Final straight before the 20th!

07/10/2017, Saint-Tropez (FRA,83), Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2017, jour 7, Credit photo obligatoire : Gilles Martin-Raget / Voiles de Saint-Tropez

The pressure is on for the 20th edition of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez. Whilst the competitors prepare their weapons, the Société Nautique readies itself for action. The president and his team, a few hundred loyal volunteers both ashore and on-water are ready to man their posts. With just over a month to go before the curtain rises on one of the most looked-forward to shows on water, with 300 of the most beautiful classic and modern yachts gathered in the port and in the gulf of Saint-Tropez.

The moderns: the hard-core! Heading the elite of racing monohulls, alongside the Wally Yachts competing for the BMW Trophy, are the Super-Maxis. Italian flagged My Song, 2016 Baltic 130, off the Reichel Pugh drawing board leads, in length, the IRC A Class at 43m; ahead of 35m Malcolm McKeon designed sloop, Ribelle, constructed in 2017 at Green Marine/Vitters. From the same yard in 2013 and not far off in length at 33m, is Inoui, a magnificent design from Philippe Briand. Also not to be missed are newcomers to the class – Twin Soul B and Lady First 3, both designed by Italian naval architect Alberto Simeone and from the shipyard of the moment: Mylius Yachts. Amongst the Maxi 72s, racing will also be tough between British owned Jethou, drawn by Judel-Vrolijk and the Italian Cannonball, designed in the Botin Partners Naval Architectural office, sailing with top crewmen, ex-America’s Cup US helmsman Ed Baird and Frenchman, Sébastien Col. If Danish shipyard X Yachts appears well represented this year in terms of participants, the same may be said of Nautor Swan with over a dozen participants between 42 and 100 feet in length, with particular attention on four Swan 50s who will race for the Edmond de Rothschild Trophy in the IRC C Class.

The Classics: the majesty Unforgettable is the splendid sail plan and hull of the likes of Cambria (1928, 40m); little more elegant than the Moonbeams III and IV (1903, 30m and 1914, 35m); delicate Eva (1906, 13m); the speed and grace of the four 8M J1 racing under the International Rule, Fulmar (1930, 14.65m), Caron II (1935, 15.02m), Silhouette (1910, 15.4m) and Falcon (1930, 14.85m), not forgetting the prestigious 15 meters! More than a century after their conception, these boats designed by Fife along the shores of the river Clyde, have lost nothing of their fascinating appeal. Owning a Fife design is a privilege of which these yacht owners are eminently aware.   The history of the gaff-cutter Nan-of-Fife (1986, 22.99m) tells something of this. Having stumbled upon the boat by chance over the internet, in a pitiable state, the boat that Philippe Menhinick’s grandmother had bought from the sale of her engagement ring, came once again into the family. An antiques dealer in Saint-Malo, Menhinick had to stop his business and sell his house in order to acquire the damaged sailboat, going so far as to build his own shipyard to affect the restoration. This is one of many rich heritages that will make up the starting line for the 2018 Rolex Trophy, the ultimate prize for the Fife Jubilee that will bring together twenty-one of these extraordinary vessels of mythical pedigree. The year will also be marked by the return of J Class yachts Topez and Valsheda who will match their respective black and blue hulls against each other off the coast of Pampelonne.

In brief: The 20th launches the youth! With the inauguration of the new dingy centre, the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez has taken the initiative to give children and youth sailors the opportunity to have a presence in the 20th edition of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez. Preparing for the relay in future years, the SNST and its president, Tony Oller, are organising a friendly Optimist regatta “Les Petites Voiles” open to children from the l’Ecole de Voile and participants.
PROGRAMME MODERN YACHTS Saturday 29th, Sunday 30th September: Registration and Inspection Monday 1st, Tuesday 2nd, Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th (J.Laurain Memorial Day, Challenge Day), Friday 5th, Saturday 6th October: inshore races, 1st start 11h00 CLASSIC YACHTS Sunday 30th September and Monday 1st October: Registration and Inspection Sunday 30th September: arrival of the Yacht Club de France Autumn Cup feeder race from Cannes Tuesday 2nd, Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th (J.Laurain Memorial Day, Challenge Day, Club 55 Cup, GYC Centenary Trophy), Friday 5th, Saturday 6th : inshore races, 1st start 12h00 Prize-giving for everyone Sunday, 7th October, from 11h00.

Sponsors to the Voiles de Saint-Tropez ROLEX BMW GROUPE EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD WALLY KAPPA HOTEL BYBLOS MERCANTOUR EVENTS LES MARINES DE COGOLIN L’ESPRIT VILLAGE DE SAINT-TROPEZ POMMERY SUZUKI MARINE LORO PIANA BRIG AIR FRANCE CHEVALIER TORPEZ (LES VIGNOBLES DE SAINT TROPEZ) SUN 7 GRAPHIC Organisation: Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez

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