Please select your home edition
Hyde Sails 2022 Wuzzos - LEADERBOARD

Once upon a time in Saint Tropez...

by Maguelonne Turcat 30 Sep 12:52 PDT 24 September - 8 October 2022

It was amidst a soundtrack comprising hand canons on the large schooners, sea shanties from the schooner Naema and the drone of bagpipes from the top spreader of the gaff schooner Elena, that the 3,000 sailors competing at Les Voiles returned to port this evening, delighted by their day of fierce competition in a capricious breeze.

The large schooners vying for the Rolex Trophy, together with the 8 other groups of classic yachts, managed to rack up one fine race today, the light airs making things devilishly tactical. Meantime, the Modern sailboats completed their third race of the week on a coastal course, along the fringes of the gulf to the great delight of onlookers.

More racing for the Modern yachts, albeit with a slight change of tone

With strong breeze at the start of the week and light to medium wind today, the 5 groups of Modern sailboats have had it all out on the racetrack. Suffice to say that tomorrow evening's winners will have posted a very consistent performance given the great range of weather conditions served up at this year's Les Voiles. With less than 5 knots on the start line today, the hunt for breeze became a complete obsession, with some of the series being subjected to two general recalls. Fortunately, the coastal course towards Pampelonne saw the breeze pick up a tad over the course of the afternoon, enabling them to add another race to their tally. With less pressure and less swell, the leader board has been severely shaken up. Indeed, the TP52s in IRC C (BMW Trophy) were taken aback after the fantastic win posted by Robert Gwozdz's Grand Soleil 44 Es Entia. Furthermore, the crew on Nanoq not only secured second place in today's race, but they're also now in a position to vie for outright victory tomorrow as the other big player among the TP52s since Monday, Karl Kwok's Beau Geste, is currently down in the 6th spot. It's a similar scenario in IRC B (North Sails Trophy), with the First 53 Yaziga bagging 6th place in a race won by the rival First 53, Patrick Schmidt's Ritual, ahead of the Solaris 50 Nergy. As a result, Albert Batzill's Baltik 50 Music is in with a chance of a podium place tomorrow for what will be the last day of racing for this fleet.

Rolex Trophy, Viveka stands up to Elena

The gigantic schooner Elena of London has dominated play in elapsed time in the light airs of the gulf and is naturally at the top of the Rolex Trophy ranking. However, her handicap has caused her to lose her grip on the lead tonight, albeit by a matter of minutes, to the benefit of the schooner Viveka (Pine 1929). The Danish schooner Orianda completes the podium. In the Grand Tradition category, there is precious little separating Halloween (Fife 1926), today's winner, Tuiga (Fife 1909) and Sumurun (Fife 1914), which are competing for the Besserat de Bellefon Trophy. There is also a battle royal among the magnificent gaff cutters, which notably include the three stunning P Class yachts. The 10mR Marga (Liljegren 1910) has the upper hand over Gaudeamus (Barg 1914) and the venerable Kismet (Fife 1896). Of particular note in the Epoque Marconi category vying for the Byblos Trophy is the defeat suffered by Blitzen (Sparkman&Stephens 1938), which was just pipped to the post by the Olin Stephens design Skylark (1937).

Of note...

The 7 schooners competing for the Rolex Trophy have been putting on a real show in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez since the start of the week. All of them have a rather unique history coloured by the imagination of over a century of architectural genius. Here's a brief outline...

Aschanti IV of Vegesack (Gruber 1954). Marconi schooner. Previous names: Marie Pierre - Afaneti - Aschanti of Saba

34.80 m, steel hull. Vegesack is a charming little whale fishing port to the north of Bremen, on the river Wesel

Elena of London (Herreshoff 2009) Gaff rig schooner. Built in 2009, Elena is a meticulous reconstruction of the 1928 transatlantic race record holder of the same name. 55 m. Steel hull.

Naema (Mylne 2013) gaff rig schooner, 41 m, steel hull. Previous name: Noelani

Orianda Schooner (Dahlstrom 1937). 26 m. Built in Denmark for the country's royal family. Built of oak.

Puritan Gaff rig schooner (Alden 1930) 36 m. Steel hull, served as a patrol boat for the US coastguard during the war Shenandoah of Sark Gaff rig schooner - three master (Ferris 1902). 54 m. Steel hull. Weight: 300 tonnes!

Viveka (Payne 1929) Marconi schooner with staysails. 25 m with no boom on the foremast. Cedar and mahogany hull on an oak frame.


