May will benefit from a special discount. For more information please visit the website or contact the team via sete@igymarinas.com.

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