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Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez: Two weeks of celebration for the most beautiful classic and modern boats

by Maguelonne Turcat 17 Jul 06:45 PDT 25 September - 9 October 2021
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2020 © Gilles Martin-Raget

A brand-new format awaits the competitors entering the 23rd edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez at the invitation of the Société Nautique.

From Saturday 25 September to Saturday 2 October, more than 200 classic sailing boats, no matter their length and some exceeding 40 meters, will join the modern boats. From Sunday 3 until Saturday 9 October, Saint-Tropez port will be exclusively reserved for a fleet of around 50 modern giants for the second part: Les Voiles Maxi Yachts.

On the water: the most beautiful regattas

The philosophy of Les Voiles has always been the most beautiful regattas in the best possible atmosphere.

"Everyone must have fun on the water" explains Georges Korhel, the Principal Race Officer of Les Voiles, "To simplify the categories, we are going to race together the traditional yachts which usually race in the same groups, and which have comparable speeds. Our idea is not to transform Les Voiles into a championship final, which would risk compromising the pleasure and safety of the competitors! We want safe and fair racing."

Another change that will be seen this year concerns the coastal races. The classic and modern fleets are normally split across the body of water to avoid crossings during the course of racing with generally the classics racing in the direction of Saint-Raphaël and the modern yachts racing along the coast of Cavalaire. With this new format spread over two weeks, all the starts and finishes of each category can be in front of Saint-Tropez, alternating the destinations without undue risk of inopportune meetings.

On shore: a sustainable village, the party on the streets

In partnership with Mercantour Events, Les Voiles Race Village 2021 - in the spirit of a return to normal in terms of its welcome to the public - is previewed to be based on the form of a wooden boat, like that of 2019, whose décor was conceived for this re-usability. There will be no shortage of novelties on this approximate surface area of 2 500 m2, notably including a Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez Competitors' Area with its own entrance to the outside as with the official North Sails Shop.

For the atmosphere on-land, the Saint-Tropez merchants association "Esprit Village" will provide alternate sets of DJ and live music every day from 5.30pm inside Les Voiles Race Village, "There are still a number of uncertainties" explains Serge Malapelle, Head of entertainments "but our hope is that the festive side will also be everywhere in the streets and in front of the boats with acrobats, stilt-walkers, jugglers to restore a little of the original festive spirit. In the village, to buoy up the morale of the sailors and that they may enjoy challenges not only at sea, we are equally hoping that there will be the opportunity to set up arm-wrestling and tug-of-war games."

Programme 2021

Week 1: The Voiles de Saint-Tropez
Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September: registration for all classic and modern yachts up to 60 feet (18.28m)
Monday 27 September: regattas for modern yachts
Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29 September, Friday 1, Saturday 2 October: regattas for modern and classic yachts
Thursday 30 September: Challenge Day
Saturday 2 October: Prize Giving (Week 1)

Week 2: The Voiles Maxi Yachts
Sunday 3 and Monday 4 October: registration (Wally, IRCA, Maxi yachts)
Tuesday 5, Wednesday 6, Thursday 7, Friday 8, Saturday 9: regattas
Saturday 9 October: Prize Giving (Week 2)

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