sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - Avel claims the Rolex Trophy
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - Avel claims the Rolex Trophy

'AVEL, Identification n: CAG4, Group: EAA, Boat Type: GAFF RIGGED CUTTER'    © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

For the second consecutive year, the elegant gaff-rigged cutter Avel has claimed the Rolex Trophy at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. Owned by the sisters, Alessandra and Allegra Gucci, the Charles Nicholson design overcame stiff competition to top her class and, at the same time, hold off a valiant challenge by Tara Getty’s Marconi yawl, Skylark, to retain the title she secured last year. For racing so well, for their seamanship, dedication and passion, the enthusiastic crew of Avel deserved every plaudit offered by their peers at the prize-giving ceremony held at Saint-Tropez’s historic Citadelle overlooking the town’s Vieux Port.

It has been a superb week of competition among the 114 yachts of the Tradition Division, conducted in the unique spirit typical of Les Voiles. A fact that was acknowledged and echoed in the speeches by Andre Beaufils, President of the Société Nautique de Saint Tropez (SNST), the town’s mayor Jean-Pierre Tuveri, and Philippe Schaeffer, Director General of Rolex France, who awarded the trophy and Rolex timepiece to the Guccis. On each of the four days of racing the wind has cooperated, arriving on cue at the point of departure for the Tradition classes. The Race Committee under the calm stewardship of Georges Korhel was able to give the Tradition fleet, including the 55 yachts eligible for the Rolex Trophy, a set of enjoyable coastal courses each measuring between 14 and 17 nautical miles.

Dockside ambiance in Saint-Tropez: Avel -  © Rolex-Carlo Borlenghi  
For Alessandra and Allegra Gucci their second triumph in the Rolex Trophy is a welcome surprise, and a fitting tribute to their crew and its efforts: 'It is a pleasure to win again, just fantastic. We are very happy. Last year’s regatta was more tricky, but this year we had nice wind and perfect weather. Avel was very fast and the crew was excellent.'

For the sisters every element of their win is important; from the performance of Avel, to the spirit of their tightly knit crew. The attention to every detail is evident in the immaculate white outfits worn by the crew: 'We like the traditional look. The white gets a little dirty when we are sailing, but it’s important to look right when racing a yacht like Avel.'

Respecting and protecting the customs of the past is a common theme among the owners and crew at Les Voiles, as the Guccis explain: 'We must always look after the tradition, taking care of the boats. Most important though is the spirit, to have all these wonderful boats together, to race at the limit, but also to have fun afterwards. It’s a good feeling especially at the prize-giving when there are cheers for everyone.'

Prizegiving Ceremony at La Citadelle: Philippe Schaeffer, Director of Rolex France, awards a Rolex Timepiece to Allegra and Alessandra Gucci, owner of AVEL -  © Rolex-Carlo Borlenghi  
This philosophy is integral to the success of Avel whose skipper, Chris Austin, is adamant that the yacht is at her best when the owners are onboard: 'Allegra is a vital, athletic component in the bow team, and Alessandra plays an important part too tailing the mainsheet.'

Perhaps the increase in performance is Avel’s way of appreciating two owners, who display reassuring and understandable pride.

Les Voiles is widely regarded as one of the most extraordinary events in the sailing world. The setting and the 300-boat fleet, that combines modern with vintage, create a unique atmosphere carefully guarded by the SNST. It is no easy place to win, according to Austin: 'I’ve been coming here for 17 years and it is very difficult and very competitive. We are constantly optimizing how we sail, always learning and trying to limit mistakes. We found ourselves in a very tough group this year competing against some very good race boats: Bonafide, for example, was built for the Paris Olympics in 1908.'

Proving the competitiveness, heading in to the final day, there was a four-way tie in the contest for the Rolex Trophy, which is awarded to the best performing yacht over 16 metres in length on deck in the Tradition division. The Lady Anne, Avel, Skylark and Marigold were all tied on five points apiece. The Lady Anne appeared to hold a narrow advantage by virtue of more first places in her scoreline; a third class win would have secured her the Rolex Trophy. For the other contenders it was just a question of doing their best and then seeing what fortune befell their opponents.

Marigold and The Lady Anne fell by the wayside both finishing third in their respective races; another mark of just how competitive the racing has been. Certainly no disgrace given they still topped their classes. For The Lady Anne marking her centenary this year, her class win was very special. Designed by William Fife and built for George Coats of Glasgow in 1912, she is one of the last four remaining yachts built to the International15-Metre Rule. Together Tuiga, Hispania and Mariska and The Lady Anne provided a perfect example of the importance of tradition within the assembled classics.

