Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez – New courses, safety and owners at the helm

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez – New courses, safety and owners at the helm

by Maguelonne Turcat Sep 13 08:56 PDT
September 24 – October 8, 2022

The Sails of Saint-Tropez day 4 © Gilles Martin-Raget

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It’s the home stretch of the 24th edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, which will officially start on Saturday 24 September with these competitors racing on modern boats up to 18m27 and classic yachts with no size limit, all welcomed by the Nautical Society of Saint Tropez.

The clashes on the water traditionally begin on Sunday afternoon with the arrival from Cannes of the competitors in the Yacht Club de France’s Autumn Cup, including part of the Saint-Tropez fleet of classic yachts. The finish of the race can be particularly memorable when the east wind picks up a nice swell that sweeps the bottom of the Gulf of Saint Tropez, so don’t miss it!

Week 1, Modern and Classic: new routes and safety

Thanks to the use of geodynamic beacons – which protect the seabed – modern boats from the IRC classes can expect some great new features. Depending on the day’s weather, competitors will be able to track a beacon specially set up for them in the vicinity of Pampelonne and Cap Camarat. This new option makes it possible to avoid sending the fleet to an offshore brand, unattractive for the competition and risking having to decide the result out of sight and in a light breeze.

The safety of participants and the public is the primary concern of the Organizing Committee of Les Voiles. “Over time, we realize that everyone has a better understanding of the event”, explains Georges Korhel, the Principal Race Officer. “So this year we have decided to shorten the length of the starting line a bit – knowing that at Les Voiles we have fleets of 40 boats maximum per mass start – and therefore we have also slightly reduced the large rectangular space which constitutes the surrounding exclusion zone. This will leave a little extra room for spectators and above all it will make this area more visible and easier to monitor.”

For classic yachts, the installation of a “waiting area” at the bottom of the gulf during the departure session for modern boats remains topical. In addition, if the desire to go “test the line” remains strong, offenders incur penalties.

Week 2, Maxis and Multihulls: owners at the helm, day of relaxation on Thursday

Recently added to the Sailing Instructions, the obligation to have the owner at the helm of boats measuring between 18.28 and 24 meters, monohulls and multihulls, is a common requirement for Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez and IMA – International Maxi Association, and is already part of the Wally class rules.

This provision revolves around safety as well as sporting fairness, by limiting the role of “top gun mercenaries”, without diminishing the appeal of their presence and their contribution, both technically and tactically in what is a very high flight. circuit.

This requirement is also very much in line with the “Nioulargue spirit” that marked the founding event of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, as the emphasis was placed on the importance of having owners on board. This continued every year in the Club 55 Cup, which is contested on the Thursday of the first week.

It should also be noted that for the very first time, the Thursday of the second week will now be a Lay Day nominated on the racing program for Maxis with one or two hulls.

In the village of Les Voiles

  • Seaman’s Games: Crews will have the opportunity to register for a series of arm wrestling competitions
  • Tintamarre Prize: a round will be offered to the crew that makes the loudest port entrance each evening.
  • A photo competition open to the public: “Objectif Voiles”, the photos must be brought to the Service Images stand on a USB key.
  • Smart wristbands for the village bar: a new rechargeable device will be made available to bar customers.

Event website: www.lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr

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