Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Les Voiles de St. Barth - First day down and competition defined

by Fabrice Thomazeau on 11 Apr 2013
Les Voiles de Saint Barth 2013 © Tim Wright / Les Voiles de St Barth http://www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com/
In the 2013 Les Voiles de St Barth, after having been given plenty of time on yesterday’s longer courses to sort out their crew work, sail selection, tactics and sunscreen, sailors took to the turquoise seas off the French West Indies island of St. Barth for a second round of competition. With the first day down and competition defined, now it was time to fine-tune and sort out standings.

The race committee selected three courses: 22 nautical miles for Classics, Non-Spinnaker, Spinnaker 3 and Melges 24 classes; 27 nm for Spinnaker 1, Spinnaker 2, and Multihulls; and 29 nm for Maxis. All three courses took the boats out and around the northern end of St. Barths and the outlying islands. The southeasterly breeze was more sustained today at around 18 knots, with gusts to 20, which on the windward-side of the island produced large swells.

Les Voiles de St. Barth attracts a good mix of amateurs and professional sailors as well as some sailors who aren’t often seen at 'around the buoys' type racing. Marc Guillemot, the respected single-handed offshore sailor who has competed in numerous ‘round-the-world and transatlantic races, found himself in much less stressful conditions, sailing onboard Patrick Demarchelier’s Swan 53 Puffy (USA). 'Normally I am on very light boats that maneuver very easily,' Guillemot said, 'and today I was driving a boat that is roughly four times heavier than mine! (This one is roughly 28 tons and Safran (his IMOCA 60) is 7.5 tons.)


'I have been lucky enough to have sailed here a few times and it helps to know where the winds are more or less favorable,' continued Guillemot. 'Knowing the lay of the land is important, as it also allows you to negotiate the best way round the course. Personally, this week I am here to enjoy the racing and have some fun, and if we finish first or second, it is not going to make a huge difference…well, maybe for the crew it will!'

Matthew Sheahan, Racing Editor for Yachting World is in St. Barth for the first time and was clearly enjoying a busman’s holiday racing on Jolt 2 (GBR) in the Spinnaker 1 class. Sheahan described the conditions, particularly the upwind legs on the windward side: 'There was a lot of breeze, and it was quite hard work actually going upwind. Having not done this event before and having not been to Saint Barth and then doing that leg just characterizes my initial thoughts that the event is great, but it is quite a punchy part of the Caribbean. The last time I was around here was on the Caribbean 600 and that was punchy as well, so it is not a soft option coming here!

'It is an absolutely beautiful island,' Sheehan added, 'and I can see why so many people rave about it. It is something special in the Caribbean. The racing is good, the courses are good, it is well organized and you get a decent beat off the start.'

Racing in Spinnaker 1 class is tight: the current leader is Steve Cucchiaro’s Defiance, with James Blakemore’s Swan 53 Music in second, and Phil and Wendy Lotz’ Swan 42 Arethusa in third.


In the Spinnaker 2 class, the current leader is Sergio Saramoso’s Lazy Dog (PUR), while in second place is the chartered First 40 Ramanessin (IRE). Nigel Young, owner of North Sails Ireland, is tactician onboard, and just as importantly, he is the program manager. He explained he was tasked with putting a charter together for a friend of a friend who is a motor racing enthusiast, new to sailing and interested in having a go at sailing.

Young wanted to find somewhere warm for the first event, he said. 'We could have gone to Ireland which is where I am from, but I did not want to put everyone off as it can be pretty miserable. We looked at options of regattas and when I put forward Saint Barth, the decision was made in 20 seconds.' The group seems to have gelled nicely, as they have gotten the boat around the race course in second place twice in two races.

'I have raced everywhere but never in the Caribbean and we definitely would like to come back next year,' said Young. 'Most of the sailing we would be doing now would be windward/leeward style on very accurate set race courses, so doing this kind or racing around natural objects is really interesting. The boat owner, Lucy, is actually a great navigator, so it is making my job on the tactics and strategy very easy. She is right on it.'

Tonight is the crew party at Shell Beach, with video, music and fireworks. Tomorrow (Thursday) is a lay day for the competitors, with stand up paddle board races and other shoreside festivities at Nikki Beach on St. Jean Bay.

Racing continues on Friday and Saturday, with the warning signal at 10 a.m. on both days.


Overall (First, second, third) after two races:

IRC 52: Vesper (USA), Varuna (GER)
Maxi: Selene (USA), Whisper (IRE), Idea (GBR)
Spin 1: Defiance (USA), Arethusa (USA), Music (GBR)
Spin 2: Lazy Dog (PUR), Ramanessin (IRE), Northern Child (GBR)
Spin 3: Credit Mutuel Martinique Premiere (FRA), Maelia (SBH), Speedy Nemo (SBH)
Non-Spin: L’Esperance (SXM), High Tension (ANT) Shamrock VII (USA)
Melges 24: Budget Marine/Gill (SXM), Team Island Water World (SXM), French Connection (SBH)
Multihull: Paradox (CAY), Dauphin Telecom (SBH), Plan D’Enfer YCSF
Classics: Heroina (USA), Wild Horses (USA), Saphaedra Les Voiles de St Barth

upffront 660x82Southern Spars - 100Colligo Marine 660x82

Related Articles

Previewing the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds with Paul Cayard
Sail-World talked with Paul Cayard before the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn more about this high-profile regatta. When it comes to sailing on San Francisco Bay, Paul Cayard has traded tacks with some of the world’s best, including Dennis Conner, Tom Blackaller and John Kostecki. From September 27 to October 1, Cayard will join forces with owner Carlo Alberini aboard the Italian-flagged Calvi Network at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Cayard to learn more about this high-profile regatta.
Posted today at 7:19 pm
Melges 32 World Championship – Previewing the podium
13 teams from five countries are primed to descend on the sailing capital of the United States, Newport, Rhode Island. Thirteen teams from five countries are primed to descend on the sailing capital of the United States, Newport, Rhode Island for the eighth edition, hosted by Sail Newport, launching out of the Newport Shipyard.
Posted today at 5:14 pm
Another Foiling Week to be held next month
The public attention is no longer limited to the competitive sailing community since the market is offering more options The attention of the public is no longer limited to the competitive sailing community since the market is offering more and more options for recreational and cruising vessels. Newport is the first overseas edition of the Foiling Week: the genuine passion shown by the participants reminds of the first ever edition in 2014 on Lake Garda.
Posted today at 3:54 pm
Strong finish for Armin Strom at the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
With Norauto and Team Tilt secure in first two positions, Armin Strom headed into the last day vying for third position With Norauto and Team Tilt secure in the first two positions, Armin Strom Sailing Team headed into the last day of competition vying with Team ENGIE, Realteam and Malizia for third position
Posted today at 11:31 am
Alinghi pull off incredible comeback to take Act 6 in Madeira
Swiss team Alinghi came back from a dismasting to win Act 6 of Extreme Sailing Series™ in extraordinary circumstances Swiss team Alinghi came back from a dismasting to win Act 6 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in extraordinary circumstances on the waters of Portugal’s Madeira Islands.
Posted today at 3:39 am
It’s Chuck’s fault!
The blame rests squarely with the much venerated, and truly celebrated US sports photographer, Chuck Lantz The blame rests squarely with the much venerated, and truly celebrated US sports photographer, Chuck Lantz. Had he not shown me this image he took during the recent Rolex Big Boat Series on San Francisco Bay, then this editorial would not have come to pass.
Posted today at 2:36 am
Roepers leads Plenty to victory in Zadar, captures circuit crown
Alex Roepers began his sailing season by scoring a major victory in Australia, stopped in Italy Alex Roepers began his sailing season by scoring a major victory in Australia, stopped in Italy a few months later to secure another significant achievement then capped an extremely successful 2016 campaign by closing the deal in Croatia.
Posted on 25 Sep
Oman Air stay top of Extreme Sailing Series table with podium place
Oman Air stayed top of the overall leaderboard after posting a third place in Act six and shifted focus to the next Act. Oman Air stayed top of the overall leaderboard after posting a third place in Act six in Madeira and immediately shifted their focus to the next Act in Lisbon, Portugal, in two weeks.
Posted on 25 Sep
Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep