The word comes from Bruno Troublé, Louis Vuitton Cup mastermind, who sailed the Voiles de Saint-Tropez on board Jour de Fête, an elegant Bermudian Q boat. A week full of contrasts indeed, with a quiet start in calm weather, culminating with two fantastic sailing days on Wednesday and Saturday, providing the 4 000 sailors and 300 Classic and Modern vessels with excellent sailing conditions under a blazing sun. The 15th edition of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez proved once again the place to be, to put a smiling finish on a great sailing season. Good times ashore with parties on board, and the great musical atmosphere of the Village were only rivaled by the excellence of the regattas inside and outside the spectacular Gulf of Saint-Tropez. Whether in the Modern Class or amongst the fabulous Classics, every year brings new boats to life, freshly renovated or brand new futuristic prototypes. This year’s stars were Chinook, a New York 40 and Herreshoff design from 1916, Shenandoah of Sark, 54 meter gaff schooner by T E Terris, John Alden’s 1930 yawl Blazing Star and Ronne’s gaff cutter Runa VI, last of the Runas freshly renovated by le Guip Shipyard in Brest, just to name a few.
Action Packed Pampelonne
Pampelonne Bay outside the gulf usually belongs exclusively to the magnificent Wallys. Twelve of them battled all week long, in either short courses or 15 mile coastal races. Wally Cento sisterships Hamilton and Magic Carpet 3 gave full value, racing aggressively all week long, with Sir Lindsay Owens-Jones’ latest Magic Carpet, faster in Saturday’s strong winds, coming out ahead by the slightest margin in real time. Compensated time went to 94 footer Open Season, with Wally 77 J One in second place and Magic Carpet a brilliant third.
Class J in full swing
Another big first in Saint-Tropez was the course dedicated to the big and slender J Class. Four of them provided Pampelonne Bay with magic, excitement and the best nautical sports can provide. Velsheda, the 1930 Nicholson yacht got strong competition from newer, lightly built Hanuman (Dijstra 2009) and Lionheart (Hoek 2010) and managed to come out a winner after 5 fantastic races.
Personnalities from all backgrounds
Saint-Tropez attracts the stars, both human and sailing machines. Bill Jayson, son of the late Dick Jayson, founder of the famous Nioulargue in 1981 aboard his Swan Pride, provided a link to today’s Voiles and its roots. Also on the emotional side, was the presence in Saint-Tropez of world famous naval architect German Frers Jr, sailing his father’s 1935 Bermudian cutter Sonny. Quite a sensation for all Frers aficionados. Loïck Peyron, long time Voiles supporter also showed up, always eager to discover new boats and marvel at the timelessness of the centenary boats. Sébastien Col, Jan Dekker, James Blakemore, Peter Holmberg, Jean Pierre Dick… they were all here, sailing anonymously and […]