by Raphaël Mira
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is a unique gathering of hundreds of yachts of all ages and all eras in the bay of Saint Tropez and the event is now preparing to celebrate its fifteenth running in style. Sailors, skippers and boat owners will once again be hastening to Les Voiles from 28 September to 6 October for one final race of the year within the very special context of the little port in France’s Var region.
Swan 53 Music - 2012 Les Voiles des St Tropez
Three hundred yachts will be on the water for an ‘haute couture’ procession, gathering together nearly a century and a half of naval architecture and maritime genius. On show will be the most beautiful boats, the greatest sailors and the most unexpected crews, who come together in their love of beautiful yachts – ancient and modern alike – and delight at seeing them being sailed superbly in an atmosphere of fairplay and conviviality. Such has been the vision of ‘made in Saint Tropez’ yachting every year since 1999.
The waters of the bay of Saint Tropez will ripple once again during what will be an entire week, in the wake of the wooden, steel and carbon hulls of the most beautiful modern and classic yachts in the world. On the quaysides, the public can expect to cross paths with the greatest stars on the sailing planet, along with the stars of the big screen, singers, sportsmen and women and heads of business, who will be coming along to discreetly participate in the closing event of the classics’ season.
We’re delighted at the return of the classic ‘stars’ of Les Voiles, steeped in the most incredible histories. These include the huge Bermudan sloop Cambria, the large gaff-rig cutters Mariquita and Moonbeam, the 15m J Mariska, the hundred-year old Marigold and Partridge, amounting to a hundred Classic yachts already, their bronze and varnish gleaming.
On shore, the magic of Saint Tropez takes hold of the crews and the thousands of sailors from all walks of life, from the traditional Boules competition in the town square, Place des Lices, to the fantasy-filled crew procession and the ‘Sardinade’ at La Ponche, a traditional sardine feast and dance. Of particular appeal is Les Voiles Village, which provides visitors with a warm, cheery welcome. It also plays host each race morning to a light sunny breakfast, and each evening, to a party around the bar, where crews can discuss the day’s races in an ambiance as cosmopolitan as it is joyous.
Among the hundreds of yachts registered for this unmissable autumnal meeting, the most fascinating large classic yachts are grouped together to contest the Rolex Trophy. For its eighth running, the Rolex Trophy will once again be one of the main events of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez.