Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

Tall masts and passionate designers

by Event media on 30 Sep 2008
LULWORTH, the largest gaff cutter afloat today - Les Voiles de St. Tropez 2008 © Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi http://www.carloborlenghi.net

Les Voiles de Saint Tropez is known for bringing together the most beautiful of both modern and classic racing boats - making a tour around the docks like looking into a magnificent show window of both the latest technology and architectural genius of centuries past.

One looks from Esense to Senso One, which showcase all details of the modern, to the docks filled with the astounding cathedrals of sails belonging to Créole, Altair, Lulworth and Thendara. It is almost impossible to focus on a single yacht with all of the beauties that crowd the dock and transport this old fishing port back to historic times. Brought together these yachts arouse a curiosity and desire to learn more about the passionate men who were behind the drawing pen of these jewels. As of Tuesday, the Classic Yachts over 16 meters will join in the races to try their chances at taking home the Rolex Trophy.

Since Monday night the port of Saint-Tropez has been filled to capacity as the Yacht Club de France's Autumn Cup came to a close and the yachts made their way here for the 2008 Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. The division winners of the Autumn Cup are Shamrock V (Spirit of Tradition), Kookabura (12 MJI), Moonbeam IV (Classic Yachts), Nan of Fife (Gaffs) and Rowdy (Marconis).

The journey from Cannes to Saint-Tropez finished with the classic yachts berthed alongside the participating modern yachts, finally completing the collection of exceptional masts, that are almost all over 40 metres high, for this year's edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. Last night was the official Welcome Cocktail and all of the teams came together in the race village to inaugurate the opening of the social programme that is an essential part of this world-renowned regatta marking the end of the Mediterranean sailing season.

Olin Stephens, a man of legend
Taking in all these great vessels that fill the harbour make one reflect upon the men whose designs have made these yachts a living legend. One of the greatest of these is surely Olin J. Stephens, a man who changed history with his designs and passion for building great yachts. Known as one of the greatest and most successful yacht designers of the 20th century, Olin Stephens' name will carry on for generations in the yachting community, a true man of legend.

Born in 1908 in New York, Olin Stephens loved sailboats. His designs were often exceptional and the world had already begun to take notice when he was just nineteen years old. Stephens grew up sailing with his brother Roderick and the young Stephens dreamed of one day designing a monohull that would take home the prestigious America's Cup Trophy. The brothers Stephens joined in partnership with Drake Sparkman at the end of the 1920's to create Sparkman and Stephens, one of today's great yacht-design firms.

When the Great Depression hit the United States, the future of the firm was assured with the order of a racing yacht named Dorade. This 16-metre yawl proved to be a great success, winning race after race including the 1931 Trans-Atlantic Race and the famed Fastnet Race. Her success changed the face of yacht design forever, launching the yacht industry into the search for the fastest, lightest yacht possible.

Following the Second World War, Stephen's designs were behind many regatta victories, from the Admiral's Cup to the One Ton Cup and beyond. Between 1937 and 1980 Stephens helped design six twelve-metre America's Cup defenders, winning eight out of nine editions of the famed 'Cup', including Ranger in 1937, Columbia in 1958, Constellation in 1964, Intrepid in 1967, Courageous in 1974 and Freedom in 1980.

In 1993 Stephens was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame and in 2007 he was presented with a lifetime achievement award and chosen as one of the initial six inductees to the inaugural ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame. During his career more than 2,200 designs made it from the drawing table to the waters of the world.

Olin Stephens celebrated his 100th birthday this year and passed away exactly five months later on September 13th, 2008. He had even written an autobiography, published when he was 90 years old, and the final few sentences provide insight to the man that changed yacht design forever as we look back on his life: 'In all phases of my work I was conscious of the need for balance, and I did my best to find balance in both the long and the short view. Broadly, I think I can say that I applied the principles of balance in design, in business and in the pleasures I enjoyed.'

Stephen's Stormy Weather will be racing in the Tradition category during Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2008. Stormy Weather is known as one of Sparkman & Stephens most acclaimed early designs after Dorade and she is most known for winning the 1935 Newport-Bergen Race and the Fastnet. Stephen's is said to have designed Stormy when he was just 25 years old.

