Please select your home edition
Edition
navathome 728x90

Les Voiles de St. Barth - Fine competition, serious action ahead

by Barby MacGowan on 6 Feb 2013
Vesper wins the RACING Class at Les Voiles de St. Barth 2011 © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth http://www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com/
Les Voiles de St. Barth - the name has a ring to it all its own, though it describes but a single regatta amongst several in a series that lures the world’s best sailors to the Caribbean each spring. The name rolls as effortlessly off the tongues of the French sailors/organizers (François Tolède, Luc Poupon, and Annelisa Gee) who conceived it as it does the international sailors who have come to revere it as one of the best managed and presented events in the global realm of yacht racing.

'It is a first-class event that draws very serious teams and boats,' said Jim Swartz (Park City, Utah), who has been anointed the 'godfather' of the 2013 competition scheduled for April 8-13. Swartz, like godfathers Sir Peter Harrison and Jimmy Buffet before him, is an impressive sailor. An IRC North American and East Coast champion, he won the 2011 event with his IRC 52 Vesper and epitomizes the quality of competition that fills the Les Voiles ranks. He has raced in all of the event’s previous three runnings and will return with Vesper to compete again this year with his 16-member crew that includes such recognizable names from America’s Cup, match racing and other high-profile sailing arenas as Gavin Brady, Jamie Gale, Ken Keefe, James Baxter and Ben Beer.

'Key to the event’s success is the fair division by rating in each of the classes, with deep competition within; the race courses, which are very distinct and class appropriate; and the professionalism of the race committee itself,' said Swartz. 'This combination attracts the top professional teams in the sport, yet there is ample room and reason for amateur teams to participate as well.' Swartz added that divisions for IRC-rated yachts, CSA Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker, Classics and Multihulls attract all levels of sailors from all corners of the world. Most teams bring their own boats; however, several charter opportunities exist for full teams or even individuals who want to join a boat already delivered to St. Barth.

Varuna, the Ker 51 owned by Germany’s Jens Kellinghusen (Hamburg), can’t wait to match up its mostly amateur crew of university students against the big-name veterans aboard Vesper. The boat is relatively new to the international race circuit, having been launched only last April and with just Kiel Week (where it won its class) and Les Voiles de St. Tropez (third in class) as its only tests, thus far, in around-the-buoys racing.

Kellinghusen, age 64, has been building his current sailing team since the beginning of 2010 when he campaigned a Rogers 46, also named Varuna.

'After he completed the 2011 Transatlantic Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race, he wanted to buy an existing TP 52 and modify it so it would be capable of offshore racing, but then the decision was made to build a new boat,' said Vasco Ollero, a law student who has been Kellinghusen’s bow man for 15 years. 'The layout of the new boat and its sail inventory are mainly for offshore, but the concept is that it is good for course racing, too: almost the size of a TP 52, fast on real time and slow on corrected time.'


When all is said and done, however, the offshore/inshore transitions will add an extra layer of difficulty for the team during Les Voiles de St. Barth, says Ollero. 'The thing about mixed campaigns is that in offshore races, maneuvers are slower, so with inshore races we need to get the crews together to get everybody up to speed. This is the first time for us at Les Voiles de St. Barth. We chose it because the plan was to get the boat to the Caribbean for the RORC Caribbean 600 distance race (starting February 18), and the next main event is the Transpac in June, so we needed something in between to get the guys on the boat again so we didn’t have too long of a gap. We decided this is the best race for us, especially with the competition we are facing. We can gain a lot by taking part and being as fast as possible.'

For the Varuna team, just as it is for Phil Lotz’s team aboard the Swan 42 Arethusa, the Les Voiles de St. Barth allows them to stretch their sailing season and get more racing in where there is a guarantee of warm weather and good wind. Lotz, who won the IRC East Coast Championships last fall, shipped Arethusa from Newport, R.I., to Florida for Quantum Key West Race Week, where his team finished third in the Swan 42 class.

'We wanted to try some new venues and have heard good things about this event,' said Lotz. 'It fit well, as we are doing the new Swan Cup and Antigua, so the separation between those events works for us. I also expect good boats and a mix from the U.S., Caribbean and Europe.'

