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Voiles de Saint-Barth - Recien Llegados Y Habituales

'Les Voiles de Saint Barth fleet'    © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth    Click Here to view large photo

Con tres ediciones en la cuenta de su joven historia, la regata Voiles de Saint-Barth, celebrada por primera vez en 2010, ha conquistado a armadores, patrones, regatistas y marinos gracias a su original fórmula que une la alta competición entre las islas caribeñas y el arte del buen vivir de este pequeño paraíso. El recuerdo de los emocionantes duelos al sol de las ediciones anteriores es sin duda un gran revulsivo que ha hecho que las inscripciones crezcan a buen ritmo.

Los asiduos y los incondicionales de este tipo de competición han aprovechado el invierno para reservar su plaza en esta regata primaveral que todo apunta a que será radiante, ventosa y de las más calurosas de la costa de Gustavia. Las seis clases en liza cuentan con la participación de nombres habituales, pero también de nuevas incorporaciones que aspiran a aparecer en el palmarés de esta regata que se ha convertido en todo un emblema en el circuito caribeño.

El grupo llamado 'spinnaker', que incluye a las embarcaciones de entre 9 y 18 metros de eslora, ha hecho pleno con la participación de los Swans, X Yachts y otros CNBs. Los participantes locales como Patrick Demarchelier (Puffy Swan 53) o Raphael Magras (Mae-Lia) están deseosos de demostrar su conocimiento de las aguas y el valor de sus equipos autóctonos. Este año se van a encontrar en la línea de salida con serios oponentes como The Kid, el JP 54 de Jean-Pierre Dick, o Satori, el Swan 45 del holandés Gideon Messink, en el seno de una clase muy internacional y que ha demostrado estar en alza.

Sojana, el enorme ketch del británico Peter Harrison, con Lionel Péan a la caña, no se perdería por nada del mundo la cita de la Voiles de Saint-Barth. Recorrió el Caribe a principios del invierno y será como siempre uno de los grandes animadores del grupo de los Maxis, en el que competirá también Med Spirit de Jean Philippe Pinatel. Los organizadores están muy satisfechos también con la participación de Idea of London, un súper velero de 78 pies de eslora que lleva la rúbrica de Farr y que ha participado con éxito en las grandes regatas de ambos lados del Atlántico.

Pero el tamaño no lo es todo en la prestigiosa clase Maxi; cada uno de los grupos presume de contar con una lista de participantes que provienen del más alto nivel en competiciones náuticas: la America’s Cup. La presencia el pasado año de los espectaculares IRC 52 es un buen ejemplo de ello. El americano Jim Swartz, defensor del título con su embarcación Vesper es el padrino de esta edición de la Voiles de Saint-Barth y además es uno de los mayores embajadores del evento, especialmente entre los armadores de estos deportivos 52 pies.

'La Voiles de Saint-Barth es un acontecimiento de primer orden que atrae a grandes equipos y grandes veleros' explica el americano Jim Swartz, padrino de la edición de 2013 de la regata. Al igual que los padrinos de las anteriores ediciones como Peter Harrison o Jimmy Buffett, Swartz cuenta con una impresionante lista de éxitos deportivos. Campeón de Norteamérica y de la Costa Este en la clase IRC, fue también el vencedor de la Voiles de Saint-Barth en 2011 con su IRC 52 Vesper. Lo sabe todo sobre la calidad de la competición en Saint-Barth. Tras participar en las tres primeras ediciones de esta prueba, regresa este año de nuevo con Vesper y una tripulación estelar compuesta por 16 regatistas entre los que se encuentran grandes estrellas de la America’s Cup como Gavin Brady, Jamie Gale, Brett Jones o Chris Larson.

'La clave del éxito de la Voiles de Saint Barth es que está extremadamente bien nivelada en las diferentes clases participantes, lo que permite disfrutar de grandes duelos en cada clase', comenta Swartz. 'Si añadimos a eso los recorridos y campos de regata, que siempre son diferentes y adaptados a cada clase, y un comité de regatas muy profesional, el éxito está garantizado. Todas estas cualidades atraen a los equipos profesionales del más alto nivel, pero sin dejar de lado a los regatistas amateurs que quieren salir a divertirse'.

La batalla entre Vesper y un recién llegado a la Voiles de Saint-Barth, Varuna, un Ker 51 que pertenece al alemán Jens Kellinghusen, será una de las más interesantes del evento. El armador de Hamburgo cuenta con un joven equipo de universitarios con los que ha venido cosechando éxitos desde 2010 a bordo de un Rogers 46 también llamado Varuna. Al finalizar la Regata Trasatlántica en 2011 fue cuando Kellinghusen comenzó a interesarse por los TP 52, pero su ambición de competir en regatas oceánicas le llevó hasta el nuevo Ker 51 diseñado para navegación oceánica pero con un rating muy interesante para las regatas de día.

28, 48, 65… Las cifras correspondientes al número de participantes de las primeras tres ediciones de la Voiles de Saint-Barth hablan por sí mismas y confirman el éxito del este evento, pese a las dificultades que conlleva entrar en el ajustado calendario de regatas y la complicada situación de la economía mundial.

François Tolède, Luc Poupon y sus equipos creyeron en ello y estuvieron dispuestos a enfrentarse a todas las dificultades. Saint-Barth, con su clima paradisíaco, sus aguas idílicas, su cultura marinera y su cálida bienvenida ofrece a todos los amantes de la vela los ingredientes necesarios para combinar el disfrute en tierra, las fantásticas condiciones de navegación y la oportunidad de conocer a otros amantes de este deporte.

El relojero Richard Mille y la marca de ropa deportiva Gaastra se unieron a los profesionales del turismo y a los organismos locales, y, desde el principio, apostaron por este proyecto y la magia funcionó. Y, desde entonces, cada mes de abril esa magia se repite, atrayendo cada vez a más regatistas y armadores con su irresistible mezcla de emociones y disfrute de la vida.

www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com/


by Fabrice Thomazeau

  

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9:34 PM Wed 6 Feb 2013GMT


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