Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Les Voiles de St. Barth - Fourth edition preparations underway

by Fabrice Thomazeau on 6 Mar 2013
Mariella © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth http://www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com/
A number of decidedly national sailing teams will take part this year in the fourth edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth, which has become one of the most colorful and anticipated racing opportunities in the Caribbean. Scheduled for April 8-13, the event draws teams from around the world who enjoy extending their competitive sailing season in a warm, dependably breezy tropical clime.

And no one minds, while they are at it, that the famously trendy island of St. Barth has a French flair that permeates everything from the language that is spoken to the delectable wine and fine cuisine that is offered.

'There are international festivals of all types,' said Luc Poupon, one of the organizers for the event, 'and this truly is a five-day festival of fantastic sailing along with the camaraderie and fun that comes with hundreds of people sharing that experience.'

The Dutch team aboard the chartered Swan 45 Satori is considered 'serious' by most racers, but trimmer Maurits van Oranje is modest about this. 'We'd never take ourselves too serious, but in one way or the other someone will hopefully think of us as champions,' he said. 'Apart from Gerard Verduyn (skipper), who has set up several international sail race teams and raced with world class sailors, most of the team members are experienced, yet not professional. We have sailed as a team for over 20 years on different boats and various international events.'


Van Oranje says what his team likes most about Les Voiles de St. Barth is that it is very well organized and provides an appealing mix of competition and high quality leisure activities. 'Furthermore, the island’s geography inhibits the event from growing too big, which allows it to genuinely focus on first-class racing,' added van Oranje.

In an untraditional way, the 1965 ketch Saphaedra will represent the USA in the Classic Yacht Division, reserved for the most historic and aesthetically pleasing of the entrants. The yacht’s captain, Jamie Enos (Kennebunk, Maine/Hamilton, Mass.), will sail with only one other crew—her first-mate Amanda Sparks — perhaps, if they can 'get away with it.'

'Saphaedra is just 51 feet long, and we are used to delivering it to different places on our own, but we’ll have to see how exhausted we are after the first day!,' said Enos.

The 27-year-old, who one month after college became a deckhand on Saphaedra and grew into a position of command by 2008, explained that the family that owns the yacht doesn’t race. 'So we started in 2010 to sail in the Antigua Classics and other classic yacht regattas in New England like the Martha’s Vineyard ’Round the Island Race and the Nantucket Opera House Cup with friends we had met along the way.'


Last year, Enos sailed as crew on Carlo Falcone’s 1938 Bermudian yawl Mariella after she stumbled upon the regatta while bringing Saphaedra through the Caribbean (the yacht summers in Northeast Harbor, Maine, and winters in the islands). This year, Saphaedra is likely to sail against Mariella, which Enos says is faster in heavy air, but not unbeatable, since Saphaedra has beaten her on corrected time at Antigua Classics.

'We’re really excited to do it; we had a lot of fun the first time, and it’s one of our favorite places to sail,' said Enos.

Among the other entrants that will be proudly flying their nation’s flags are the J/122 Lazy Dog, skippered by Puerto Rico’s Sergio Sagramoso and the Ker 51 Varuna, owned by Germany’s Jens Kellinghusen. The 92-foot carbon Super Maxi Med Spirit will be returning for a second year with its all-French team that includes owner Jean Pierre Dreau. The boat, originally designed to break sailing records, typically charters in the Mediterranean and elsewhere, but once Dreau got a taste of Les Voiles last year, he decided to keep it on his schedule as a 'downtime' event that he could enjoy with friends from Paris serving as crew.

Annelisa Gee, another of the organizers, explained that delivering a good event on the water has been paramount to the growth in popularity that Les Voiles de St. Barth has experienced over the three short years since its inception. 'When sailors are competing, they want it hard-core on the water with a professional race management team, and when they come back ashore, they want to mingle, swap race stories and experience the culture of the island with their fellow sailors, their families and their friends.'


Les Voiles de St. Barth offers divisions for CSA Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker, Classics and Multihulls. Racing runs Tuesday through Saturday, with a lay day scheduled for Thursday, when water sports at Nikki Beach will be the activity of choice for hundreds of sailors. While most teams bring their own boats, several charter opportunities exist for full teams or even individuals who want to join a boat already delivered to St. Barth.

'No one really quite knows until they get here how all this chemistry among sailors is going to come together,' said Gee, 'but that’s what makes the regatta, and the sport of competitive sailboat racing, so much 2013 2013 Notice of Les Voiles de St Barth website

Barz Optics - Melanin LensesGuy Nowell - Blue 660North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr