Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez – An ode to pure regatta racing

  • 123 Modern yachts do battle for glory in the gulf!
  • Lyra and Wallyno confirm
  • 86 Classic yachts join the fray from tomorrow!

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is continuing to gain momentum as the week gets off to a flying start. With 40 Maxi-Yachts hitting the racetrack yesterday, today a fleet of Modern yachts also joined the fray. 123 ‘fast cruisers’ split into four IRC groups, they will round off their regatta season in Saint Tropez. Suffice to say that there was a strong desire to excel shortly after 13:00 hours this Monday when Race Management unleashed the excited racers onto a winding fifteen-mile course around the edge of the gulf. It was regatta racing at its purest with some incredibly intense action. Designed and kitted out for racing, the Modern yachts, like the large Maxi Yachts before them, are now hoisting their sails offshore of Pampelonne on a dedicated start and finish zone.

Committee boat vibes
In a light SSE’ly breeze, clocking round slightly to the SSW as it built after the start zone, the four IRC groups B, C, D and E each had their fair share of tension and adrenalin during the start phases. Indeed, all the crews were clearly eager to quickly latch onto some fresh breeze, clear of the fleet, as they climbed to windward en route to La Rabiou. The top spots really had to be earned, the crews often bluffing their way through the pack to glide level with the committee boat. Jean Pierre Dick and his Verdier design JP54 Notre Méditerranée quickly managed to put pedal to the metal on a perfectly flat race zone. He took victory in IRC B in elapsed time after less than two hours of racing, but it wasn’t enough to absorb his crew’s rating. Penalised when pointing high, Jean Pierre subsequently slid down into the middle of the leader board, which is tonight dominated by Sergio Sagramoso and his Lazy Dog.
The Mylius 50 Daguet 3 loves the race zone in Saint Tropez, managing to control a very competitive group of IRC C (BMW Trophy) in elapsed time, and securing 3rd in corrected time, astern of Adrien Follin and his Give me Five and Italian Achille Onorato on Mascalzone Latino

Galateia gains ground, Lyra confirms
Brilliant in Porto Cervo, the Wally Cento Galateia took the win today in elapsed time after a furious battle lasting over two hours in the fickle airs off Cavalaire. The other Wally Cento Magic Carpet 3 really pushed her hard, finishing less than 2 minutes shy of her. However, ultimately it was Peter Dubens and his super light North Star, who bagged the win in corrected time, ahead of the Wally 93 Bullitt
Yesterday’s winner, the Wally 77 Lyra, enjoyed a repeat performance today, both in elapsed and corrected time. Her toughest rival of the day was the Marten 72 Aragon, which finished a fierce race just a minute off the lead pace. It was a similar scenario in Maxi C, which was once again dominated by Benoit de Froidmont’s Wallyno, which managed to hold off Lady First 3 and the Swan 80 Umiko
As Benoit de Froidmont, President of the International Maxi Association, loves to point out, the fleet of Maxi Yachts enjoy the good life and believe in beauty. As such, 2023 has seen the creation of a number of the stunning craft competing at Les Voiles, including the Wally 101 Y3K, the Cafe racer Open SeasonBianca, a Matteo Polli designed Grand Soleil 72, and the German Mylius 66 Schorch.

Tomorrow, the Classics! 
We’ve been looking out for them as we would an old friend! Indeed, it’s fair to say that both yachting enthusiasts and novices all adore the Classic yachts. This year, the 86 sailboats from the golden age of yachting include a large number of centenarians, sloop, cutter, yawl and schooner rigs, carrying gaff or Bermudan sails. These range from the tiny 8.20 m Dainty to the massive schooner Elena and her LOA of 55 m, all of which will light up the gulf with their lustrous hulls and their shimmering sails from Tuesday. 

Today’s partner: BMW
BMW has been the Official Partner of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez for 14 years now and it remains as committed as ever. Indeed, throughout the week, it will be welcoming partners and clients on its VIP stand in the Village des Voiles, atop the Jean Réveille Jetty, with truly breathtaking views across the port of Saint Tropez and the race zone. No fewer than 7 vehicles are available for test drives, and three new fully electric models are on display beside the local Harbour Office, as well as a fully electric scooter. BMW is also giving guests of Les Voiles, journalists and VIPs a ride to stations and airports using 10 vehicles from its very latest ranges.

Programme 2023 (all results and race information online on Les Voiles website)
Tuesday 3 October: regattas for the whole fleet
Wednesday 4 October: regattas for the Modern and Classic yachts Day Off for the Maxis and Club 55 Maxi Cup
Thursday 5 October: Challenge Day and Club 55 Cup for the Modern and Classic yachts, regattas for the Maxis
Friday 6 October: regattas for the whole fleet, Prize-giving for the Maxi
Saturday 7 October: regattas for the Modern and Classic yachts,
Sunday 8 October: Prize-giving for the Modern and Classic yachts


Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez
President: Pierre Roinson
Principal Race Officer: Georges Korhel
Regatta Secretary: Frédérique Fantino
On-the-water logistics: Gilles Doyen
Communication and Executive Assistant: Chloé de Brouwer
Editorial: Denis van den Brink
Websites: www.lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr ; www.societe-nautique-saint-tropez.fr
Facebook: les Voiles de Saint-Tropez Officiel

Photo credit: SNST / Gilles Martin-Raget
Video: SNST/Guilain Grenier, 6G

Jeanneau JY60
Race Yachts
Cyclops Marine
M.O.S.S Australia