Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Kids range

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez welcomes stunning classics

by KPMS on 28 Sep 2011
Race start - Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2011 Carlo Borlenghi http://www.carloborlenghi.com
The Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez could not have welcomed a more impressive fleet of classic boats then the more than one-hundred racing this week at what is an armada that showcases designers from the golden ages of yachting history: Among them, Herreshoff, Fife, Sparkman & Stephens, Rhodes, Mylne, and Alden.

The summer-like conditions that prevailed on the Gulf of St Tropez outside of the old port featured plenty of blue sky, an unseasonably hot sun, and light breeze.

Racing was schedule for 12 noon, and after an hour’s postponement, Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez race committee managed to find enough wind in the starting area to send the fleet on a short nine-nautical mile coastal race, once the easterly breeze filled in to about five knots. It was enough to get nine classes off the line in five starts – first the smaller gaff-rigged and Marconi classes and through to the 'grand époque' big boats with stunners such as the 167-foot (51m) overall Herreshoff schooner Elena, the 19-metre class (110 feet overall) Mariquita, the Fife-designed gaff cutter 115-footer Moonbeam IV, and the 23-metre class, Cambria.

Even given the nearly half mile starting line for the twelve big boats, Mariquita, Tuiga, and Moonbeam were in a group that proved intent on the favoured committee boat end. Alone towards the pin end was Cambria, which found more pressure on the northern side of the gulf. Elena was safely just behind the first starters, but her towering sail plan made the most of the challenging conditions and allowed her to quickly gain on the others.

Most boats, having left the gulf and cleared the Porte Seiche mark, found the breeze clocking towards the south which allowed a mix of running sails to be set: spinnakers, fishermen, topsails. Further along the coast, the wind went painfully light, and the fleet compressed around the leeward mark off the town of Issambres. From there it was a beat upwind until they could lay the mark of Porte Seiche and then ease sheets for a reach towards the finish in a slighter fresher breeze. They were the lucky ones – for several of the bigger boat classes, the course was shortened and a finish line set off Porte Seiche.

Given the weight differential with this range of classics, certain boats fared better in the light conditions: two-time Rolex Trophy winner (2008 and 2009) NY 40 Rowdy for one. Skipper Graham Walker knows his way around the race course here. This time around, Walker has turned the tiller over to his new co-owner Nick Barham.

An Englishman from Monaco, who has extensive experience racing in the competitive Sydney 38 one-design class, Barham is clearly thrilled to be competing in St Tropez, 'It was a very difficult start, very tight on the start line, but we managed to get some clean air. Got up to first mark and slipped away with the wind, fantastic…perfect conditions for us, and a wonderful sail. After the leeward mark, we hung up to windward until we had about twenty degrees off the mark we had to come inside. Then we picked up a whole new breeze coming down towards the finish. The crew performed superbly.'


Rowdy will again be a force to be reckoned at Les Voiles this week as the 1916 Herreshoff sloop is coming off a successful season, with wins at Antibes, Porto Rotondo and Monaco. The crew is pretty much the same as prior years with some family members having come on as well, though Barham said 'we’re not de-professionalizing it, but making it a little more social than before.'

The Rolex Trophy is a competition within the Tradition division for all boats over 16 metres on deck. The winning boat receives the Rolex Trophy and a Rolex timepiece. First awarded in 2006, this year over 50 boats are eligible for the Trophy. Defending winner from 2010 is Yves-Marie Morault’s 12-metre Ikra.

Racing continues tomorrow for both Traditional and Modern classes. First warning signal is 1100 for the Moderns, 1200 for Traditional.

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2011 Event Programme:

Sunday, 25 September: Welcome for Modern yachts
Monday, 26 September: Welcome for Traditional yachts; Racing for Modern yachts
Tuesday, 27 September: Modern and Traditional yacht racing
Wednesday, 28 September: Modern and Traditional yacht racing
Thursday, 29 September: Challenge Day (match racing); Club 55 Cup between Mariquita and Altair; Centenary Trophy (yachts over 100 yrs + longer than 16 metres)
Friday, 30 September: Modern and Traditional yacht racing
Saturday, 1 October: Modern and Traditional yacht racing
Sunday, 2 October: 11am, Prizegiving Ceremony at La Citadelle

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez website

North Technology - Southern SparsPredictWind.comBarz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Related Articles

Single-handed Sailing Society Corinthian images by pressure-drop.us
Single-handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race images Single-handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race images
Posted on 27 Mar
Single Handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race – Great day on the bay
With the remnants of the the early flood, most boats mad short work of the downhill ride to Blossom from starting area Greg Nelsen, fresh off a Double Handed Farallones race win, adds another pickle dish to his collection, winning Singlehanded Sportboat Division with an elapsed time of 03:20:37 on his Azzura 1000 Outsider. A pending protest should render that the fastest monohull around the track.
Posted on 27 Mar
Princess Sofia Trophy – Park’s pride as he prepares for Palma finale
RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park believes the British Sailing Team is in the right place for multi-medal winning success ‘Sparky’, as Park is commonly known, will preside over some 63 British Sailing Team athletes at the first major European event of the year, before moving on to a new role at British Cycling next month after over 20 years with the RYA.
Posted on 27 Mar
Volvo Ocean Race - Team AkzoNobel leaves Persico
The Simeon Tienpont skippered Team AkzoNobel Volvo65 has left the building facility at Persico Marine in Bergamo The Simeon Tienpont skippered Team AkzoNobel Volvo65 has left the building facility at Persico Marine in Bergamo, Italy to The Boatyard in Lisbon under the custodianship of GAC Pindar. Before she left the yard at Persico the team had a celebration to mark the end of the build phase.
Posted on 27 Mar
J/22 Midwinter Champs - Sunday's action-shots by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at J/22 Midwinter Championship and provided this gallery of images from Sunday action. Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at J/22 Midwinter Championship 2017 and provided this gallery of images from Sunday action.
Posted on 27 Mar
Kevin Doyle’s Mo’ Money Earns J/22 Midwinter Championship
Kevin Doyle, Vic Snyder and Aaron Snyder’s Mo’ Money mastered the light conditions to win J/22 Midwinter Championship. Kevin Doyle, Vic Snyder and Aaron Snyder’s Mo’ Money mastered the light conditions on Sunday to win their first J/22 Midwinter Championship. The Youngstown, New York-based team tallied a four, three, one for eight points in the three-race series. No racing took place on Friday and Saturday due to high winds and storms. Travis Odenbach’s Sea Bags Sailing Team secured second place with 16 points
Posted on 27 Mar
New boats and old favourites prepare for BVI Spring Regatta
BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2017 is pleased to welcome C&C 30 Sportboat/Gunboat fleets to this year's event Always offering up something new and different, the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2017 is pleased to welcome the C&C 30 Sportboat and Gunboat fleets to this year's event which kicks off on Monday with registration at noon and opening party at 6pm.
Posted on 27 Mar
Australian National Championship – Team Beau Geste comes out on top
There was a great crew, including long time friend and teammate at Oracle and Artemis, David Brooke Gavin Brady, who runs the Beau Geste Team, invite me to be the helmsman for two series down here in Oz. Gavin and I sailed together on AmericaOne in the 2000 America’s Cup and again on Money Penny in 2008.
Posted on 26 Mar
St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 - Day 2
Six to eight foot seas off island's east end, gusts blowing to 20 to 25 knots and mix of rain and sun all added to fun. The St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) proved its reputation as the 'Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing' by superbly delivering on its signature mix of round the rocks and round the buoy courses on the event's second day of competition. What's more, six to eight foot seas off the island's east end, gusts blowing to 20 to 25 knots and a mix of rain and sun all added to the fun.
Posted on 26 Mar
St. Thomas International Regatta - Day 2 action-shots by Dean Barnes
Dean Barnes was on water at St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Dean Barnes was on water at St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted on 26 Mar