Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez welcomes seven large classic schooners, the first flying Maxi and the return of the Pride! • Live thimble
For over forty years, the sailing world has gone through a wide range of vintage yacht restorations. Praised by connoisseurs of the indescribable pleasure of reviving the most beautiful survivors of the golden age of yachting, these extraordinary sailboats are very popular with the public thanks to their ability to transport us back in time. In the wake of the Nioulargue, the Société Nautique and its teams grant them another privilege: that of sharing the Gulf of Saint-Tropez with the most incredible modern and avant-garde yachting boats. All the more reason to succumb to the charm of the 24th edition of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez at the end of summer.
Week 1: Doyennes featured at the rally in Saint Tropez
Introduced two years ago, the popular two-week format is renewed from 2021, with the opening week of Les Voiles being dedicated to the sumptuous fleet of classic yachts, with no length limitation, as well as modern boats measuring up to ‘at 18m28. (60 feet).
This impressive line-up of contemporary and traditional marvels will be grouped in and around the port of Saint Tropez. Among the traditional yachts is a superlative armada of seven large classic schooners, some of which have an overall length of more than 50 meters, including Elena of London and Shenandoah. In the midst of an impressive fleet of more than 20 centenarians, the palm of seniority goes to Madcap, a boat dating straight from 1874, a newcomer to Les Voiles. Indeed, classified as a Historic Monument in 2014, it is the oldest registered cutter pilot in the world still able to sail. The boat was restored in 2018 with the support of the main economic players of the Commercial Port of La Rochelle.
Among modern boats measuring up to 18m28, Les Voiles is still a hit with amateurs and specialists in the IRC B to F classes, which kick off the competition from the first week, with categories counting up to a forty competitors. The great novelty of this edition is the return to the fray of a Swan 44 from 1973. Nothing very spectacular in that perhaps, except to say that this very elegant monohull with a black hull is not other than Pride, one of the two protagonists who, in 1981, faced the 12mR Ikra and, with the help of Patrice de Colmont, initiated the regatta which was to become the Nioulargue, and since 1999, Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. The boat has just been bought by a descendant of the original American owner, Dick Jayson, his presence will not fail to give the event a very special flavor.
Week 2: 50 maxis in the gulf
Everything is possible at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. Indeed, in the second week of regattas, it will be time to welcome an extraordinary fleet made up of more than fifty maxis, on one and now two hulls, bringing the attendance record in 2021 to some 45 units.
This year, no less than ten Wallys will participate in Voiles Maxi Yachts, the largest fleet for years. Armed with their inimitable style, characterized by an ultra-contemporary design combining extraordinary performance and comfort, the most phenomenal machines in the class are destined to race at daggers drawn on the racing area. Suddenly, it promises to be a real clash of titans between boats of 100 feet and more: Spirit of Malouen X and Y3K, will face the three Wallycentos from Luca Bassani’s 2013 box rule: Magic Carpet3 and Galateia, the two 100 feet designed by John Reichel and Jim Pugh, as well as Tango 100, a design by Californian naval architect based in Ireland, Mark Mills.
Leaving the world of luxury and comfort for that of pure and simple speed, this latest shipyard is also behind the incredible novelty in the race for the second week of Les Voiles: the very first large foiling boat, inspired by monohull technology presented during the 36th edition of Les Voiles. America’s Cup: Flying Nikka.
“The challenge that Roberto Lacorte offered us was not just to have a sailboat with foils, not just to foil over long distances offshore, but to do so within the framework of the existing rules”, explains the naval architect. “This poses many challenges, as does the requirement to keep the project widely accessible, using the best of America’s Cup experiences in a project whose costs and sophistication are more in line with a Grand Prix coastal boat. like a Maxi 72.” The sensational foiling maxi will carry the flag of the Yacht Club Repubblica Marinara di Pisa, its owner being the club’s commodore nonetheless.
Focus: An exclusive customization workshop in the village of Les Voiles
This is one of the most popular services offered by the exclusive North Sails boutique, official equipment supplier of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. Opening its doors wide to the crews participating in the event, as well as to the public, the Custom Lab, which allows any technical and sportswear item purchased in the North Sails sales area/showroom to be embroidered or screen printed, will be extended to a standing in the village. All competitors wishing to take advantage of this offer are invited to place pre-orders for delivery closer to the event.
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Week 1: Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez: Modern and Classic
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September: registration for all classic yachts without size limit and modern yachts up to 18.28 meters
Monday 26 September: regatta for modern yachts
Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28, Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October: regattas for modern and classic sailboats
Thursday, September 29: Challenge Day
Saturday, October 1: Prize giving (week 1)
Week 2: Sails for Maxi Yachts and Multihulls
Sunday 3 and Monday 4 October: registration for large modern yachts (Wally, Mini Maxi, Maxi, Super Maxi) and Performance Cruising Multihulls (over 60 feet)
Tuesday 4, Wednesday 5, Thursday 6, Friday 7, Saturday 8: races
Saturday, October 8: Prize giving (week 2)