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Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - An awe-inspiring first week!

by Maguelonne Turcat 3 Oct 22:30 PDT 25 September - 9 October 2021

As Georges Korhel, Principal Race Officer for Les Voiles is keen to point out, this first week of festivities and races has won the approval of one and all.

Featuring a wide range of breezes, the Race Committees for the Modern and Classic yachts were able to validate a series of what were very hotly contested races every day, the prestige of Les Voiles familiar to sailors the world over. Yesterday, we celebrated the fantastic winners, starting with the Classic boat category, where the Rolex Trophy went to the Herreshoff design Scud and her top-flight crew, who managed to outperform the sumptuous P Class boats. Amongst all the winners in the 10 categories of traditional racing yachts, Les Voiles crowns some truly remarkable boats, created by some of the world's most respected naval architects. Among the Modern boats, Pretexte (Nacira 47) secures the North Sails Trophy (IRC B), and Nanoq, skippered by the Prince of Denmark won the BMW Trophy (IRC C), both of them the stand-out boats despite some particularly competitive groups.

Period Gaffer A - Rolex Trophy
7 fabulous sail boats dating over a hundred years old were competing within the Period Gaffer A group fiercely vying for the famous Rolex Trophy. The Herreshoff cutter Scud overwhelmed the competition by scoring three bullets. Of the three spectacular P Class boats, Olympian, (Gardner 1913) came out on top to snatch second place ahead of Corinthian (Herreshoff).

Period Gaffer B
Yawls, 8mRs, cutters and sloops grace this really spectacular group. A familiar presence on the podiums, Eva (Fife 1906) took victory in the final ranking, very at ease in the light airs but less inspired by Wednesday's breeze. She leaves in her wake the elegant New York Class30 Oriole (Herreshoff 1905) and the venerable 8 m Folly (Nicholson 1908).

Period Marconi A
14 craft race in this group of yawls, ketches and cutters measuring up to nearly 25 metres like the ketch Hygie. The 1938 Olin Stephens design Blitzen won by a point thanks to her final victory against Varuna. Recluta, a big star at Les Voiles this year is third!

Period Marconi B
A highly uniform group comprising yawls, cutters and sloops built in the late thirties, they all measure between 16 and 17 metres at the waterline. Enjoying some very tight races, final victory went to Jour de Fête (Paine 1930), ahead of Stormy Weather (Stephens 1934) and Skylark (Sparkman&Stephens 1937) third.

Period Marconi C
A pretty group gathering together numerous 8 and 6 m boats and other Bermudan rigs from different classes. The 8mR Carron II (Fife) amassed a string of victories and second places to take victory ahead of Andale (Potter 1951) and One Wave (Camatte 1948).

Grand Tradition Group Dominating the race zone through their majestic scale, this group of 12 exceptional craft features waterline lengths in excess of 35 metres for some. The 15mR The Lady Anne, still as formidable and fast as ever, won three races to finish ahead of Halloween (Fife 1926) and Sumurun (Fife 1914) in the overall ranking.

Classic Marconi A
It's the Bermudan sloop Lys, (Sparkman&Stephens 1955) helmed by Philippe Monnet which took the win ahead of the ketch Eugenia V (P Rhodes) and the yawl Hermitage (Levi/I&P) skippered by Lionel Péan.

Classic Marconi B
10 yachts - sloops, yawls, cutters - came together for this category. The two Bermudan sloops Resolute Salmon (Briton Chance 1976) and Sagittarius (Sparkman&Stephens 1971) finished ahead of the cutter Outlaw (Illingworth & Primrose), launched in 1963 for the Admiral's Cup.

Classic Marconi R
It's the Dutch crew of Encounter (Frers 1976) who outpaced the two 12mRs, that of the Italians on Il Moro (Frers 76) and the French crew on Ikra (Boyd 1964)

Guest Group
Tough to classify due to their tiny size and unique rigs, 5 sublime sail boats were racing at Les Voiles within the so-called 'Guest' Group. Each of them worthy of their own page in maritime history and architectural imagination at the service of both elegance and performance. Jap, the gaff cutter helmed by Harold Cudmore pipped rivals Dainty and Joséphine to the top spot.

And the Modern boats...

There were 140 Modern yachts racing under IRC in groups B, C, D, E and F. All the boats raced every day to validate 5 races.

IRC B - North Sails Trophy
It's the Nacira 47 Pretexte which takes the prize ahead of Solano, which bagged a brilliant second place, Alain Monnier's X 50 Ectabane helmed by Jean Paul Mouren finishing third.

IRC C - BMW Trophy
29 yachts measuring 13 to 15 metres sail in this group, which was utterly dominated by the TP52 Nanoq, with Tom Slingsby on the strategy and Prince Frederik of Denmark on the helm, in a fine duel against the Ker 46 Daguet3. Russian boat Favorit Plus fought hard to complete the podium.

IRC D - Suzuki Trophy
26 boats make up this group. The British Cap 31 North Star II owned by Peter Dubens scored a stellar hat-trick and had the pleasure of having Vendee Globe sailor Kevin Escoffier aboard the boat for the last race. Tied on points behind were Buran and Xantus, Buran ultimately taking second place thanks to her race win.

IRC E - Marines de Cogolin Trophy
21 boats - Pascal Fan and his King of Blue scored mixed results, but it was enough to outpace Eden and Bagatelle.

Tily Harrison's Swiss Tofinou Jolt had great control of this sizeable group of 18 craft, letting her adversaries fight over the top spots in just one race, the other two podium places going to Tofinou 9.5s Pitch and Outsider.

Les Voiles 2021, the first week in numbers...

  • 200 sail boats for week one, 116 modern boats and 82 classic yachts.
  • 2,500 crew members, representing over twenty nationalities.
  • 200 volunteers: teams at sea and on land.
  • 60 boats for safety organisation, press and guests.
This year the crowds flocked to Les Voiles village (2,100m2) despite a limit of 900 people, which resulted in a few queues.

Over to the Maxis

Registration began this Sunday 3 October 2021 for the Maxi yachts, with over 40 craft ranging from 18 to 42 m, which will race from Tuesday 5 to Saturday 9 October inclusive. Reserved for the modern big boats, the second week of racing promises to be really special and spectacular. These giants will include the prestigious Wallys and it goes without saying that these exceptional yachts designed and created by the loyal partner to Les Voiles are a global leader in innovations characterised by design, technology, performance and luxury.


Pierre Roinson, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez:
"All the teams, skippers and owners I met are delighted. This first week really 'ticked all the boxes' and I'd like to thank the Race Committees for their excellent control. After the Covid year, we're witnessing a renewal of Les Voiles in all their glory. The atmosphere on shore has been worthy of the finest years of the Nioulargue, with the most picturesque parade of crews, the 'sardinade' grilled sardine fest and the village bar, which was always full, all of it run according to the health guidelines. And now we're about to discover a second unprecedented week with an exceptional line-up of nearly 40 Maxi yachts, with all the starts set just in front of the Port of Saint Tropez!"

Clément Giraud, (Vendée Globe 2020/2021) Stiren:
"I had an absolute ball rediscovering Les Voiles again after my four-year absence. You make some extraordinary encounters, crossing tacks with personalities and big names. We had a lot of fun aboard Stiren, a boat that's so easy to helm, especially in the chop. I was bowman. I relearned to play around with the poles. I'm now going to switch back to 'Imoca' mode for the Transat Jacques Vabre, by heading to La Rochelle where my boat "La Compagnie du Lit" is based and which I'm preparing with Erik Nigon. Roll on the start on 7 November in Le Havre..."

Torben Grael, Scud, winner of the Rolex Trophy:
"This week has been very varied. We managed to build on our victory during the light airs days, which isn't easy for Scud. We love the breeze and Wednesday and Friday played out in our favour. Sailing here amidst the boats in excess of a hundred years old is an absolute delight, especially with this crew."

Les Voiles Trophies 2021:

Ville de Saint-Tropez Cup
Awarded to the top-scoring Modern yacht, all categories combined: North Star II - Peter Dubens

Rolex Trophy
Awarded to the first boat in Period Gaffer A: Scud - Patrizio Bertelli

BMW Trophy
This goes to the first boat in IRC C: Nanoq - Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark

North Sails Trophy
For first Modern yacht in category IRC B - Pretexte - Benjamin Hureau

Suzuki Trophy
Awarded to the first Modern IRC D boat: North Star II - Peter Dubens

Les Marines de Cogolin Trophy
The prize for the first Modern IRC E yacht: King of Blue - Pascal Fan

Torpez Trophy
Awarded to the first Yacht de Tradition in Classic Marconi A: Lys - Philippe Monnet

Mercantour Events Trophy
Given to the first Yacht de Tradition in the Classic Marconi B category: Resolute Salmon - Walter Pizzoli

Bessarat de Bellefon Trophy
For the first Grand Tradition: The Lady Anne - Richard Le May

SNSM Trophy
Awarded to the first Yacht de Tradition in Period Marconi B: Jour de Fête - Elise Garcin

Marshall Trophy
The prize for the first Yacht de Tradition in Period Marconi A: Blitzen - Charles Dunstone

Yacht Club de France Trophy
The trophy goes to the YCF's darling: Marge - Stéphane Baudry

Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez Trophy
The trophy is award to the darling of the SNST: Stormvogel - Graeme Henry

Club 55 Cup: The Kid, Jean-Pierre Dick
Parade of Crews: Motion on the theme of bride and groom

2021 Programme

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: races
  • Saturday 9 October: Prize Giving (Week 2)

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