Immediate boarding!

26/09/2021, Saint-Tropez (FRA,83, Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2021, entraînemnts et arrivée de la course Cannnes-Saint-Tropez, Coupe du Yacht Club de France

–          Let festivities commence!
–          The Classics join the fray from Cannes
–          Start of racing tomorrow for the Modern boats
–          Patrice de Colmont, creator of the Nioulargue; “We were pranksters!”

The famous little port of Saint Tropez is filling up in typical late-September fashion with gleaming Classic and Modern yachts and the commitment, passion and enthusiasm of the sailors will be much in evidence both on land and out on the race zone. Inaugurated this evening, Les Voiles’ race village is already buzzing again with the animated conversations of the thousands of sailors who have flocked to Saint Tropez from all over the sailing planet to enjoy yachting at its best, as it has been celebrated since 1981 with the creation of the Nioulargue in the Var region of southern France. With the Classic yachts making their journey to the Bay of Saint Tropez from Cannes today, Monday will see them completing their registration, whilst the Modern IRC yachts from 9 to over 18 metres will be the first to get down to action in what promises to be a particularly slick line-up this year. Make way for sport!

Modern boats hit the racetrack tomorrow.
Over 130 racer-cruisers, many of them supercharged with fully carbon sails and rigs, will do battle tomorrow and for the first time they will start out from Le Portalet and race around the bay. Race Management will have to release the 5 well-matched groups at regular intervals. In this way, the top naval architects and the most renowned yards will be represented in a very balanced way in Saint Tropez, while a great many crews will be keen to round off their season in style. Naturally, the favourites are really champing at the bit, lured by the North Sails Trophy, which will crown the winner in IRC B, the Nacira 47 Pretexte and Alain Monnier’s X50 Ecbatane helmed by Jean-Paul Mouren being particularly hot contenders. Also worth keeping an eye out for are the wealth of newcomers, such as the Ceccarelli design Black Samurai, the rise in power of the Solaris 55 Futura, as well as some big names like The Kid, the JP54 skippered by Jean-Pierre Dick or Sunset, the First 47.7 sailed by Marc Lepesqueux. In IRC C, a category poised to win the BMW Trophy, the armada boasts no fewer than 31 entries, making for some very fierce jockeying for position on the start lines. Obviously, the main boats to watch here are Couleur Soleil (Grand Soleil 43) and Robert Coriat’s crew, who snatched the prize last year right from under the noses of Gian Marco Magrini’s crew on the A40 Vito 2. He’ll once again be up against Frédéric Puzin’s Fer 46 Daguet3, which last year won Class B. Meantime, in IRC D, the most abundant class with 35 entries, things may be a little more open since solely Buran (J 122 E), third last year, is back to defend her podium place. IRC E is also well attended with some 20 entries and these speedy cruiser-racers measuring 9 to 11 metres length will have to establish a whole new hierarchy in the absence of the reigning champions from 2020. Finally, in IRC F, 22 boats are in the starting blocks and gearing up to squash the domination of the Swiss Wally Nano Nostromino, which previously took the win ahead of two Tofinou 9.50s: Pitch and Team 42. Equally eagerly awaited is the discovery of the brand new Tofinou 9.70 designed by Michele Molino.

The Yacht Club de France’s Autumn Cup

No fewer than 37 Classic yachts waited patiently for the forecast E’ly wind to kick in offshore of Cannes this morning so they could set sail on their sprint to Saint Tropez within the context of the Yacht Club de France’s Autumn Cup. Sadly, some very nasty storms in the Var region prompted the Race Committee to wisely cancel the race. As such, the classic yachts made for the Bay of Saint Tropez in slow procession with no sporting objective, mooring in the old port throughout the afternoon to the great delight of visitors to the town.

