The Classics sprinkle magic over the bay

28/09/2021, Saint-Tropez (FRA,83, Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2021, jour 3

– The Classics enter the arena! 
– Day two and race two for the Modern boats
– Alcyon 1871, 150 years of success.

82 Classic yachts, 22 of which are centenarians, kicked off their racing today in picture postcard conditions, the race zone glistening in the sunshine. Split into 10 groups for the rankings, according to their size and rig types, they had the luxury of four separate starts, the smallest sailboats setting sail before their larger counterparts, the ‘big boats’ being the last to be released. A truly iconic and much coveted award, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary within the context of Les Voiles, the Rolex Trophy will reward the best yacht in the group of Period Gaffer As, which gathers together seven sublime craft. The fleet was offered a gentle introduction to play today thanks to the summery conditions and a course spanning 10 miles around the edge of the bay, where the crews were able to go through just about every point of sail and direction, providing the perfect backdrop for each of the boats to show off their true potential. Scud (Herreshoff 1903), Recluta (Frers – Camper & Nicholson replica), making her debut at Les Voiles, and also Sky, the gaff yawl built in 1890, really stood out in their respective groups.

Modern boats, 5 starts in 35 minutes!
The high pressure system which is continuing to sprawl lazily across the Gulf of Genoa, absorbing every puff of air level with the shores of France’s Var region, was not even remotely disconcerting for the Race Committee in charge of the Modern yachts, who launched no fewer than 5 starts with unparalleled regularity, IRC B, C, D, E and F all out on the racetrack in under 35 minutes. With the course stretching out to around ten miles, the crews demonstrated great intelligence in their tactical play and anticipation to extricate themselves from the obstacles dotted around the bay. Solano and Music (Baltic 50) continued their duel from yesterday to dominate the IRC B ranking (North Sails Trophy), whilst NanoqAlbatorDaguet 3 and Rafale were absolutely neck and neck in IRC C competing for the BMW Trophy. Another race in the bag then for these 5 Modern groups, in light airs, with a much breezier day forecast tomorrow.

Remarkable boats
Alcyon 1871, 150 years of history
Alcyon 1871, nicknamed ‘the yacht which exaggerates’ due to her incredible span of spars, is the oldest complete reconstruction of a racing yacht ever completed in France, A faithful replica of the legendary gunter rig, with a mainsail bordering on a Burmudan-rigged main, her glory days enlivened the end of the 19th century amidst the pioneers of competitive racing in the Mediterranean and it is on these same waters that she continues to race today. 150 years on from her first race, Alcyon, is fittingly celebrating her jubilee in Saint Tropez this Tuesday evening.

Quotes from the boats:
Torben Grael, Scud (Herreshoff 1903)
“I’m sailing on Scud, a beautiful restoration, which is very competitive! The crew hails from the America’s Cup and all the sailors are high performers! Scud was a one-design at the start of the last century. She was the last of 13 boats built in all. She’s heavy with a long keel and she’s hard to helm, but you have to just accept that on this type of boat. She’s still very competitive though. She doesn’t like light airs as the mast is short and the boom is long and you need some air up top. In over 12 knots the boat is quick, especially downwind. Saint Tropez is a fantastic spot with a wonderful atmosphere. The general public are keen to see the boats and the races are great and within sight of the village. The conditions always catch you out with lots of rotation in the breeze. We have all types of conditions here, which is perfect because it means that all types of boats and sailors get the chance to show what they’re made of.”

Jean Luc Dénéchau, President of the FFV (French Sailing Federation)
“We support all forms of sails and Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is a bit of a legend in our sport. We support enthusiasts by supporting traditions, whilst channelling innovation and modernity. The race zone in Saint Tropez illustrates this perfectly, since it recently hosted the Sail GP with my Vice-President Billy Besson. Sailing has been enjoying a highly dynamic phase with significant progress in offshore racing and a great deal of development throughout the classes. We recognise this improvement in our clubs with a great many people who have been getting into sailing as we come out of Covid. We’ve had the best season in 6 years. On a personal level, I love the aesthetic of sailing and the Classic yachts are wonderful boats to watch sailing.”

Today’s partner:
The Rolex Trophy.
At the very heart of the sailing universe for more than sixty years, Rolex is a leading partner to the world’s most prestigious races, yacht clubs and sailors. The major classics of international yachting supported by Rolex include the Sail GP, the Middle Sea Race, the TP 52 Worlds, the Sydney Hobart, the Swan Cup, the Giraglia and the Fastnet Race, and its partnerships with the most renowned yacht clubs range from the New York Yacht Club to the Yacht Club de Monaco, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, the Yacht Club Smeralda, the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Saint Francis Yacht Club… Rolex and the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez have enjoyed a special bond for over 20 years, culminating with the Rolex Trophy within Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez.
The values championed by the Swiss watch brand, namely precision, excellence and team spirit, are a reflection of the attitude of the sailors and skippers aboard these cathedrals of sail. This year, the class of Period Gaffer As has been selected to do battle for the celebrated Rolex Trophy in order to shine a spotlight on this classic craft measuring 15 to 22 metres long and all aged over a hundred, some of which have been designed by the most widely renowned naval architects of the 20th century.

Past Rolex Trophy winners
2006 So Fong, 2007 Agneta, 2008 and 2009 Rowdy, 2010 and 2013 Ikra, 2011 and 2012 Avel, 2014 Partridge, 2015 Maria Giovanna II, 2016 Moonbeam IV, 2017 Mariska, 2018 Viola, 2019 Cippino II and 2020 Eva.

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