Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014 - Back to business

Windy conditions on the water on Day 3 of racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth
Competitors at Les Voiles de St. Barth headed back to the race course today after enjoying the regatta’s traditional lay day yesterday, which gave them a chance to indulge in the French island’s onshore charms. Many regattas no longer feature such a break in the racing, but Les Voiles has maintained a five-day format (four days of racing with a mid-regatta break) since its inception five years ago, and it has proven to be a draw. In fact, more than 400 of the thousand or so sailors racing here gathered at Nikki Beach on Baie Saint Jean for lunch and some organized team sports, including water polo, stand-up paddleboard races and petanque matches.

This morning dawned with a much fresher breeze than yesterday and sailors prepared for a forecasted 18-25 knot southeasterly. With the race course set off the north side of the island, most of the fleet readied by tucking in reefs and setting small jibs while they jockeyed for positions in the starting area.

Les Voiles de St. Barth - Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014


Shortly before the start for the Maxi and Spinnaker Zero classes, Hap Fauth’s Mini Maxi Bella Mente suffered a rig failure and had to retire. Fortunately, there were no injuries during the dismasting, and the boat motored slowly back to it’s mooring, its crew disappointed given that the 72-footer was well-sailed all week and in a close battle with Maxi class leader, Caol Ila R.

With the breeze building, the Race Committee postponed racing, sending the fleet back to shore; however, shortly after noon, signals ashore indicated a 1:30 p.m. start for eight of the nine classes (absent the Melges 24s). With the wind at 20-23 knots, the fleet enjoyed a 16 nautical mile course that took them to the north end where large ocean swells rolled through. ‘Round the world race veteran Brad Marsh, bowman on the 80 foot Selene, commented on how the 60 ton Swan was well-suited for today’s conditions, ' This afternoon’s race was fantastic: it was fun, lots of wind, beautiful big sea. Selene is a big heavy boat, in some ways the best boat to be on today – very big, very safe and comfortable. But there’s a lot of load, a lot of coordination to get things done on a big boat, with many people.'

Selene racing on Day 3 at Les Voiles de St. Barth - Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014


Melges 24s in force
Fritz Bus, skipper of Island Water World, who is currently tied for the lead in the Melges 24 class on (with Budget Marine/Gill), is enthusiastic about the turnout at Les Voiles, 'It’s fantastic that we have seven Melges 24’s racing. I hope this will stimulate the whole Caribbean to bring more Melges 24’s here because one-design racing, that’s the way to go. All these ratings (in other classes), everybody is always complaining, and we have nothing to complain about, only about the skipper,' he said laughing. 'It’s a nice one-design class, but it’s also a very nice, sporty boat to sail. It’s fast, it goes well upwind and especially downwind, and it’s a fantastic experience!'

Frits Bus - skipper on Island Water World from Saint Martin at the Voiles de St. Barth - Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014
Les Voiles de Saint Barth/Alain Blanchard


Bus was comfortable with the decision to keep the Melges 24’s ashore when racing resumed this afternoon. An accomplished Melges sailor from Saint Maarten, the Dutch sailor reported 21 knots of boat speed down a wave as they practiced, shortly before racing was postponed. At last year’s Les Voiles, Island Water World was leading its class going into the last day of racing when the backstay broke and the mast toppled over the side, along with their hopes of victory. 'Now we’re back and we’ll try to do it all over again, Bus said.

'I like it a bit more when it’s a little lighter air, when you’re playing the shifts, and it’s a little bit more sailing. This (today’s conditions) is a little more banging around the course. It’s hard on the crew in a Melges 24 in these waves. We’ll see how it goes today, and survive – at least it’s going to be fun downwind, so we’re going to have some good spray and wet rides!'

White Rhino who wins the only race in the Spinnaker 2 Class today at Les Voiles de St. Barth - Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014


And the leaders are…
With today’s win in the Maxi class, Caol Ila R has a solid lead now, given the retirement today of her rival Bella Mente; in Spinnaker Zero, Near Miss scored another victory today to lead its class; Stark Raving Mad took a win to pose a threat to Lazy Dog’s dominance in Spinnaker 1; White Rhino found another bullet to further protect its lead in Spinnaker 2; Eamonn Rohan’s Ramanessin (GBR) notched another victory in Spinnaker 3 for a solid lead; the x-Yacht Maelia leads Visiooptic in Spinnaker 4; and in Non-Spinnaker, L’Esperance has a five-point lead over Speedy Nemo, the same gap that SeaCart 26 Team All Stars hasover the Gunboat 63 Elvis in Multihulls.

What they said…
Wendy Schmidt, owner of the Swan 80, Selene, second in Maxi class today. Selene is sailing in its third Les Voiles and won the Maxi class here in 2013. Schmidt owns several boats, including a 'spirit of tradition' W46 class, but she actively sails and races Selene in the Caribbean and Mediterranean:

'We love St. Barth; it’s reliably a great place to sail and an interesting place to sail. The races have lots of variety, all sizes of boats…it’s not too big of a regatta. We just have a great time, it is a little bit lower key than some, which is also really nice.'

Maxi Class leader - Caol Ila R at Les Voiles de St. Barth - Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014


When Schmidt first started racing Selene in 2009, she had 22 crew members from 10 different countries who spoke nine different languages. Schmidt said, 'I don’t think we’re that diverse right now, but we have Kiwis, Brits, people from Newport, Nantucket. It’s just a mix of people who are good sailors, who have friends who are great on our boat. I said this morning to everybody, ‘this boat has many owners,’ and I think that’s why we have such a good time and Selene sails so well. She’s got a fantastic crew.'

Schmidt is an active philanthropist, particularly with regard to the health of the oceans and the environment. One of her organizations is 11th Hour Racing, a project of the Schmidt Family Foundation. Schmidt said, 'We look at the world as a series of interconnected issues that have to be resolved in this century. We look not only at climate and energy and food and agriculture systems and human rights issues but also at the oceans and the responsibilities that people have who use our waters for recreation, chiefly sailors and the people in boating. We have a responsibility to be the vanguard of responsibility for the health of the waters and everything living in them.'

True - 3rd place in Spinnaker 0 at Les Voiles de St. Barth - Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014


Benoit Briand, boat captain on Near Miss (leading Spinnaker Zero class):
'On the sailing side, we are quite happy, since we're in a position to win our class. We started in very mild conditions, but the second half of the regatta will see us facing much more wind, from 20 to 25 knots. Things are getting serious and everyone onboard must keep his concentration. On our kind of a boat, the slightest mistake can be catastrophic.

Benoit Briand on Near Miss competing at Les Voiles de St. Barth - Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014
Les Voiles de Saint Barth/Alain Blanchard


'We have a 15-man crew, quite a motley crew really, with guys coming from New Zealand, the Netherlands, Poland and all over France. English is the common language and everybody sticks to his job. We're like a rugby team. I'm a little bit of a coach, but I would never interfere with what the helmsman or the navigator is doing. Everyone knows his job by heart, and things must run smoothly, especially in strong conditions.'

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014


Daniela De Luca, Italian crewmember on Les Voiles au Féminin in Spinnaker 4:
'I belong to the all-women's crew from Saint Barthélémy. Our association is called Les Voiles au Feminin. It was created two years ago to promote the sport of sailing among women on the island, as all women must have access to this sport. We therefore have acquired a sailing boat, a J/109 that we bought in Saint Tropez, after Les Voiles de Saint Tropez. Our skipper, Sophie Olivaud sailed the boat across the ocean during the ARC Challenge two years ago. Ever since, we've sailed as many regattas in the Caribbean as we possibly could.

'Our crew is a mix of experienced sailors, and newbies. It works out very well, as the atmosphere onboard is excellent. This does not mean that we don't feel any apprehension at the start of each race, just like any male sailor, I guess. It is very exciting to sail during Les Voiles, as we get to see great sailors and fantastic boats. We feel very fortunate.'

Balearia with the crew of Bigamist from Portugal take 2nd place on Day 3 of racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth - Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014


Event Schedule:

Racing concludes tomorrow, Saturday (10 a.m. start) for the nine classes: Maxi, Spinnaker 0-1-2-3-4, Melges 24, Non-Spinnaker, and Racing Multihull.
Tomorrow after racing, a 6 p.m. Award Ceremony will be followed by fireworks and the music of Joyful Noise.

