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Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - The showdown must wait...

by Maguelonne Turcat 8 Oct 11:11 PDT 25 September - 9 October 2021

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.

Indeed, despite a glimmer of hope in the early afternoon, where it looked like a distinct possibility that Georges Korhel, Principal Race Officer at Les Voiles, and his teams, hard at work on the race zone throughout the day, would be able to offer up a course and unleash the 44 Maxis out onto the racetrack. As such, the crews patiently remained on site, on the orders of the Race Committee, under full main, poised to set sail at a moment's notice. Ultimately, it was not to be, alas, and just after 16:00 hours everyone headed back into port in the knowledge that they will now have to wait until tomorrow and the final day of reckoning and racing in Act 2 of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez in this the town's biggest ever gathering of Maxi Yachts.

Tomorrow, high stakes...

Every crew slunk back into port today without being able to get their teeth into a single battle. Skippers, sailors and owners were left hungry, nay ravenous for more, and looking at the ranking, with two races validated for groups IR1, 2 and 3, tomorrow's battle already has all the makings of a sumptuous feast as they rally to secure a spot on the final podiums, which are set to be celebrated on Saturday evening after the final race. The stakes are certainly high then which makes the final race tomorrow all the more important. In IRC1, Rambler and Magic Carpet Cubed are absolutely tied on points, each of them boasting one second place and one third place. The situation is a touch more settled in IR2 and 3, where Lyra (Wally 77) and Topaz (J Class) respectively have the luxury of a comfortable lead of 6 and 5 points. Meantime, Jethou should be able to contain Vesper, her 'historic' rival in the zippy 72-foot class that make up the IR3A group. In IR4, a status quo prevails as they have only one validated race to their credit. As such, there is still absolutely everything to play for in this fine group, which is currently being led by Aloha, Nicolas Piguet's CNB 77.

French Kiss NSC - Did not sail the course

The jury at Les Voiles got together late yesterday evening to give a verdict on four of the race boats competing in the Bay of Saint Tropez. The latter were proven to have failed to respect the route of the course, passing between La Rabiou and the shore. As a result, the jury decided to relegate them for not completing the course, with French Kiss, originally poised to take the race win, downgraded to 7th place in the provisional overall ranking for IRC4.

There are 45 Maxis sailing at Les Voiles. 12 belong to the International Maxi Association:

  • Wallyno - Benoît de Froidmont
  • Y3K - Claus-Peter Offen
  • North Star - Peter Dubens
  • Topaz - Jurgen Focke
  • Velsheda - Ronald de Waal
  • Twin Soul B - Luciano Gandini
  • Kallima - Paul Berger
  • Magic Carpet Cubed - Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones
  • Rambler 88 - George David
  • Jethou - Sir Peter Ogden
  • Lyra - Terry Hui
  • Vesper - Jim Swartz

Of note...

The crew of Rambler 88 has been particularly motivated this week as it was accompanied by the director of Team Alinghi, Ernesto Bertarelli, with whom a great many stars of sailing, including one Brad Butterworth, won and defended the America's Cup in 2003 and 2007.

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