Georges Korhel, Principal Race Officer
"We switched today's starts around so the Classic yachts were invited to set sail from 11:00 hours, whilst the Modern yachts were scheduled in from 12:30 hours. Our reasoning was simple, to give the Classic yachts more of an opportunity to compete in the day's light breeze. It'll be a similar set-up tomorrow too. Indeed, to enable the boats to make the most of the expected Mistral, the Classics will set off at 10:00 hours, followed at 11:00 hours by the Modern yachts."

Today's partners:

Mercantour Events
Armed with some 20 years' experience and a whole team of experts, Mercantour Events is a familiar presence when it comes to supporting all manner of event projects: from public and corporate event strategy, to the organisation of shows, fairs, exhibitions, conventions, as well as company conferences and events. The company based in L'Isle sur la Sorgue in Provence designs, fits out and maintains the wonderful race village at Les Voiles.

Hotel Byblos
Legend has it that Jean-Prosper Gay-Para, a billionaire Lebanese hotelier, who admitted to being completely smitten by the legendary Brigitte Bardot, wanted to build her "a one-of-a-kind palace worthy of The Thousand and One Nights, spanning the length of the Mediterranean." Work began on it in 1965 and its architecture was a far cry from that of the grand luxury hotels of Cannes or Monte Carlo. Actually located right in the heart of the traditional fishing village in Saint Tropez, he called it 'Byblos' after the Lebanese port founded by the Phoenicians and frequented by the international jet-set. Reminiscent of a hamlet, it features a host of little buildings attached to one another across a 5,500 m2 expanse. With roofs clad in Roman and Genoese tiles, wrought iron balconies, vibrant coloured facades, fountains, trees, a large swimming pool, a waterfront bar, restaurants, a nightclub, 59 rooms and much, much more besides, it is clearly the place to be!

Event website:

Related Articles

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez summary
The new supercharged format definitely works The new supercharged format for Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, which has been stretched out over two weeks for the past three years, has more than demonstrated its coherence, to the great delight of the racers and owners. Posted on 10 Oct
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez Maxi day 5
Capricorno wins the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge It proved to be a decisive last day at Les Voiles for the awarding of the Trophies to each of the four groups of Maxis, which competed in this second and final week of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez. Storms and rain radically transformed the atmosphere. Posted on 8 Oct
Maxis at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - Overall
Capricorno claims IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge At the end of a challenging week of maxi racing at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez when the wind never exceeded seven knots, conditions on the final day did at last prove too light and fickle to complete a race. Posted on 8 Oct
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez Maxi day 4
Spirit of Malouen X with a firm grip on the controls "A very light mistral at Les Issambres!" Booming out over the VHF, it was all that was needed by the Race Committee, who were waiting early this afternoon to release the Maxis into the arena created by the Gulf of Saint Tropez. Posted on 7 Oct
Miracles are worked at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
Racing held despite the very light wind forecast Once again PRO Georges Korhel from the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, along with the International Maxi Association's race officer Ariane Mainemare, worked their magic on the penultimate day of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez' maxi week. Posted on 7 Oct
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez Maxi day 3
Club 55 Cup goes to Magic Carpet 3 At the suggestion of Pierre Roinson, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, the magnificent Club 55 Cup duel, traditionally staged on the first Thursday of Les Voiles for the Classic and Modern yachts, was repeated today. Posted on 6 Oct
Maxis at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - Day 2
Capricorno fights back on a day for patience Once again, the race committee of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez showed the patience of Job as they and the 46 maxi yachts competing waited for the wind to defy the forecast and fill in on the Golfe de Saint-Tropez. Posted on 6 Oct
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez Maxi day 2
Lyra excels in Maxi class 3 In many respects, today's racing was very similar to yesterday's for the 800 sailors and 46 Maxis competing in week two of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. The crews managed to stay focused as they waited for the E'ly wind to pick up. Posted on 5 Oct
Maxis at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - Day 1
Surprises on the opening day With a light wind forecast for this entire second week of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, the race committee from the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, aided by the International Maxi Association's race officer, worked miracles to get a first race started Posted on 4 Oct
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez Maxi day 1
Morgana makes her mark amongst the Super Maxis Enrapt yet studious, focused on micro-trimming and calculating the race zone with pinpoint accuracy, the crews on the 800 Maxi Yachts got down to business this Tuesday with their first day of racing at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, in its Maxi version. Posted on 4 Oct
Coast Guard Foundation FOOTER 2Lloyd Stevenson - Artnautica60 728x90px BOTTOMDoyle Sails 2020 - Pure Brilliance 728x90 BOTTOM