Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring J-class

Voiles de Saint-Barth - A must on the calendar

by Fabrice Thomazeau on 27 Sep 2013
Les Voiles de Saint Barth 2013 © Tim Wright / Les Voiles de St Barth http://www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com/
It has been just five years since the Voiles de Saint-Barth event was created. A clear concept, an exceptional setting, a serious organiser, and all of the racers coming from around the world have done the rest. With each year, it’s reputation has spread by word of mouth bringing new sailors to come and share in the joys of yachting around the waters of a pearl in the Caribbean: Saint-Barth.

With each edition, the number of boats has continued to grow, but it’s not just the quantity, the quality of the line-up has also strengthened with the involvement of some of the leading lights from the world of international sailing, including: Ken Read, Loïck Peyron, Peter Holmberg, Jim Swartz, and Gavin Brady. After just four editions, the Voiles de Saint-Barth has managed to win over skippers and convince sailors and owners to take part. The recipe is a simple but powerful one; with sport, racing, magnificent and varied courses and a sense of enjoyment that is a unique characteristic of the islanders and of seafarers. From 14th to 19th April 2014, all of these ingredients will once again be in the mix to offer even more races and even greater excitement in a breathtaking show.


'Our short history has seen controlled growth and ongoing changes,' says François Tolède, the event director. The organisers remain cautious, listening first of all to what the racers have to say. 'They are at the heart of the event and we are there to satisfy as best we can their expectations: fine varied racing out on the water, and a very special occasion ashore, for them, their crews and their families,' adds Tolède.

'The general public, the racers and partners have always enjoyed this event, which encourages us to do our utmost to ensure the fifth anniversary is successful next April.'

Conviviality is a watchword at the Voiles de Saint-Barth, perfectly reflecting the aspirations of modern yachting. The boats, in all their magnificence hold pride of place, and Luc Poupon and every year the race directors manage to find courses in amongst the scores of tiny islands around Saint-Barth, which has led the American, Ken Read to declare: 'each change of tack is a magical moment. Each gybe offers us yet another amazing sight.'


The Voiles de Saint-Barth makes the most of these windy waters offering highly technical race courses, which delight the sailors. The sea here is to be enjoyed, shared and is a source of friendship. People come to the Voiles from New Zealand, Australia, the United States, New England and from all around Europe. This cosmopolitan gathering in the warm atmosphere of the island works its magic, and the ability to share sailing experiences, both at sea and ashore, is one of the elements that make the Voiles what it is for the 600 sailors representing around twenty different nationalities.

'The Voiles de Saint-Barth event has today well and truly established itself as a major event in the Caribbean racing calendar,' says Tolède. 'This fifth birthday looks like being a big one to which we are inviting all the racers who made previous editions so successful.' At the Voiles, there is something to please everyone. The Voiles de Saint-Barth opens up these emerald and blue waters to five different classes. That means that all types of boat can compete on the same footing, with everyone able to look forward to magnificent races, which are bound to be hotly contested and very close. Maxi-Yachts, IRC 52s, Spinnakers and non-spinnakers, as well as a fine group of multihulls, will each be given their own distinct rankings.


'Each year we have seen an increase of between twenty and thirty percent in terms of registrations. We are aiming for a fleet of 80 boats next year, which will make the fleet more stunning and even more competitive,' says Tolède.

The Voiles de Saint-Barth event has also managed to ensure partners remain faithful thanks to the values of yachting, and each year they contribute to the success and development of the event. The watchmaker Richard Mille has been the headline partner since 2010, alongside the garment maker Gaastra, the Banque des Antilles Françaises (BPCE), and the Saint-Barthélémy local authorities.

'Some other prestigious brands will be joining us for the fifth anniversary,' promises Tolède, 'so that we can put on an unforgettable celebration for the racers…'

Note the date in your diary: 14th to 19th April in Les Voiles de Saint Barth

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Schaefer 2016 660x82Southern Spars - 100Kilwell - 6