Heirs to the Nioulargue, the Voiles de Saint-Tropez express an exceptional alchemy, a combination of the pleasure of sailing and an innate sense of celebration. Patrice de Colmont, director of Club 55 and founder of the event, and André Beaufils, Past-President of the SNST, testify.
It is said that the origin of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez lies in a meeting that took place over thirty years ago. How did it all start?
Patrice de Colmont. By a happy coincidence! At the end of September 1981, an American couple with a competition Swan stayed in Saint-Tropez after having competed in the Swan Cup in Porto Cervo. They took part in a few regattas at the SNST, got to know some people and, one day, while the owner was talking about his successes in regattas, the 12 Meter Ikra entered the port. Someone said, “What about Ikra, do you think you could beat her? Immediate answer: “Why not, if Ikra accepts the challenge. I immediately ran to Jean Laurain, skipper of Ikra, who agreed to go out for a regatta the next day. That’s how it all started, with a crazy challenge between a Swan 44 and a 12 Meter JI!
It was already the alliance of the ancient and the modern. What was the outcome of the fight?
Patrice de Colmont. On the morning of the departure, with a friend, we want to buy a marine map to define the route. But we find it too expensive and we fall back on a road map where we pencil in the blue zone marked “golfe de Saint-Tropez”! The start is given in front of the Portalet tower, we turn the buoy of the Nioulargue shoal and the finish is judged in front of my house, at the Club 55, where a big table is waiting for everyone. Ikra comes first, well ahead of Pride, the Swan 44, but all that is secondary. The crews have lunch together and, as a trophy, I present the winner with a silver compotier from the French Navy’s crockery. The atmosphere is in full swing when the correspondent of Var Matin arrives and asks who these people are who seem to be having so much fun. I explain to him that it is a regatta. “Ah! What regatta?” I answer : “But… the Club 55 Cup !” and the crews add to this by declaring : “It was very hard, a high level challenge, we will have our revenge next year”, etc. The next day, the headline in Var Matin: “A new America’s Cup is born!
And that was enough to launch the event?
Patrice de Colmont. No, of course not. We had almost forgotten all about it when, the following September, in 1982, our American friend insisted on taking his revenge and other boats wanted to join the challenge. So a second edition was organised with a few disparate boats including, among others, the one-tonner Fantomas, Queen of Sheeba, a Belgian boat, Helisara and also Bourru III, an old auric cutter and the only classic boat of this second edition. The prize-giving ceremony was once again the occasion for a joyful mix of genres between the mayor awarding the town medal and the Belgians winning their weight in potatoes. I think there was even a pumpkin as a prize! That’s when a friend of ours, Gouédard, arrived, someone who was quite determined and who told us: “If there are no maxis, your thing is not a regatta! We looked at each other, for a moment dumbfounded, and we said to each other without really knowing what it was all about: “If that’s all there is, we’ll invite maxis.”
But it was a very organised class at the time, a very closed club. How did you go about it?
Patrice de Colmont. According to the first information obtained, it was unthinkable to make them come, so the biggest bluffing operation in world yachting began. A telex was sent to the Aga Khan, president of the Costa Smeralda Yacht Club where the second round of the Maxi World Championship was taking place, saying: “The Yacht Club of Saint-Tropez (which did not exist!) would like to present its regatta programme to the Maxi owners, could you organise a meeting? Twenty-four hours later, we had an appointment. Serge Krasnianski, whose firm Kiss was making a name for itself, lent us his jet for a small group to fly to Sardinia. There we told our little story and were courteously turned away by the skippers. Before leaving, after having offered the owners all sorts of trinkets, polo shirts, cases of wine, cigars with the Nioulargue coat of arms, we organised a surprise breakfast for two hundred people on the very pontoon where the maxi yachts were moored in order to treat all the crews. Then we left, leaving the guys intrigued and very impressed.
It still looked like a failure…
Patrice de Colmont. Wait a minute! A few weeks later, we learn that the maxi Mistress Quickly is pointing her bow in the bay to have her electronics repaired in Port-Grimaud. Immediately we head over there and give them a hell of a welcome. To give you an idea of the atmosphere, when one of the crew complains about the noise of the clock in the bell tower which strikes every hour, Gouédard does not make one or two moves, rushes up the bell tower with his bare hands and blocks the hands by twisting them in place. Like that,” he said, “you’ll sleep in peace! The guys thought they had landed in a madhouse! Then they were invited to Saint-Tropez and the game consisted in keeping them there by organising a continuous party, dinners, crazy nights, bowls tournaments, anything. That’s when we created a new tradition: the Australian breakfast, beer and croissants at eight in the morning! Then Midnight Sun came along and we heard that Christian de Galéa, who had just released a new EP, was planning to come and run. As a result, the guys from Midnight are tempted to race as well and things get serious. Two boats, that made us a class, a cup… It was won! We ended up with four Maxis side by side in the harbour and, at the end of the race, François Carn, the class secretary, came to tell us that the Nioulargue would be included in the official Maxi class calendar from the following year.
But what was the idea behind it all?
Patrice de Colmont. To have fun! Only to have fun! We all worked like crazy during the summer season and when October 1st came around, it was a break. We wanted to use Saint-Tropez for our own pleasure and the regattas gave us a pretext to have a real party which was not glitter and artifice but where people could find genuine pleasure. We had no commercial goals and all extravagances were welcome! I compare the first Nioulargue to the annual lumberjack festival in the forests of the Great North. It’s about who can chop down their tree the fastest while the children tug on the rope and the women compete to produce the best blueberry pie! It was the same for us, but around the sea.
André Beaufils. It’s true, the sea was more important than sailing and, from 1984 onwards, categories were invented such as the “sea-explorers”, the “tropéziens-travailers”, the “tropéziens-marconi” to constitute classes where everyone was admitted. The parades, the disguises, the water games at the entrance to the port with the girls in their gêpières – the famous “girelles” -, the bowls competitions, all this was added spontaneously. Everything was good to have fun, people wanted to see something else, to have memories in their heads, to share all the ingredients to have a good time together. That said, the Nioulargue quickly gained an international audience and gave an unprecedented boost to restorations. Classic yachts developed thanks to people like Albert Obrist who started to dig into the archives to rebuild boats to their original condition. It was with successive editions that we saw the return of boats with authentic rigs. It was a complete change of mentality because it was also necessary to find and train crews to handle them.
The fatal accident in 1995 between the schooner Mariette and the 6 MJI Taos Brett marked the end of the Nioulargue and a certain state of mind. How did the Voiles de Saint-Tropez come about?
André Beaufils. After the accident there was a court case and the event was suspended until the judgement was handed down. However, the participants had become accustomed to meeting and for some years there was an end-of-season regatta for modern boats and a spontaneous gathering, without regattas, for the classics. In 1999, when the procedure was completed, the SNST was faced with a dilemma: to abandon everything or to continue. But the town, the sailors, and the local economic players were pushing for a revival. This is how, thanks to Thierry Catino, then president of the SNST, the Voiles de Saint-Tropez was born. Today, we welcome about three hundred boats, with a roughly equal number of modern and classic boats.