Complete Results:

Spinnaker Overall series resultsFri
18 Apr
 CSAScoreRace 1
1st
Near Miss
SUI 1957
TP 52
Spinnaker 0
 1.191 asy 101% (2014)111
2nd
Balearia / Bigamist
ESP 7396
BOTIN & CARKEEK
Spinnaker 0
 1.173 asy 102% (2014)222
3rd
Stark Raving Mad IV
52125
J/125
Spinnaker 1
 1.042 asy 146% (2014)333
4th
True
USA 60206
Kernan 47
Spinnaker 0
 1.183 asy 104% (2014)444
5th
Lazy Dog
PUR 007
Melges 32
Spinnaker 1
 0.988 asy 106% (2014)555
6th
Scarlet Runner
Sm11
Reichel Pugh
Spinnaker 0
 1.193 asy 98% (2014)666
7th
White Rhino
USA 52821
Swan 56
Spinnaker 2
 1.041 asy 155% (2014)777
8th
Ramanessin
GBR 2215L
Grand Soleil 43
Spinnaker 3
 0.964 both 104% (2014)888
9th
Salona Racing Team
BOW 31
Salona
Spinnaker 3
 0.937 both 138% (2014)999
10th
Les Ptits Filous LIPTON
FRA 28918
A 40
Spinnaker 3
 0.935 spi 100% (2014)101010
11th
Jolt 2
GBR 4500N
Baltic 45
Spinnaker 1
 1.082 asy 98% (2014)111111
12th
Otra Vez
USA 61137
KER 43
Spinnaker 0
 1.117 asy 103% (2014)121212
13th
Affinity
US 50007
SWAN 48 CR
Spinnaker 2
 0.979 both 152% (2014)131313
14th
J-Boss
FRA 71
J/111
Spinnaker 3
 0.948 asy 105% (2014)141414
15th
Maelia
SBH 26120
X-yachts
Spinnaker 4
 0.849 spi 107% (2014)151515
16th
Visiooptic
FRA 97126
First 40.7
Spinnaker 4
 0.900 spi 99% (2014)161616
17th
Sunset Child
USA 28920
J/120
Spinnaker 3
 0.935 asy 94% (2014)171717
18th
Kick 'em Jenny 2
USA 143
Melges 32
Spinnaker 1
 0.988 asy 108% (2014)181818
19th
Puffy
BOW 26
Swan 53
Spinnaker 2
 0.988 asy 109% (2014)191919
20th
X-Files
GBR 2740 R
IMX 40
Spinnaker 3
 0.921 spi 100% (2014)202020
21th
Team Boston
GBR 6840R
Beneteau First 40
Spinnaker 3
 0.936 both 103% (2014)212121
22th
Pocket Rocket
GRN 7777 / IRL 11109
J 109
Spinnaker 4
 0.889 asy 104% (2014)222222
23th
Defiance
IVB 4915
Marten 49
Spinnaker 1
 1.091 asy 100% (2014)232323
24th
High Tension
TRI 19
Mumm 36
Spinnaker 3
 0.924 asy 87% (2014)242424
25th
Voiles au Féminin
1091
J/109
Spinnaker 4
 0.886 asy 102% (2014)252525
26th
AronnaX
SBH 030
X-482
Spinnaker 2
 0.957 asy 137% (2014)262626
27th
Selene
GBR976R
Swan
Spinnaker 4
 0.877 spi 86% (2014)272727
28th
Triskell
BOW 25
Dufour 45 Classic
Spinnaker 4
 0.884 spi 136% (2014)282828
29th
Ballytrim
GBR 5046R
Swan 46
Spinnaker 2
 0.955 spi 108% (2014)292929
30th
St Barth Sail Racing
SBH 29
A 40
Spinnaker 3
 0.931 asy 100% (2014)303030
31th
Albacor V
FRA 43501
Grand Soleil 39
Spinnaker 3
 0.933 both 105% (2014)313131
32th
Optique Baumont
BOW 22
FIRST 310 S
Spinnaker 4
 0.831 spi 146% (2014)323232
33th
Voile 44
FRA 22
Pogo
Spinnaker 2
 1.022 asy 111% (2014)333333
=34th
Nix
IVB 612
X 612
Spinnaker 2
 1.042 asy 99% (2014)373737RET
=34th
Team Bloody Marie
1711
Lavranos 48
Spinnaker 2
 0.966 asy 97% (2014)373737DNS
=34th
Augustine
ANT 2908
Beneteau - First 42
Spinnaker 4
 0.879 both 125% (2014)373737DNS
 
Maxi series resultsTue
15 Apr
Wed
16 Apr
Fri
18 Apr
 CSAScoreRace 1
Race 2
Race 3
Race 4
1st
Caol Ila R
60669 Alex SCHAERER
Mills 69
 1.349 asy 105% (2014)551121
2nd
Bella Mente
USA 45 Hap Fauth
JV 72
 1.387 asy 96% (2014)13132218DNS
3rd
Aragon
NED 8313 Verder VAN NIEUWLAND
Marten 72
 1.262 asy 100% (2014)13133334
4th
Rambler
USA25555 George David
R&P 90
 1.488 asy 91% (2014)15154443
5th
Selene
CAY 80002 Wendy Schmidt
Swan 80
 1.217 asy 103% (2014)17175552
6th
Varsovie
CAY 104 Tomek Ulatowski
Swan 100S
 1.276 asy 109% (2014)26266668DNS
7th
Highland Breeze
888 Ben KOLFF
Swan/German Frers
 1.290 asy 103% (2014)313178DNF8DNS8DNS
 
Non-Spinnaker series resultsTue
15 Apr
Wed
16 Apr
Fri
18 Apr
 CSAScoreRace 1
Race 2
Race 3
1st
L'Esperance
SXM 123
Beneteau 45F5
 0.886 pol 135% (2014)33111
2nd
Speedy Nemo
SBH 26
Dufour 34
 0.826 pol 134% (2014)88323
3rd
J-aguar - www.caribbeanraces.com
NM 2477
custom j 120
 0.924 jib 133% (2014)1010244
4th
Hotel California too
7016
Santa Cruz 70 CR
 1.021 jib 136% (2014)1212462
5th
Vanille
SX 1989
Beneteau 
 0.812 sec 102% (2014)1515636
6th
Spirit
GBR 48L
Swan 65
 0.977 jib 100% (2014)1515555
7th
GROIX
BOW 29
Harmony 47
 0.860 jib 101% (2014)2424888
8th
Voilactus
ANT 1865
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 44
 0.856 pol 120% (2014)2525711DSQ7
9th
Sigiriya
MLT 445
Dufour 44
 0.886 jib 129% (2014)2525979
10th
neptune les ptits filous
BOW 33
proto
 0.945 jib 152% (2014)313111DNF911DNF
 
Racing Multihull series resultsTue
15 Apr
Wed
16 Apr
Fri
18 Apr
 TCFScoreRace 1
Race 2
Race 3
1st
SeaCart 26 Team All Stars
SWE 026 Carl (Calle) Hennix
SeaCart 26 Trimaran
 1.00033111
2nd
Elvis
6204 Scott Bradford
Gunboat
 1.23388224
3rd
Paradox
CAY1 Peter Aschenbrenner
Irens Tri 63'
 1.47214147OCS43
4th
Le CARRÉ Lounge
CAN 1 Design Catamaran Inc
Toro34
 1.0241616410DSQ2
5th
Sanem
F 92 SANTONI
KL 28
 1.07116163310DNS
6th
Dauphin Telecom
K1 Erick Clement
Trimaran Open 40
 1.1771717557
7th
Zenyatta
6203 Nils Erickson
Gunboat
 1.1991717665
8th
Pampero
11 Bertrand DE BROC
TS 50
 1.1742424810DSQ6
9th
Hallucine 2
-- Alexis GUILLAUME
TS 50
 1.082252510DNF78
 
Melges 24 series resultsTue
15 Apr
Wed
16 Apr
 ScoreRace 1
Race 2
1st
Budget Marine/Gill
AHO 5
 3321
2nd
Team Island Water World
AHO 29
 3312
3rd
LEFORT CLIM
FRA 005
 7743
4th
Boost'n Sail
SBH 380
 7734
5th
French Connection
FRA 16
 101055
6th
No-Limit
FRA 207
 121266




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