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Nicolas Rouger, when art meets offshore racing

Nicolas Rouger, skipper of the IMOCA Demain, c'est loin from Marseilles, has set up an atypical project. His observation? The world of sailing is sometimes closed: « I don't like communitarianism, I think that only diversity enriches » he says. His quest? « To open up this world, to create bridges with art and culture. » Noble and ambitious! Here's an overview of this original project.

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« Art becomes a sponsor »

In 2022, Nicolas Rouger acquired Miranda Merron's IMOCA, aboard which she competed in the 2020 Vendée Globe. He then developed an original sponsorship concept. By teaming up with the South of France artist Hervé Di Rosa, he no longer simply sold companies a space on the sails of his IMOCA, but a tangible work of art. Immediately attracted by the « slightly crazy » idea, the artist agreed to create a giant work on a canvas identical to the IMOCA's mainsail. This colossal project was coordinated by Philippe Saulle, the director of the Sète School of Fine Arts. The work - currently stored in the Paul Valery Museum in Sète - is cut into 244 pieces of 1m2. The boat's mainsail will be flocked with the artist's work and the companies involved in this wonderful adventure will recover the original works at the end of the world tour. Each piece is for sale at €20,000. This is fiscally advantageous: when a french company buys a work of art by a living artist to exhibit it to the public, this expense is included in the company's expenses. « Art becomes a sponsor, » explains the enthusiastic sailor.

I AM, ambassador of the boat

To enhance the local roots of the project and open it up even further, Nicolas Rouger approached the famous rap group from Marseille, I AM. Seduced by this mix of genres, the group became the ambassador of the boat, which bears the name of one of their famous songs. Beyond its involvement in the IMOCA circuit races, Demain, c'est loin aims to unite people around the city of Marseille, its diversity and its culture. 

Opening of Hervé Di Rosa's work on 26 May 2023 at the Paul Valery Museum

The artist Hervé Di Rosa will sign the pieces of the work on Friday 26 May from 6pm at the Paul Valery Museum in Sète (South of France). From that date, part of the work will be exhibited there. The event is open to all.