But the state of mind has changed, we no longer see young girls throwing buckets of water on the crews…
André Beaufils. It is the times, the rules and the boats themselves that have changed. Today, the race instructions stipulate that water games are forbidden, whereas in the past it was rather the opposite. A lot of crews sleep in hotels, these are evolutions that must be taken into account and we can no longer have the casualness of the first editions. Above all, we mustn’t forget that it was Patrice who did all the work to bring the boats here. Today, organising the Voiles de Saint-Tropez is easy, but we have moved on.
Don’t you miss the crazy atmosphere of the first editions of the Nioulargue?
Patrice de Colmont. There is no need for nostalgia because you never do the same thing twice. One day, Annabelle Buffet, the wife of the painter Bernard Buffet, was asked if she didn’t miss the Saint-Tropez of before and she had this perfect answer: “I don’t find the Saint-Tropez that I loved, but I know that my children love the Saint-Tropez of today. Well, for the regattas, it’s the same thing. The fleet of boats has never been so beautiful, we play to full houses and we know that all the great classics that come out of the shipyard will sail in Saint-Tropez one day or another. What more do you want?
André Beaufils. I remember the wonder of Eric Tabarly who said: “I never imagined that one day I would see in real life all that I had seen in books. Personally, I have to respect what Patrice has done and I take a lot of pleasure in watching over this organisation. Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez preserves a unique character. It is first of all a state of mind that we perpetuate and we do not forget the origin of our history.
Interview by Eric Vibart
There is Patrice de Colmont who tells the story (see “How it all began!”) but there is also the team who welcomes you each year in the Press Room. She has summarised the whole history of the Voiles in a few paragraphs. Read on:
here are evenings when one has ideas… of genius. It all started on September 29th 1981, when a challenge without much sporting interest, except to defend a sailor’s honour, was launched between Pride, Dick Jason’s American Swan 44, and Ikra, the 12M JI skippered by Jean Lorrain. The challenge could not have been simpler: start at the foot of the village of Saint-Tropez at the Tour du Portalet, turn the mark of the Nioulargo (which means “nest of the sea” in Provençal) and arrive in front of the restaurant, the “Club 55”, located on the beach of Pampelonne. If for the anecdote, Ikra won before Pride, for the history, this challenge gave birth, thanks to the spontaneity and the enthusiasm of Patrice de Colmont, to the “Club 55 Cup”.
And from this regatta was born a unique event, a gathering of its own that would allow ordinary racing boats to race with prestigious maxi yachts, ultra-sophisticated prototypes with classic yachts with histories as long as days without wind. The incomparable and inimitable Nioulargue was thus born and, for fifteen years, mixed the greatest sailors with owners of all calibers. Imagine that majestic J-Class yachts will be able to cross bows with the latest generation of racing boats… Imagine that the nautical jousting game, once finished, will continue as an improvised game of boules and anchovy jam on the Place des Lices…
And if the same state of mind and good-natured simplicity is to be found every year, each year will also see its coup d’éclat, its miracle or its appearance. 1984 will see the giant J Class Velsheda cross the gulf whilst Eric Tabarly at the helm of the maxi Coriolan IV battled hard against Herbert von Karajan’s maxi Helisara or against Harold Cudmore, then at the helm of Gitana.
In 1988, it was John Parkwright IV, owner of France II, who challenged other boats when the official regattas were cancelled due to the strong Mistral wind blowing on the peninsula. He just asked that the start be given and that the finish be noted. The Florida Cup (which today has become the Défis Jean Lorrain) was born and witnessed some fantastic duels such as the one between Astra and Candida or in 1992 the J Class Endeavour and Ville de Paris, then a recent challenger for the America’s Cup.
Another highlight, 1990, with the arrival of five three-masted boats: Shenandoah, the magnificent Créole, Raphaelo, Aquarius and Fleurt Je. 1991 saw three exceptional boats pointing their bows: Eric Tabarly’s Pen Duick, which came to taste the waters of the Grande Bleue for the first time, the J Class Endeavour, defender of the America’s Cup in the 1930’s, and Matador, the famous reigning world champion maxi boat, which belonged at the time to one Bill Koch.
1993 will see the arrival of the splendid Tuiga. 1995 will celebrate the return of Kentra and the arrival of Mariette. For the anecdote, it should be known that during the shooting of the mythical film “And God created woman”, Brigitte Bardot had spent a lot of time on board Kentra. Once again, one of those famous and magical “coincidences” of the Nioulargue!
But after so many years of success and recognition, the sixteenth edition was to suffer a tragedy. A collision between Mariette and a 6M JI, Taos Brett IV, put the event in mourning and put it on hold for three years.
It was not until 1999 that the Voiles de Saint-Tropez took up the never-extinguished torch.
And as if by magic, autumn has regained its lights on the sails in Mylar and cotton, the challenges have once again blossomed at the corner of the counters and ball games have resumed in the Place des Lices mixing Tropéziens and sailors from around the world.
1981: Duel between the 12M JI Ikra and Pride, a Swan 44. Patrice de Colmont creates the «Club 55 Cup».
1983: The Kiaola III crew celebrates the historic victory of Australia II on the evening of the America’s Cup final.
1984: Class J Velsheda is present and the maxis impress. Coriolan IV, Helisara, Gitana and Mephisto compete for power, Eric Tabarly and Harold Cudmore are among those at the helm…
1988: Birth of the Florida Cup, a day of challenges beyond the norm that will then mark the various editions of the Nioulargue
1990: Five three-masts are there: Creole, Aquarius, Raphaelo, Shenandoah and Fleurt I. Impressive!
1991: Three exceptional boats are present: Pen Duick of Eric Tabarly, the Class J Endeavour and Matador, the reigning maxi world champion of Bill Koch. Three boats that have marked in indelible ink the pages of the yachting.
1993: The 15M JI Tuiga walks its superb restoration. Magical!
1994: Kentra returns to Saint-Tropez, Mariette appears.
1995: Mariette collides with the 6M JI Taos Brett IV. The black year…
1999: First edition of Voiles de Saint-Tropez.
2009: The 10 years!
2011: 13th edition of Voiles de Saint-Tropez and thirtieth anniversary of the original regatta: the Nioulargue.
2019: The 20 years!
For a beautiful birthday, it was a beautiful birthday! 10 years have already passed since the Voiles de Saint-Tropez picked up the torch of the spirit of the Nioulargue, and the regattas of the week have in every respect been worthy of the event. In extremely varied weather conditions, 300 sailboats, Modern and Classic, have created the most ephemeral, but the most absolute works of art, festival of colors and animated lights, fireworks display of movement and aquatic elegance in the sunny setting of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. The Voiles 10th of the name have this year again evolved in the sublime, adding regattas after regattas the weight of images and the shock of times; crossing of large auric sails in the sun, fluidity of the bows in the blue chop, great flight of spinnakes of all shapes, sizes or colors…
5 validated races for the Wally
The spectacular and futuristic Wally had their own “round” and their own committee in front of Pampelonne. They were able to compete in 5 races this week despite the Mistral, and it is the Wally 94 Open Season that wins with 3 races, ahead of Y3K and Magic Carpet. The giant Esense marks its entry in the “Voiles” with a 7th place.
The big American Maxi “Rambler” triumphed in a group of large IRC A boats that were particularly strong this year in Saint-Tropez, with high-tech boats led by crews that often come from the biggest international regatta teams. The skipper, David Georges, had secured the services of Peter Isler (ex BMW Oracle racing) for the occasion. The talent of the American combined with the power of the Reichel-Pugh design worked wonders, relegating Velsheda to a distant second place. Niklas Zennstrom placed the large British sloop Ran on the third step of the podium. The disqualification for rule 20.4.1 (a) in race 3 cost Ernesto Bertarelli and his successful Judel “Numbers” plan dearly. The Alinghi men, despite two race victories, only finished in 6th place. The great Tp65 Monney Penny and Numbers have undoubtedly given a strong sporting coloration to the Voiles; Paul Cayard, James Spithill and other Brad Butterworth reproducing off Pampelonne the confrontations observed on the most prestigious America’s Cup race courses. It was the very first time that these boats, usually based on the East Coast of the United States, had made the trip to Europe. They were able to cross swords with the record-breaking Atlantic sailing monohull Senso One (Mari Cha IV) or Sojana in Peter Harrison.
Noteworthy in the IRC B class was the great battle between Swans and Protos of 45 or 42 feet. It is the proto signed by Mark Mills Ngoni that finally wins. But 6 yachts were within a few points of each other in this category, which had 42 boats at the start. The Turkish sailboat Mat 12, for its first participation, is ranked 9th, to the great satisfaction of its crew. Promised, they will come back.
Didier le Moal and his J 122 J lance 4 finished with a great victory yesterday in the breeze. Not enough to dethrone the First 40 ;7 Pen Khalet IX to Georges Le Troquer more regular at the top of the rankings.
The Archambault 35s triumphed in Saint-Tropez by placing first in the IRC D Rebuff with David Marco and Tchin Tchin skippered by Jean Claude Bertrand. The J 109 Albacor IV of the Tropezian Jean Louis Pézin took the third place of a very competitive group.
The First 34,7 Super Ding Ding of the Monegasque Luc van Keirsblick won on the wire against the Sun Fast Zabriskie Point of Olivier de Roffignac in IRC E.
The Moonbeam III surprise
After a major refit of its interior fittings last year at Fairlie, Moonbeam III returned to Saint Tropez with a new skipper, Erwan Noblet, and a desire to shine. It is done with a very nice victory in the “darling” category of the public and the media, the big auric sailboats. The 1903 Fife plan won, with a little bit of apology, in front of the imposing and majestic cutter Mariquita and the pretty schooner Altaïr. The sloop Marconi Rowdy, already performing well in Cannes, signed a nice victory for the Bermudans in front of ” The Blue Peter ” and ” Cholita “. “Bonafide”, “Oriole” and “Pesa” produced a dazzling show all week in the “small” auricas. In this order, they dress a prestigious podium full of maritime history. Tenth in the category of “small” auriques, the brand new Fyne built in Brittany by Hubert Sagnol on a Fife design from 1889, made a remarkable debut in the waters of the Tropéziennes. There were few surprises in Esprit de Tradition where the immense Shamrock V triumphed. His eternal adversary, Savannah, could not prevent the newcomer Sagittarius from stepping onto the podium.
Bellerophon, king of the Tofinou
Nicolas Edmiston and his Bellerophon will have trembled until the end to win against the armada of 15 Tofinou in competition this year in Saint-Tropez, these small “classic-modern” one-designs designed by Philippe Joubert. “Grey One”, owned by Hervé Margolis, in spite of two heat victories, was defeated due to a redhibitory 7th place last Wednesday. Equal in points but less well endowed with victories, Bernard Vilarem placed his “Cambronne” in third place…
And also (results continued) …
Anne Sophie in Marconi B, Mercury in Marconi C, Windhover in Marconi D, Crazy life in Classique marconi B…. so many deserving protagonists on the water, who have truly made the Voiles 2008, by their sporting commitment in regattas, and by their extraordinary involvement in preserving, enhancing and promoting a sail all in elegance and tradition, a dazzling testimony of more than a century of maritime know-how….
They came to the tenth edition of Les Voiles :
In alphabetical order: Francesco de Angelis (Ita), Isabelle Autissier, Ernesto Bertarelli (Sui), Yvan Bourgnon, Brad Butterworth (NZ), Paul Cayard (USA), Servane Escoffier, Jean Galfione, Peter Isler (USA), Karol Jablonski (Pol), Anne Liardet, Philippe Monnet, Bertrand Pacé, Marc Pajot, Bruno Peyron, Philippe Presti, Lionel Péan, Bruno Troublé
The “Belle Classe” and safety at sea
Altair, Amadour, Aschanti, Eilidh, Lulworth, Mariquita, Milena, Moonbeam IV, Oriole, Shamrock V, Sylvia, Thendara and Tuiga, had all responded last Friday to the invitation of “la Belle Classe” to evaluate the work put in place by “les Voiles de Saint-Tropez” regarding safety on the water, following the proposals summarized in the Memorandum of the “Belle Classe. All are pleased with the general awareness of the need to evolve the international racing rules and to adapt them to the specificity and disparity of these yachts. Anxious to pursue this safety approach, the skippers and shipowners of “La Belle Classe” will soon meet at the Yacht Club of Monaco for a one-day seminar with lawyers specialized in international maritime law.
André Beaufils, President of the Société Nautique de Saint Tropez….
“In terms of welcoming the competitors, of what we were able to put in place to satisfy them as best as possible, I think that 2008 was a good year. The show on the water was, as always, exceptional and we did our best to adapt to the weather conditions. As far as I am concerned, I want to continue… “
Georges Kohrel, Race Director…
“We have validated 3 races in the Classic category and 4 races in the Modern category, which, considering the cancellation of Friday’s races due to the strong Mistral wind, is quite correct and satisfied the competitors. This year we had totally revised our courses and the feedback I get from the participants is very positive. Each day, we had between 35 and 40 officials on the water, to support our three race committees, and give safely 10 to 12 starts per day… “.
The 11th Voiles de Saint-Tropez was a sell-out, with all the seats in the gulf duly occupied by the 300 or so competitors of all eras and all classes that took part this year. For the 10th anniversary of this great event organized by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and heir of the famous Nioulargue, modern and classic yachts at their best were served by summer conditions. For 10 days, the port of Saint-Tropez, unusually crowned with huge centenarian or futuristic masts, saw the cream of the racing world converge, including some of the great names in ocean racing, from Bruno Peyron to Peter Holmberg, as well as Catherine Chabaud, Lionel Péan, Marc Pajot and Alain Thébault.
Stories of duels…
Barely 15 days after its launch at the Charpentier shipyard in La Ciotat, the 15 m JI designed by Fife Mariska is already showing great promise in terms of performance and results. Long side by side last Sunday during the Yacht Club de France Autumn Cup with her prestigious counterpart Tuiga, the first of the four 15 m JI built at the very beginning of the 20th century is already inspiring respect by her beautiful speed, and augurs great jousts to come in her category of large auric yachts. Stung to the core, in the year of its centenary, Tuiga, flagship of the Monaco Yacht Club, made a point of racing “clean”, winning all the races of the week. Another spectacular duel was the comparison on the magical water of the Gulf between the two great replicas of Nathanael G Herreshoff’s schooners, Elena and Eleonora. Built in Spain at the Marin LuxurYacts shipyard, Elena was launched on April 22 and benefited from the construction know-how of her equally majestic predecessor, Eleonora, formerly Windward.
The impression of cold power and absolute mastery that it deploys on the water is confirmed on the scoreboard; Even if it is not the biggest of the Wally, the 100 feet Y3K did not leave many laurels to its competitors. It won without contest this week after 5 validated races. The very recent Wally 130 on board which Luca Bassini was racing, did wonders, in vain however, to take away some of its glory. In its wake the two Wally of 27 and 28.50 meters Tiketitan and Open season.
Five Pen Duick in the Mediterranean
The five boats of the legendary Eric Tabarly, all of which are called Pen Duick (the Breton name for the black-capped tit), usually based in the Atlantic and of which only one is missing (the Pen Duick IV trimaran, which disappeared under the name of Manureva during the 1978 Route du Rhum, with Alain Colas at the helm), put an end, at the Voiles de Saint-Tropez, to a beautiful Mediterranean season. The fleet, which is maintained in sailing condition thanks to the Eric Tabarly Association and the support of the Banque Populaire, sailed happily all week in Saint-Tropez. The 1898 auric cutter – which became the Tabarly family boat and on which Jacqueline and Marie Tabarly used to race – (Pen Duick), the 1964 English Transatlantic race winning ketch (Pen Duick II), the “thousand victories” schooner now regenerated as a ketch (Pen Duick III), the small monohull with “all aluminium” ballast, winner of the 1969 Transpacific (Pen Duick V) and the huge 22 m ketch, which came first in the 1976 English solo transatlantic race (Pen Duick VI), were the stars of this 11th edition of the Voiles.
Whales and balloons…
Les Voiles” is definitely attracting a lot of interest, even from the marine animal world. Two whales have indeed invited themselves this week on the “rond des Modernes” off the Cap de Saint-Tropez. The Race Committee informed the competitors by VHF. As for the port, it was visited on Saturday by two small airships that came to play a few meters high between the masts and the rigging.
Cap Horniers Tropéziens !
This was the theme of a conference given on Saturday evening by Laurent Pavlidis, academic and historian of the city of Saint-Tropez, with the expert interventions of Brigitte and Yvonnick Le Coat. The epic of the Cap Horniers who faced the so dangerous cape between the middle of the 19th and the middle of the 20th century was narrated in detail, with a particular and rather unexpected “focus” on the Tropezians, heroes of this bygone era. We could learn that the record of the crossing between England and Chile was held by Leon Gardane, in some 54 days. This good-natured Tropezian crossed the great South American cape 14 times. Today, we have identified nearly twenty people born in the City of the Bailiff who lived these extraordinary adventures between Europe and South America, even California, on board large three or four-masted barks carrying emigrants or heavy materials.
Rolex Trophy – 4 races
1- Rowdy (sloop bermudien) Graham Walker
2- Tuiga (15 m) Bernard D’Alessandri
3- Oiseau de feu (cotre bermudien) Jean Philippe Lhuillier
Paris Première Trophy
1- Pamyra ben (Morgan 54) André Gumuchdjian
2- Jethou (Mini Maxi) Sir Peter Ogden
3- Velsheda (J Class) R De Warl
Les Echos du Yacht de Tradition” Limited Edition Award
André Beaufils, President of the Organizing Committee
“The gods of the sea and the weather were with us. Sun, wind, and a very summery atmosphere marked this anniversary edition. My great satisfaction and my gratitude goes to all the volunteers of course, but also to the Race Committee who showed absolute mastery in the management and organization of the races, adapting to the whims of the wind in all circumstances. I have the feeling that the village, in its new configuration was very appreciated. I also note that the media interest in our event is not waning, with a significant increase in the number of French and international journalists.”
Georges Korhel, Race Director
“Judging by the lack of complaints at the end of the races, I can tell that the competitors enjoyed themselves. I am particularly pleased with the spirit of independence expressed on the water by all our race committees, Modern, Wally and Classic. Whatever the wind variations, they were able to adapt independently to launch races with the best wind. The Moderns didn’t race on Monday due to lack of wind, but everyone raced every day for the rest of the week.”
Fulvio Corrente, animations on land
“The village played its role of triggering the party in town. The sailors came in droves as soon as they returned from the regattas, before taking over the town’s bars and restaurants. The new configuration, with the new press area, was very popular and we are going to work in the same direction for 2010, with improvements according to the wishes expressed, especially in terms of displaying information and results.”
Saint-Tropez wakes up still vibrating from a night of festivities animated until dawn by sailors eager to extend to the end a week of sport and festivities, in every way exceptional. The 2010 Voiles de Saint-Tropez drew to a close on Sunday at the traditional prize-giving ceremony at the citadel, where the sailors came to share a final moment of conviviality, before looking forward to next year and an anniversary edition that we can’t wait to see.
6 races for the Wally, 4 for the Moderns, and 4 for the Classics; a full house! The 2010 edition of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez will be remembered, and unanimously, as one of the most intense and successful. Perfectly inserted between Mistral and an easterly gale, the beautiful week in the Tropez area brought each day the right amount of wind, sun and sea to guarantee the holding of great regattas, perfectly fair, and suitable to compete each day on courses with varied relief. The winners celebrated today at the Citadelle of Saint-Tropez will not be challenged. The 5 IRC groups gathering the Modern yachts, the 10 categories identifying the different types of classic yachts, and of course the beautiful fleet of 11 Wallys all have their champion today, often designated after bitter nautical battles.
3 Three-masted ships on the Tropezian waterfront
A nautical festival, an exceptional gathering of more than 125 years of maritime engineering, the Voiles de Saint-Tropez also offered this year the rare spectacle of three large three-masted schooners sailing in the gulf. Atlantic (70 meters), the superb replica of Charlie Barr’s boat, fresh from its Dutch shipyard, came to greet the immense three-masted schooner Adix (66 meters), competing in elegance with Creole (65 meters), the magnificent three-masted ship designed in 1927 by Charles Nicholson.
Note the very interesting crossing on the water of Atlantic, record holder of the Atlantic crossing in 1903, with the all-carbon ketch Mari Cha III (44.70 m) which was 95 years later, in 1998. It was in Saint-Tropez, and nowhere else.
With the recent authorization to use aluminum for the hulls, new projects are born, based on the plans and specifications of the master Charles Ernest Nicholson and the rules of the J Class. During the Voiles de Saint Tropez, the latest replica from the Claasen Jachtbouw BV shipyard in the Netherlands, Lionheart, was built according to the research of Starling Burgess and Olin Stephens with the Dutchman Hoek at the helm. 20 large J Class were designed between 1930 and 1937. Ten were built. To Velsheda, Shamrock V and Endeavour are added today the faithful replicas Ranger (2004), Hanuman (2009) and Lionheart. Others could follow, Atlantis and Rainbow in the perspective of a great “historic” meeting in the Solent in June 2012. Lioheart has exceptional measurements, 44 meters long.
Inspired in its hull volumes by the Open 60s or Volvo 70s that have made Farr Yacht Design so successful, Leopard 3 is a super yacht with exceptional comfort, combined with outstanding performance on the high seas. 30 meters long, 6.80 wide and with an air draft of 47 meters, Leopard benefits from a canting keel that can be tilted by 40 degrees, giving the yacht a stability equivalent to that of 200 men on rappel. Leopard has successfully sailed the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. A record-breaking sailboat, last summer it had to lose its attempt against the Atlantic crossing record due to a lack of wind.
They were at the Voiles…
Newcomers or regulars to the Voiles, the event is full of renowned sailors every year. The 2010 edition included, in alphabetical order: Alexia Barrier, Brad Butterworth, Catherine Chabaud, Bertrand de Broc, Karine Fauconnier, Philippe Monnet, Doug Peterson, Marc Pajot, Yves Parlier, Lionel Péan, Cécile Poujol, Mike Sanderson, Jean-Yves Terlain, Alain Thébault, Marc Thiercelin, Dominique Wavre, …
SPECIAL AWARDS :
Rolex Trophy: Ikra talent and luck
Still tied since last Tuesday, Ikra and Rowdy engaged in a magnificent duel from a distance that rewarded regularity and performance. Unfortunate in this final round, Rowdy accumulated some small mistakes and extra maneuvers, which almost cost him the final victory. Graham Walker’s genius and Rowdy’s strong performance allowed him to narrowly win the race and remain in contention for the “Rolex Trophy”. Very comfortable since the beginning of the week, even allowing itself to win with very comfortable gaps in compensated time, Yves-Marie Morault’s Ikra, skippered by Sébastien Destremau, is therefore competing against Rowdy for the title.
During the prize-giving ceremony, which took place at the Citadelle from 11 a.m., Mr. Philippe Schaeffer presented the trophy and a Rolex Submariner watch to Ikra, the winner of the draw between the two yachts with the same number of points.
“Traditional yacht of the year” prize organized by Les Echos Limited series
Avel wins the “Limited Edition” prize for traditional yachts at the Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2010. Awarded for the second consecutive year, this prize rewards a yacht that honors the values of fine yachting, quality of the boat, ethics, crew …. The winning boat of the year will be elected among the pre-selected boats during the six regattas and gatherings constituting the “Limited series of traditional yachting” circuit in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Its name will be unveiled during the inauguration of the Nautic in Paris.
Avel, name of a Breton wind, was ordered in 1896 by the Frenchman René Calame to Charles Nicholson. In 1897, the beautiful 23.50 meters long cutter left the Camper and Nicholson shipyards. Abandoned in 1927, she was renovated in the 90’s and has been sailing in the classic yacht fleets ever since. It joins the very closed clan of the contenders for the 2010 title.
Parade of crews
It is traditionally on Thursday evening that the participants in the Voiles de Saint-Tropez compete in originality and extravagance to lead the parade from the Voiles village to the Quai Jean Jaurès, in the wake of a jazz band and street artists. It is the crew of Tuiga, dressed as a Polynesian, who had the favor of the jury.
In Cambria the Club 55 Cup
It was one of the highlights of Thursday’s race, the Club 55 Cup, a challenge among challenges, which saw last year’s winner challenge a challenger on the historic and founding course of the Nioulargue, starting at Portalet and racing with a south-westerly wind towards the Nioulargue, with the finish judged at Pampelonne in front of the famous Club 55, a theoretical distance of 15 miles. The 23m JI Cambria (Fife 1927) won this year against the gold cutter Mariquita (Fife 1911). Winner on the water and on a regular basis, Cambria will nevertheless, and according to the very precise rules of the Club 55 Cup, have to leave its title of Defender next year to Mariquita. It is indeed stipulated that the Club 55 Cup cannot be won twice. So, it’s up to the gilt-edged cutter to challenge a challenger so that this beautiful moment of the Sails will continue in 2011.
André Beaufils, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez
“A superb edition, which leaves a lot of happiness to all the sailors. I would like to thank all the teams on land and on the water who did a great job. I have a lot of regrets for our friends from the sailing boats Adria and Harlequin who were victims of collision. This reinforces our idea to go even further in terms of safety. The Voiles de Saint-Tropez are above all a celebration, a great gathering of sublime sailboats, and it is this spirit that must prevail, including over the spirit of competition.”
Georges Korehl, Race Director
“We can only be satisfied with such a week during which we have validated races for all our categories in competition every day. The weather helped us a lot and I don’t remember such a beautiful edition in terms of wind and sun conditions. Just a small regret that I share with the whole organization, and which concerns a slight excess of aggressiveness of some competitors, in particular during the starting phases. However, we had tightened our safety measures on the water. We will be even more demanding next year so that no incident will tarnish what must remain a party…”
The Voiles de Saint-Tropez has celebrated its thirtieth anniversary, already, of a timeless event that sometimes borders on a daydream. This new week dedicated to triumphant and, it seems, eternal yachting, passed as if in a dream, so much so that no one tires day after day of seeing the most beautiful yachts glide across the waves, born of the desire to sail well for nearly 140 years. Beyond the rankings and other trophies, we will remember above all the beautiful communion of spirit that brought together the 4,200 or so sailors, skippers or owners who came from all over the world to celebrate sailing and to thank in their own way Ikra, Pride, Patrice de Colmont and Saint Tropez for having had this simple idea one day in September 1981 to celebrate the art of living well at sea in this magical gulf. A torch taken up today with passion, and in the same spirit, by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez.
The breath of the Nioulargue
“We would like everyone to remember, or learn, how the Nioulargue was born,” suggests André Beaufils, president of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, “when in 1981, Patrice de Colmont, with his characteristic intuition, imagined a challenge without stakes, a regatta between a group of friends who had come to say hello at the end of the summer before the next sailing season. Initially named “Club 55 Cup”, the regatta born between two boats, Ikra and Pride, was to expand the following year and take the name of Nioulargue. A name inspired by the Provençal “Nioulargo” literally “Nest of the sea” after a shoal located 5 miles from the bay of Pampelonne and which serves as a shelter for the reproduction of multiple species of Mediterranean fish. It is also very interesting to note that it is the original regatta between a classic 12mJI and a modern racing-cruising yacht that gave its main characteristic to the Nioulargue, and then to the Voiles de Saint-Tropez: to make the boats of the last generation and those that wrote the history of yachting sail on the same water.
The year of the yawls
It is said to have been one of the first acts of President John F Kennedy at the beginning of his term of office, to make Manitou the Presidential Yacht in place of a powerful 92 foot motor boat. Kennedy loved this 62-foot Sparkman&Stephens yawl launched in 1936 and donated to the Coast Guards in 1955. Equipped with all the modern means of communication, Manitou was quickly nicknamed “The floating White house” by JFK himself. Five years after the Dallas assassination, Manitou was sold to the Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship in Piney Point, Maryland for $35,000. Olin Stephens had designed Manitou based on Dorado and Stormy Weather. A trio of enthusiasts bought her and brought her back to Europe to sail in the Mediterranean. The Swedish Claes Goran Nilsson, the New Zealander Phil Jordan and the American Pat Tierney have a cult passion for their boat. The three men and their cosmopolitan crew are committed to “learning” the boat. Eighth at the end of this week, they promise that next year, Manitou will be the boat to beat in Saint Tropez.
Other “newbies” that were very popular this year were Firefly, a Dutch 115-footer designed by Hoek Design and built in 2011 at the Jachtbouw shipyard, and the revival of Skylark, a 53-foot yawl launched in 1937 by the Pendleton shipyard in Maine, based on a Sparkman and Stephens design. Skylark is considered as an evolution of Stormy Weather or Sonny. We were also pleasantly surprised by the excellent behavior in light airs of another yawl; Runa IV, helmed by Bruno Troublé; built in 1918 at the Nielsen shipyard in Denmark, (10m73), this small auric cannot deny its Viking origins. This wooden racer with a long keel was saved from destruction in 2009 by Yves Carcelle who brought it back from San Francisco to have it completely restored at the Guip shipyard in Brest.
On Thursdays, we challenge ourselves!
13 Défis, the regatta of the centenarians have, in addition to the Club 55 Cup, animated the water level of Les Voiles last Thursday, in accordance with the tradition. The race direction and Georges Kohrel, taking into account the huge anticyclone which bathes the whole country, had drawn a small course of 6,5 miles in the heart of the gulf, where a small flow of east-northeast had since the beginning of the week taken the habit of taking residence at midday. The various challengers were invited from midday onwards to set off as close as possible to Portalet, towards the La Rabiou mark, then the Sèche à l’huile at the entrance to the gulf, before slipping downwind towards a finish anchored off the Jean Réveille mole.
Mariquita and Altaïr faced each other in a titanic battle on the Nioulargue Club 55 course as part of the Club 55 Cup. Particularity 2011 – and thirtieth anniversary – Ikra, with on board a part of the original crew of the 12M and Pride, was associated to the duel. After a nice start on the right side of the race course, the scenario of the first days of the Voiles was repeated on the way of the giants who, as soon as they left the gulf, ran out of wind. The two challengers came together to shake hands. A tie in the chivalrous spirit of the Voiles was declared.
Avel wins the Rolex Trophy
The auric cutter Avel (wind in Breton), characterized by its bow with guibre and its tiller is the new holder of the Rolex Trophy. Commissioned in 1896 by René Calame to Charles Nicholson, Avel was from the start designed for racing. In 1927, the beautiful cutter fell into oblivion, and spent many years in a mudflat in England. It was Maurizio Gucci who saved her in 1990, entrusting her restoration to Harry Spencer and Clark Poston in Cowes. In 1994, Avel joined the Mediterranean Classic circuit, where she still shines. Avel is the very first auric cutter to win this prestigious trophy.
Les Echos Trophy/Limited Edition
Yacht elected Prix Les Echos/Limited Edition 2011 at the Voiles de Saint-Tropez : VERONIQUE !
Paris Première Trophy :
The Trophée Paris Première is open to modern yachts with an overall length of 16 meters or more. The ranking is established from the race ranking. Highland Fling, Irvine Laidlaw, Proto Wally
Centenary Regatta, Gstaad Yacht Club Trophy ;
Thursday is a day of challenges, and this year saw the emergence of a new idea from the Gstaad Yacht Club. Peter Erzberger, Commodore of the GYC, in a commendable desire to get closer to the world of the sea and regattas, chose Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez and its organizing club, the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, to offer centenarian sailboats their own regatta, within the framework of the day dedicated to this type of challenge, the Thursday day. The Gstaad Yacht Club offers a trophy to the winning yacht of a handicap race, according to the rules of the International Mediterranean Committee. The slowest yacht starts first, the fastest last. The winner was the first to cross the finish line under the Portalet. The Gstaad Yacht Club, founded in 1998 in the Swiss mountains, thus signs its rapprochement with Saint Tropez. The club has 400 members of 23 nationalities.
The huge fleet of beautiful yachts registered at Les Voiles includes no less than 18 “centenarians”. Victory, with a pedigree dating back to 1883, is the oldest, while Pesa and Mariquita, born in 1911, are the youngest members of this informally prestigious club.
1- Bonafide (Sibbick 1899)
2- Tuiga (Fife 1909)
3- Pesa (Oertz 1911)
4- Mariska (Fife 1908)
5- Nan of Fife (Fife 1896)
6- Victory (Hitchens 1883)
7- Kelpie (Mylne 1903)
8- Avel (Nicholson 1896)
9- Partridge (Beavor Webb 1885)
10- Marigold (Nicholson 1892)
11- Veronique (Luke 1907)
12- Windhover (Hambleants 1904)
13- Wayward (Shepherd 1908)
14- Owl (Shepher 1909)
15- Sif (Hansen 1894)
The Indian summer…
The curtain falls on an exceptional sunny and windy edition
Avel wins the Rolex Trophy – The “Nioulargue” spirit still inspires the Voiles – Cascading trophies…
The Tropézien dream is coming to an end. The Citadel of the City of Bailli de Suffren resounded today with the last joyful and festive glow of a timeless week on the occasion of the traditional presentation of the Prizes and Trophies. And everyone, sailor, shipowner, skipper or owner, agreed on the exceptional character of this great international yachting event. The 14th edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez surpasses all superlatives, combining successful regattas on the water and conviviality on land. This new week dedicated to triumphant and, it seems, eternal yachting, passed as if in a dream, so much so that no one gets tired day after day of seeing the most beautiful yachts glide over the waves, born of the desire to sail well for nearly 140 years. Magic was everywhere under the warm Var sun, and everyone could place the cursor of their wonderment, from the Modernity of the great Wallys and other protos, to the elegance of the sails and hundred-year-old hulls of the traditional yachts. Beyond the rankings and other trophies, we will especially remember the beautiful communion of spirit that brought together the 4,000 or so sailors, skippers or owners who came from all over the world to celebrate sailing and to thank in their own way Ikra, Pride, Patrice de Colmont and Saint-Tropez for having had this simple idea of celebrating the art of living well at sea in this magical gulf on a day in September 1981. A full week of regattas 8 validated races for the Wally, 5 races for the Moderns and 4 for the Tradition, that is to say a daily regatta, the Voiles de Saint-Tropez were full of action, images and enchantment. The pure racers, from Sébastien Col or Damien Iehl to Jochen Schuman had their fill of strategy and tactics. The friendly rivalries born in the best spirit of yachting among the four big gold boats of the 15 mJI Class produced the expected spectacle of beautiful sails heeled side by side. Mariquita, Cambria, Elena, Thendara dazzled by their majesty, while no less than 12 groups of sailboats of different size, era and type of rigging invaded the Classics’ circle anchored in front of Saint-Tropez. Last year’s newcomers, Manitou, Runa IV, Hispania… are already becoming regulars. Once you’ve had a taste of Les Voiles, you can’t get enough. This is true for the sailors. It’s true for the public, which is always more numerous in the afternoons when the yachts return to the Portalet finish line under full sail, and which is quick to give a warm welcome to the crews returning to the quay. The 2012 edition is coming to an end; 2013 is already on everyone’s mind, especially those of President Beaufils’ teams, faithful guardians of a unique formula, of a state of mind that adapts to its time without ever betraying itself.
The “Rolex Trophy”, the ultimate challenge of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez, is absolutely unique. During all the events open to them, the largest units of classic yachts, those measuring more than 16 meters, compete for this coveted ranking. This year’s winner is the auric cutter Avel (wind in Breton), characterized by its guibre bow and tiller, achieving a double that only Rowdy, one of the last representatives of the New York Yacht Club’s Class 40, had achieved (in 2008 and 2009). Commissioned in 1896 to Charles Nicholson, Avel was designed from the start for racing. In 1927, the beautiful cutter fell into oblivion, and spent many years in a mudflat in England. It was Maurizio Gucci who saved her in 1990, entrusting her restoration to Harry Spencer and Clark Poston in Cowes. Avel is the very first auric cutter to win this prestigious trophy. For the record, this trophy, created in 2007, was already proudly brandished by Agneta, a very beautiful monohull built in 1951, along with a mythical “Submariner” watch. This 25.10 meter yacht is unmissable on the water with its mahogany hull and majestic purple sail. Then it was the Herreshoff design, Rowdy, which held the title for two consecutive editions, before ceding the title to Ikra. Built under the name Kurrewa V, this 12M JI of British origin is part of the yachting legend. Built on the same plans as Sovereign, the British challenger of the 1964 America’s Cup, it was named Lévrier de Mer in 1968 and served as the hare boat for France, the 12 M JI of the French challenge of Baron Bich for the 1970 Cup. In 1977, it was bought by the Renault driver Jean Rédélé – commonly called “Monsieur Alpine” – who entrusted its restoration to Raymond Labbé’s yard in Saint-Malo, before taking it to the Mediterranean where it experienced an extraordinary destiny. It is indeed this boat which, answering the challenge launched by the American Swan Pride, gave birth to the original Nioulargue regatta, which has now become the Voiles de Saint-Tropez for 14 editions.
On Thursdays, we challenge ourselves!
16 Défis, the regatta of the centenarians, in addition to the Club 55 Cup, animated the sailing area last Thursday, in accordance with tradition. The race management and Georges Korhel had designed a small course of 6.5 miles in the heart of the gulf, where a light east-south-easterly flow had taken up residence at midday since the beginning of the week. The various challengers were thus invited from midday onwards to set off as close as possible to Portalet, towards the La Rabiou mark, then the Seiche à l’huile at the entrance to the gulf, before sliding downwind towards a finish anchored at the Jean Réveille mole. History will remember the formidable battle between the giant Maxi yachts Med Spirit, Firefly, My Song, Solleone and Sojana. Equally exciting was the nostalgic poetry of the 8-meter boats, Aile VI, Helen, France and Rhéa. Very expected the challenge of the 15 m JI which did not fail to their reputation, heeled to the maximum and flush with the rocks in an edge to edge taking off with elegance and magic. Club 55 Cup: The 19M JI Mariquita tried to defend its title won two years ago against Cambria. A duel out of the ordinary was proposed to her since it was the schooner Altaïr which was posed as Challenger. Indeed, the meeting scheduled last year could not be completed due to lack of wind, so the captains decided to repeat it this year in the purest chivalrous spirit. And it is Altaïr who won in Pampelonne.
Blue Bird Cup: Tara Getty had challenged the Olin Stephens Argyll plan last year, and during the Challenge Day, who had won. Revenge this year, since Skylark won by 3 minutes. In true yachting tradition, the two crews met for lunch aboard the yacht Talitha, where Tara and Jessica Getty were presented with the Blue Bird Cup by actor Griff Rhys Jones.
On land, the communicative good mood of the crews… The Voiles de Saint-Tropez is also an event to be experienced on land. In addition to the evolution of the boats under sail, which can be easily followed around the gulf or the Citadel, the party continued every day in the heart of the corsair city in the morning and evening with the presence of the boats in the port of Saint-Tropez entirely transfigured by the forest of wooden or carbon masts which flourished there during the whole week. Les Voiles also offered to the Tropéziens and to the public the access every day from 9 am to 7:30 pm to the “Village des Voiles”. The open structure of more than 1500 m² hosted many photo booths, stores, embroidery, etc. around the bar, the meeting place for all sailors. On the festive side, many animations took place in the village and in the streets, with in particular the performances of various musical groups and the traditional competition of bowls on the place des Lices. The clowns of the Monegasque Circus Festival provided the animation of the parade of crews, with the famous Bagad de Lan Bihoué. A very creative parade this year in which participated a good fifteen crews…
Extraordinary Yachts : Visible just in front of the entrance to the port of Saint-Tropez, the large schooner Adix did not race in the sails but mixed her auric sails with the great Classics in the race. Adix is a three-masted schooner, launched in 1984 under the name of Jessica: it was then a three-masted schooner with two topsails (one fixed, one flying), registered in England, and the largest schooner built since the years This luxury sailboat, was built by the shipyard Astilleros De Mallorca according to the indications of the architects Arthur Holgate and Dijkstra & Partners To the delight of the amateurs, Adix was able to sail side by side with Atlantic. The water of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, bathed in sunshine and swept by a nice breeze, graciously lent itself to this singular journey through time. We remember that Atlantic was rebuilt under the direction of Ed Kastelein, who had already supervised the refit of Thendara, Aile Blanche, Borkumriff, Zaca a te Moana, Eleonora, … The Pen Duick were also part of the party, in the wake of Eric Tabarly’s beautiful cutter, a Fife design from 1898, the 4 Pen Duick in activity each day moored in front of the harbour master’s office, allowed the numerous spectators to get close to the legend of 40 years of ocean racing… 17 Tofinou, from 9.50 m to 12 meters sailed under their own flame on the classic yachts course. They crossed paths with 4 “Code 0”, the pretty retro-looking day-boat created by Yves Parlier. Another legend, Manitou, was again present at the Voiles after its first appearance last year; built in 1937 to Olin Stephens designs, Manitou (18m90) is a very elegant Marconi yawl which has the particularity of having been used by John F. Kennedy during his presidency. Exceptionally, the yacht even had the title of “floating White House”. Equipped with the latest technology of the time, it allowed the President of the United States to remain in contact with the land during his navigations along the West Coast. After continuing her career as a sail training ship, the boat underwent a major refit in 2010.
The Coupe de la Ville de Saint-Tropez; This year, it was awarded to the first Modern boat to win the points, all categories included; the Farr 30 Give me Five of the Yacht Club de Monaco won.
Traditional Yacht of the Year Award – Les Echos – Limited Edition: Eight have already been selected! Eight exceptional yachts have been selected by a jury of competent personalities to compete for the Traditional Yacht of the Year Award organized by Les Echos-Série Limitée. But there is still time to join them to participate in this 2012 prize, the winner of which will be unveiled during the next Paris Nautic. Enthusiasts and captains have until midnight on October 12 to compete for this prestigious title. Information on www.pyta.fr The eight pre-selected boats: – Chrisando – Owl – Sonda – Palynodie II – Oiseau de feu – Hilaria – Javelin – Nan of Fife
Paris Première Trophy: awarded to the first modern sailboat over 16 meters: Music, Baltic 50 Tropheminin: awarded to the first female crew, the J97 from the tropics No Limit Yacht Club de France Trophy : favorite : Lelentina, skipper Patrick Gibert Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Regatta; A day for all challenges, Thursday saw the continuation of a new idea from last year… from the Gstaad Yacht Club. Peter Erzberger, Commodore of the GYC, in a commendable desire to get closer to the world of the sea and regattas, chose the Voiles de Saint-Tropez and its organizing club, the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, to offer centenarian yachts their own regatta, within the framework of the day dedicated to this type of challenge, the Thursday day. The Gstaad Yacht Club offers a trophy to the winning yacht of a handicap race, according to the rules of the International Mediterranean Committee. The slowest yacht starts first, the fastest last. The winner was the first to cross the finish line under the Portalet. The Gstaad Yacht Club, founded in 1998 in the Swiss mountains, thus signs its rapprochement with Saint Tropez. The club has 400 members of 23 nationalities. The huge fleet of beautiful yachts registered for the Voiles includes no less than 20 “centenarians”. Victory, with a pedigree dating back to 1883, is the oldest, while Mariquita, born in 1911, is the youngest member of this informally prestigious club.
Anniversaries… Tofinou are 25 years old! Launched by the Latitude 46 shipyard, the Tofinous have conquered the fans of beautiful day-boats with traditional lines and assertive sports performance. 9.5, 12 or 16 meters, the style has been successful for 25 years already. The Sillinger semi-rigid boats with their martial appearance are celebrating their 50th anniversary! 50 years already that Tibor Sillinger played the card of robustness, power and longevity for his semi-rigid without concessions to quality…
André Beaufils, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez: “Every year I hear about an exceptional edition; I am told: “This is the best year ever! We have been blessed by the Gods, with wind, albeit moderate, and sunshine every day. If I had to express one regret, it would be that we had more incidents, minor ones as long as there is no physical damage, but between boats. The incident between Elena and a 25-meter spectator boat plunges me into consternation. The atmosphere ashore was great. The competitors played the game on land during the proposed animations. Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is growing in a controlled way; as long as I have this ounce of power, I will work to preserve a certain idea of what I knew more than 25 years ago, to respect what Patrice de Colmont created. We owe him everything. I am content to coordinate some actions and to lead teams, to look for funding, but I am committed to ensuring that it does not become a commercial week. I repeat, the Voiles de Saint-Tropez is not for sale and our objective is not to make a profit for profit. I am delighted that the media is still very interested in our event. I am determined not to set my sights on growth at any cost. We have reached the critical size, in terms of the village and the reception of the boats. There is still room for improvement in the details, but no doubling of size and numbers”.
George Korhel, Race Director of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez: “We couldn’t have asked for more! Sun, air, and races validated every day, with all the boats classified on time. The Wallys ran 8 races… we had just the right amount of wind, enough to run races every day, and not too much to get everyone in on time and ranked. The boats left the harbor in little wind, benefited from the necessary pressure to sail well, and the wind fell each evening to allow the 300 boats to return to port without any hitch… Our partnership with Météo Consult helped us a lot; the 9 o’clock and 1 o’clock bulletins made our task much easier in choosing the courses, for the Moderns as well as for the Classics The teams on each round are well trained. I’m almost bored (laughs). All of our teams have been working together for several years, they appreciate and respect each other. We work in harmony. On the runners’ side, we get a lot of feedback. I can drink a beer in the village without being attacked (laughs). The Classic groups are running without any problem. For the Moderns, we made a group for cruisers not cut out for racing, and then we divided the boats according to size and ratings. We have done everything possible to ensure safety, but we can’t prevent some irresponsible people from running huge risks for the competitors. But we will remember this very nice edition. 5 more knots of wind, and it would have been indecent! (more laughter!) “
Jean-Pierre Champion, President of the French Sailing Federation: “The Voiles de Saint-Tropez is perhaps, and in my humble opinion, the most beautiful sailing event in the world. I have seen many, and what happens here in Saint-Tropez is unequalled. The idea of mixing the Classics and the Moderns is great and works beautifully. The contrast between the futuristic Wally’s and the beautiful 100 year old yachts is striking and very interesting to admire. There is an atmosphere in the Saint-Tropez setting, a mixture of desire, passion and respect that I really only find at the Olympic Games…”. They were sailing this week in Saint-Tropez…. Luc Alphand, Seb Audigane, Yves Carcelle, Catherine Chabaud, Jean Loup Chrétien, Robert Charlebois, Sébastien Col, Thomas Coville, Sébastien Destremau, Jean Pierre Dick, Leonardo Ferragamo, Tara Getty, Olivier Lozachmeur, Nicolas Lunven, Philippe Monnet, Lindsay Owen Jones, Marc Pajot, Yves Pajot, Lionel Péan, Jacques Rougerie, Jochen Schuman, Jacqueline et Marie Tabarly…
Rankings : Wally – 9 registered – The big Wally’s have validated 8 races.
1- Open Season
2- Magic carpet
3- J One
3- Dark Shadow
4- Ryokan 2
IRC A – 30 registered –
1- Jethou – Peter Ogden
2- Stark Raving Mad – James Madden
1- My Song – Pier Luigi Loro Piana
IRC B – 26 registered –
1-Powerplay – Peter Cunningham
2- Spirit of Malouen VI – Stéphane Neve
3- Varuna – Jens – Kellinghusen
IRC C – 33 registered –
1-Genapi – Adalberto Miani
2- Eleuthera – Hervé Borgoltz
3- Cachou – Guy Cornillon
IRC D – 32 registered –
1- Music – Huber Ruedi
2- Music53 James Blakemore
3- Freya – Philippe Fabre
IRC E – 38 registered –
1- Give me 5 – Adrien Follin
2- Tchin Tchin – Jean Claude Bertrand
2- Just a joke – Marcello Maresca
Superyacht – Velsheda
Tofinou 9,5 (10 registered) 4 races selected
1- Jessie – Peter Dubens
2- Speed Bird – James Hudleston
3- Pippa – Edward S Fort
Group Tofinou 12
Milou – Simon Tate
Mercator – Daniel Farideh
Nomica – Alain Nocella
1- Teewa 5 – Tanguy Legouvello
Groupe 15 mJI
1- The Lady Anne – Paul Goss
2- Tuiga – Bernard D’Alessandri
3- Mariska – Christian Niels
4- Hispania – Andy Longarela
Grand Epoque A –
1- Mariquita – Jim Thom
2- Moonbeam IV – Mickael Creach
3- Moonbeam III – Erwan Noblet
Epoque Aurique A
1-Avel – Christopher Austin
2- Bonafide – Giuseppe Giordano
3- Nan of Fife – Philippe Menhinick
Epoque Aurique B
1- Marigold – Richard Glen Allan
2- Runa IV – Yves Carcelle
3- Tigris – Paul Brand
Classique Marconi A – 13 registred
1- Arcadia – Patricia Hooves
2- Maria Giovanna – Jean Pierre Sauvan
3- Outlaw – Mike Horsley
Classique Marconi B
– Sovereign – Jacques fauroux
– Ikra – Yves marie Moreau
– White Dolphin – Yann Delplace
Epoque Marconi A
1- Rowdy – G. Walker (Herreshoff 1916)
2- Halloween – Inigo Strez (Fife 1926)
3- Emilia – Gastaldi/Sicotte (Costaguta 1930)
Epoque Marconi B
1- Leonore – Mauro Piani
2- Jour de Fête – Pascal Oddo
3- Lady Van – Don Martin
Epoque Marconi C
1- Skylark- Tara Getty
2- Cholita – Marilinda Nettis
3-Mercury – Jordi Cabau
Epoque Marconi D
1- Arrow – Phil Plumtree
2- Jalona- Luciano Frattini
3- Vagabundo II – Robbie Fabbe