30/09/2016, Saint-Tropez (FRA,83), Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2016, Day 5

–  The finest day of Les Voiles so far…

–  15 m JI: Mariska already a champion!

–  Wally: Tango on the podium!


Another notch higher. Every day of this 2016 edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, has seen the elements come together to create a theatre graced by a little more sunshine and a little more breeze, with just a little more salt spray in which the 300 Modern and Classic yachts can push the sport and elegance angle a notch higher. With 12 to 15 knots of SW’ly wind nicely settled into position from noon, this 5th day of Les Voiles came to a head to produce a spectacle to bedazzle even the most blasé of racers. From the 16 Wallys bristling with all sails aloft for a black flag start, to the Maxis and Mini Maxis powered up on a beat towards Cavalaire or classic yachts with everything flying and fully canted over to sprint to the other side of the bay, close-hauled in a great mass of foam, all the competing classes reaped the benefits of the exceptional conditions to really show what they were made of.


Mariska owns the racetrack

Yesterday was a glamour day for Christian Niels and his crew on the 15 m JI Mariska (Fife 1908). Battling it out to take home the 2016 title, Thursday’s Challenge Day saw them stamp their supremacy on the competition by dominating the three races run. “We got off to some good starts,” explains helmsman Sébastien Audigane. “We covered Tuiga during the first race, then The Lady Anne. It involved a lot of action and manœuvres but ultimately it was a sumptuous day, which virtually guaranteed us the 2016 championship. The icing on the cake would be to win the overall ranking at Les Voiles here in Saint Tropez.”

Back racing with the rest of the fleet today, the 15 m JIs were the last group to set sail with the SW’ly wind on the beam towards Saint-Raphael, powered up on a long and highly technical 19-mile triangular course, pushed along by almost 20 knots of breeze! It was the performance of Tuiga that stood out ahead of Hispania, with Mariska nailing 3rd place ahead of The Lady Anne. On the eve of the final day of racing, Mariska is two points ahead of The Lady Anne in the overall ranking, with 5 points on Tuiga.


Wallys champing at the bit

The 16 Wallys competing at Les Voiles were offered two windward-leeward courses today. There impatience to get going after yesterday’s rest day (the Wallys don’t participate in the Challenges) was palpable. Two general recalls later, the Race Committee for the Wallys logically decided to apply the black flag rule, which translates as an immediate elimination for any boats overshooting the start. Open Season, the 2012 Wally 107 pulled off the day’s grand slam with two victories which, on the eve of the final day of racing, sees her propelled into the lead of the overall ranking. Less fortunate, Magic Carpet Cubed is now 3 points shy of the top spot. Meantime, Tango G, the ‘little’ 80-footer, pulled a blinder this Friday, moving up onto the podium with a 3-point lead over the other 80-footer (24 metres) Lyra.


Tofinous, Code 0, Code 1

Within the fleet of Classic yachts and on the same courses as the prestigious period and tradition yachts, there are some truly elegant dayboats racing in Saint Tropez. Measuring 7m, 8m or 9.50m in length, the Tofinou 12 or 9.50 designed by Joubert/Nivelt, and other Code 0 and Code 1s (Neyhousser) are split into two distinct groups at Les Voiles, according to their size. In this way, the Tofinou 12 Milou is leading proceedings in the longer carbon-rigged craft, ahead of Camomille and the Code 1 Black Legend. Edward Fort’s Pippa is in pole position in the Tofinou 9.50s, ahead of Patrice Ribaud and his Pitch and Guy Reynier on Minx.


A yacht of distinction: Enterprise

The very pretty Marconi yawl Enterprise is now sailing in the Mediterranean. Launched in 1939 by Robert Jacob from City Island, New York, the 60-footer (18.28m) Clemencia, was renamed Adios after the war when she moved to America’s western seaboard. Enterprise enjoyed an illustrious sporting career there, winning countless races in the Pacific. Enterprise has a number of features in common with the Olin Stephens designs, penned and built by Sparkman and Stephens, with her very balanced and very straight lines and her flush deck. Built of oak, she also sports a mahogany veneer.

Ten Metre Class

Marga is putting in her first Mediterranean tacks in Saint Tropez. The pretty gaff rig designed by Liljegren (1910) is in reality a 10 Metre. The International 10 Metre Class is a ‘box rule’ enabling different boats to be built, but adhering to a specific measurement rule in contrast to the International Measurement. In their day such boats formed the largest and most important group in international yachting. We still find them today on every race zone in the world. The number ‘10’ is somewhat deceptive as it does not refer to the length of the boat, which actually equates to around 16.50 metres.

In the last century, each maritime nation had its own measurement: the French spoke of the “Tonneaux”, the Americans the “Universal Rule”, the Swiss the “Godinet” measurement, the Germans the “Sonderklasse”, the Scandinavians the “fin-keels” and the British the “Second Linear Rating Rule”…

In this way, eight Metre Classes have been retained (5m JI, 6m JI, 7m JI, 8m JI, 10m JI, 12m JI, 15m JI, 19m JI) to which we must add the 23m JI inspired by the America’s Cup. Just six boats satisfying this latter rule were built between 1907 and 1929 (Brynhild II, White Heather II, Shamrock III, Astra, Cambria, Candida). The 10 m R Class was the designated craft for the Olympic Games from 1912 to 1920.


Jim Kilroy still with us in spirit

The American John B. “Jim” Kilroy died yesterday, 29 September at 94 years of age. A great friend of the Nioulargue, his was a familiar face aboard his Kialoa Maxis. He will go down in the history of yachting as one of the great promoters of the Maxi Yachts. He went on to own 5 yachts by the name of Kialoa, with which he won a number of major classic races, notably in the Pacific, with a resounding victory in the Sydney-Hobart in 1975. Kialoa means “swift, fast canoe”. Patrice de Colmont fondly recalls a gentleman who, after an epic trip to the Bahamas, he managed to persuade to come to the Nioulargue in 1985: “Jim was a grand gentleman, who saluted the Committee at the end of each race. With regards the Nioulargue, people said to me: Patrice, so long as Jim Kilroy’s not at your race, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans!” I spent a fortune but I tailed Jim as far as Nassau to speak to him about Saint Tropez. He thought it was in Italy! He confirmed that he would come along on one condition: that I made out a cheque for the young racers in my region. He came along with not one, but two Kialoas. However, from the first race, a zone of calm settled over the race zone and not one yacht could race. So we launched “a white wine warning”, which saw some lovely young ladies going from boat to boat distributing champagne. Back in port, Jim said to me: “I’ll be the one signing the cheque…”

Today’s partner: WALLY

Meeting the future head on

16 Wallys are sailing at Les Voiles on a specially dedicated round off the beach at Pampelonne. Two new craft are catching spectators’ eyes this year; the massive 55m Better Place and the new Wally Cento Galateia.

Created from the imagination and desire of an experienced yachtsman, Italian Luca Bassani, the Wally perfectly fulfil the criteria that guided the pencils of the greats from naval architecture including Fife and Herrreshoff; namely performance, elegance, design, simplicity and comfort. In imagining the Wallys, Luca Bassani was keen to be able to manoeuvre his large yacht shorthanded or even singlehanded, using cutting edge technologies to make the yacht simpler, easier and more fun. And so the Wallys came into existence, combining the iconic style of this brand with waterlines penned by the world’s best naval architects. In this way, over 40 yachts, measuring 20 to 50 metres, have been created using this philosophy. Today, the Wally Class division is the largest super yacht racing fleet in the world. Wally has also taken giant leaps into the world of high performance motor boats with its launch of the « Wallypower » range and the spacious “Wallyace” range. Over the years, Wally has become a loyal partner to Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez by providing a spirit of continuity in a milieu that is constantly challenging technological innovation alongside truly legendary yachts.

Partners to Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez











Saturday 24 September – Sunday 25: Registration and inspection

Monday 26, Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28, Thursday 29 (J. Laurain Day, Challenge Day), Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October: Coastal course, 1st start 11:00am



Sunday 25 and Monday 26 September: Registration and inspection

Sunday 25 September: finish of the Yacht Club de France’s Coupe d’Automne from Cannes

Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28, Thursday 29 (J. Laurain Day, Challenge Day, Club 55 Cup, GYC Centenary Trophy), Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October: Coastal course, 1st start 12:00 noon


Prize-giving for everyone

Sunday 2 October, from 11:00am


Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, President: André Beaufils Principal Race Officer: Georges Korhel On the water organisation: Philippe Martinez On shore administration and logistics: Emmanuelle Filhastre Registration: Frédérique Fantino Communication: Chloé de Brouwer Website: Facebook: Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez official Twitter: @VoilesSTOrg

Press Relations:

Maguelonne Turcat


Gilles Martin-Raget,

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