Atmosphere on the dockside at Les Voiles de Saint Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

Atmosphere on the dockside at Les Voiles de Saint Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

On the eve of the third running of Les Voiles de St. Barth, April 2-7, the palm-fringed port of Gustavia, St.Barthlemy quickly filled with an impressive array of race boats: ocean-racing maxis including the 90-foot Rambler and the Swan 112, Highland Breeze; classic beauties such the Olin Stephen-designed Dorade and the Fife-built yawl Mariella; a trio of IRC 52s, multi-hulls including the 66 Gunboat Phaedo, and two large racing classes with a mix of Melges, J/boats, and a mix of 40-footers, including the hot-off-the-press Carkeek 40, Decision.

Over 60 boats are registered for this years edition, up fromwith a large number of returning entries, proof that the regatta has filled the need for spirited competition towards the end of the winter season a time when tourism typically begins to wind down in the Caribbean. Though that was hard to tell yesterday, at the islands tiny airport, as the steady stream of small commuter planes landing were filled with a duffle bag-wielding collection of sailors from the ranks of the Americas Cup, round-the-world-ocean races, and Olympic competition, that included Gavin Brady (Vesper), Scott Vogel (Rambler), Bouwe Bekking (Nilaya), Cam Lewis (Paradox), Charlie McKee and Ross MacDonald (Mayhem), Tony Rey, Jeff Madrigali, and Nacho Postigo (Powerplay), and Dee Smith (Decision).

But its not just the professionals that flock to Les Voiles de St. Barth, the regattas program and mix of courses also appeals to a competitive group of amateur and family racers that hone their skills on the growing circuit of Caribbean regattas that take advantage of this sailing paradise.

Nilaya heads out for practice prior to the start of Les Voiles de St Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

Nilaya heads out for practice prior to the start of Les Voiles de St Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

While not the easiest of destinations to reach some U.S. west coast sailors logged 16+ hours in transit, while others from Europe only slightly less the island of St Barths itself is a welcome reward at the end of the road: a turquoise blue, crystal-clear sea, pristine white sand beaches, and an array of fabulous restaurants just payoff for a long days journey.

Francesco Mongelli, navigator onboard Jim Swartz IRC52 Vesper, is here racing in St Barths for the first time. The Italian sailor, who sails primarily in Europe, has been racing with the Vesper crew since last October, and was clearly keen to have touched down in this French paradise, Its a mix of all the best sailing places, together with perfect weather and good food. Having spent the afternoon in a tender carefully checking out the coastline and charted (and uncharted) rock outcroppings, Mongelli added, Its pretty similar to Porto Cervo, the difference is that there you more or less know where everything is, and the charts are accurate. You cannot take the same risk here that wed take in Porto Cervo.

Racing will run from Tuesday, April 3 Saturday, April 7 and will feature a mix of Olympic triangles, short coastal courses, and a 20-30 nautical mile round-the island race. The fleet will be split into seven classes: Maxi (> 21 meters), IRC52 (former TP52s that have been optimized for the IRC rule), Spinnaker I + II, Non-Spinnaker (racer/cruiser), Classic (vintage/traditional), and Multihull. Thursday is a layday at Nikki Beach, with lunch and a full afternoon of activities, including a paddleboard competition.

New this year, Les Voiles will offer real-time race tracking with 2D visualization via the internet. Waypoint-Tracking (www.waypoint-tracking.com) developed the system in close collaboration with ISAF. The site will allow enthusiasts to follow the daily racing action live or to replay at a later time.

Many of the competing boats are moored stern-to at the Quai General de Gaulle, site of the Race Village, where all of the daily breakfast and post-race activities and music take place. This evening, skippers and tacticians were on hand for the Skippers Briefing led by Loic Ponceau, Race Committee Chairman, and organizers Francois Tolede, Luc Poupon, and Annelisa Gee. Following that was Les Voiles St. Barth Opening Ceremony, where Bruno Magras, President of the Collectivit of St. Barth, welcomed more than 500 sailors to the weeklong event.

Whisper heads out to practice for Les Voiles de Saint Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

Whisper heads out to practice for Les Voiles de Saint Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

A regular and enthusiastic competitor in the Caribbean, Sir Peter Harrison was named the godfather or patron of this years Les Voiles. Harrison, owner of the 115-foot Farr-designed Sojana, told the crowd, As a visitor from England to this beautiful French island, one of the most beautiful in the West Indies, Im thrilled to be asked to the patron of Les Voiles. Bon vent Les Voiles de St. Barth, and good luck, everyone!

Also sailing on Sojana is Lionel Pan, who is also back for his third Les Voiles. He said, Obviously there are plenty of good reasons to be here, and to come back every year with the same enthusiasm: this place is made for sailing. In a very short time, Les Voiles de St. Barth has become the place to be, very much like Saint Tropez in the Mediterranean. And the word is spreading around. Shortly there will be a waiting list to be a part of the event!

The weather forecast for the next few days calls for light winds, though the breeze is expected to increase throughout the week. Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Tuesday, April 3, two miles northwest of Sugarloaf Rock off Gustavia; one race is scheduled with a start time of 12noon.

Gustavia Harbour on the eve of the start of Les Voiles de St Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

Gustavia Harbour on the eve of the start of Les Voiles de St Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

 

 

Rambler 100 , Skippered by Ken Read (Photo by Christophe Jouany  / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth )

Rambler 100 ,Skippered by Ken Read (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth )

The first day of racing at the 2nd edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth dawned with 25 knots of tropical tradewind breeze and showers sweeping over the picturesque French island located midway down the Caribbean chain. The regatta’s fleet of maxis, racing and cruising yachts, multi-hulls and classics – 48 confirmed on race day – set off on a race course around the nearby archipelago, and met with plenty of wind and bumpy seas, especially on the islands’ exposed eastern side.

You certainly couldn’t have asked for a prettier race course, which today sent fleets on jaunts of either 16-, 22-, or 25-nautical mile jaunts.  Most intriguing was the trip around the northern tip of St. Barth and through the nearby archipelago, which in a typically French way makes one ready for a meal with names such as Ile Chevreau (baby goat), Ile Fregate (bird), Ile le Boulanger (the baker), Ile Fourchue (fork), Grouper et Petite Groupers (fish), Le Boeuf (beef), and Le Pain du Sucre (sugarloaf).

Today’s later start at 1300 did nothing to diminish the wind and sea, as the first two classes off – Maxis and Multihulls – with eleven boats, started in 22 knots and encountered two meter seas and were sent on a 25-nautical mile course. George David’s Rambler 100 with Ken Read as skipper, got away at the pin end of the starting line and lead Hugo Stenbeck on Genuine Risk up into the outer harbor to an offset turning mark. Once around, Rambler set a huge asymmetric spinnaker and was on her way for the day.

Genuine Risk (Photo by Christophe Jouany  / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth )

Genuine Risk (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth )

On the eastern, and windward, side of the island the big boats reveled in the conditions which eventually topped out above 30 knots – Genuine Risk, with their combined crew Swedish/ American crew, recorded 30 knots of boat speed surfing downwind through the islands.

Also racing in the Maxi class was the 86’ CNB sloop Spiip, owned by Robin de Jong, who is making his way westward to Tahiti with the boat. Onboard Spiip is Bruno Trouble, well known for creating and overseeing the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series (for the America’s Cup) that originated in 1983. Trouble is racing at the regatta for the first time, and he said, “Les Voiles de St. Barth reminds me a lot of the early days of the Nioulargue with boats from all over the place taking part.  Things are going to really build and it is just great, it really reminds me of the first Nioulargue!”

In the Racing Class, the crew work aboard Jim Swartz’s Vesper looked well-honed as the team traded tacks with Peter Cunningham’s Farr 60 Venomous (CAY) up the first short beat. Back on the quay, Venomous’ tactician Tony Rey recounted the day, “We had some great sailing   – St. Barth’s is such an awesome place to sail, every time you turn around an island, or a piece of land, the view just gets better and better. It’s just that the race course is a minefield because the wind twists and turns up the corners and the crevices – but it’s a fascinating place to sail! We also had the added challenge that our instruments went down, so we were guessing on our wind speed and direction, and guessing at our boat speed for part of it too, which turned us into good seat-of-the-pants sailors.”

Vesper  (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth )

Vesper (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth )

Before scores were tabulated, though Rey suspects, “We think we were probably 2nd or 3rd, we’re pretty sure Vesper beat us handily, because downwind you just can’t stay with a boat like that.  We could have sailed better for sure, we left a few seconds on the race track, but generally we’re thrilled, it was a great day of sailing!”

In the 24-boat Racing Cruising class, the Swan 60 Fenix closely led Jereon Hin’s First 50 Black Hole (NED) after the first upwind beat. This class has a gamut of boats including two all-women entries, Annie O’Sullivan’s Diamonds Are Forever (UK), and Henneke Stegweg’s iLost (NED). As well, there are two Moorings 50.5 charter boats with two crews from Oakville, Ontario, Canada, headed up by Andre Beese and Patrick Festing. Both crews are comprised of friends and fellow Etchells sailors, who were originally headed to Antigua to race when a friend suggested they race at Les Voiles de St. Barth.

The Classics class, while low on numbers with just five boats, were high on style points with the 76’ W-class White Wings, the 80’ Fife yawl, Mariella, the 60’ dark-hulled gaff-rigged yawl Kate from St Kitt’s, and the 26’ Friendship sloop La Sirene, gracing the line.
Carlo Falcone, from Antigua, is a frequent competitor with Mariella in both classic and offshore races around the world, which he, more often than not, wins. He enjoys sailing in St. Barth because it has, he says, “more European style than other parts of the Caribbean.”

The yacht was designed by American naval architect Alfred Mylne, and built by Fife in Scotland in 1938. As Falcone says, “The beauty of this boat is the mix of the two. Mariella is well sailed and immaculately maintained, and Falcone says,  “I believe the more you use the boat the better it is. But it’s never-ending work – not buying the boat, but keeping it. They say, ‘the owners are just taking care of the boat until the next one.’” His regular crew is a mix of family and friends including his daughter Sylvia, his long-time navigator, 89-year old Henry Pepper (Marblehead, Mass), and crew from Italy, Australia and Dominica. Les Voiles de St.Barth is a way to prepare the boat for this summer’s classic yacht series in New England.

With a relatively new event, one may wonder what goes into the thinking for the course on day one. Following this morning’s skipper’s briefing, the, Les Voiles Race Committee Principal Race Officer, Jean Coadou offered some insight, “There were three main elements: the weather forecast, looking at the strength and direction of the wind around all of the islands. Also it was important with such a large fleet to avoid any boats crossing paths. And first and foremost, the enjoyment of sailing was a key factor. We try to ensure that the competitors encounter all the different points of sail, upwind, downwind and reaching. The idea is to come up with three hours of exciting racing each day; that is why the courses are around 30 miles in length for the fastest boats and 16 miles for the smaller craft.”
Key information: Les Voiles de St. Barth is being hosted from April 4 – 9 2011 by the St. Barth Yacht Club

Les Voiles de Saint Barth (Photo by Les Voiles de Saint Barth)

Les Voiles de Saint Barth (Photo by Les Voiles de Saint Barth)

 

Entries

Yacht Name   Sail Design LOA Skipper Status

SOJANA
 GBR 115 FARR 115 Peter HARRISON /Marc FIDZGERALD  

HIGHLAND BREEZE
 888 SWAN 112 RS/GPR 112′ ALBERT KEULARTS
 
SPIIP
 FRA 8686 CNB 86 86′ ROBIN DE JONG 
 
RAMBLER 100  USA 25555   READ Ken
 
GENUINE RISK
 8390 DUBOIS/MC CONAUGHY 97′ HUGO STENBECK

ICARUS
  JONGERT 90′   
 

 
PANIC ATTACK
 750 OPEN 750 24′ JAN VANDEN EYNDE
 
TECHNOMARINE
 FRA 27917 Farr 36,7 DEREDEC Christian 
 
PUFFY
 USA 45454 Farr 45 DEMARCHELLIER Patrick
 
ANTILOPE
 GRB 1513L GRAND SOLEIL 43′ WILLEM WESTER
 
SPEEDY NEMO  SBH 26   MAGRAS Raymond

VESPER
  TP 52 54′ JAMES SWARTZ 
 
VENOMOUS
 GBR 60006 FARR DESIGN 60′ PETER CUNNINGHAM
 
MAE-LIA     MAGRAS Raphael

SOLANO  FRA 34625   

Classic
Yacht Name   Sail Design LOA Skipper Status
 
 
WHITE WINGS
 US2 W CLASS 76′ DONALD TOFIAS
 
KATE
 ES5 MYLNE 60′ Walwyn 
 
LA SIRÈNE
 3 FRIEND SHIP SLOOP R WILSON 26′ DAVID PERTEL  
 
MARIELLA
 464 YAWL/FIFE 80′ CARLO FALCONE Pre-entry
 
Racing Cruising
Yacht Name   Sail Design LOA Skipper Status
 
 
FENIX
 GBR 9660R SWAN  60′ MORITZ BURMESTER  
 
L’ESPERANCE
 123 Beneteau 45 VELASQUEZ Robert 
 
BLACK HOLE
 GER 150L FIRST 50 50′ JEROEN HIN  
 
COSTA MESA
 88 DUFOUR 425 GL 43′ REY PASCAL
 
ORMEAU
  FINOT BENETEAU 47.3 ALAIN CHARLOT 
 
MR. WALKER
 FRA 491 REQUIN 33 MELISSA RIMBAUD
 
LIL’E
 FRA 479 REQUIN 33 FOX MOWGLI
 
SUGAR CANE
  BERRET 50.5 ANDRE BEESE
 
MAE-LIA
  X-YACHT 34 MAGRAS Raphael
 
TRITON
  BERRET 50.5 PATRICK SMITH
 
SPEEDY NEMO
  DUFOUR  34′ RAYMOND MAGRAS
 
THULA
 51952 BALTIC 39 39′ MAX IMRIE  
 
TARA II
  SUN ODYSSEY 54 DS 54′ HENRY ALBERT
 
SPLENDIDO
 FRA37407 GRAND SOLEIL 40′ PHILIPPE HERVOUET
 
NIX
 IVB 612 X-YACHT 60′ NICO CORTLEVER
 
AFFINITY
 US 50007 SWAN  48′ JACK DESMOND 
 
SOLANO
 FRA 34625 LATINI 52 FELCI 52′ FREDERIC RIALLAND  
 
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
 GRB 1007L ELAN 37′ ANNIE O’SULLIVAN 
 
COYOTE 2
 GBR 9949 T FIRST 40.7 41′ KEN ACOTT 
 
iLOST
  HARMONY 42 42′ HANNEKE STEGWEG
 
SHAMROCK VII
 USA 1 J 95 31′ THOMAS MULLEN
 
WILD DEVIL ISLAND WATER WORLD
 NM 1993 KIWI 35 35′ BEN JELIC
 
TANGRA  413 REQUIN 35′ QUERE Pre-entry
 
Racing Multihull
Yacht Name   Sail Design LOA Skipper Status
 
 
PHAEDO
 399BC GUNBOAT 66′ PAUL HAND 
 
DAUPHIN TELECOM
  COULOMBEL 40′ ERICK CLEMENT 
 
BLANCA
  SEACART 30′ HERVE DE MARJOLIE
 
SPIRIT 
 GBR 565  40′ JASON GARD
 
BLUE CAT   VAN PETEGHEM 40′ CHAYER
 
CARIB CAT
CATAMARAN MY CAT 26′ CONSIDERE CLAUDE

 

 

St Barths Bucket  (Photo by Oskar Kihlborg www.kihlborg.se )

St Barths Bucket (Photo by Oskar Kihlborg www.kihlborg.se )

Virago a performance Nautor Swan sailing yacht wins the 2011 St. Barths Bucket Regatta overall for the 25th Anniversary St. Barths Bucket Regatta.

BY CLASS

Results: GRAND DAMES (Course #7 19.6 nm)  
  Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Total  
  Points Points Points Points Rank
AXIA 2 3 7 12 1
GENEVIEVE 10 2 3 15 2
BLUE TOO 13 1 2 16 3
HELIOS II 11 5 1 17 4
ETHEREAL 8 6 4 18 5
KLOSTERS 3 4 12 19 6
MALTESE FALCON 6 7 6 19 7
PARSIFAL III 4 9 9 22 8
PARAISO 9 8 5 22 9
DRUMBEG 5 10 10 25 10
TWIZZLE 7 11 8 26 11
WILLIAM TAI 1 13 13 27 12
ANTARA 12 12 11 35 13
           
     
Results: ELEGANTES (Course #7 19.6 nm)  
  Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Total  
  Points Points Points Points Rank
REBECCA 4 1 4 9 1
WINDROSE 3 2 7 12 2
MARIE 1 7 5 13 3
CHRISTOPHER 5 9 2 16 4
BEQUIA 2 6 8 16 5
THIS IS US 9 3 6 18 6
GAIA 7 8 3 18 7
ELENA 8 10 1 19 8
WHITE WINGS 6 5 9 20 9
METEOR 10 4 10 24 10
GLORIA 11 12 11 34 11
           
     
Results: GAZELLES (Course #6 22.6 nm)  
  Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Total  
  Points Points Points Points Rank
VIRAGO 4 1 1 6 1
SYMMETRY 2 2 7 11 2
RANGER 5 4 4 13 3
HANUMAN 3 9 2 14 4
P2 6 6 3 15 5
MARAMA 1 5 12 18 6
SOJANA 8 3 8 19 7
LEOPARD 3 7 10 6 23 8
HYPERION 11 11 5 27 9
MOONBIRD 9 8 11 28 10
MIRABELLA V 16 7 10 33 11
VARSOVIE 10 12 15 37 12
KOKOMO 14 15 9 38 13
ZEFIRO 12 14 13 39 14
LADY B 13 13 16 42 15
SONG OF THE SEA 15 16 14 45 16

A beautiful slideshow courtesy of  Cory Silken of the 40 strong fleet of Superyachts with spectacular St. Barths as the backdrop.

 

 

 St. Barth’s Bucket selects – Images by Cory Silken

 

Overall Winners

1st
2nd
3rd

Virago
Hanuman
Symmetry

Les Gazelles – Racing Class

1st
2nd
3rd

Virago
Symmetry
Ranger

Les Grand Dames – Cruising Class

1st
2nd
3rd

Axia
Genevieve
Blue Too

Les Elegantes – Classic Class

1st
2nd
3rd

Rebecca
Windrose
Marie

 

 

Alloy Cup

Blue Too

All Star Crew Award presented by Holland Jachtbuow

(also presented by The Yacht Report and Crew Report magazines)


Rebecca          

Wolter Huisman Memorial Spirit of the Bucket Trophy

Marie

Perini Navi Cup

P2

Vitter’s Shipyard Seamanship Trophy


Maltese Falcon          

Skullduggery Cravat


Axia          

Hard Hat Award


Mike Slade on Leopard          

 
 

Escargot Cup

Gloria

Hard Hat Award

Mike Slade on Leopard
 
 

Descriptions of Awards

Overall

These awards, first through third, are presented for the best performance overall for combined results, all classes, all races.

Les Gazelles & Les Grand Dames

In 2005, when the Bucket Regatta grew beyond all expectations and the fleet doubled in size, it was determined that the yachts should be split into classes that considered their essential attributes.  However, the distinction of “Cruising Division” and “Racing Division” seemed just, oh so pedestrian, for a fleet of this stature.  In the RC’s opinion, the designation of “Les Gazelles des Mers” for the Racing Division and “Les Grandes Dammes des Mers” for the Cruising Division, seemed far more appropriate. In 2011 “Les Elegantes” was added, providing a class for “classic yachts”.

Each Division has trophies presented for best performance overall, first through third.

Alloy Cup

Best Performance by an Alloy Yacht

All Star Crew Award

At each Bucket Event, every yacht is asked to cast a ballot for the yacht crew among the fleet that demonstrates the most professional service in all tasks, while maintaining the best voie de vivre, camaraderie, teamwork and respect among the crew.  This is the crew that displays the pinnacle of the profession and has the most fun at it – the yacht that everyone wants to work aboard.   Because the award is earned by peer recognition, it has earned serious stature within the marine industry.

Spirit of the Bucket Trophy

This award is presented each year by Alice Huisman, to the yacht that best exemplifies the spirit of the Bucket Regattas.  The selection is absolutely subjective, but considers sportsmanship, safe seamanship, best hospitality and overall contribution to the event. 

We have created a lot of humor around the premise that “Bribes can get you anything in the Bucket” and this is where the truth comes clear.  The Bucket Regatta was really started as a Club of yacht owners who loved nothing more than sailing their yachts well, getting the best out of them, and then sharing great yarns and libation at the end of the day.  There are a group of owners who have contributed a lot to the event over the years, from tenders to parties, committee boats, etc.  It is this Spirit that sets this event apart from all others.  It is in recognition of this Spirit that the Wolter Huisman Memorial Trophy is awarded.

(None of the above reduces the RC’s taste for fine champagne!)

Perini Navi Cup

Perini-Navi Yacht with the best result.

Vitters Seamanship Trophy

Awarded to the yacht that demonstrates the best seamanship and sportsmanship in the interest of promoting safety on the race course.  All participants in the Bucket acknowledge that superyachts have serious limitations operating safely in close quarters and therefore, the RC has always valued safety well above performance.  This award will recognize the yacht that best demonstrates that understanding.  It also goes to prove that nice guys don’t always finish last!!

Skullduggery Cravat

The Skullduggery Cravat is a perfectly tied Admiralty Noose, framed, with instructions in elegant calligraphy on how to tie a proper, 13 turn noose.  This was originally awarded to the owner of SARIYAH in 2002, so his captain, Timothy Laughridge (Bucket Committee) could be hung at the pleasure of the Fleet.

The award was renamed and put forward by the Committee to reinforce the Bucket premise that we are NOT here to promulgate adult behavior.  The Cravat will be awarded to the yacht and crew who display the best bucket humor.  As a guideline, we again focus on SARIYAH, where one year they spent the evening prior to the last race, slaughtering a down feathered mattress, then they packed the feathers in with their spinnaker so when they set their ‘Chute with the Hawk logo the following day, they not only dusted the horizon with feathers, but left a rubber chicken hanging from their spinnaker pole!!!

 

Hanuman, Overall Winner Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 ( Photo by George Bekris )

Hanuman, Overall Winner Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 ( Photo by George Bekris )

Overall Winners

1st   Place   Hanuman
2nd  Place   White Wings
3rd   Place   Clevelander

Les Gazelles – Racing Class

1st   Hanuman
2nd  White Wings
3rd   Clevelander
 
Les Grand Dames – Cruising Class

1st    Meteor
2nd   Azzura
3rd    Gloria

Vitter’s Shipyard Seamanship Trophy

Easterner

Chippewa Bomb

Azzura

 
For More Images from the Newport Bucket Regatta visit our Images Page or click Here

Descriptions of Awards

Overall
These awards, first through third, are presented for the best performance overall for combined results, all classes, all races.

 
Les Gazelles & Les Grand Dames
In 2005, when the Bucket Regatta grew beyond all expectations and the fleet doubled in size, it was determined that the yachts should be split into classes that considered their essential attributes.  However, the distinction of “Cruising Division” and “Racing Division” seemed just, oh so pedestrian, for a fleet of this stature.  In the RC’s opinion, the designation of “Les Gazelles des Mers” for the Racing Division and “Les Grandes Dammes des Mers” for the Cruising Division, seemed far more appropriate.

