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Early entries already promise an epic 11th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille

by Laura Muma 2 Dec 2021 07:35 PST 17-23 April 2022
Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille © Christophe Jouany

With five months to go, almost 30 entries ranging from Maxis to Melges 24 have committed to a fabulous week of racing in Saint Barthélemy for the 11th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille, including Wendy Schmidt's beautiful new Botin 85 Deep Blue, and Jim Swartz returns for his eighth time and potential fourth victory, sailing in 2022 with Vesper, an IRC JV design 72.

After a two-year forced hiatus from racing in the Caribbean, the International Maxi Association has even upped the ante for Maxis to return, having recently announced the creation of the Caribbean Maxi Challenge open to all Maxis over 60 feet. The Challenge includes four prestigious regattas, including Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille, which will take place from April 17 - 23, 2022.

"The objective of the Caribbean Maxi Challenge is to provide Maxi owners with a consistent framework for a championship over several events," says IMA president Benoît de Froidmont. "All the selected regattas are superb but very different in their organization. The ultimate goal is to adopt the same racing rules so that the participants can compete on an equal basis and have a championship that makes sense."

The IMA modeled the Caribbean Maxi Challenge after its successful offshore and inshore Mediterranean circuits, launched in 2016 and 2019 respectively. As the Caribbean is the second largest meeting place for Maxis in the world, it seemed logical to extend the championship there, especially as the boats making the crossing often stay for several months.

The organizers of Les Voiles de St Barth Richard Mille are honored to join such a prestigious circuit: "It's great to be recognized for how we run professional races combined with exceptional entertainment on land," says François Tolède and Luc Poupon. "After two years without competition, we can't wait for all our new and returning competitors to enjoy all the magic that Les Voiles and St. Barth promise to deliver."

As proof, the regatta already boasts an impressive number of pre-registered entries, just five months before the event: nearly 30 sailboats, divided into the Maxi, Spinnakers, Racing Multihull and Melges 24 classes have already shown their enthusiasm to meet on the magnificent waters surrounding St Barthélemy, and organizers anticipate the 11th edition to be one of the most competitive yet.

"Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille regatta is a fairytale experience for any sailor," says De Froidmont. "We may be competitors, but we also want to have a good time with our crew and our friends. For this, Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille represents the perfect package of exceptional racing and magnificent ambience."

For more information visit www.lesvoilesdestbarthrichardmille.

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