Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

Elegance and performance at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez

by Maguelonne Turcat 22 Aug 03:32 PDT 25 September - 9 October 2021
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez © Gilles Martin-Raget

True to yachting's most beautiful gathering of modern and classic boats, the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez kicks off the 23rd edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez on Saturday, September 25, 2021.

Rising above the difficulties and uncertainties, the proven formula of this end-of-season highlight ignites the passion of thousands of sailors and boat aficionados alike. More than 250 sailboats, both modern and classic, are awaited by more than 100 volunteers on shore and on the water for two weeks which promise to be exceptional, all starts and race finishes being in front of the sea wall off the port of Saint-Tropez!

Week 1: Tradition and modernity

Looking forwards with optimism, the first week of Les Voiles once again offers a winning formula bringing together on local waters the entire spectacular fleet of classic boats with modern sailboats up to 18m28.

Accompanying Ikra, the 12 mJI at the heart of the original Nioulargue challenge - ever present after 40 years of attendance - the armada of classic yachts anticipated for 2021 promises a fiesta for participants and spectators alike. Amongst the nearly 80 classic yachts will be 21 sailboats over a hundred years old battling it out on the water in the wake of the Bermudan Yawl, Sky, launched in 1890 and with 131 years of sailing history.

The Grands Tradition category, certain of which exceed 40 meters overall, has no less than 12 entries sporting the most spectacular Gaff and Marconi rigs: schooners, ketches, cutters and yawls. Stars, out of category in the 2020 edition, include the magnificent red, navy blue and green hulls of the three American P Class, Chips, Corinthian and Olympian which will compete in the Epoque Aurique A class, as will the immaculate Scud, sure to capture the public's heart.

Within the group of vintage Marconis, another celebrity re-joining the famous Manitou formerly belonging to John F Kennedy will be Marge, an elegant Johan Anker design from 1937, entering into cinematic history thanks to the 1952 filming of René Clément's Plein Soleil with Alain Delon and Marie Laforet.

The modern yacht fleet is equally keen to be on the water. In IRC B, the title will be hotly disputed between maestros such as the 47-foot Pretexte, second last year in the hands of SailGP circuit champion Billy Besson, or Alain Monnier's untaintable Ecbatane driven by Jean-Paul Mouren. Not ignoring newcomers like the Italian Black Samurai or up and coming Futura, keeping a close eye on Jean-Pierre Dick and The Kid JP54 and Marc Lepesqueux's Sunset.

The IRC C fleet, counts no less than 31 registered, which will lead to some fierce competition on the start line. The boats to watch are Couleur Soleil with Robert Coriat's crew who last year were cup victors ahead of Gian Marco Magrini's Vito 2, but one can only imagine that Frédéric Puzin, winner of the B Class last year, will be a strong contender with Daguet 3.

For the IRC D, the biggest class with 35 inscriptions, the game will be a little more open as Buran, third last year and the year of its launch, will once again be present to defend a podium place, as with the IRC E Class- 20 inscriptions - who must establish a new hierarchy in the absence of the reigning 2020 champions. And finally in the IRC F Class, 22 boats will be on the starting blocks challenging the domination of Swiss owned Wally Nano Nostromino who won ahead of two Tofinou 9.50: Pitch and Team 42. The all new Tofinou 9.70, designed by Michele Molino, is equally eagerly awaited.

Week 2: Maxis, red hot!

With more than 45 boats ranging from18 and 42 m racing from Tuesday 5 to Saturday 9 October, the second week of maxi racing promises to be both exceptional and spectacular. Among the giants are the prestigious Wally yachts, extraordinary in their conception and loyal partner to Les Voiles, they are world leaders in their innovation, characterised by design, technology, performance and luxury. This emblematic brand is notably twice winner of the Compasso d'Oro design award.

On the water, the jousting between these giants will be brought to life by the unmissable rockstars Magic Carpet Cubed, Y3K, Green Eyes, Ryokan 2, Rose, and defending champion, Lyra. A dense fleet amidst which offshore maxis Rambler 88, Leopard III, winner of the IR1 class last year, with Volvo racers Ambersail 2 (VOR65) and Hypr (VOR 70) returning from the Rolex Fastnet Race, will attempt to break through.

On this note, first time participant at Saint-Tropez, the VPLP-Verdier Comanche whose crew is led by Dutch champion Mitch Booth will cut quite a figure, not only in terms of its size - 30,45 m long, 8m wide, 6,80 m draft, a mast culminating at 47 m high, 1100 m2 of downwind canvas - but also in its accolade of results, almost enough to make the two J-Class Valsheda and Topaz green with envy. Themselves promising a colourful duel, certainly in breezy conditions. With their 175 tonnes of displacement, they are almost six times heavier than Comanche !

The Tropézien public will equally be able to follow the performances of the most prominent 'pocket maxis' of the moment being Jethou and Vesper, two regulars at the Voiles, who will this year come up against North Star, another 72-footer running under the British flag.

As diverse as captivating, this most prestigious of big boat racing classes is in constant evolution as evidenced by the arrival of two new boats who will be present at the Voiles, launched at the beginning of summer.

Beginning with Black Legend 6, a 22m French conception by the young and talented naval architect Sam Manuard and put in the water in June 2021 at Black Pepper Yachts, Nante. Second remarkable novelty is the Baltic 68 'café racer' Pink Gin Verde, an inverted bow dayboat designed by the Spanish Javier Jaudenes and produced with particular attention to its environmental footprint. With a hull comprising 50% natural fibre, it is equipped with two electric motors and a hydro-generator system which enables it to generate its own power under sail.

Also eagerly awaited is the Reichel/Pugh design Nauta, Southern Wind, Morgana, built in South Africa and coming to Saint-Tropez for its debut race season. Finally, Maxi Class enthusiasts will also be delighted to know that Silvertip, designed by Dubois, a regular in New Zealand and who dominated the Maxi Yacht Cup organised in Auckland during the last America's Cup, will also be at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2021 putting themselves against their northern hemisphere counterparts.

Programme 2021

Week 1: Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, Modern and Classic
Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September: registration for all classic yachts and modern yachts up to 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-10th anniversary of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Cup
Saturday 2 October: Prize Giving (Week 1)

Week 2: Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, Maxi Yachts
Sunday 3 and Monday 4 October: registration for all modern yachts above 18.29m
Wally, IRCA, Maxi yachts
Tuesday 5, Wednesday 6, Thursday 7, Friday 8, Saturday 9: regattas
Saturday 9 October: Prize Giving (Week 2)

www.lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr

Related Articles

Swan One Design Worlds winners crowned
G-Spot wins the ClubSwan 36, Raving Swan triumphs in the ClubSwan 42 The triumphant owners and crews have the right to consider themselves the best in the world after battling to the top of the leader board in St Tropez. Posted on 18 Oct
Fitful easterlies rewrite Swan class leaderboards
Wins for Ferragamo father and son across two classes at the Swan One Design Worlds The Gulf of Saint Tropez kept the surprises coming for the third day of the Swan One Design Worlds, with the wind swinging right round to the east again. Signs of a good sailing breeze early on were scuppered as the winds began to drop. Posted on 16 Oct
Westerlies give Swan fleets boost in St Tropez
An ideal 12-15 knot breeze at the Swan One Design Worlds Crews were scrambled early this morning with the news that racing in the Swan One Design Worlds was to begin early at 11am to take advantage of a good sailing breeze. Posted on 16 Oct
Swan OD Worlds get under way in light winds
Just one race on day one in St Tropez Electricity crackled along the quayside this morning as crews prepared for the first race of Swan One Design Worlds in St Tropez. After the relaxed fun of last night's opening ceremony, tension was palpable as final checks were made and sails stowed. Posted on 15 Oct
A spectacular welcome for Swan OD Worlds
Record fleet of 41 boats from 18 nations brings hundreds of sailors to St Tropez Saint Tropez plays magnificent host to the Swan One Design Worlds, with 41 boats from 18 different nations lined up along the quay in the historic old harbour. Posted on 14 Oct
Magic Carpet Cubed prevails at Les Voiles
A most rewarding week two for the maxi yachts in Saint-Tropez A most rewarding week two of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez for the maxi yachts concluded today with an easterly eventually filling in to provide 45 of the world's largest sailing yachts with a last opportunity to put points on the scoreboard. Posted on 10 Oct
Maxi fan zone at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
The perfect backdrop for the 45 Maxis competing in this Saturday finale One last day in the form of an XXL final! For one last time, this was a race zone at its very best in Saint Tropez, swept by an E'ly wind and a fine swell, providing the perfect backdrop for the 45 Maxis competing in this Saturday finale. Posted on 9 Oct
Topaz are J Class winners at Les Voiles
Third win in a row today to take overall victory in IRC Class 2 at Saint Tropez Topaz upheld the J Class record for Class winning success at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez when they topped out a good week with a third win in a row today to take overall victory in the seven strong IRC Class 2. Posted on 9 Oct
Waiting for the wind at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
Breeze in the Rhone corridor and the Gulf of Genoa, but nothing in between It is a well-documented phenomenon that there can be breeze in the Rhone corridor to the west, as well as in the Gulf of Genoa to the east, yet nothing between the two. Such was the episode that played out today in Saint Tropez. Posted on 8 Oct
Maximum fun at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
The 44 Maxis were bathed in sunshine under azure skies It was under azure skies, the race zone bathed in sunshine, that the 44 Maxis (Aegir having remained in port) competing in the second week of Les Voiles 2021 negotiated the day's coastal course. Posted on 8 Oct
Cyclops 2020 - SmartlinkNano - FOOTERCoast Guard Foundation FOOTER 2C-Tech 2021 (Spars-QFX Racer) 728x90 BOTTOM