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Happiness permeates Les Voiles!

Swept up in a wave of passion, the most beautiful classic and modern boats in the world have already set a date for the unmissable season finale. At the invitation of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, the magic of the gulf bathed in autumn light continues to inspire the sailing planet and its finest subjects.

Among the race highlights in this latest edition will be an increasingly competitive class of 52-footers, an incredible line-up of schooners with two or three masts, breathtaking Maxis and, making their event début, multihulls.

Old and modern craft kick off play

The classic boats score remarkably highly in the popularity stakes among both enthusiasts and the general public. These craft, which combine elegance and performance, require specific skills to maintain and sail them, but thanks to the goodwill of their owners, they have survived the test of time. Specially trained captains and crews bring them to life every time they head out on the water. “If I were to single out differences in running a classic sail yacht, I would say that you need to be more patient.” says Russell Potter, captain of the fabulous 54-metre three-master Shenandoah, which is making her big comeback to Les Voiles this year after an absence of more than 20 years. “Everything on a classic takes longer; maintenance, sail handling, manoeuvring, crew training etc. You have to be gently with them, I suppose treat them with the respect and courtesy that you would do to your elders.” In the modern contingent for the first week, the top international crews will battle it out for victory in their class. In IRC C, the fleet is vying for the famous BMW Trophy, which was won in 2021 by Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark’s TP 52, Nanoq, which will be back to defend its title. At the request of the Organising Committee, the results from Les Voiles will not be included in the annual rankings in a bid to maintain the unique ‘fair play’ spirit and character of the event, which is invitation only.

The Maxis flat out in the breeze

« To put it simply, there’s a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez » comments the multiple American champion, Ken Read, President of North Sails. « From wooden classics to flat-out racing machines (and everything in between) there’s really no assembly like this in the world. Les Voiles is two weeks of stellar sailing with a nightlife to match. » Following on from the many wonders of the first week, some of which are centenarians, and modern yachts of up to 18m28, the port of Saint Tropez will change tack on 2 and 3 October when the giants take centre stage. The leading players in the speciality will be in attendance, alongside the eagerly awaited Wallys. Indeed, these prestigious top of the range craft with their futuristic lines will be putting in their only appearance on French waters in Saint Tropez. The boat to beat this year will naturally be the Wallycento Magic Carpet3, winner in elapsed time in this year’s light airs Rolex Giraglia, to the great delight of her owner and helm, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, and his crew, who secured a somewhat unexpected line honours. “I was confident because Magic Carpet is a very good light airs boat. She picks up the pressure at the top of her very tall mast and has a very deep keel, so this boat goes surprisingly well, despite having air conditioning and a genuine interior fit-out.” There are some firm favourites expected among the other Maxis too, like the formidable Leopard 3 and Rambler. Everyone will remember the Maxi Yachts’ exciting day of ‘champagne sailing’ in last year’s breezy conditions, and there are high hopes that we’ll have a repeat performance this year in similar conditions, which would also enable the newcomers of the class, the Performance Cruising Multihulls, to show off their potential for speed and their supreme seaworthy qualities.

Focus: The SNST lead the way in the preservation of ecosystems

Organiser of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez since 1999, together with more than 15 other events each season, the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez – which this year celebrates 160 years since the club was founded – is continuing to evolve with an increasingly strong environmental commitment. “Those involved in boating are at the sharp end in terms of understanding the importance of a deep respect for the marine environment, whose fragility they know about and experience on a daily basis,” explains the President, Pierre Roinson. “Sailing is a vector for powerful environmental messages and as an organiser, we’re keen to adopt a proactive approach, which is shared and supported by the engagement of our partners.”
Parmi les actions mises en place par la SNST
– self-propelled, GPS-guided course marks leaving no trace on the seabed
– Race Committee: zero paper
– eco-friendly village
– halting of the fireworks display
– incentive to install anti-siphon tank valves and black water tanks
– ‘Depollution champion of the year’ competition

Programme 2022

Week 1: Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez: Modern and Classic

  • Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September: registration for all the classic with no size limit and modern yachts measuring up to 18.28 metres
  • Monday 26 September: racing for the modern yachts
  • Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28, Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October: racing for the modern and classic yachts
  • Thursday 29 September: Challenge Day
  • Saturday 1 October: Prize-giving (week 1)

Week 2: Les Voiles Maxi Yachts and Multihulls

  • Sunday 3 and Monday 4 October: registration for the large modern yachts (Wally, Mini Maxi, Maxi, Super Maxi) and Performance Cruising Multihulls (in excess of 60-feet)
  • Tuesday 4, Wednesday 5, Thursday 6, Friday 7, Saturday 8: racing
  • Saturday 8 October: Prize-giving (week 2)

Partners to Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez



Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez
President : Pierre Roinson
Principal Race Officer : Georges Korhel
Race Secretary : Frédérique Fantino
Technical Manager : Philippe Martinez
Communication and Management Attaché : Chloé de Brouwer
les Voiles de Saint-Tropez Officiel

Photo Credit
SNST/Gilles Martin-Raget

Press Relations
Maguelonne Turcat