Weather alert: Storm warning with possible flash flooding

After two months of heatwaves, a large storm front is sweeping across France and will reach the south of the country and Monaco on Wednesday.

Five departments in the south of France – Aveyron, Tarn, Aude, Hérault and Gard – are on orange alert for violent storms on Tuesday, which are forecast to hit in the afternoon.

According to Méteo France, flash flooding is possible, especially in the Languedoc area where up to 40mm of rain is predicted to fall in less than an hour, accompanied by 80-100km/h winds.

The storms are due to move into the Alpes-Maritimes and Monaco regions early Wednesday, with thunder, lightning and heavy rains expected.

The deluge will bring temperatures down a few degrees.

The storm is expected to ease Wednesday night before picking up again Thursday midday, finishing with rain periods in the evening.

By Friday, the storms should have passed, and sunny weather and warm temperatures are due to return to the South of France and Monaco, with the mercury returning to 28-29°C on the weekend.




Photo credit: Andrew Foster





Paul Mitchell: “We have to push and be better this year”

AS Monaco will once again compete in the Europa League this season, and speaking during a recent press conference, sporting director Paul Mitchell outlined the club’s objectives heading into the campaign. 

Since Thursday’s conference, Monaco have signed Mohamed Camara from Red Bull Salzburg on a five-year deal. Whilst it is unclear whether Monaco will continue to add to their squad before the beginning of their Europa League campaign on 8th September, sporting director Mitchell did nevertheless tell Monaco Life that the club are always active in the market:

“We’re always active until the last moment. Like I say, my job is to bring together the best collective group we can have. We’re in three competitions; we know that rotation will be as important as ever. We need to bring an arsenal of quality to the coach’s fingertips for when he makes his selection. I think we’re in a very, very good way already, but as always, we’ll be on the market,” he said.

The arrivals of Sarr, and in particular Camara, came after Monaco’s second-leg defeat to PSV Eindhoven, which consigned the club to consecutive campaigns in the second-tier of European competition. However, Mitchell doesn’t perceive the timing of the transfers, more specifically, the signing of a number six, as a factor in their elimination.

“In terms of the number sixes, I would suggest that the performances of Eliot Matazo and Youssouf Fofana would answer that question. Between the two of them, it’s the best I’ve seen them play, especially in Eindhoven. I thought Youssouf was incredible, and that’s the best performance he has delivered for this organisation. I thought the same for Eliot. I thought they were both playing at a high, high level in a big contest. Would a player, or the wrong profile have helped or produced a better performance than those two? I seriously would doubt that,” said Mitchell.

Last season, Monaco’s failure in the Champions League play-offs seeped into their league form, and if Monaco hope to challenge PSG for the title, or secure that elusive second-place, they must avoid a repeat this time around. Mitchell delved into the reaction to that loss in Eindhoven, but stressed the importance of consigning the result to the past:

“I think directly after the game, I think everyone from the President to myself, to the coach, to the players, to the staff, and even Malang who had not yet signed, felt a level of disappointment. I think our performances across both games deserved more, but I’ve been in football a long time and I know sometimes that you need a little bit of luck. I don’t think on this occasion we quite got it. Then the disappointment turns to pride, pride in the performance, pride in the actions, pride in the qualities and the level that the team showed, their application to try to win the games, and when I started two years ago, this is what the fans asked from me. They wanted a team that, even in times of defeat, they could be proud of. I think as the hours passed by, that disappointment turned to pride and pride in the performance that we put in,” he said.

“We have to close the chapter. We had a de-briefing this morning, we analysed as always, all of yesterday, on the flight back in the hotel, and now we have to draw a line, look and think forward and focus on this season’s ambitions,” he continued.

Debatably the low point of last season was the aggregate defeat to Braga in the Europa League group stages in mid-March. This season Mitchell has made progression from the group a clear objective, whilst, by calling on the side to “be better” this season, it can be fairly assumed that his aspiration is for the club to get past the round of 16.

We saw Glasgow Rangers and Frankfurt fight out a great final last year. I think one of my moments of reflection in the whole season was probably the two games against Braga. I think we could have performed better. I think we could have given a better reflection of ourselves over the two games. We have to push and be better this year. With the squad that we have, with the quality and the depth that we have, we have to try and be better and put in the performances across the group stage and then hope that we can then proceed to the knockout stages and then, at that point in time, you’re in the competition. Let’s see where that can take us,” he said.

And Mitchell thinks that the side are prepared to push on this season, citing the team’s enhanced physical conditioning and recruitment as key improvements relative to last year’s campaign.

“I think we lived in the emotion of last year’s game for too long. I think it had a real effect. I think the physical levels of the team weren’t up to the appropriate levels to play three times a week. I think we’ve already seen from the three games we’ve played that our condition and the condition of the team is very high, both physically and mentally. I feel as though the quality and the depth of the squad is in a much, much better place than last year. So, these factors combined can hopefully lead us to have what has already been a good start against Strasbourg into future good games in the coming weeks,” he said.

Monaco will find out their group stage opponents during the draw on Friday 26th August. But it isn’t just their upcoming opponents that for now remain a mystery, but also the dates that they will face them. Europa League matches traditionally take place on Thursday night’s but should local rivals OGC Nice beat Maccabi Tel Aviv and qualify for the Europa Conference League, those timings come into question.

UEFA regulations on two local clubs playing in European competition on the same night read as follows: If more than one club from the same city, or within a radius of 50km (31 miles) of each other, is taking part in any of the UEFA club competitions and/or plays in the same stadium, and if the association and the clubs concerned explicitly declare when entering the clubs that their matches cannot be played on the same day or on consecutive days, the UEFA administration may alter or confirm dates and kick-off times in accordance with the principles set by the Club Competitions Committee.

Asked if they would look to change the timings of their Europa League matches should Nice qualify for the third tier of European competition, Mitchell replied:

“We’re starting to discuss internally since the result on Tuesday night. It’s a conversation for the president, the CEO Jean-Emmanuel (de Witt) and myself to liaise with UEFA to see what the best practical solution could be in that circumstance.”

Whilst uncertainties over the upcoming Europa League adventure remain, the excitement for it is palpable – the need to build on last season’s underwhelming campaign clear.



Photo of Paul Mitchell and Malang Sarr by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life




Heathrow extends flight cap to end of October

Heathrow, London’s biggest and busiest airport, has announced it will extend the flight cap it has used all summer, citing an inability to ensure safe and reliable service without it.

Summer travel woes are now spilling over into autumn, as Heathrow Airport announces it will continue to use a flight cap of 100,000 passengers per day until 29th October. The original end date was set for 11thSeptember, but airport officials have extended the cap as the problems plaguing air travel from the summer have yet to be fully resolved, namely the struggle to recruit new staff.

In order to prevent the chaos experienced in early summer, the airport deemed it wiser to carry on with the limit, which since inception has reduced the number of problems for passengers.

“Since the cap was introduced, passenger journeys have improved with fewer last-minute cancellations, better punctuality and shorter wait times for bags,” Heathrow said in a statement.

The news isn’t hugely welcomed by airlines who blame Heathrow’s lack of foresight on the necessity for the limits. Heathrow has countered that the cap could be lifted sooner if “improved resource levels are evident and the airport continues to see sustained operational improvements”.

“Our primary concern is ensuring we give our passengers a reliable service when they travel,” Heathrow chief commercial officer Ross Baker said. “That’s why we introduced temporary capacity limits in July which have already improved journeys during the summer getaway.”

He went on to say, “We want to remove the cap as soon as possible, but we can only do so when we are confident that everyone operating at the airport has the resources to deliver the service our passengers deserve.”

Until then, though, passengers can expect fewer flights and less travel choice.



Photo credit: Nick Fewings on Unsplash





Fun activity: Test skills at new escape game in Monaco

The Oceanographic Museum’s new escape room will take patrons on an adventure back in time to the high seas where danger abounds and only the clever will find their way home.

The new escape room at Monaco’s most popular tourist attract, the Oceanographic Museum, is a fun-filled, action-packed adventure for kids and adults alike.

Players will be asked to imagine themselves aboard the Princess Alice II, Prince Albert I’s famous laboratory boat, which is filled with all the tools needed to carry out a great ocean expedition. They will then be transported back in time to his 1901 Cape Verde explorations, where a violent storm threatens the whole voyage. Engines stop, the wind and waves toss the “crew” about and the nets on the seabed being used to gather data are in danger of being destroyed. It is up to the players to find a solution and get the precious cargo and the people back to dry land safely!

The game, designed in collaboration with IRIS Games, with an immersive scenography created by Camille Renversade, is a friend and family-friendly way to pass some time learning, exploring and having a lot of fun.

There are two games to choose from in these races against time. The first is the 30-minute mission, designed for those new to escape rooms, and the second is a hour-long ride for the more experienced players, covering two missions.

The minimum number of players is three, and the more players in a room, the lower the price, starting at €18 for the half hour and €35 for the one hour.

Note, the activity is only in French. For more info and tickets visit



Image source: Oceanographic Museum of Monaco




Venturi’s Mortara victory not enough for championship win

Edoardo Mortara won the final race of the Formula E season in Seoul on Sunday, but the result wasn’t enough to achieve overall victory in the drivers or constructors standings.

Winner of this year’s Monaco ePrix Stoffel Vandoorne wrapped up the title on the tight, windy streets of the South Korean capital. The Mercedes-EQ driver effectively ended the season as a contest during Saturday’s race. A fifth-place finish left Mitch Evans with too much ground to make up in Sunday’s finale, whilst a DNF from ROKiT Venturi’s Mortara definitively ended his title aspirations.

However, going into Sunday’s race, the constructors’ world title was still up for grabs. After a good qualifying, Mortara took the inside line into turn one to maintain second position despite a challenge from Jake Dennis.

Mortara, knowing that only a victory and a strong performance from teammate Lucas Di Grassi would suffice, made inroads into António Felix Da Costa’s lead in the early stages. He then made a daring move down the inside of the Portuguese driver, having dummied a move around the outside. He made the move stick, whilst Dennis also profited and moved up to second.

Monégasque manufacturer Venturi was given hope mid-race when Nyck De Vries had to pit because of a puncture. However, that hope was short-lived. Just a few laps later, Di Grassi dropped down to seventh and then to the side of the track as he too suffered a puncture. Following his enforced pit stop, he re-joined outside of the points and the title looked to have slipped away from Venturi.

However, going into the final race, it was never really in Venturi’s hands. A solid, points-scoring race from Vandoorne was all that was needed for him to wrap up the drivers’ title as well as the constructors’ title.

Vandoorne’s result was more than solid as he profited from errors by the drivers in front of him. Running in fourth, a collision between Da Costa and Dennis saw the former drop back through the field, whilst the latter was handed a time penalty. Vandoorne therefore moved up to second and in doing so secured the title.

Mortara’s victory in the final round was ultimately inconsequential, although it did secure him third place in the drivers’ standings. Venturi finished the season as vice-champions, finishing 29 points ahead of DS Techeetah in third, but 24 points behind champions Mercedes-EQ.

Reflecting on the season, Venturi team principal Jérôme d’Ambrosio said, “A victory for Edo is a fantastic way to end the season. I think this result reflects the performance we have shown throughout the year, but at the same time, there is a bittersweet feeling because it feels like we could have had more in the World Teams’ Championship. We fought until the very end.”

He continued, “Reflecting on our progression and evolution as a team over the past two years makes me very proud. I’m proud of every team member, of what we’ve achieved together and the trajectory that the team is on.”

Race winner Mortara echoed d’Ambrosio’s thoughts, adding that he’s “confident that the best is yet to come.” Having narrowly missed out, Venturi will want to build on this strong season, and go one better next year.



Photo source: ROKiT Venturi Racing