Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Les Voiles de St Barth - A climax soon to be relished

by Fabrice Thomazeau on 28 Mar 2013
Les Voiles de St Barth 2012 © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth http://www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com/
The Les Voiles de St Barth is set to take place April 8-13. Each remarkable song is marked with a rising crescendo that resonates with the heart. And so it is with this season’s epic series of Caribbean regattas, that its climax is soon to be relished at the Les Voiles de St. Barth. The event packs into five days (one for preparation, four for racing, and one – a 'layday' – for enjoying some serious French hospitality St. Barth’s-style) all that has become traditional in Caribbean regattas and much more that has not.

'What I did find last year, which was my first at Les Voiles de St. Barth, was that this is the one race I’ll never miss,' said Puerto Rico’s Sergio Sagramoso, who has been tearing it up on the island circuit this year with his J/122 Lazy Dog. 'It was so much fun, a really great experience: the island is amazing, the people are amazing, the organizers are a huge plus, and I don’t think we ever had as much fun as that layday when we did a whole bunch of sushi eating and drinking at Nikki Beach.'

Sagramoso, however gratified when enjoying the fabulously French atmosphere of St. Barth’s and the organizers’ approaches to creating a holiday experience in and around racing, still has an unfulfilled desire to take care of here. Last year, he lost on a tie breaker to Frits Bus’s Melges 24 Island Water World (which is entered again this year). 'This year I will have no tie-breaker; I want it to go our way,' he declared. With so many 40 footers (the same length as Lazy Dog) entered this year, Bus will most likely compete in a different racing class; however, Sagramoso’s conviction in seeking redemption will run no less deep, seeing as he won the recent Heineken Regatta in arguably the toughest class there: one made up of 15 40-footers.


The ten-person crew on Lazy Dog – windsurfing buddies over the past 20+ years who are now doctors, lawyers, contractors and business owners – have been sailing every Puerto Rican regatta and as many in the Caribbean as they can to prepare for this season. (They are currently competing in the International Rolex Regatta and will move on to the BVI Spring Regatta before heading to St. Barth’s.) 'We are sharp and going all out,' he said, adding that the crew commitment aboard Lazy Dog also involves delivering the boat on its own bottom over the 175 miles that lie between St. Barth’s and Puerto Rico. 'We make it our priority to go sailing; then we have to suck it up the rest of the year to catch up at work. We might fall dead after all this racing, but there is a saying, ‘lo bailado no se quita.’' (Roughly translated by Sagramoso: 'If you dance, no one can take that away from you.')

Sixty-two boats are currently signed up for Les Voiles de St. Barth, with more to come. Of those, no less than ten are Swans and include the 100’ Varsovie, the largest boat in the fleet, and the next largest, the 80’ Selene; the 53’ Music representing the Royal Cape Yacht Club; and the 51’ Northern Child representing RORC. A regatta favorite is the 53’ Puffy, owned by Patrick Demarchelier, the famous French fashion photographer who splits his time between New York and St. Barth and whose career has flourished since the late ‘70s and reached one of several zeniths in the ‘90s when he contracted primarily with Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

The CEO of Richard Mille Europe, Peter Harrison, has entered his 45’ JOLT2, a one-off yacht built of light weight carbon fiber to a radical Reichel/Pugh design. His core crew will be mainly from Britain, enhanced with one Italian crew member; in addition, journalists from Europe, USA and New Zealand will join as corporate guests.


'I have been sailing for many years in smaller yachts, which I still enjoy doing on Lake Geneva and in the Solent,' said Harrison. 'JOLT2 arrived in 2012 and was baptized on a very challenging Round the Island (Isle of Wight) Race in over 25 knots of wind. We also took part in the Taittinger Royal Solent Yacht Club Regatta in Yarmouth and in Les Voiles de St. Tropez with a mix of keen amateurs, pros and corporate guests.

Already in 2013, JOLT2 has sailed in the RORC 600 offshore race with a shorthanded crew of four, another 'baptism by fire,' according to Harrison. 'I am very much looking forward to bringing JOLT2 to Les Voiles de St. Barth to enjoy some fun and challenging racing in the sun! It’s the first time we will be competing there, and we can’t wait to experience the racing excitement up-front as well as the beautiful scenery of St. Barthelemy. Richard Mille is very proud of being a sponsor to what some people consider the best regatta in the Caribbean Series right Les Voiles de Saint Barth

PredictWind.comZhik ZKG 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

SB20 Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championships – Day 2
When the racing finally did get underway, boats making their way to the right hand side of the course found more breeze When the racing finally did get underway, boats making their way to the right hand side of the course found more breeze and favorable shifts to lead around the top mark. The always fast Xcellent led the way in front of a tight pack of boats including Zorro (Nick Cocks, Peter Butters, Gen Chase) and Team Uber (Adrian Peach, Paddy Bettesworth, Hanus Apelgren, Eren Choi).
Posted on 21 Jan
Day 77 – Ninety percent of Vendée Globe fleet now back in Atlantic
With Banque Populaire and Hugo Boss tied up to the dock in Les Sables d'Olonne sixteen skippers remain at sea today With Le Cléac'h's Banque Populaire and second-placed Alex Thomson's Hugo Boss tied up to the dock in Les Sables d'Olonne sixteen skippers remain at sea today – and fourteen of them are now in the Atlantic.
Posted on 21 Jan
Vendee Globe - Romain Attansio at the Horn
Romain Attanasio rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday Romain Attanasio (Famille Mary-Étamine du Lys) rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday after 75 days 8 hours and 41 minutes of racing. Only Dutchman Pieter Heerema and Frenchman Sébastien Destremau are still sailing in the Pacific.
Posted on 21 Jan
Former Clipper Race skipper equals British record in Vendee Globe
Alex Thomson, has finished in second place after a thrilling fight to the finish to the Vendee Globe. The youngest skipper to win the Clipper Race, Alex Thomson, has finished in second place after a thrilling fight to the finish to the Vendee Globe.
Posted on 21 Jan
Le Cléac'h and Thomson revel in the Vendée Globe glory
Armel Le Cléac'h and Alex Thomson were basking in the glory of becoming the solo round the world race's fastest sailors. Armel Le Cléac'h and second-placed Alex Thomson were today basking in the glory of becoming the solo round the world race's fastest ever sailors. Le Cléac'h and Thomson arrived in the race's home port of Les Sables d'Olonne in France just 16 hours apart after more than 27,000 nautical miles of racing over 74 days to claim the top two podium places.
Posted on 20 Jan
SB20 Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championships – Day 1
As the fleet left the marina in a colourful display, many wondered where the trusty North East monsoon wind had gone As the fleet left the marina in a colourful display of spinnakers, many wondered where the usually trusty North East monsoon wind had gone and what would take its place. Sure enough the fleet was greeted with a postponement flag on the race track while the race committee heroically attempted to set a fair course in fickle North Westerly winds.
Posted on 20 Jan
Jules Verne Trophy – New equator record for IDEC Sport
Francis Joyon, Sébastien Audigane, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet, Alex and Bernard achieved the best performance ever Francis Joyon, Sébastien Audigane, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet, Alex Pella and Bernard Stamm achieved the best performance ever for the stretch betweenUshant and the Equator after rounding the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn) with a time of 35 days, four hours and 45 minutes.
Posted on 20 Jan
Alex Thomson takes the runner-up spot in the Vendée Globe
Thomson set out to become the first Brit ever to win the Vendée Globe but following an epic battle with French skipper. Thomson, 42, set out to become the first Brit ever to win the Vendée Globe but following an epic battle with French skipper Armel Le Cléac'h missed out on the top spot by just shy of 16 hours. The skipper of Hugo Boss crossed the finish line at 0737 UTC in a time of 74 days, 19 hours, 35 minutes and 15 seconds in one of the closest finishes ever in the race's 27-year history.
Posted on 20 Jan
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – Tweaks and changes
Paul Miller, Racing Director for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta spoke about the tweaks and changes to the 37th edition Paul Miller, Racing Director for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, spoke about the tweaks and changes to the 37th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including free entry for the Gill Commodore's Cup, sensational Beach Cat packages including very attractive shipping costs from Europe and a novel finale to the Caribbean's most popular regatta.
Posted on 20 Jan
Alex Thomson finishes second in the Vendée Globe
Thomson, 42, crossed the finish line of the race in Les Sables d'Olonne, today on his 60ft racing yacht Hugo Boss. Thomson, 42, crossed the finish line of the race in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, at 0737hrs UTC today on his 60ft racing yacht Hugo Boss.
Posted on 20 Jan