Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

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

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignHelm Events 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Vendee Globe - One tack holds key to Vendée Globe glory
Victory in the solo round the world race now comes down to one crucial last manoeuvre. With less than 40 miles separating Vendée Globe leader Armel Le Cléac'h from second-placed Alex Thomson this morning and under 400 nautical miles left to the finish line, victory in the solo round the world race now comes down to one crucial last manoeuvre.
Posted today at 6:57 am
Mount Gay Round Barbados Series – Stunning conditions for opening race
Mount Gay Round Barbados Series got off to a spectacular start today with first race of the three-day Coastal Series The Mount Gay Round Barbados Series organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay got off to a spectacular start today with the first race of the three-day Coastal Series blessed with glorious sailing conditions.
Posted today at 5:34 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 2 action-shots by Nico Martinez
Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images Photographer Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 4:08 am
Platoon battle in the trenches, but hold out for Key West lead
Even among some of top teams in 52 Super Series nerves had a negative effect on Monday, the first day of the new season Even among some of the top teams in the 52 Super Series, the world’s leading grand prix monohull circuit, nerves and elements of self-doubt had a negative effect on Monday, the first day of the new season and the opening races of the Quantum Key West Race Week.
Posted today at 3:46 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 2 action-shots by Max Ranchi
Max Ranchi was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images Photographer Max Ranchi was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 - Race three and four action.
Posted today at 3:24 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Azzurra hangs on to third place
Azzurra is still in third place after a difficult day on water. Quantum moves up to second place behind leader, Platoon Azzurra is still in third place after a difficult day on the water. Quantum moves up to second place behind the leader, Platoon, who is just five points ahead of Azzurra.
Posted today at 3:07 am
Setting a new standard for not only solo sailing, but monohull sailing
Doyle Sailmakers is enjoying the down to the wire pace of this years 2017 Vendée Globe unfolding this week. Doyle Sailmakers is enjoying the down to the wire pace of this years 2017 Vendée Globe unfolding this week. With UK sailor, Alex Thomson, on board Hugo Boss, and Armel LeCléac’h just 42.2 nautical miles ahead, we have seen seamanship, racing skills, and the sheer skills of both sailors.
Posted today at 2:13 am
Vendee Globe - Thomson cuts 33nm out of Le Cleac'h with 48hrs left
Britain's Alex Thomson sailing Hugo Boss has made a big reduction in the lead of Armel Le Cleac'h Britain's Alex Thomson sailing Hugo Boss has made a big reduction in the lead of Armel Le Cleac'h in the final stages of the Vendee Globe Race. The official margin of just 45nm - a gain of 30nm in the last 24 hours was confirmed using the weather routing function of Predictwind. Most of Thomson's gain has come on the last seven hours.
Posted on 17 Jan
Zhik Xeflex® - your shield against cold environments
This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. How do you make a water resistant garment that really breathes, yet reflects your own body heat back to you? Where do you find a compression resistant and extremely insulating filling that is nowhere near as bulky as the Michelin Man, yet gives you that kind of warmth and comfort?
Posted on 17 Jan
Day 73 – Thomson running out of time in sprint to Vendée Globe finish
Armel Le Cléac'h has an advantage of just 69 miles on second-placed Alex Thomson as the race enters its final 500 miles. Frustratingly for the battling duo, despite already reaching the latitude of the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, they are being forced to sail much further north due to an anticyclone currently blocking their path home.
Posted on 17 Jan