Pierre Roinson, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez:
“You can sense the enjoyment and eagerness of the racers, owners and sailors at returning to Les Voiles, which is synonymous with sport at sea and festivities on land. Following on from the 2020 edition, which was able to be successfully hosted despite the difficult context, we’re really going to be able to get a feel for our new two-week formula this year. The SNST teams are ready to go, both on land and on the water. Sport will reign supreme for two weeks, with the typical conviviality of Saint Tropez on land where our village is open to the public and gathers together all our partners. The keyword remains pleasure; the pleasure of getting together again, the pleasure of sailing and the pleasure of sharing on land some of the great stories written in Saint Tropez…”

Patrice de Colmont, creator of the Nioulargue in 1981
“When you arrive at Les Voiles, you’re immediately wrapped up in the enjoyment of seeing the sailors and of reconnecting with the atmosphere. It’s already been 40 years, but the sight of the boats always works the same magic. I wasn’t under the impression that I’d initiated a monument. We were DIYers, we were pranksters and practical joke enthusiasts. October 1st meant the end of the summer season and for us it was an opportunity to ‘regain power’ in Saint Tropez. We were, in the words of the then Mayor Jean Michel Couve, the mutineers of Place Forbin, a small square in the hills of Saint Tropez. It was good natured with no malice involved. They were belated student pranks. However, that’s how the spirit of Les Voiles was born, and Dick Jayson and Jean Laurain provided the personalisation in their own unique way. They only got serious on the start lines!”

Georges Kohrel, Principal Race Officer at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez:
« The two-week Formula has been retained. Indeed, it enables us to see a return of the big Modern boats, which had deserted Les Voiles in recent years. They believed that our races were ill-suited to their size. Now though, they will have the race zone entirely devoted to them for the whole of the second week with some special à la carte courses. The Classic boat fleet are delighted. The ‘big ones’ will sail with the whole fleet for the first week. Everyone is happy. Everyone is setting sail from Le Portalet; the Modern boats at around 11:00 hours, then all the Classic yachts from noon. IRC B, C, D, E and F will race to just offshore of Pampelonne. A new feature this year involves a stand-by area for the Classic yachts at the far end of the bay, as they await the IRC starts. We’ve put all the necessary means out on the water to prevent the classes getting mixed up and to guarantee safety.”

Sébastien David, Director of the Yacht Club de France
« There were 37 classic yachts on the start zone for the Yacht Club de France’s Autumn Cup this morning. The organisers of Cannes waited for the breeze to fill in for two hours, but it wasn’t forthcoming, aside from a massive storm which prompted the event to be cancelled there and then. In 32 editions, it’s the very first time we’ve had to cancel, which is regrettable as the finish in Saint Tropez is always a magical moment. My mission at the YCF is to promote boating in the broad sense of the term, as defined in 1867 by Napoleon III, namely to govern all sailing not associated with the war or fishing. It’s a vast programme. We’re involved in numerous events with the aim of perpetuating races, including those in the domain of offshore racing. As such, we have one member competing in the Mini Transat, Marine Legendre, and one Class40 helmed by Olivier Delrieu, who will fly our flag in the next Transat Jacques Vabre. »

Programme 2021

Week 1: Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, Modern and Classic
Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September: registration for all classic yachts and modern yachts up to 18.28m
Monday 27 September: regattas for modern yachts
Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29 September, Friday 1, Saturday 2 October: regattas for modern and classic yachts
Thursday 30 September: Challenge Day-10th anniversary of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Cup
Saturday 2 October: Prize Giving (Week 1)

Week 2: Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, Maxi Yachts
Sunday 3 and Monday 4 October: registration for all modern yachts above 18.29m
Wally, IRCA, Maxi yachts
Tuesday 5, Wednesday 6, Thursday 7, Friday 8, Saturday 9: regattas
Saturday 9 October: Prize Giving (Week 2)

Health measures set out by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez
(excluding competitor directive):
Personnel and volunteers
– Health Pass
Village des Voiles Race Village
– Health Pass
– Mask wearing (according to the Prefectural directive in place at the time of the event)
– Access to the official North Sails shop shall be via the exterior only
All entertainment is scheduled to go ahead as usual in line with the health regulations.

– Access to the press office reserved for accredited journalists upon presentation of a Health Pass
– Mask wearing (according to the Prefectural directive in place at the time of the event)
– Media boat boarding: Health Pass

Partners to Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez

Corporate partners

Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez