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Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez Act 2 underway: A festival beyond compare

by Maguelonne Turcat 2 Oct 11:52 PDT 24 September - 8 October 2022

For this second Sunday of Les Voiles, the port of Saint Tropez was the theatre for a very special extravaganza of sail.

After the enchanting display put on in this first week by dozens of Classic yachts, including the massive schooners Elena and Shenandoah, and a fleet of Modern boats measuring up to 18m28, their crews cast off from the quays of Suffren and Jean Jaurès to leave the space free for the Maxis and others Wallys. With the unfailing support of the Town of Saint Tropez, all the Société Nautique teams are now busily preparing for a seamless transition as some 50 Maxi Yachts are invited to take their turn in this sumptuous nautical arena in the gulf of Saint Tropez. The steady stream of new arrivals made up of top of the range speed demons will continue to flesh out tomorrow, Monday, and hostilities will commence out on the water on Tuesday at 11:00 hours.

A review of the first week at Les Voiles by Pierre Roinson, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez:

"It's a real pleasure to hear the owners and our partners saying how enchanted they've been by their time at Les Voiles. Throughout the week, we've witnessed the very special Nioulargue spirit at its best, coloured by festivity and competition. On top of that, we added a series of commitments to the environment, with the notable presentation of a wonderful initiative called Les Voiles Bleues (see event programme). For the 160th anniversary of "La Nautique", we've pulled out all the stops with what was a complicated weather forecast at times, and there will doubtless be some unforgettable moments for all the participants.

The Classic and Modern yachts are now leaving the way clear for the large Maxis, which heralds the start of a brand-new week at Les Voiles, dedicated to the big boats. I'm eager for the event to be as fair play and festive as the first part. We'll enjoy another 'lay day' this Thursday, with a special Club 55 Cup in Maxi mode, with two Wallys, Cento Tango and Magic Carpet3 vying for supremacy in this tribute to the origins of the Nioulargue."

Trophy prize-winners at Les Voiles:

Rolex Trophy - Seven magnificent classic schooners were racing within their own group for this prestigious Trophy. Shenandoah of Sark, the majestic three-masted schooner (Ferris 1902), helmed by Russell Potter, triumphed in the final race in a steady breeze, notably outpacing Elena of London. Shenandoah finished ahead of Orianda, the beautiful Danish schooner (Dahlstrom 1937) and the very speedy Naema (Mylne 2006)

Club 55 Cup - Always eagerly awaited, this year's iconic challenge at Les Voiles saw the 15mR Tuiga pitted against the 12mR France. It was the latter boat that won the race beyond dispute in the hands of François Pailloux

The Town of Saint-Tropez Cup - This Trophy rewards the first Modern yacht of all the categories combined. This year the prize went to Peter Dubens' Cape 31 North Star 2, a veritable mover and shaker in IRC E.

Grand Tradition Group - Besserat de Bellefon Trophy - A sturdy bunch of 15mRs, ketches and large cutters, all with an LOA of 23 to 40 m, they simply dazzled out on the race zone. Sumurun (Fife 1914), the legendary ketch helmed by Hugues Boullenger, has amassed an amazing haul of prizes over the centuries and took an authoritative win again at Les Voiles ahead of Halloween (Fife 1926) and Mariella (Mylne 1938).

Epoque Aurique A - Mercantour Events Trophy - The insatiable Scud, Patrizio Bertelli's fabulous gaff cutter (Herreshoff 1903) pretty much reigned supreme, despite the amazing bullet scored by Marga (Liljegren 1910) in Friday's light airs. Spartan completes the podium. The New York 50 designed by Herreshoff in 1913, which is easily the fastest of the group, was unable to overcome her measurement handicap.

Epoque Aurique B - Byblos Trophy - Enjoying epic proportions, the largest, Veronique (Luke 1907), boasting a whopping LOA of 25 m, their unrivalled elegance is equally amazing. The gaff riggers in this group comprised no fewer than 12 yachts, ranging from cutters to yawls, to ketches, all of them centenarians! Lulu (Rabot 1897) proved to be very impressive in the strong breeze in the hands of Bernard Manuel, outmanoeuvring the title holder Juan Carlos Eguiagaray's Oriole (Herreshoff 1905). Tied on points, Kismet (Fife 1898) secured third.

Epoque Marconi A - Marshall Trophy - 12 Marconi rigged boats with triangular mainsails were competing in this very eclectic group, which contained a harmonious mix of cutters, ketches and yawls, all of them around 20 m in length. Skylark of 1937 (Olin Stephens) was simply untouchable, winning every one of the races. Another Stephens yawl, Comet (1946), regularly at the front of the pack, bagged second place, just one point ahead of the fearsome Blitzen (Sparkman&Stephens 1938).

Epoque Marconi B - SNSM Trophy - This sporty group measuring 10 to 15 m gathers together a dozen or so racing thoroughbreds. A perfect example of the spirit of this category, winner Bona, is a slender and elegant 8mR steed launched in 1934 and designed by Baglietto. She faced very stiff opposition from William Borel's 6mR One Wave (Camatte 1948) and the Swiss Fife-designed 8mR, Carron II.

Classic Marconi A - Torpez Trophy - Involving some wonderful battles between the 12mRs and Bermudan sloops, this group oozes sixties yachting at its finest. Eugenia V, launched in 1968 (Rhodes), absolutely crushed the competition with her two race victories. Hugues Destremau and Ikra, Les Voiles' treasures, scored another podium finish, shared with Lionel Péan's Hermitage (Levi 1965).

Classic Marconi B - Turquoise Trophy - Classic sailing from the sixties and seventies enjoyed a new lease of life in this Marconi B group. Victorious this year was an Italian Cesare Sangermani sloop from 1968, posting a consistent second throughout the week, which ultimately took the win in the overall ranking ahead of the 1971 Sparkman&Stephens Sagittarius, and Ojala II, a 1973 One Tonner.

Guest group - Pierre Basset Trophy - Gathering together sailboats with such unique features and dimensions that they were unable to race in any other group, this motley bunch of One Tonners, Gunter rigs, gaff cutters and Bermudan IODs really went to town. A familiar at Les Voiles, the small Fife Jap (1897) ultimately took the win, with the smallest sailboat (8.20 m) of the whole fleet, Dainty (Westmacott 1922), securing second, ahead of Maria Giovanna II (Stephens 1969).

And the Modern yachts...

122 wonderful Modern yachts raced under IRC, groups B, C, D, E and F, validating 4 races in all on coastal courses offshore of Cavalaire.

IRC B - North Sails Trophy - Eagerly awaited at Les Voiles, Laurent Corbin's First 53 Yaziga triumphed over the Swan 53 Bedouin and the Solaris 50 Nergyau after some great races in a wide range of wind and sea conditions.

IRC C - BMW Trophy - An intensely sporty group, this Trophy saw Nanoq, the Prince of Denmark's TP52, bag another win despite very fierce opposition from the other TP52s, Beau Geste, belonging to the President of the Hong Kong Yacht Club Karl Kwok, and Peter Harrison's Jolt 3.

IRC D - Suzuki Trophy - The largest group of Modern racer-cruisers here with 30 entries, all of them measure 9 to 12 m and are incredibly competitive. Three Mills design Cape 31s dominated the podium places, with Peter Dubens taking victory with North Star II, followed by Marc Pajot's Dopamine and Tilly Harrison's Jolt 4.

IRC E - Marines de Cogolin Trophy - Of the 26 entries, it was King of Blue by Telemaque II, which secured gold with three race wins, just losing out on the full set of bullets to the Farr 30 Topas on Friday. The J 99 Space Jockey completes the trio.

IRC F - Bernard Optique Trophy - Known for their elegance and great competitive spirit, the Tofinous, Code 0s and Wally Nanos were in their element this week, though it was the Tofinou 9.5s that were all over the podium. Pippa, consistently at the top of the leader board, won out, tailed by Outsider, closely followed by Team 42...

SNST Trophy - Rewarding an all-female crew, the prize went to Caroline Petit's Dufour 36 Moogli.

Yacht Club de France Trophy - Sumurun (Fife 1914)

Les Voiles 2022, week one in figures:

  • 122 Modern yachts and 82 Classics for this first week.
  • Crew: over 2,000 women and men aboard, representing over twenty nationalities
  • Press: 150 journalists in TV, radio, printed press and web, around a third of them from overseas

Event website:

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