Each Division has trophies presented for best performance overall, first through third.

 
Vitters Seamanship Trophy
Awarded to the yacht that demonstrates the best seamanship and sportsmanship in the interest of promoting safety on the race course.  All participants in the Bucket acknowledge that superyachts have serious limitations operating safely in close quarters and therefore, the RC has always valued safety well above performance.  This award will recognize the yacht that best demonstrates that understanding.  It also goes to prove that nice guys don’t always finish last!!

 

White Wings Winner of Day One Of Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 (Photo by George Bekris)

White Wings Winner of Day One Of Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 (Photo by George Bekris)

The 2010 Newport Bucket Regatta was launched in a Carnival Atmosphere on Friday evening with three significant splashes.  Our Ratings Guru, Jim Teeters, Charlie Dana, our host at Newport Shipyard and race director Hank Halsted, were sacrificed to the “dunk tank” where amid cheers and laughter they were dumped one by one, into the tank with our guest juggler, fire thrower and stilt walker entertaining the crew all the while.  With light wind forecast for the weekend, the Skippers meeting also called for a special tribute to our patron God, Neptune, wherein all in attendance served up a toast of vintage Calvados  – with a tot into the sea, and a hearty cheer for the wind gods. 

Clevelander upwind on Rhode Island Sound (Photo by George Bekris)

Clevelander upwind on Rhode Island Sound (Photo by George Bekris)

Unfortunately, six of sixteen yachts which were entered in the regatta were forced in the past week to withdraw for a bizarre set of circumstances involving two serious engine problems, a cruising permit issue, a death in a family and a couple other disabling events.  Regardless, ten boats arrived at the starting line, five “Grandes Dames” and five “Gazelles” filled the cruising and racing classes.

Saturday was a sparkling fall day with a brisk 15 knot northerly blowing in the morning, forecast to diminish substantially.  The starting line was well recognizable, with magnificent 160′ Trinity Motoryacht,  VITA, as committee boat, loaned to the Bucket by the Owner of J Class, RANGER.  Thank you John!!  The two classes sailed courses of 14 and 19 miles respectively, from the same start to the same finish, with reasonably close racing within the classes. 

Even sailing the extra five miles, the Gazelles dominated the day with the W 76, WHITE WINGS finishing first in class and overall, a minute and a half ahead of the classic 12 Meter, EASTERNER, driven by Paul Callahan, director of the “Sail to Prevail Foundation” which uses sailing as an instructional format for the handicapped.  HANUMAN, the J Boat by Royal Huisman Shipyard finished third. 

Meteor  on Day One Of Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 (Photo by George Bekris)

Meteor on Day One Of Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 (Photo by George Bekris)

Among the Grandes Dames, the Royal Huisman 169′ Schooner, METEOR won her class by over five minutes, having sailed a tactically beautiful race.  The yacht is simply, a visual feast!  PALAWAN, the Little Harbor 75′ Sloop finished second with AURELIUS, the 77′ Modern Classic Dykstra design sloop, in third.

Gloria crossing the start line in the Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 (Photo by George Bekris)

Gloria crossing the start line in the Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 (Photo by George Bekris)

In sum, this was a perfect fall day of sailing off Newport with sun, crisp breezes that never died, thanks to our patron, Neptune, and a good time had by all!

For More Photos Of Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 click HERE

Voiles de Saint Barths ( Photo by  Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)

Voiles de Saint Barths ( Photo by Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)

– Squalls and a race around the whole island of St. Barts to mark the end of an exciting week

– Rambler in homage to Peter

– Wild Horses by 4 seconds!

– The joy of the sailors from St Maarten

After three days of racing on various courses, which were physically and tactically demanding, Luc Poupon and the race directors scheduled a race all the way around the island of St. Barts to close this first highly successful edition of the Voiles de Saint-Barth. A 22-mile long race between the rocks in a trade wind that remained strong throughout the week.  In order to ensure that the festive atmosphere of the event was respected, the 23 yachts taking part all lined up on the same starting line at the same time at 1100 hrs to be given the off.

Voiles de Saint Barths ( Photo by  Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)

Voiles de Saint Barths (Photo by Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)

Rambler, thinking of Peter Doriean

As soon as the start procedures got underway, a huge tropical squall meant that the race area and the crews were drenched. A few minutes later, the skies brightened and as is often the case it suddenly went flat calm in the entrance to Gustavia harbour and on the start line. The yachts waited for a while with their sails flapping and the race directors launched the start procedures again, as the trade wind made its presence felt again with an 18-knot easterly blowing. The final clearance buoy set up less than a mile from the start saw a huge traffic jam build up, with the two giants deciding to come in on different tacks, Sojana on starboard and Rambler on the port tack. The tone was set, and this final race of the Voiles de Saint-Barth was underway with the same thrilling competition as on the previous races this week. O, just two hours, the impressive Reichel/Pugh-designed Rambler completed the course that was very tactical because of all the marks. Dominating throughout winning four times in four races, George David’s men remained modest in their triumph, and as they crossed the finishing line they were thinking of the Australian, Peter Doriean, their friend, who recently died in a tragic accident. As the boat’s tactician, the American Ken Read, explained earlier, the best way for the twenty men that make up the crew could pay homage to their team mate was to do their best throughout this event. The big ketch Sojana tried every day to keep up with the fast pace set by the American Maxi. The trade wind also helped her to show her full amazing potential.  In vain. The speed difference with the Farr designed boat was simply too great for Peter Holmberg’s men, who included the French sailors Loïck Peyron, Lionel Péan and Jacques Vincent, to hope to achieve a  win. However, the gap between the boats was not that huge and today only ten points separated them.

Wild Horses (Photo by

Wild Horses At Voiles de Saint Barths (Photo by Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)(Photo by

Wild Horses… by 4 seconds!

It was today’s big match after the huge success yesterday of the women on the W 76 White Wings.  The one all the crews and spectators at the Voiles de Saint Barth were looking forward to. Would Faraday Rosenberg and her 15 ladies repeat their performance, winning today’s race and in so doing win the event against the sistership, Wild Horses sailed by Donald Tofias and his boys? Everything remained uncertain throughout the 22 theoretical miles of the course around St. Barts. Clearly more and more at ease in their precise choice of route, White Wings once again showed their determination at the start and passed the clearance buoy way out in front of Wild Horses. The two big W 76 boats sped along leeward of the island, and it was in the long tacks in seas that were building that the all-female crew would ease off a little. Enough in any case to allow Tofias to get back in the race. He made a final dash for the finish on the downwind stretch and won by four tiny seconds. So victory went to Wild Horses in this particularly exciting Classic division, which was extremely fascinating to watch with such elegant racing, and with the presence of Kate, the gaff rigger recently built based on designs by Mylne, on the starting line to offer inspiration.

The sailors from St Maarten were just too much!

Robert Velasquez came to the Voiles de Saint-Barth confident in his crew from the Dutch Antilles and in the intrinsic quality of his First 45, having acquired decades of experience sailing around the West Indies. With four wins in four races, he was beaming with joy this evening and he made his pleasure felt, not finding the words to express his sheer enthusiasm, when talking about how kind the wind gods were this week. He triumphs at the top of the rankings in this group which included the largest number of participants at the “Voiles”, not and he never left the slightest chance for Raymond Magras’s valiant Dufour 34 “Speedy Nemo”, which had to make do with being runner up leaving David Cullen’s J 109 “Pocket Rocket” take third place.

The amazing J 122

Battling throughout the week against the splendid Swan 45 “Puffy”, belonging to the event’s godfather Patrick Demarchelier, the fast and daring “little” J 122 “Lost Horizon” skippered by the sailor from Antigua, James Dobbs triumphed this evening by achieving a fourth victory. Neither the strong breeze, not the heavy swell, which was sometimes very messy, nor the squally interludes seem to have affected Dobbs and his men, who found just the right tactics to overcome the power of the Swan and to see the name of their racing machine on the list of winners at this first edition of the “Voiles de Saint-Barth”.

galerie_282

Voiles de Saint Barths (Photo by Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)

What they said:

Robert Velasquez (L’espérance) :  “Great week! great races! We’ll be back next year! My lads were fantastic and we’re really pleased to have won this first edition of the “Voiles de Saint-Barth”, by in fact winning all the races…”

Karl James (Sojana) : “We had a great fight with Rambler. There were some tough encounters as we rounded the marks. We really enjoyed this week of sailing, with a very fine crew, who enabled us to get the most out of Sojana. Now, I’m moving on to another giant, Ranger, the big J Class boat that will be racing in Antigua against her eternal rival Velsheda…”

Some choice words from Loïck Peyron (Sojana): “2009 was a strange year; for the first time in thirty years, I didn’t sail across the Atlantic!  I was awarded the “Red Cap, I’ve been anointed. Now I’m a real sailor!”

Ken Read (Rambler): “This great week of racing does not mean of course that we have forgotten about the loss of our dear friend, Peter Doriean. All the crew showed how professional they were throughout the races. We shan’t forget Peter. Life goes on. Rambler will be continuing to race in the States. As for me, I’ve got a lot of work waiting with the wonderful “Puma Ocean Racing” project.

Marlies Sanders, White Wings : “Our crew was deliberately made up of women.  There are sixteen of us in all under the control of our skipper Faraday Rosenberg. There is a fantastic atmosphere on board, with a great team spirit. Everyone helps each other all the time. We have been sailing rather like in a match race against Wild Horses, which is a W76 class that is absolutely identical to ours, except that she is in the hands of the men. So there is real rivalry between us. Our first day was not that great, as we were using it really to train, but we soon found our marks, finishing second in race N°2, and winning yesterday. The final day was therefore decisive, as if we had won it, we would have been on equal points with the boys and we would have won the event because of winning the final race. It almost happened!  There’s an extraordinary atmosphere ashore, as it seems that everyone was supporting us and wanted to see us win. This was a fantastic week and we’re already making plans to come back next year.”

galerie_300

Voiles de Saint Barths (Photo by Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)

They were at the “Voiles de Saint-Barth” :

Loïck Peyron France – Sojana, Oman Sail

Lionel Péan France – Sojana

Jacques Vincent France – Sojana, L’Hydroptère

Peter Holmberg US Virgin Islands – Sojana

Gavin Brady – New Zealand Moneypenny, Malcazone Latino

Frazer Brown – New Zealand – Sojana – Extreme 40 Ecover

Ken Keefe – USA – Moneypenny, America’s Cup

Kimo Worthington – USA  Moneypenny, America’s Cup

Ken Read  – USA – Rambler, Puma Ocean Racing

Tim Dawson -USA –  Rambler

Justin Juggy Clougher – USA – Rambler, Volvo Ocean Race

Craig Alexander- Australia – Duende –  Classe 40 Kazimir partner

Justin Slattery – UK – Sojana – Volvo Ocean race

Tania Thevenaz -Switzerland- White wings, Tuiga

Overall rankings at the first edition of the Voiles de Saint-Barth

Classic (CLA) division after four races

1: “Wild Horses”, Donald Tofias ( (Classic / US) 5 points  (Race results: 1,1,2,1,)

2: “White Wings”, Faraday Rosenberg ( (Classic / US) 7 points  (Race results: 2,2,1,2,)

3: “Duende”, Randy West ( (Classic / Saint Barthelemy Yacht Club) 14 points  (Race results : 3,3,3,DNC ,)

4: “Kate”, Philippe Walwyn ( (Classic / Great Britain) 16 points  (Race results: 4,DNS ,4,3,)

Multihull division (M2K) after 4 races

1: “Escapade”, Greg Dorland (  / US) 5 points  (Race results: 1,1,DNS ,1,)

Racing division (RAC) after 4 races

1: “Lost Horizon”, James Dobbs ( (J 122 / Antigua) 4 points  (Race results: 1,1,1,1,)

