Despite a certain discretion on the part of the sunshine for the fantastic showstopper that is Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, version 2015, the curtain falls on an edition which enabled four of the possible six days of racing. In this way, the 4,000 sailors gave heart and soul to this final regatta before the winter break within a sublimely varied fleet of 330 Classic and Modern yachts. The majestic Wallys enjoyed 5 very windy races, whilst the five IRC groups racked up 3. Hitting the racetrack on Tuesday, the classic yachts competed in two races, whilst the 15m JIs sailed 5 hotly disputed races resulting in the Yacht Club de Monaco’s beautiful Tuiga being named their 2015 champion thanks to a lead of just one point. A ‘whipped up’ edition of Les Voiles, the splendour of the boats and the unquenchable good humour of the celebrating crews illuminated Saint Tropez.André Beaufils, President of the SNST: ”We made the best of it. We learn something new each year about
A festive event par excellence, a celebration of yachting and a showcase for over a century of naval architecture, Les Voiles de Saint Tropez is also a sports meet that is highly prized by the top international racers. When the wind joins in, as was certainly the case this week, the spectacle in the bay is simply breathtaking for the highly informed spectators. In this way, over 300 yachts barrelled along this afternoon in a bracing easterly breeze, bound for Le Portalet and the conclusion of the day’s coastal courses open to all classes, Classic, Modern and Wally. Sailing under masthead spinnaker or topsails, the crews were driving their machines at full bore, all keen to round off this unique week in Saint Tropez at top speed. Though the sun didn’t spoil the racers, there was an abundance of action on the racetrack and all of it of the highest standard.
15m JI: Victory at Les Voiles for The Lady Anne and for Tuiga the title!The 15m JIs competing in Saint Tropez ha
Racing and nothing else…One race validated in every classTuiga and Mariska star in tomorrow’s finalY3K leading in the Wally classThe blustery episode from the past two days has been erased today by the sailors’ irrepressible desire to get out sailing at all costs, supported in their mission by the determination of the Race Committees to trust in their instinct and their skills and launch races perfectly suited to the conditions, at the right time and in the right place. Turning resolutely towards the north-west and losing its vigour in the process, the wind soothed the race zone throughout the night, and though the rain meant it was more reminiscent of the English Channel throughout this Friday’s racing, it did nothing to dent the passion of the 4,000 racers. Modern, Classic, Wally or Tofinou… all the competing classes got one fine race under their belts, pushed along by a fair breeze and just the right amount of speed.Schooner days.Ca
Heave-ho! Anything’s possible on a Thursday! Even after two days of easterly gales of unprecedented ferocity, Les Voiles de Saint Tropez gets back down to action at the first opportunity both on shore and at sea. Indeed this Thursday traditionally plays host to Challenge Day, a moment which celebrates the spirit of Les Voiles and yachting, with the crews particularly excited to get back out on the racetrack after two days on the dock. In the wake of the Wally, Genie of the Lamp, which was celebrating her 20th birthday with the 15m JI Tuiga, centenarians and modern yachts alike paid homage on what was still a rather lumpy bay, safe in the knowledge that there would be plenty of merriment and rac
Same cause, same effect: too much wind, today’s racing cancelledThe team responsible for the organisation of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez is encountering exceptional times for this autumnal showdown. The culprit is a vast zone of high pressure centred over northern Europe, compressed by a depression circling the Gulf of Genoa, generating easterly breezes that have been sweeping the Var region’s coastline since Monday. With the Bay of Saint Tropez facing due east, there is simply no escape, with some impressive breakers out towards Cogolin. For the second day running, the yachts and their 4,000 sailors have been confined to shore, hoping for better on Thursday’s much awaited Challenge Day.The low-down from Race Director Georges Korhel“It’s the same scenario as yesterday, a little stronger even, with 48 knots recorded in Pampelonne this morning. It’s really too much. The seas are even heavier than yesterday, despite the wind shifting slightly from the east
It’s no secret. The Mediterranean can be prickly and angry at times. This was the scenario that greeted this second day of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, where a vicious easterly wind has been packing a punch on the waters of the bays for the past 24 hours, making any sailing a rather perilous affair. The upshot of this was a special weather forecast from Météo France as 30 knots of breeze and 3-metre waves pummelled the racetrack at midday. Race Director Georges Korhel and his teams wisely cancelled today’s sailing programme.
The low-down from Georges Korhel, Race Director:“We gave ourselves until midday before informing all the racers that the day’s races were cancelled. The Special Weather Statement is in operation and conditions in the bay speak for themselves, with up to 3.50m waves recorded at Cape Camarat with gusts of 44 knots. The exit from the port is sufficiently perilous at the best of times not to tempt fate. The other major difficulty we have to
There is always something new going on at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez. This Monday, traditionally the exclusive domain of the Modern yachts and the Wallys, also played host to the four 15m JIs vying for supremacy in their very own championship. In this way, all the Race Committees, under the outright control of Georges Korhel, were on tenterhooks to launch today’s races: the five IRC groups offshore of Cape Camarat, the fifteen Wallys, for the very first time, off Pampelonne, and the fabulous Fife designs off Le Portalet. The wind proved to be rather shy throughout the day, freshening slightly to serve up the perfect breeze for the competitors to ease into this long week of competition. Three windward-leeward courses were set for the 15m JIs and two for the large Wallys, whilst the Modern yachts competed in a short 19-mile coastal course skirting the edge of the bay.The final of the 15m JI championshipThis year Les Voiles de Saint Tropez is hosting the final round of th
The Coupe d’Automne to open15 Wallys off PampelonneThe curtain was raised on the 17th Voiles de Saint Tropez on a summery Sunday afternoon with the majestic arrival of the Classic yachts participating in the Yacht Club de France’s traditional Coupe d’Automne, which enables those boats competing in Cannes to race to the little port in France’s Var region. On the horizon, the silhouettes of the traditional gaff or Bermudan rigs, merged with the futuristic forms of the Modern yachts in training for when battle commences for their class on Monday. A truly showstopping week awaits then, packed with intense races on the water in what is forecast to be a bracing easterly wind. Back on shore will be some good-natured festivities with no fewer than 4,000 sailors from the world over spreading their good humour around the beautiful little streets of Saint Tropez.The Coupe d’Automne as a foreword…In a light 4 to 5-knot north-easterly, some forty-seven Traditi
As is the case each year with the changing of the seasons, the little French port of Saint Tropez takes on the guise of the global capital of yachting this week from 27 September to 4 October. An event coloured by both tradition and fun, some 330 yachts and 4,000 sailors will battle it out on the water, brought together by a shared passion for beautiful boats racing in a sublime setting. In Saint Tropez the horizon will become a sea of white amidst the finest Classic and Modern boats of the time, some focused on performance, others keen to enjoy the simple pleasures of watching century-old hulls kicking back into life on the ocean wave. A wonderful mix of crews, clean hull lines and a great sense of humour, Saint Tropez is evidently ‘the place to be…’
Unmissable meetings…Those familiar with Les Voiles thrill at the very mention of the friendly clashes that have become so legendary out on the water. First to hit the racetrack on Monday with their very own accredi
What is the common thread that links the agro-ecology so cherished by Pierre Rabhi, whose aim is to give suffering peoples food autonomy, and “la faim de ton voisin” (your neighbour’s hunger) and “action contre la faim” associations? Everyone is doing their bit for a planetary cause. It’s a challenge, which ups sails on Thursday 1 October in Saint Tropez.On Thursday, Les Voiles de Saint Tropez is going a bit crazy. Indeed, to celebrate the creative spirit of the original Nioulargue race between Ikra and Pride, the competitors are traditionally invited to challenge one another according to their affinities, without being bound by any class measurement logic, for the sheer pleasure of going into battle with fellow racers. Relaunched in 2003, the so-called Club 55 Cup is a blueprint of the 1981 challenge, played out between a Challenger and a Defender, with Pampelonne beach as the main objective culminating with lunch at the Club 55. Over the years, we