Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

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

Harken AUS Reflex 660x82Hamilton Island Luxurynavathome 660x82

Related Articles

Hamilton Island Race Week - Supermaxis battle on Day 2 + Video
Photographer Michael Chittenden is on the water at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week Photographer Michael Chittenden is on the water at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, and provided this gallery of images on a day when the supermaxi Scallywag beat Wild Oats XI for the first time. Bob Killick and Warwick Rooklyn commentate the video of Race Day 2
Posted today at 10:14 am
Mid-week weekend at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Layday came early for the AHIRW fleet despite best efforts by the race committee to get some divisions racing out 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Layday came early for the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week fleet despite best efforts by the race committee to get some divisions racing out on the Eastern course area, in the Turtle Bay vicinity.
Posted today at 8:44 am
AHIRW Day 3 - Audi Hamilton Island Whale Watching Week
Day three saw no racing for any of the 252 entries at AHIRW, but there was plenty of people and whale watching 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Day three saw no racing for any of the 252 entries at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, but there was plenty of people and whale watching to be done for the media! I have to say it is the best postponement I have had in my 20+ years of sailing!
Posted today at 8:15 am
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted today at 4:23 am
AHIRW - Day 2 - Ichi Ban and Concubine in the Tavern
Another gorgeous day on Hamilton Island, but breeze was not entirely on board with keeping the on-water action up to par 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Another gorgeous day on Hamilton Island, but the breeze was not entirely on board with keeping the on-water action up to par with the off-water activities!
Posted today at 1:15 am
Infiniti 46 features Doyle Sails BR0 - Blast Reaching Zero - Video
Video of the Infiniti 46 at speed using Doyle Sails including a fore-sail that measures as a jib and is used for blast r Video of the Infiniti 46 at speed using Doyle Sails including a fore-sail that measures as a jib and is used for blast reaching. Designed by DSS-creator Hugh Welbourn the Infiniti 46 is 14.10m LOA, with a beam of 3.90m and a 3.35m draft. Her displacement is listed at 5300kg. She is full carbon construction.
Posted on 22 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Downwind Racing
With a backdrop of dark rain clouds, the fleet raced downwind from Lindeman Island to the finish in Dent Passage With a backdrop of dark rain clouds, the fleet raced downwind from Lindeman Island to the finish in Dent Passage getting a good soaking shortly after the video was shot.
Posted on 22 Aug
Time and tide on Day 2 of the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
A light breeze and cloudy skies saw 12 of the 14 divisions scheduled for many island courses starting from Dent Passage. The Trailables Division led the vanguard at the first start gun, but it soon became apparent that plugging a strong south going current in such light breeze was going to make for a very slow and congested start to the day.
Posted on 22 Aug
AHIRW - Day 1 - 'Pillow Talk' and Scallywag's Honeymooners
A record-breaking fleet of 252 boats and catching up with so many of my sailing mates from around the world Amazing to be back on Hamilton Island for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. A record-breaking fleet of 252 boats, a stunning location, and catching up with so many of my sailing mates from around the world, what could be better?
Posted on 22 Aug