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An End of Summer Dream: 20th edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez

by Maguelonne Turcat 30 Sep 00:57 PDT 29 September - 7 October 2018
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2016 © Gilles Martin-Raget

So here we are again! September is marking out its final days and the fascinating circuit of the world's most beautiful yachts is converging on Saint Tropez on the French Riviera.

Throughout the coming week, over 150 Classic yachts will elegantly do battle with the Modern yachts and their most avant-garde technologies and architectures. Of course, the magic of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez goes far deeper than the sport and the competition, Indeed, the famous little port in France's Var region will echo to the sailors' passion for the sea and beautiful hulls slipping along the ocean wave, and be coloured by the spirit of sharing, friendship, conviviality and festivity which presides over Les Voiles. This year the event celebrates its 20th edition (19 years) and the enthusiasm of the early days, drawing on the energy of the Nioulargue, is as strong as it ever was. The sailing here is fierce and the enjoyment intense in this close-contact racing in the magnificent azure blue setting of the Gulf of Saint Tropez.

A remarkable edition...

Les Voiles has it all from brand new features to a host of sailing stars ranging from Loïck Peyron to German Frers and exceptional yachts a plenty, from the most futuristic to the Classics. Representing the golden age of yachting on this anniversary edition will be the likes of Velsheda, the massive J-Class yacht or the 23 m JI Cambria, sublime little Bermudan sloops like Dainty, which measures 8.12m along the waterline, and gaff cutters like Djinn (8.90m). this is Les Voiles at its finest!

The Yacht Club de France raises the curtain on the Coupe d'Automne

A feeder race linking Cannes and Saint Tropez, the Yacht Club de France's Coupe d'Automne heralds the start of festivities at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. Each year, several dozen yachts vie for supremacy in this 21-mile sprint and their arrival in the gulf of Saint Tropez, with all their sails aloft off the Portalet Tower, is always a wonderful spectacle and surely the most sublime way to get the party started in Saint Tropez.

Competing in the sprint are period yachts, classic yachts, spirit of tradition yachts, 6MJI, 8MJI and 12MJIs all racing side by side. Furthermore, a great many of the owners are eminent members of the Yacht Club de France, including those racing on Aile VI, White Dolphin, Dix Août, Margilic, Nagaïna, Harlekin, Ilhabela II and Faïaoahe... to name but a few.

The Yacht Club de France's Coupe d'Automne is organised by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, with technical means provided by the Yacht Club de Cannes for the race setting sail from Cannes.

Competitors must make themselves available to the Race Committee at 11:00am off the port of Cannes.

Village

In the race village, the key new feature of this edition is the return of the bar to the centre of proceedings, close to the harbour master's office, the village itself being even more roomy than last year. Indeed, the village is the nerve centre of the event on shore and naturally it is much frequented by the crews. It is also open to locals and visitors every day from 09:00am to 21:00pm..

Quotes

Tony Oller, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez
"Some change in the continuity! I can't say better than that. Les Voiles is celebrating its 20th edition, and we're very familiar with the winning recipe. However, with a few extra little touches, we're continuing to evolve and introduce some new features that remain in line with our traditions. The Village is evolving and transforming to make it even more sociable. The line-up is as exceptional as ever and all that remains is for me to wish for a favourable forecast, with wind, but not too much, sunshine and a little sea spray to delight our many photographers..."

Georges Kohler, President of the Race Committee
"All the teams are in place. There's no need to change a winning team, and back for more this week we have Jérôme Nutte in the Race Committee for the Wallys at Pampelonne, Yvon Poutriquet presiding over the round for the Modern yachts and Philippe Enel for the Classics. The Gulf of Saint Tropez and the surrounding area offer up numerous opportunities for races to ensure that the racers can compete on courses favouring every point of sail so the racing is as fair as possible."

Programme

Modern Yachts

  • Saturday 29th, Sunday 30th September: Registration and Inspection
  • Monday 1st, Tuesday 2nd, Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th (J.Laurain Memorial Day, Challenge Day), Friday 5th, Saturday 6th October: inshore races, 1st start 11h00

Classic Yachts

  • Sunday 30th September and Monday 1st October: Registration and Inspection
  • Sunday 30th September: arrival of the Yacht Club de France's Coupe d'Automne feeder race from Cannes
  • Tuesday 2nd, Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th (J.Laurain Memorial Day, Challenge Day, Club 55 Cup, GYC Centenary Trophy), Friday 5th, Saturday 6th: inshore races, 1st start 12h00
Prize-giving for everyone
  • Sunday, 7th October, from 11h00

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