Please select your home edition
Rooster GETSEASMART 728x90

Les Voiles de Saint Barth Richard Mille event preview: High profile newcomers set to compete

by Maguelonne Turcat 8 Apr 2018 22:44 PDT 8-14 April 2018
2018 Les Voiles de Saint Barth Richard Mille © Christophe Jouany

The French West Indies island of Saint-Barth is teeming with activity as hundreds of sailors prepare for the ninth edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Richard Mille, which kicks off racing tomorrow. The regatta, which runs through Saturday, April 14, draws an esteemed international crowd of competitors with five days of exceptional on-the-water competition complemented by a flurry of shoreside fun and entertainment. This year, many new maxi, monohull and multihull teams are also joining in on the action.

"After Hurricane Irma, we wanted to do everything we could to help the islands this season," said Jeremi Jablonski (Westport, Conn.) who will be racing his Hanse 430 Avanti at the regatta for the first time. The team is just off winning its class at both the BVI Spring Regatta and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

"I came to Tortola in early November. We were one of the first boats arriving from the East Coast and the devastation there was heartbreaking. Based on our emotional experience of coming to the island this year, the next step was just to do everything we can, every event, every regatta," added Jablonski. "We need to come back and bring our friends back to the islands. Les Voiles de Saint-Barth is a well established regatta with a great reputation, amazing crowd and amazing boats and we're looking forward to competing."

David Welch's (Menlo Park, Calif.) 66-foot HH Catamaran Flash was launched this past fall and is making its racing debut at Les Voiles de Saint-Barth, which boasts a record number of multihull entries this year. "This is the only event we're doing in the Caribbean this season, and we will definitely have our work cut out for us," said Welch whose team will go up against fellow HH 66, Jim Vos' Nala and Lloyd Thornburg's Gunboat 66 Phaedo, which established the first speed record at Les Voiles de Saint-Barth back in 2015. "This regatta looks to have a great number of high quality teams competing and I'm looking forward to being part of what is shaping up to be a great event."

The Caribbean favourite is known for attracting competitors from around the world, and this year's 53 teams competing represent over 15 countries. Coming in from Brazil, is Eduardo Plass and his team on Soto 65 Camiranga, which will race in the Maxi Division this year.

"Our team has been campaigning for 10 years in South America and Europe but this is the first season we've raced in the Caribbean," said Samuel Albrecht, a two-time Olympian and tactician onboard. "The competition is new for us down here, which makes it more challenging but also more fun. We've heard great things about Les Voiles de Saint-Barth and look forward to getting out on the race course."

The regatta officially kicked off today, with a vibrant opening ceremony at the Quai General de Gaulle, in the island's port of Gustavia. This year's U.S. Ambassador, legendary musician Jimmy Buffett will be welcoming competitors as well. Racing is scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

On Wednesday night, at the popular Shell Beach, the event's lively crew party will take place, with entertainment, local Caribbean fare and a fireworks display. The official "Day Off" on Thursday is at the Saint Barth staple, Nikki Beach restaurant, where teams take a break from the competition to enjoy water activities and relax over rosé and lunch.

Racing kicks off tomorrow, Monday, April 9 at 12 p.m and wraps up on Saturday, April 14 with a party and prize giving at the Race Village. The overall Maxi Class race winner steps away from the regatta with the most coveted prize of all: The Richard Mille 60-01 Regatta Flyback Chronograph timepiece in addition to the newly created Richard Mille Maxi Cup. Another new trophy this year, the Richard Mille Record Trophy will be awarded to the team (racing in Maxi, Spinnaker 0 and Multihull Classes) that breaks the record in the 47-mile race to be held later this week.

Related Articles

Eagle Class 53 debut at Les Voiles de St Barth
The week was full of fantastic sails Tommy Gonzalez of Fast Forward Composites debuted the groundbreaking Eagle Class 53 catamaran with Hybrid Wing during the 10th anniversary of the Les Voiles de St Barth regatta last week. Posted on 26 Apr
Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille wrap up
Mike Giles has raced almost every Les Voiles in the Maxi class Pamala Baldwin, owner of the J/122 Liquid, frequently races the Caribbean circuit but until this regatta she and young Skipper Jules White hadn't quite cracked the top of the podium. Posted on 22 Apr
Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille day 6
A perfect 10 The 10th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille delivered a perfect '10' across all categories: great breeze and challenging race courses, shoreside fun, and even three perfect scorelines within the nine classes racing Posted on 21 Apr
Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille day 5
SHK Scallywag & Fujin win 2019 Record Trophies The breeze freshened back up to 18-21 knots for Friday's racing at the 10th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille, and race organizers sent the Maxi and Multihull classes on a 34-nautical mile course to battle it out Posted on 20 Apr
Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille day 4
The 'Thursday Day Off' A favorite day for the crews is the Thursday Day Off. A much deserved lay day after the first three intense days of racing, the sailors come together at Saint-Jean and the famous Nikki Beach restaurant to relax, enjoy, and have fun. Posted on 19 Apr
Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille day 3
Local knowledge pays off for Round Island Race For today's tricky Round the Island race at Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille, local knowledge paid off for the race veterans that knew how to successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities on the 24 - 32 nautical mile courses Posted on 18 Apr
Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille day 2
Patterns and protests in a Caribbean-perfect easterly Day Two delivered a Caribbean-perfect easterly 15-17 knots for the 10th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille for the 1,000+ sailors to complete one distance race between 21 - 34 miles dependent upon their class. Posted on 17 Apr
Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille underway
10th edition starts with picture-perfect conditions Picture-perfect conditions greeted the fleets to kickstart the 10th anniversary edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille as the nine classes raced around the west side of St. Barth on racecourses ranging from 24 - 36 nautical miles in 15 Posted on 16 Apr
All set at Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille
Racing starts Monday after two days of practice and final preparations After two days of registration, practice and final preparations, the 1,000 sailors in the 10th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille are now ready for racing, which begins tomorrow, Monday, April 15 at 12 pm EST. Posted on 15 Apr
Towards an Eco-friendly Regatta
At Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille For its 10th edition and building upon the great work from the Collectivity of St. Barth with the Assises de l'Environnement (Environment Symposium), which took place on the island last December Posted on 10 Apr
Naiad 660x82px_TouristNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - FooterPandB 2019 Autumn Sale - Footer