Lotz also heard through word of mouth about the island of Saint Barth’s magic, conjured by turquoise waters, the whitest of sand beaches and constant trade winds, not to mention the spectacular views that are to be had from every nook and cranny of its 16 square mile silhouette. Then for the sailors lucky enough to have a ride at Les Voiles de St. Barth, there is the picturesque harbor of Gustavia, which serves as Regatta Central, and a full schedule of regatta parties and activities that showcase the finest of French wine, cuisine and music.
Notice of Les Voiles de Saint Barth website

Wildwind 2016 660x82T Clewring One DesignLancer Not Equal

Related Articles

18ft skiffs - Yamaha wins the long race lottery at Mark Foy Worlds
After a general recall and an individual recall the fleet set off on long race in a light breeze of about four knots. After a general recall and an individual recall the fleet set off on the long race in a light breeze of about four knots. C-Tech won the start with a port hander and the remainder of the fleet quickly tacked over to head towards the top mark, MalaMala Island.
Posted today at 6:37 am
Maxi yachts and a change of scenery around the world's largest lagoon
Ichi Ban, a 60’ Australian yacht, well known in this part of World, announced his participation in next Groupama Race. 2016 Groupama Race - Ichi Ban, a 60’ Australian yacht, well known in this part of the World, has announced his participation in the next Groupama Race. The 'fight' with the Maxi Beau Geste Racing from Hong Kong and the trimaran Orma 60 Team Vodafone Sailing will be undoubtedly exciting.
Posted today at 5:35 am
2017 Fremantle to Bali and Banyuwangi dates annnounced
While retaining its traditional Fremantle to Bali role for racing and rally yachts, event will offer greater attractions While retaining its traditional Fremantle to Bali role for racing and rally yachts, the event will offer greater attractions than ever with the inclusion of its extension to the Javanese port of Banyuwangi and an organised “Spice Islands Rally” taking yachts on a day-by-day circumnavigation of the island of Bali.
Posted today at 3:30 am
Big fleet racing in store for Sailing Series Melges 20 - Act 4
The entry list for the final 2016 Sailing Series® Melges 20 event is long, lean and mean with more than 50 teams The entry list for the final 2016 Sailing Series® Melges 20 event is long, lean and mean with more than 50 teams scheduled to attend, and will potentially surpass all-time Class attendance records with 15 different nations from around the world being represented: Austria, Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Africa
Posted today at 2:34 am
My Road to Rio – Part 5 – Maria Erdi
Erdi booked her spot for Rio 2016 in the Laser Radial at the final opportunity, the European qualification event Erdi booked her spot for Rio 2016 in the Laser Radial at the final opportunity, the European qualification event in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Following nervously back in Balatonfured, Hungary was father Gabor, mother Gabriella and siblings Julia, Anna, Gabriella and Janos.
Posted on 29 Jun
Three extra places for the Vendée Globe 2016
At a meeting held today with the organisers and skippers, President of the SAEM Vendée made an unexpected announcement. At a meeting held today (Wednesday 29th June) in Les Sables d'Olonne with the organisers and skippers competing in the eighth edition, Yves Auvinet, President of the SAEM Vendée made an unexpected announcement.
Posted on 29 Jun
Volvo Ocean Race - Change to Leg 3 and Asian stopovers announced
Volvo Ocean Race organisers have announced a change to the route posted on the Official Noticeboard Volvo Ocean Race organisers have announced a change to the route posted on the Official Noticeboard, and the effect is to have the fleet sail the almost the complete length of the Southern Ocean from Cape of Good Hope to Cape Horn. The fleet will now spend three times the amount of time in the Southern Ocean than enjoyed in the previous two editions of the race.
Posted on 29 Jun
Volvo Ocean Race to be contested over longest distance in history
Tough, intense, and featuring almost three times as much Southern Ocean sailing as the previous edition The 43-year-old race around the world – the ultimate ocean marathon, pitting the sport’s best sailors, against each other across the world’s toughest oceans – will start from Alicante in late 2017 with a 700nm sprint to Lisbon, Portugal that will provide the first test of the form guide.
Posted on 29 Jun
Rio 2016 - Southern Spars makes move into sports composite engineering
Cycling New Zealand has partnered with a world-leading composite design and construction specialist, Southern Spars. Cycling New Zealand has partnered with a world-leading composite design and construction specialist, Southern Spars. Southern Spars is better known for designing and manufacturing masts and rigging for the world's fastest race yachts and most luxurious superyachts. The North Technology company will be providing wheels to the 2016 New Zealand track cyclists at the Rio Olympics in August.
Posted on 29 Jun
Brakes off as strong westerly propels the Clipper Race fleet forward
LMAX Exchange is in second place with Derry~Londonderry~Doirechasing hard now just 10 nautical miles behind in third. ClipperTelemed+ is leading the fleet again after emerging from its Stealth Mode cloak of invisibility last night; and boat speeds have been high throughout the fleet as the teams enjoy steady trade wind conditions with spinnakers flying in building winds.
Posted on 29 Jun