Programme for the 2008 Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez

Classic Sailboats
Sunday 28 and Monday 29 September: Welcome for the yachts
Sunday 28 September: Arrival of the Yacht Club de France's Autumn Cup from Cannes
Tuesday 30 September; Wednesday 1 October; Thursday 2 October (Jean LAURAIN Day, Challenge Day and Club 55 Cup), Friday 3 and Saturday 4: Coastal Courses,
1st start 11:00/12:00

Modern Sailboats
Saturday 27 September and Sunday 28: Welcome for the yachts
Monday 29 September; Tuesday 30; Wednesday 1 October, Thursday 2(Jean LAURAIN Day, Challenge Day), Friday 3 and Saturday 4 October: Coastal Courses, 1st start 11:30

The Prize Giving Ceremony will be held on Sunday October 5th, starting at 11:00 (on invitation).





For the third consecutive year Rolex is in the 'Partner Club' for Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. This regatta, organized by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez (SNST), is part of the Rolex Yachting Portfolio that includes over twenty world-class sailing events that take place around the world. Rolex is also the title sponsor of mythic races such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart, the Rolex Middle Sea Race and the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race.

InSunSport - NZupffront 660x82Barz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

RORC Caribbean 600 coming of age
RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. Last night the closest battle in any class was decided and the two remaining yachts racing showed great fighting spirit. This provided a fitting finale to racing in the beautiful, but sometimes brutal waters of the central Caribbean.
Posted on 26 Feb 2011
Rolex Middle Sea warm up Race
2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race - 23 yachts took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race. 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race - 23 yachts took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race. For a variety of reasons, not least of them the weather, this short race proved a good shakedown ahead of the main-event.
Posted on 15 Oct 2009
Spain's Calima - Javier Pujol winner of the Giraglia Race
Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP) confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP), was confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Race today at the prizegiving ceremony for the 57th edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, held at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa. Alegre (GBR) won the elapsed time Rolex trophy
Posted on 21 Jun 2009
JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
Britain’s favourite yacht race - Saturday 20 June 2009: Cowes, Isle of Wight The JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, takes place on Saturday 20 June with a total entry of 1,779 boats this year. True to the ethos of the event, competitors come from all walks of life. Professional and Olympic sailors line up with family cruisers, sportsboats, classic yachts and one designs
Posted on 19 Jun 2009
Portimao Global Ocean Race leaders face confusing conditions
Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty crossed the Portimão Global Ocean Race Leg 5 Scoring Gate south-east of Newfoundland Portimao Global Ocean Race - Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty crossed the Portimão Global Ocean Race Leg 5 Scoring Gate south-east of Newfoundland. Felipe Cubillos and José Muñoz are currently 120 miles north of Flores in the Azores Archipelago and in the 0620 UTC position poll on Monday morning (15/06), their red Class 40 Desafio Cabo de Hornos is 71 miles ahead of second placed Beluga Racer.
Posted on 15 Jun 2009
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009
Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 10th June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009. Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 10 June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009. Both modern and classic designs are present with Andrea Recordati’s Wally 101, launched less than one month ago, lining up against the Royal Huisman-built Meteor, a reproduction gaff rigged Gloucester Schooner launched in 2007
Posted on 10 Jun 2009
La Promesse closing in on Newport - OSTAR 2009
Katie Miller's EPIRBS activated - The OSTAR Race Office is set up in Newport The OSTAR Race Office is set up in Newport. On the 16:00 report La Promesse had only 657 miles to go and looks to have a lead of some 200 miles over JBellino based on her 0800 tracker report. At 06:00 EST today 7 June the Race Office in Newport was alerted by Katie Miller’s father that one of her EPIRBS had been activated
Posted on 8 Jun 2009
Admiral's Cup - Could it be sailed around the World?
Geelong Week, is preparing to expand its horizons with plans for an international IRC event Australia’s largest sailing regatta, Geelong Week, is preparing to expand its horizons with plans for an international IRC event. Today the Chairman of Geelong Week Andrew Neilson announced the Geelong Week dates for 2010 and explained the earlier than expected parting with the long term title sponsor Skandia, who had contracted to their title sponsorship until 2011
Posted on 5 Jun 2009
OSTAR - King of Shaves losses all instruments
Very difficult morning on the water for King of Shaves. I am sorry to report that at 08:30 we lost all our instruments A very difficult morning on the water for 'King of Shaves'. I am sorry to report that at 08:30 we lost all our instruments and for 30 minutes we were struggling to go anywhere at all. I used the wheel lock and tried to balance the sails so that we could sail on but it was at reduced speed
Posted on 5 Jun 2009
Spanish sailor's accidental adventure - more photos to believe or not
This sailor was caught trying to return to the harbour in Zumaia, in the Basque country of northern Spain. If you thought that the Southport skipper had a difficult time trying to cross the Southport bar last week, spare a thought for the Spanish sailor who was caught trying to return to the harbour in Zumaia, in the Basque country of northern Spain
Posted on 4 Jun 2009