Andy Longarela, the skipper of Hispania, confessed of his yacht: 'She is the most noble boat I’ve ever sailed. She provides very deep sensations, completely different to a modern boat. It is important that [the crew] understand the boat and its traditions. You must learn how she works, and appreciate her age. You need to respect her.'

As the oldest yacht in Rolex Trophy fleet, Marigold’s crew and owner Glenn Allan may also hold their heads high having contributed to a worthy contest. Marigold was built in 1892 to a design by Charles E. Nicholson. A gaff-rigged racing cutter, like many of the yachts present at Les Voiles, Marigold has been the subject of a sympathetic restoration. Below deck she retains true Victorian styling reflecting the faithful, passionate enthusiasm of her owner. 'It’s very important that the boat is as close to her original state as possible. That’s the point of restoration,' emphasized Allan.

In keeping with her racing pedigree, Skylark ran Avel close, also winning her final race to top her group with an identical scoreline. Designed by Sparkman & Stephens in 1937, Skylark is a great example of Olin Stephens impeccable eye, and established an enviable competitive record that lasted into the early 1950s. Last year’s Les Voiles marked the debut of Skylark in Mediterranean waters following an extensive renovation. This year she has been a force to be reckoned with. In the end it was by the finest of margins that she lost out to Avel, when the results of each day’s racing were compared by the SNST.

The crew of Avel were ecstatic with their win, but gracious to their competitors. 'It was very tough to succeed in our group and therefore the Rolex Trophy,' acknowledges Austin, who like the Gucci sisters credits exemplary crew work to their success. 'It was very difficult keeping Avel in clear air given the massive diversity of the fleet. We are fortunate to have a solid core of crew, racing with 13 to 15 people. We are authentic in having no winches, so when the wind gets up, it gets quite exciting and you need good crew.'

Prizegiving Ceremony at La Citadelle: AVEL Team -  © Rolex-Carlo Borlenghi  

Almost perfect wind and water appear to have played their part too: 'The flatter conditions this year were favourable to Avel. Being a clipper bow we tend to pitch or hobbyhorse in chop and swell. Wind wise it was perfect too, with some nice force 3s.'

Avel, whose name is a Breton word for wind, was commissioned by Frenchman Rene Calame to a design by Nicholson, and built in 1896. This exquisite craft, with striking lines and graceful overhangs, looked set to end her days languishing in a mudbank until she was bought in the early1990s by her current owners and restored over a four year period. Like so many involved in classic yacht racing, Austin feels very privileged to be associated with a yacht such as Avel: 'She is very special. I have been with her since the (Gucci) family has had her. I like the connection with the past.'

There is little to choose between any of the boats competing in the Rolex Trophy. All possess poise and elegance afloat; each has a particular attribute that their owner and crew will advocate is the subtle decider, beauty being in the eye of the beholder; and, each represents a remarkable endorsement of tradition and the past. They are raced in spite of their age and value, and because of the passion and dedication of their owners and crews, a special breed of sailor.

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez marks the closing of the Mediterranean yacht-racing season, in a joyful, happy manner, graciously summed up by the Gucci sisters: 'Les Voiles is one of the best. We are always a little bit sad because it is the end of the season, but it is a very nice place to end it and we absolutely look forward to the next year.'

Societe Nautique Saint Tropez website


by KPMS

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=102695

6:21 PM Sun 7 Oct 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

OTUSA AC45 Turbo workout images by pressure-drop.us ... [more]  

Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean – A fleet of 21 Swan yachts, comprising an array of different models from seven different countries and territories will contest an eagerly anticipated week of action in the Virgin Gorda archipelago, the British Virgin Islands tomorrow, Wednesday 4 March. ... [more]  

Photographer Tim Wright captured some of these stunning shots at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 and along the course at St Barths, Barbuda and Redonda. ... [more]  

Gill Commodore's Cup - Entries on the increase by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
The Gill Commodore's Cup consists of one day of racing as a stand alone event, immediately prior to the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta and is open to all boat categories taking part in the main event (excluding the Lottery Class). This year there is a record entry with over 70 yachts expected to be taking part. Several tight windward leeward races are planned for the fast performance yachts ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Ryan Houston from Team Alvimedica. He talks about wanting to sail on a Kiwi boat in the next race - how this race compares with the others in which he has sailed - how small gains seem to be paying well - the vexed issue of AIS on tactics, and more ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Dave Swete from Team Alvimedica. A product of the RNZYS Youth Program, Swete is on his second Volvo Ocean Race. He touches on the differences between the two programs, the impact that AIS is having on the racing and plenty more ... [more]  

Sail-World.com's New Zealand Editor caught up with Race Director, Jack Lloyd on the floor of the sail-loft in the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard. In this 15 minute interview, Lloyd gives his view of the progress made as a result of adopting the Volvo 65 One Design - with all boats having finished every leg (with one exception - Vestas Wind). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Image gallery - Tour of the Boatyard by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Yesterday Volvo Ocean Race threw open the barriers and let the media have an inside view of the Boatyard at the Viaduct Events Centre The area is open to the public (stay behind the safety barriers) where you can see the boats on the hard, and look inside the Events Centre which has been converted into a massive sail and rigging loft. ... [more]  

Artemis Racing took their development AC45 out on San Francisco Bay, yesterday. Videographer, John Navas was there to catch all the action on high resolution video. ... [more]  

The countdown to the 46th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar has begun in the bay of Palma from 28th March to 4th April. With less than a month to go until the start of the event, the regatta has already around 700 teams (667) from 59 nations representing the five continents. ... [more]  

2015 RC44 Championship Tour - With less than a month to go, eleven teams are eagerly anticipating the season-opener set to take place in Malta's renowned capital of Valletta, the historic 'City of Knights', from 25-29 March. ... [more]  

The 2015 US Grand Slam Series will take place within the month of August, beginning a couple weeks earlier and in a different order than previous editions. The Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Bayview Yacht Club, Chicago Match Race Center, and Oakcliff Sailing organizers are pleased to announce that Requests for Invitation are being accepted now and all venues anticipate high demand. ... [more]  

A beautiful sunny Miami welcomed Star sailors to the first day of the 88th Bacardi Cup. One race is scheduled for each day of the 6-day event as part of the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank. With winds around 10 knots from the East, the racing area was set about 1 ¾ miles south of Dinner Key Channel. The course is set at 95 degrees with two-mile legs, which will test sailors ... [more]  

It’s been a month since the International Paralympic Committee publicized its decision to drop sailing from the slate of sports at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Since then ISAF has stepped up to lead the appeal for reinstatement. At US Sailing, we believe ISAF leadership is critical to our chances of overturning this decision, and we are pleased to see President Carlo Croce take this on himself ... [more]  

Top international photographer, Chris Cameron is working out of the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Auckland. ... [more]  

The first WWA Pro Card Qualifier presented by Malibu boats is set for March 22, 2015, hosted once again by Freedom Wake Park in Orlando, Florida. The WWA Pro Card events have been created to separate the top riders in the world and recognize them as elite. ... [more]  

NZ Rigging Supplied the Mast and Rigging package for Adrian Walters new Shaw 11 mtr 'Little Nico'. The mast is a High Modulus mast with internal locks on all halyards, internal mast jack, one piece Nomex cored box section boom, and composite rigging.cored box section boom, and composite rigging. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - As Cheminées Poujoulat climbed north out of the latitudes of the Roaring 40s and into a regime change on the east side of the South Atlantic high pressure system, leaders Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are into relatively stable, quick downwind conditions which will allow them to make good miles north, ultimately to connect with the trade winds. ... [more]  

2015 Hobie 16 North American Championships September 20 to 25 at Pensacola Yacht Club. ... [more]  

Hobie Mid-Winter East - Ocean Springs Yacht Club April 10-12 2015. The regatta is open to all Hobie Cat classes ... [more]  

Choosing the northern route turned out to be a brilliant tactical decision. But not all decisions went so well. Because of one wrong gybe and changed weather patterns, Team Brunel lost its lead in less than a day. With only the Volvo Ocean Race tracker as a guide, it’s difficult for fans to understand how the Dutch team lost more than 80 nautical miles. Skipper Bouwe Bekking looks explains ... [more]  

RORC Caribbean 600 – Arguably the best fleet of offshore racing yachts that has ever gathered in the Caribbean, took part in the seventh edition of the event. 66 yachts started the 600 mile race around 11 Caribbean islands, with numerous world champions, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors taking part with passionate Corinthian amateurs, many of whom are members of the Royal Ocean Racing Cl ... [more]  

This summer’s ‘must have’ tickets for The America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth (ACWSUK) are officially available from Monday 2nd March. Fans and spectators are encouraged to book their place now to avoid disappointment with event organisers already receiving a large number of ticket and hospitality enquires. ... [more]  

SCYA's E.E. Manning Regatta 2015 – They had never sailed together until six months earlier when they stepped onto a boat that neither had ever sailed, but skipper Joseph Hou, 15, and crew Skylar Jacobsen, 14, squeezed out a remarkable victory Sunday in the Southern California Youth Yacht Racing Association's Shadden Series ... [more]  

Shawn Bennett of Tiburon, Calif. won the Long Beach Stop of the 2015 California Dreamin’ Series Sunday in this International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade three match racing regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club and raced on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet of Catalina 37s. ... [more]  

Sitting here in Antigua airport waiting for my flight back to London, life is good having just blasted across the Atlantic in just under nine and a half days on board the new Phaedo3 MOD 70, one of the fastest sailing boats 'in the world'... ... [more]  

In November of 1994 Yachting Magazine consultant Gary Jobson asked Peter Craig, 'how hard can it be? Just raise some flags and blow off some guns.' And so began Craig's involvement in what was then a 112 boat - single division regatta that would soon evolve into an iconic annual international keelboat event. Yachting Magazine founded Key West Race Week in 1987. ... [more]  

Serious Fun! That's what participants, sponsors and onlookers are expected to have during the 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta which will be held in St. Maarten during March 05 - 08, 2015. The Regatta is considered to be the biggest in the Caribbean and offers a great combination of challenging races and fantastic gatherings under the banner of 'Serious Fun'! ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race – After the limits of the southern oceans imposed by the combination of the weather systems and the safety barrier of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone, the Atlantic is opening up for the top trio. ... [more]  

Images from Auckland of the media conference on Sunday and prizegivings for Leg 4 ... [more]  

At the media conference held the morning after the finish of leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Mapfre skipper Xabi Fernandez announced that regular skipper Iker Martinez will be back on board for the next leg and most of the remainder of the race. Fernandez had taken over the role, skippering Mapfre to a 4th place on Leg 3 and a win on Leg 4. ... [more]  

Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank will kick off with 173 boats traveling to Coconut Grove to compete in the 88th Bacardi Cup ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 finishes at night after a tense day *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
The finish was more like that of a short 100nm race around the Hauraki Gulf. Instead, the first three boats to cross the finish line at the end of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race arrived mid-evening. ... [more]  

Farr 40 International Circuit - Plenty team hungry for more
Coast Guard continues search for San Diego sailor
Sonar Class has a new builder for Sonar
Rio officials probe source of fish die-off in Olympic waters
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - An island-wide effort
Volvo Ocean Race: Images ashore after Leg 4
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the finish of Leg 4
Volvo Ocean Race-Brasileiro ajuda barco espanhol a vencer quarta etapa
RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition
Eight minutes between Podium players as Spanish win VOR leg 4
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - fleet arrives in Auckland and the winner is
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - the fleet approaches Auckland
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 10 miles to Auckland finish
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Third time lucky for happy Hap
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 Finish - Auckland - Live Video and Updates
Barcelona World Race - Neutrogena crosses Cape Horn with 40 knots wind
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Natty Rico will close the final night
Barcelona World Race - At Cape Horn memories are made. and recalled
Big winds for SCYA Manning Regatta at ABY Club
Hutchinson and Roble honored at US Sailing’s Rolex Awards ceremony
Finn World Masters Championships 2015 - Pre registration open   
Registration for the 2015 Finn European Championship is live!   
RORC Caribbean 600, day 4 – Classic Focus and Four Figaro II teams   
Hutchinson, Roble honored in New York as Best of 2014   
Barcelona World Race - Pedestrian Pacific, Atlantic highway to home   
America's Cup: Artemis Racing lines up against Oracle Team USA - Video   
High Performance Yacht Design conference during Volvo OR stopover   
Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston - How Alvimedica's chemistry works *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dave Swete - Alvimedica's race so far *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – No sleep until Auckland   
Etchells NA Midwinter East Series - Schoonmaker Cup preview   
RORC Caribbean 600 day 4 – Close competition – 43 yachts still racing   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica hopes to use Coastal Classic tricks *Feature   
AC45 Turbo Training - Oracle Team USA images by pressure-drop + Video   
America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand gears up on less money *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race – The race tightens as New Zealand looms   
AWT Goya Pro Cabo Verde kicks off in style!   
Barcelona World Race - Two different worlds separated by Cape Horn   
America's Cup: Barker offered non-sailing role by Emirates team NZ   
2015 CYC Midwinters Race – Pictures by pressure-drop.us   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT