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Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - Day 2

by Maguelonne Turcat 2 Oct 2018 22:51 PDT 29 September - 7 October 2018

It was a radiant gulf, swept up by a long residual swell, which on Tuesday welcomed the entire immense and sumptuous fleet competing in Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez.

Warmed by a generous sunshine and a big azure sky, in a freshening SSE'ly breeze, the three big boat groups were all able to compete in the idyllic conditions in their respective races: windward-leewards for the Wallys off Pampelonne, offshore battles off Les Salins beach for the 5 Modern IRC Groups and a large coastal triangular course at the edge of the gulf for the Classics. The skillfulness of the various Race Committees at anticipating the wind shifts provided the racers with all kinds of opportunities to shine, whatever the points of sail. The true magic of the legend of Les Voiles was in full swing today, whilst the clarity of the light, the lightness of the wind and the smoothness of the swell combined to treat the racers to some truly sublime conditions.

A tumultuous start to the Fife Jubilee for the Rolex Trophy!

The virulence of yesterday's storm seemed to clear the air in the gulf and the 4,000 sailors competing in Les Voiles awoke to an atmosphere of renewed freshness and limpidity, providing some truly epic opportunities for the photographers. Among the many stars of the show were the 20 designs penned by the genius William Fife III, which today began their remarkable ballet within the context of the Fife Jubilee for the Rolex Trophy. With the swell rising to more than 1.50m in places, a short chop fleshed out the mix to antagonize the bigger boats. In this way, the speedy 8 and 6 Metre yachts managed to keep their Gaff and Bermudan rigs on the pace amongst the elegant hulls of the large cutters. The wind then began to build as this still compact fleet headed out of the gulf to begin a long triangular course of around 20 miles making towards Les Issambres headland. Not all the boats could handle the combination of chop and swell and the giant Cambria threw in the towel shortly after the start, the 8m Fife-design Silhouette (1910) quickly following suit, both returning to port to repair minor rig damage.

The favourites with their eyes on the prizes among the Modern yachts

It was a full house for the Wallys for whom the day could not have gone better with two great races racked up off the beaches of Pampelonne. Reaping the rewards today were Lyra for the first race and Magic Carpet3 for the second.

Among the IRC Cs, a group that gathers together yachts of around fifteen metres honed for racing and for performance, like the TP52s and other Swan 50s, the favourites really had their finger on the pulse. Already topping the TP52 charts is the British boat Gladiator (Tony Langley), which has a lead of a few seconds over Arobas owned by Frenchman Gérard Logel. The winner of this very tight group in terms of both quality and quantity (32 boats) will be rewarded by the Edmond de Rothschild Trophy. It's a similar scenario among the IRC D group of yachts measuring between 35 and 40-feet, whose ranking is dominated this evening by the Italian X 35 Foxy Lady (Giuseppe Gambaro).

The "Petites Voiles" will take place Wednesday

One of the major new features of the 20th edition of Les Voiles is of child-size proportions. Indeed, the first of the "Petites Voiles" will take place on Wednesday 3 October at 14:00hrs on Optimists, an event for participants up to the age of 12 wishing to race in a series of friendlies. Together with the inauguration of the new Pôle Voile Légère (Dinghy Sailing Cluster), the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez is keen to get the kids involved in Les Voiles at an early age and hence encourage them to move up through the ranks to ultimately race on the some of the world's finest yachts in the years to come.

Quotes:

Odile Boye-Carré, photographer
"What a sublime day. Such emotion! A regular at Les Voiles, I've rarely seen such a spectacle in the gulf, with this deep swell, that seemed at times to swallow up the hulls, and these plumes of immaculate white spray when the bows hit a wave. What a delight for the photographers!"

Bill Jayson, son of Dick Jayson, historic initiator of the Nioulargue
"It's so good to be here! This first day at Les Voiles has been fantastic, with an absolutely extraordinary cocktail of wind, sea, sky and sun conditions. The Modern and the Classic yachts were showcased in the most fantastic manner..."

The passing of Pierre Paul Heckly, President of the Yacht Club de France from 2008 to 2013

"It is with sadness that we learned of the passing of our friend Pierre-Paul Heckly today. The Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez expresses its sincere condolences to his family and his nearest and dearest." Tony Oller, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez

Originally called Pauline, Chinook is the first of a series of 12 yachts penned by Nathanael Herreshoff, which came into being in the twenties. Their glory days, or rather years, were to last through until the thirties on America's eastern seaboard, undergoing certain developments along the way. Chinook was built in 1916 at the Herreshoff yard in Bristol, Rhode Island, for a certain Oliver Jennings of New York. After various changes of owner, her name changed from Pauline, to Banshee then Chinook in 1929. Solely her now famous mainsail number, NY48, will never change. Chinook will be battling it out throughout this week against another Herreshoff wonder, Rowdy, the Bermudan sloop NY 49.

Falcon at Les Voiles?

A newcomer at Les Voiles, Falcon, a Fife design built in 1930 at Fairlie at the same time as her sistership Fulmar, was one of the fastest yachts of her time in the Class8 MJ. Sailing in North America for a long while, she was restored at Fairlie in 2011 and now races in the Mediterranean to our great delight.

Today's partner: The Rolex Trophy, prestige and excellence

The 20th edition of Les Voiles is a truly unique Mediterranean gathering of yachts designed by a giant of naval architecture, the Scot William Fife III, known as Fife Jr, who made a dazzling mark on the sailing world at the beginning of the 20th century. This Fife Jubilee, which is gathering together twenty craft measuring 11 to 40m for the very first time, from the fine 6 m JR Nada, to the giant 23 M J Cambria, forms the basis of the famous Rolex Trophy for 2018. The values cherished by the Swiss watch brand, namely precision, excellence and team spirit, reflect the attitude of the sailors and skippers aboard these cathedrals of sail. Rolex is the title partner to fifteen or so major yachting events such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and also the Rolex Fastnet Race.

www.lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr

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