Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez a light air balancing act

A very light mistral at Les Issambres was all that was needed for the Race Committee to release the maxis into the arena created by the Gulf of Saint Tropez for another day of racing, starting shortly after 14:00 hours local time, in a soft breeze.

The breeze built slightly, drawing the fleet of maxis out towards Les Issambres upwind at a gentle trot, before a sequence of manoeuvres with the wind on the beam, by way of a prelude to the energetic final stampede downwind along the shores of France’s Var region, where summer continues to linger.

Handling sails on big boats takes maximum manpower – Gilles Martin Raget pic

This Friday, a second race victory was awarded to Spirit of Malouen X, the French Wally 107, which managed to repeat her performance from Wednesday in the Maxi 1 category, competing for the North Sails Trophy. Stéphane Névé’s crew secured the win with a lead of over 12 minutes ahead of the gigantic Swan 115, Jasi.

“Without the mistakes we made in the first race, we could have won all the races,” explained Cédric Chateau.

“Spirit Of Malouen X is really at ease in the light airs. These conditions are ideal for settling in our new crew members. We’re not making any mistakes now and Laurent Pagès manages to concoct the perfect trajectories for us. We’ve really got into our stride.”

Spectator boat follows the maxis upwind – Gilles Martin-Raget pic

Pattoo, the massive McKeon design (33 m), which took the win at the start of the week, completes the day’s podium, and tonight she’s lying in second place, tied on points with Spirit of Malouen X.

The Wallycento Magic Carpet 3 is back in the race for a podium position after bagging second place this afternoon, which translates as a podium spot in the provisional overall ranking. This in the wake of the untouchable Maxi 72, Cannonball, the stand-out winner of today’s race.

Leading the way in this Maxi 2 group vying for the Bartoux Trophy, the other Maxi 72, Northstar 2, is still in with a chance of glory after just snatching third place in corrected time from the other Wallycento Galateia.

Though line honours went to Capricorno again today, the Wally 77 Lyra scored a bullet and with it a spot at the top of the provisional overall ranking ahead of the Italian Reichel/Pugh design. The Swiss Swan 601, Les Amis, posted a fourth place today behind Ryokan 3. Tonight she’s looking very comfortable on the third step of the overall podium.

Rambler always stands out in a crowd – Gilles Martin Raget pic

Three elegant Mylius are racing at Les Voiles within the Maxi 3 group this week (Besserat de Bellefon Trophy): Twin Soul B, a Mylius 80, Lady First 3 and Sud, Mylius 60s.

Mylius has been designing fast 55 to 80-foot cruiser-racers for the past 15 years. They are built entirely from carbon sandwich with a PVC foam core and epoxy resin and the company is renowned for treating its clients with the utmost care and attention.

The Swiss ketch-rigged Swan 65 Saïda stamped her authority over the Maxi 4 group by securing another second place in today’s race. Tonight, on the eve of the final round, the 12mR Kiwi Magic KZ7 is 3 points shy of the top spot, while the other 12mR French Kiss seems assured of third place.

Maguelonne Turcat

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