Summer is slowly deserting France, with all the country moving into autumn, leaving the heady delights of summer in its wake; that is all except for Saint Tropez, the little village in the Var region bordering the Mediterranean, which is still embracing the warmth of the sun as it prepares for Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez.
As such, the whole of the sailing planet is naturally migrating towards the Gulf one last time to enjoy the buzz of racing, the wonderful spectacle of myriad sails and the infectious passion of seafarers in their element.
The 24th edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is open to yachting fans the world over and the 2022 version will once again run for two joyous weeks with a line-up of classic yachts and ultra-modern Maxis.
On the race program will be the familiar series of legendary and unmissable events, ranging from the arrival of the classic yachts competing in the Yacht Club de France’s Autumn Cup on Sunday afternoon, to the Rolex Trophy, Challenge Day and its Centenarian Trophy.
Around 250 sailboats and nearly 3,000 sailors are champing at the bit as they prepare to celebrate the true spirit of international yachting on the waters of Saint Tropez.
Far from resting on its laurels, the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez (which is this year celebrating its 160th anniversary), which has organised Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez since 1999, is continuing to evolve with an increasingly strong environmental commitment, framed by a whole host of new initiatives to punctuate the coming fortnight.
“Those involved in boating are very much at the sharp end in terms of understanding the importance of a deep respect for the marine environment, whose fragility they know about and experience on a daily basis,” explains the President, Pierre Roinson.
“Sailing is a vector for powerful environmental messages and as an organiser, we’re keen to adopt a proactive approach, which is shared and supported by the engagement of our partners.”
The stand-out elements in this new approach include the use of GPS-guided course marks which can be positioned without harming the seabed, a ‘zero paper’ Race Committee, an event village which is even more eco-friendly than ever before, as well as a halt on the fireworks display.
Another key new feature is an entirely redesigned race village to welcome both participants and the public to Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2022. In this way, the space has been resized to give it the feel of the vast dwellings typical of the sprawling estates of Latin America.
Boasting new décor, the whole flow and comfort of the space has been enhanced, with the bar area positioned at the far end, enabling better communication between the various zones.
In terms of the different stands in the village, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, Pierre Roinson, was keen to reinvigorate the original spirit of the event by bringing all of these together in the exhibitors’ village, where they have a direct link to the world of the sea and protection of the environment.
Equally, both sailors and visitors will be able to find a wide variety of Les Voiles-themed mementos from their time at the event – glasses, water bottle, USB keys, etc. – available in the SNST’s boutique area at the entrance to the Village.
Week 1: Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez: Modern and Classic
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September: registration for all the classic with no size limit and modern yachts measuring up to 18.28 metres
Sunday 25 September: classic yachts competing in the Yacht Club de France’s Autumn Cup race from Cannes to the finish in Saint Tropez
Monday 26 September: racing for the modern yachts
Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28, Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October: racing for the modern and classic yachts
Thursday 29 September: Challenge Day, Club 55 Cup, Centenarians Race
Saturday 1 October: Prize-giving (week 1)
Week 2: Les Voiles Maxi Yachts and Multihulls
Sunday 3 and Monday 4 October: registration for the large modern yachts (Wally, Mini Maxi, Maxi, Super Maxi) and Performance Cruising Multihulls (in excess of 60-feet)
Tuesday 4, Wednesday 5, Friday 7, Saturday 8: racing
Thursday 6: lay day
Saturday 8 October: Prize-giving (week 2)
The entry list is online on the brand new Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez website at: http://www.lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr