Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

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 DesignInSunSport - NZWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

RORC IRC Nationals - Round two FAST40+ Race Circuit - Day 1
Girls on Film showed guile and skill to come out on top for Second Round of FAST40+ Circuit, held at RORC IRC Nationals. 2016 RORC IRC National Championship - Girls on Film showed guile and skill to come out on top for the Second Round of the FAST40+ Circuit, held at the RORC IRC National Championship. Invictus showed impressive downwind speed to lead the class after three races but a problem in the last race cost Invictus the overnight lead. Seven of the eleven Fast40+ fleet made the podium on the first day.
Posted today at 6:36 am
RORC IRC National Championship - Mike Greville in action
61 crews competing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC National Championship were eased gently into the regatta today RORC IRC National Championship - 61 crews competing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC National Championship were eased gently into the regatta today initially with sub-10 knot conditions. However by the time the fourth and final race was held, the breeze had built to 20+ knots in the gusts. This, combined with a short, sharp chop kicked up by a building flood tide, led to numerous wipe-outs.
Posted today at 6:04 am
470 Junior Worlds - Don't get stressed!
Patience and the ability to read the wind shifts were important at third race day of the 470 Junior World Championship Patience and the ability to read the wind shifts were important at the third race day of the 470 Junior World Championship at the Kiel Week. 'It wasn't easy today', said race director Fabian Bach, since the classes could only be started in shifts on the inner race courses due to a thunderstorm warning.
Posted today at 5:41 am
2016 Bacardi® Newport Sailing Week – Action will begin on Friday
Looking forward to great weather and great sailing conditions, one-design sailing boats will be on Narragansett Bay 2016 Bacardi® Newport Sailing Week – Looking forward to great weather and great sailing conditions, one-design sailing boats will be on Narragansett Bay to compete sixth Bacardi Newport Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG.
Posted today at 5:00 am
Superyacht Cup - Day 2 action-shots by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2016 Superyacht Cup and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2016 Superyacht Cup and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 4:14 am
More spectacular sailing on race day two at Palma's Superyacht Cup
The Superyacht Cup's social scene, known to rival the insane on-the-water action, has already lived up to its reputation The Superyacht Cup's social scene, known to rival the insane on-the-water action, has already lived up to its reputation as last night's après-race partying went on long after the sails had been packed away. Apart from a lively atmosphere and full dance floor, this year's '20 Years of Rock' theme showed some sailors' hidden talents of playing air guitar and being able to rock back-combed hair
Posted today at 3:57 am
2016 German Open Championship/Nepomuk Cup kicks off this weekend
The commencement of the 2016 Melges 20 German Open held in conjunction with the Nepomuk Cup is just hours away. The commencement of the 2016 Melges 20 German Open held in conjunction with the Nepomuk Cup is just hours away. Two great days of top competition are scheduled and hosted by long-time yacht club partner - the Bayerisher Yacht Club (BYC) in Starnberg See, Munchen, Germany.
Posted today at 3:16 am
Oman Air revel in Cardiff breeze to extend lead
Oman Air kept up a steady pace despite high winds and sudden gusts to extend their lead on the second day 2016 Extreme Sailing Series - Oman Air kept up a steady pace despite high winds and sudden gusts to extend their lead on the second day of the Extreme Sailing Series in Cardiff.
Posted today at 2:58 am
Act 3 leaderboard compresses as Cardiff Bay deliver spectacular racing
Cardiff Bay lived up to its reputation for delivering wet and wild racing today 2016 Extreme Sailing Series - Cardiff Bay lived up to its reputation for delivering wet and wild racing today as it played host to some of the most exciting action of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ so far.
Posted today at 2:34 am
Clipper Race crew member successfully medevaced from North Atlantic
Chris Drummond from High Wycombe, UK a crew member on board IchorCoal, had complained of severe chest pains yesterday. Chris Drummond, 62, from High Wycombe, UK a crew member on board IchorCoal, had complained of severe chest pains yesterday but was stabilised after receiving care from one of the team’s two on board medics, a Consultant Anesthetist.
Posted on 24 Jun