Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailing Raceboats 2016/17 RS Feva 728x90

Les Voiles de Saint-Barth - Unusual suspects and new names join in

by Fabrice Thomazeau on 7 Feb 2013
Les Voiles de Saint Barth fleet © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth http://www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com/
There have been three editions of the Voiles de Saint-Barth and great excitement and interest have filled its short history. Starting in 2010, it won over owners, racers and sailors with its original idea of bringing together magnificent racing around the islands and the pleasures of life in this small exotic paradise. The memory of the fantastic battles that occurred in the sunshine in previous editions has also charmed everyone and registrations for the 2013 edition continue to pour in.

There are many who have been regulars since the outset, look forward to a certain spirit of yachting and having already signed up this winter for the delights they have come to expect in the warm, windy spring around Gustavia. The six classes that are competing have seen the usual suspects registering, but there are also some new names, who wish to join in and make it onto the leaderboard in this event, which has become a classic in the Caribbean circuit.

The group referred to as the Spinnaker category, which brings together boats measuring between nine and 18 metres, is already full up with all the Swans, X Yachts and CNBs. The local sailors, Patrick Demarchelier (Puffy Swan 53) and Raphael Magras (Mae-Lia) are eager to show what they can do on their home waters with all their local crewmen. This year, on the starting line, they can look forward to facing some serious contenders like The Kid, Jean-Pierre Dick’s JP54, and Satori, the Swan 45 owned by the Dutchman, Gideon Messink, in what is a truly international and highly competitive class.

Sojana, the giant ketch belonging to the British owner, Peter Harrison, which is so beloved by her boat captain Lionel Péan, would not miss out on this Voiles de Saint-Barth event for anything in the world. She made her way to the Caribbean early in the winter and as usual will be one of the star attractions in this prized group of Maxis. She will be facing Jean-Philippe Pinatel’s Med Spirit, which will be flying under French colours. The organizers are pleased to be able to announce that another superyacht designed by Farr, Idea of London, will also be attending. 78 feet in length, she has competed successfully in all sorts of races on both sides of the Atlantic.

Size is not everything in this prestigious Maxi class; each group boasts its list of competitors from the highest ranks of international sailing; the America’s Cup. The presence of the spectacular IRC 52s, that was encouraged last year, is the perfect example of that. The American Jim Swartz, title-holder with his Vesper, is this year’s guest sponsor at the Voiles de Saint-Barth, and is certainly one of the best ambassadors of the event for other owners and in particular for those who own these 52-foot racing boats.

'The Voiles de Saint-Barth is now a top class event, which attracts the finest teams and boats,' explained the American Jim Swartz, patron of honour for the 2013 event. Swartz, just like the previous guest sponsors, Peter Harrison and Jimmy Buffett, is a sailor who has had an impressive list of successes. North American champion and East Coast IRC champion, he won the Voiles de Saint-Barth in 2011 aboard his IRC 52 Vesper. He know all about the quality of racing in St-Barth. He competed in the previous three editions and is back this year with Vesper and her all-star crew of 16, which includes some of the leading lights from the America’s Cup like Gavin Brady, Jamie Gale, Brett Jones and Chris Larson.


'The key to the success of the Voiles de Saint-Barth is that it is extremely well-balanced with all the different classes competing with some great battles in each class,' Swartz said. 'Add to that the race courses, which are always different and adapted to the requirements of each class, a highly professional race committee and you are guaranteed a successful event. All these qualities attract professional teams of the highest standard, but there is still room for amateurs, who want to get out there and enjoy themselves.'

The battle between Vesper and a newcomer to the Voiles de Saint-Barth, the Ker 51 belonging to the German Jens Kellinghusen, will be one of the most interesting duels in the event. The owner from Hamburg has called upon the services the young university team with which he has done so well since 2010 on board a Rogers 46 also called Varuna. It was at the end of the 2011 Transatlantic Race that Kellinghusen became really interested in TP 52s, but his wish to compete in ocean races led him to go for a brand new Ker 51 designed for offshore sailing but with an interesting rating for day racing.

28, 48, 65… these figures show the progression in the number of entrants in the first three editions of the Voiles de Saint-Barth. They speak for themselves and confirm the event has succeeded, in spite of a race calendar that was already full of events and which a difficult economic climate could so easily have upset. François Tolède, Luc Poupon and their teams believed in it and were not going to accept any hiccups. St-Barth, with its paradise climate, its idyllic waters, its maritime culture and warm welcome, offers all those who love fine yachts all the ingredients that are needed for sheer enjoyment out on the water, fantastic sailing conditions and an opportunity to meet up with other enthusiasts. Les Voiles de Saint Barth

Barz Optics - Melanin LensesPantaenius - Worldwide SupportPacific Sailing School 660x82 1

Related Articles

Vendee Globe - Thomson marks time with 60hrs sailing time left in race
British solo sailor Alex Thomson has improved only 10nm in 24 hours, and remains 75nm behind the race leader With around 60hrs sailing left in the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race, British solo sailor Alex Thomson has improved only 10nm in 24 hours, and remains 75nm behind the race leader Armel Le Cleac'h in Banque Populaire V. According to the latest positions (as of 0500FR or 0400UTC) the two competitors were almost on the latitude of the finish at Les Sables d'Olonne
Posted today at 5:10 am
Celebrity ProAm race puts fresh wind in Festival of Sails
Royal Geelong Yacht Club has launched a new event to be added to the already packed program of Festival of Sails 2017 The Royal Geelong Yacht Club has just launched a new event to be added to the already packed program of the Festival of Sails 2017 – a Celebrity ProAm race to be held on Wednesday, January 25.
Posted today at 4:02 am
North Technology acquires North Sails Australia
Renowned Sydney loft joins North Sails worldwide network of owned lofts On January 3rd 2017, the North Sails Australia licensed operation was purchased by North Technology Group. North Sails Australia is the country's leading sailmaker with a diverse market ranging from dinghy, One Design, 18' Skiffs, cruising, racing, Grand Prix and Maxis, dating back to when Australia defended the America's Cup in Fremantle in 1987.
Posted on 16 Jan
Henri Lloyd Aqua Down Jacket
A new collection of premium active wear which represents the ultimate in lifestyle sports apparel. Henri Lloyd has used its 50 plus years of technical apparel design and development to launch a new collection of premium active wear which represents the ultimate in lifestyle sports apparel.
Posted on 16 Jan
Henri Lloyd Aqua Down Jacket
A new collection of premium active wear which represents the ultimate in lifestyle sports apparel. Henri Lloyd has used its 50 plus years of technical apparel design and development to launch a new collection of premium active wear which represents the ultimate in lifestyle sports apparel.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
Vendee Globe - Alex Thomson beats 24 hour world distance record
British sailor Alex Thomson has beaten the world sailing record for the second time in the Vendee Globe British sailor Alex Thomson has beaten the world sailing record for the second time in the Vendee Globe, travelling 536.81 nautical miles in 24 hours. The previous distance record of 534.48 nautical miles was set by Francois Gabart in the 2012 Vendee Globe, Thomson has sailed an additional 2.33 nautical miles.
Posted on 16 Jan
EFG Sailing Arabia – Team Averda focus on food in bid to nail victory
Herrera has come up with a secret weapon that he believes might prove the difference between winning and coming second. Herrera has put together a formidable team of amateur sailors who are talented enough to earn crew spots on some of the fastest boats on the planet.
Posted on 16 Jan
Vendee Globe – Thomson smashes 24-hour distance record
Thomson was among a fleet of 29 mostly French solo sailors that set off from Les Sables d'Olonne. During the 24-hour period running up to the 0800 UTC position report he sailed his racing boat Hugo Boss at an average speed of 22.4 knots, or 25.7mph.
Posted on 16 Jan
Vendee Globe - Amedeo leads quartet round Cape Horn
French skipper Fabrice Amedeo achieved one of his life goals early this morning by passing Cape Horn for the first time. French skipper Fabrice Amedeo achieved one of his life goals early this morning by passing Cape Horn for the first time. The 38-year-old Parisian journalist-turned-solo sailor rounded Cape Horn on the southernmost tip of South America on his IMOCA 60 Newrest Matmut at 0140 UTC to become the 11th Vendée Globe skipper in the Atlantic.
Posted on 16 Jan