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20th Anniversary Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - Day 5

by Maguelonne Turcat 4 Oct 23:13 PDT 28 September - 6 October 2019

Following Thursday's flamboyance, marked by a succession of challenges between all manner of craft, capped off by the exuberance of the crew procession, it was back to the sport and the racing today and the wind gods agreed to toe the line.

Indeed, from noon, the breeze picked up more and more across all three race circuits from the far side of the bay for the Classics, to the outskirts of Cavalaire for the Modern boats and other Wallys. In this way, some 4,000 sailors were able to bring their talent and inspiration to bear in a vast range of conditions. Courses spanning twenty miles or so for the largest craft were quickly devoured, everyone racing according to their measurement handicap so that they could all get the best out of their boat and fill the bay with sport and spectacle. Les Voiles at its best!

Galateia triumphs among the Wallys

Setting off on a big looped circuit of around twenty miles towards Cavalaire, the powerful Wallys powered upwind to meet today's expected SW'ly wind. David Leuschen's WallyCento Galateia sailed an absolute blinder on a tumultuous W'ly swell, which gave the crews a good old shake-up at times, overpowering Magic Carpet3 not just in elapsed time, by just 3 minutes, but also in corrected time. The Wally 77 Lyra also excelled, snatching second place in the race ahead of the Wally 101 Y3K. After her victory in the first race, she's now leading the provisional overall ranking, ahead of Galateia which is back in contention for ultimate victory.

Velsheda by a nose

There's a almighty duel between two of the giants racing at Les Voiles: the massive J Class Velsheda (Nicholson 1933) against George David's Rambler 88, a Juan K design with a penchant for records! First across the line in elapsed time, with a Leopard3 (Farr 100) in fine fettle just a few boat lengths astern, Rambler took the win by just 28 minutes. It was not enough to take the win in corrected time however and it was Velsheda that triumphed today.

The Mini Maxis shaken but not stirred

There was another bitter battle at the top of the leader board in the IRC A 4 category of Mini Maxis. Measuring 72-feet, they are considered by many to be real warships given how efficient and demanding they are. Jim Schwarz' Vesper ultimately won the duel against Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou. Originating in Utah, the skipper of the former is eager to stir up this category and is once again bringing a James Bond theme into play here in Les Voiles, ensuring that every boat he owns has a name inspired by a 007 character.

Solte back on top after the Club 55 Cup

Suffering defeat yesterday against the 12mR Ikra during the Club 55 Cup, today the Swan 53 Solte made good her revenge by taking the lead in a highly competitive group of IRC Bs, which includes no fewer than 35 fast racer cruisers measuring 14 to 17.50 metres. The French Grand Soleil 50 Mad IV is waiting in ambush however, which bodes well for a stellar final tomorrow.

A clincher beckons for Wallyno and Lorina

The group of IRC A 3s is relishing a merciless battle between Wallyno (Wally 60) and Lorina, the Swan 601. The two Maxis are in contact as the umpires begin to tot up the results of the Mediterranean Maxi championship (IMA) in readiness for the final decisive day of racing. However, with all eyes on the duel, the Italian Mylius 80 Twin Soul B is reaping the benefits this evening after securing today's race win ahead of her two fierce rivals.

The group of jewels

Among the numerous groups, classes, class measurements and rigs navigating the waters of the bay at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, there is one rather unique group which has been christened the 'Guests' for practical reasons. Boasting 6 truly exceptional craft, they are regulars at Les Voiles but their length is such that they don't fit into any particular measurement, except that they are all marvels of 20th century marine architecture. Dainty for example is the smallest yacht at Les Voiles with her 8.12m waterline. Launched in 1922, this pretty Westmacott-designed Bermudan sloop made a clean sweep of the prizes in the thirties. Just a tad longer with a waterline of 10.24m, Joséphine is a Bermudan IOD penned by the Danish master of the metre boats Bjarne Aas. There isn't a lot more to say or write about Alcyon 1871, a wonderful gunter rig from Marseille, which measures 9m on deck, but features a LOA of 23m!! Some great adversaries for her are Maria Giovanna II (Olin Stephens 1963) and Windhover (Luke 1904), two swift Bermudan cutters, along with Djinn, the only gaff cutter of the group (Annemans 1934), which is currently topping this very exclusive leader board.

Loro Piana Trophy

The Loro Piana brand is a family history that dates back over 6 generations. Initially, the family sold woolen fabric before creating the Lanificio Fratelli Lora e Compagnia in the second half of the 19th century, specialising in woollen garments. It wasn't until 1924 and Pietro Loro Piana that the top-of-the-range fashion company that we know and love today came into existence. The Italian company, which celebrates nature, outdoor life, movement and freedom through the most exclusive cashmere pieces, has made sailing its favourite sport, marrying into the values of the art of living. In this way, Pier Luigi Lorio Piana owned the Super Maxi My Song. The brand also partners numerous Maxis yacht regattas in the Med. Present at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez since 2017, Loro Piana awards a Trophy to the winner of the IRC A group for craft in excess of 20 metres. It's all to play for in 2019!

Crew night at La Ponche

It's an eagerly awaited highlight for the 4,000 international sailors that race the 300 yachts competing at Les Voiles: crew night! The venue, La Ponche, a legendary spot beside the sea in Saint Tropez, this Friday evening, at dusk. Catering: a giant tartiflette (a dish with potatoes, bacon and cheese) from France's Savoy region, with the wines of Chevalier Torpez and brewer Montaner, and musical accompaniment of course!

Today's Partners

Collection Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
The off-the-peg North Sails brand has been partnering the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez since 2018. This year, it's also the event's clothing partner. A capsule collection for men, women and children has been launched specially for the occasion. An American brand inspired by boating, it has added a pop of colour to this particularly elegant collection to reflect the freedom and the thirst for discovery so characteristic of yacht racing.

Mercantour Events and the village at Les Voiles
Mercantour Events is offering something novel in its support of the local authorities and businesses by bringing a sustainable approach through event organisation. Convinced of the importance of setting up special event-related activities to revitalize the region, the agency supports a number of communities on a daily basis with the organisation of their event. In this way, Mercantour Events is partnering Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez with the construction, installation and maintenance of the Village at Les Voiles.

Brig and its ribs
For the second year in a row, the rib brand Brig is partnering Les Voiles. The French importer of this Ukrainian manufacture has no fewer than 15 boats representing its extensive range, from 8 to 6.10m, which are available for use by the organisation for the various Race Committees, Modern craft, Wallys and Classics, and they are powered by another of the event's partners, Suzuki. Three boats are being demonstrated at the event with sea trials possible for clients. The brand new 6.70m is on display and can be trialled in Saint Tropez itself. Brig is the number one rib builder in Europe with nearly 2,500 craft produced a year and it boasts nearly 30 years' experience and 4 great ranges: Eagle, Navigator, Falcon and Falcon Tender to suit any occasion.

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