2: “Puffy”, Patrick de Marchelier ( (Swan 45 / Saint Barthelemy Yacht Club) 8 points  (Race results: 2,2,2,2,)

3: “Black Hole”, Jeroen Hin ( (First 40.7 / Great Britain) 15 points  (Race results: 3,HTP ,3,3,)

4: “Malachite”, Pierre Mancy ( (A 40 / St Quentin Sailing Club) 17 points  (Race results: 5,3,4,5,)

5: “Lancelot”, John Shanholt ( (First 40.7 / US) 20 points  (Race results: 4,HTP ,DNS ,4,)

RACING CRUISING (R_C) division after 4 races

1: “L’esperance”, Robert Velasquez ( (First 45 F5 / Antilles Hollan) 4 points  (Race results: 1,1,1,1,)

2: “Speedy Nemo”, Raymond Magras ( (Dufour 34 / Saint Barthelemy Yacht Club) 8 points  (Race results: 2,2,2,2,)

3: “Pocket Rocket”, David Cullen ( (J 109 / Ireland) 12 points  (Race results: 3,3,3,3,)

4: “Lil’e”, Tanguy Fox ( (Requin / Saint Barthelemy Yacht Club) 18 points  (Race results: 6,4,4,4,)

5: “Thula”, Max Imrie ( (Baltic 39 / US) 19 points  (Race results: 4,5,5,5,)

6: “Corban”, Daniel Harper ( (Swann 42 / United States) 23 points  (Race results: 5,6,6,6,)

7: “Baladin”, Raphael Magras ( (Feeling 30 / Saint Barthelemy Yacht Club) 30 points  (Race results : 7,9,7,7,)

8: “Ormeau”, Alain Charlot ( (Oceanis 473 / Club de Voile du Lac D’orient) 33 points  (Race results: 9,8,8,8,)

9: “Iznogoud”, Christophe Baudoin ( (Surprise / Ctre Nautique de St Barthelemy) 35 points  (Race results: 8,7,DNS ,HTP ,)

SUPER YACHT (SUP) division after 4 races

1: “Rambler”, George David ( (Maxi / US) 5 points  (Race results: 1,1,1,2,)

2: “Sojana”, Marc Fitzgerald ( (Farr 115 / Great Britain) 8 points  (Race results: 2,2,3,1,)

3: “Moneypenny”, James Swartz ( (Swan 601 / United States) 11 points  (Race results: 3,3,2,3,)

4: “Nix”, Nico Cortlever ( (X 612 / Switzerland) 17 points  (Race results: 4,4,DNS ,4,)

Nix Voiles de Saint Barths (Photo by Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)

Nix Voiles de Saint Barths (Photo by Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)

Les Voiles de Saint Barth Fleet

Les Voiles de Saint Barth Fleet (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

They wanted it and they got it! After the pleasure of the strong contrasts of the first day of the very first edition of the Voiles de Saint Barth, where they found the wind they were looking for and some demanding conditions, the 23 crews taking part really wanted to get going again this morning. They quite simply wanted to be out on the water as soon as possible to line up at the start between the Sugar Loaf and Saint-Jean Island, so they might enjoy another day of sailing, which they knew would prove to be exceptional.

With the promise of a well-established easterly trade wind blowing at twenty knots or more being fulfilled, as soon as the starting gun was fired a little after eleven this morning local time, the tone was set and the crews had to do their best with the sail choices they had made to get the most out of their boat in the breeze. The final buoy in the harbour entrance in Gustavia saw some real acrobatics out on the water, when the wind strengthened from the nearby hillsides to send some off course and others to come to a sudden standstill. With everyone hiking out, and with the seaspray flying, the whole fleet soon disappeared, moving well away from the coast heading for Nègre Point. The sea was whipped up by the powerful trade wind into a choppy mess, and as they approached Coco Island and the Soube Rocks, the waves built to reach almost three metres in some places. Nothing could disturb however the serenity of the big boats racing, led over this first stretch of the 35-mile long course by the amazing all-woman crew of the Class W 76 “White Wings”. “Rambler” and “Sojana”, were fully satisfied in these conditions, which were able to reveal their full potential. They kept within a few lengths of each other, accompanied by “Puffy”, the Swan 45 belonging to Patrick Demarchelier, which could really take advantage of these conditions and the incredible J 122 “Lost Horizon” which came here from Antigua. Today’s course led the fleet in what were spectacular conditions around the whole island and its rocky isles, before finishing in beauty with a long downwind run windward of Forked Island…

Sojana (Photo by Christophe Jouany  / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Sojana (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Interview with Loïck Peyron:
Why did you decide to come and sail here?
You can’t explain it. It just seemed the obvious thing to do; St. Barts is a picture postcard location. I usually only end up in the West Indies at the finish of a transatlantic race, and with all the tiredness that has built up, I normally want just one thing and that is to go home as soon as I can. This week, I can really enjoy my stay. There’s the wind, blue seas, and some fine boats… Hardly anything has in fact changed since the last time I was here ten years or more ago. Just a few more big boats. It’s a fantastic place. We’re really fortunate to be able to sail in the Caribbean.

Does this event, the Voiles de Saint-Barth offer you a break in your calendar?
The timing is just perfect for me. I’ve just had a really great time and have been through a great adventure. It was a fabulous period in my life being with one of the best sailing teams in the world with Alinghi just a few weeks ago. This week I’m taking a little break. And I’ll soon be starting the new season on small, very fast catamarans with the Oman Sail team in the framework of the Extreme 40 Championship in Europe, and on the D35s on the Swiss lakes.

Oman Sail seems to be very dynamic?
There’s a lot going on with Oman Sail. I’m lucky to have been with them for over a year now. Oman has a real maritime history and it’s interesting to see them finding this past again with their nautical traditions. The Oman sailors are keen to learn. It’s time for me to share my modest experience.

So here you’re taking part aboard Sojana…
Sojana is a very elegant monohull, which belongs to a very elegant gentleman with a nice personality.

I’d already seen the boat in Saint-Tropez and now I’m discovering her from the inside; I like the way she sails so smoothly without any pressure. Peter Holmberg is at the helm. He was also a helmsman for Alinghi. So there are two former helmsmen from Alinghi aboard Sojana. Everything is very serious on board, as with such a big boat any mistake is serious. You really need to pay attention to every little detail. I’m in charge of trimming at the mizzen mast, and I work in close collaboration with the helmsman. The whole crew has a very high level. We’re battling it out with a real racing boat, Rambler, and it’s a huge challenge. With a little more wind, 20 knots, we hope to be able to get up there with them.

What do you think about the Voiles de Saint-Barth?
The setting is magnificent. If the Voiles de Saint-Barth didn’t exist, someone would have to invent it. It’s in place now and they have intelligently brought together all sorts of boats. It’s fascinating watching them all sailing together. Everything that makes sailing so interesting can be found here and the concept has a great future ahead of it.

What they said:
Jacques Vincent (Sojana): “The English speakers on board and there are a lot of them, were amazed by the course, which was much more varied and interesting than during the Bucket regatta. The boats are able to show what they can do in the strong trade wind, and Sojana has shown off her superb qualities in every point of sail. We were up to eighteen knots under gennaker. The heavy swell on the windward side of the island did not worry us at all, as our hull seems to cope very well with these conditions. The atmosphere on board is very calm. It’s one of the characteristics of the boat’s owner, Peter Harrison. We have a top class guest on board, a certain Loïck Peyron, who is in charge of trimming at the mizzen mast…”

White Wings With An All Women Crew (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

White Wings With An All Women Crew (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Tania Thevenaz (White Wings): There are three French speakers in this all-woman crew aboard the big classic yacht, White Wings, one from Quebec and one from Switzerland, and the blonde sailor Tania Thevenaz: “We are very close in terms of performance and quality to our sistership Wild Horses. Yesterday we did not make any mistakes in wind conditions that were at the limit for us. It was a challenge that the girls rose to, in spite of manoeuvres being tough in the powerful trade wind. We really enjoyed ourselves on these varied courses, which enable us to visit all the hidden secrets of the island. We’ve really got into the “Voiles de Saint-Barth” and we’re going to continue to improve throughout the week…”

Peter Holmberg (Sojana): I was one of the first skippers that Luc Poupon contacted to take part in the Voiles de Saint-Barth. It seemed like an interesting concept to me. I wanted to lend a hand to get the event going. I’m pleased to be here.

Each island has its own race and St. Barts seems to me to be a major sailing festival, an occasion, which brings together all sorts of different yachts, which is a very good thing for our sport.

We selected a very fine team with Peyron and some top notch racers. Yesterday we didn’t make any mistakes. The longer the race, the more chance we have. We’re in a pattern of strong trade winds, which is good for Sojana.

The Voiles de Saint-Barth seems to have found its footing. The Committee has come up with some great courses. The starts were clear and safety came first out on the water… I’ll give them a very high score. Back on the island, there was a very relaxed atmosphere last night with some nice music. Once again it was a great success.

St. Barts has grown very wisely. It has kept its personality. St. Barts is unique, a special place. It is magnificent here with some really friendly people. I’ve seen a lot of changes on some islands, as these islands are where I come from, and I can say that the development of St. Barts has been carried out very intelligently.

Richard Mille, Headline partner to the Voiles de Saint Barth commented . “The organisers of the Voiles de Saint-Barth can be proud of many things, not least the fact that they managed to convince and charm Richard Mille to join up as a partner to this first edition. Designed in Brittany, it is in Breuleux, near la Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland that the designs by this technical enthusiast come to life. Bringing together efficiency, artistic design and manufactured using a process and materials that are really special, Richard Mille watches, which are all finished by hand, enabled high class watchmaking to enter the 21st Century. Richard Mille watches are rare objects, the result of careful work to reach the absolute peak of excellence and to achieve the total perfection that their designer is looking for. Objects which you live, and you feel sensually, they bring along in harmony the latest hi-tech materials to satisfy not only a quest for beauty but also absolute comfort, offering a very light feel. Work on the shapes, the choice of materials and showing patience and taking his time, Richard Mille inspects them himself to approve them, refusing the slightest blemish to ensure these unique watches please a demanding and knowledgeable clientele. Far removed from the industrial processes, Richard Mille, who chose to name one of his creations “Les Voiles de Saint-Barth”, occupies a niche market for exceptional timepieces. ”

 

Rambler (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Rambler (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Groupe Classic (CLA) après 2 courses
1: “Wild Horses”, Donald Tofias ( (Classic / Etats Unis D’am) 2 points
2: “White Wings”, Faraday Rosenberg ( (Classic / Etats Unis D’am) 4 points
3: “Duende”, Randy West ( (Classic / Saint Barthelemy Yacht Club) 6 points
4: “Kate”, Philippe Walwyn ( (Classic / Grande-Bretagne) 9 points
Groupe Multicoques (M2K) après 2 courses
1: “Escapade”, Greg Dorland ( / Etats Unis D’am) 2 points

Groupe Racing (RAC) après 2 courses
1: “Lost Horizon”, James Dobbs ( (J 122 / Antigua) 2 points
2: “Puffy”, Patrick de Marchelier ( (Swann 45 / Saint Barthelemy Yacht Club) 4 points
3: “Malachite”, Pierre Mancy ( (A 40 / C V de St Quentin) 8 points
4: “Black Hole”, Jeroen Hin ( (First 40.7 / Great Britain) 9 points
5: “Lancelot”, John Shanholt ( (First 40.7 / Etats Unis D’am) 10 points

Groupe RACING CRUISING (R_C) après 2 courses
1: “L’esperance”, Robert Velasquez ( (First 45 F5 / Antilles Hollan) 2 points
2: “Speedy Nemo”, Raymond Magras ( (Dufour 34 / Saint Barthelemy Yacht Club) 4 points
3: “Pocket Rocket”, David Cullen ( (J 109 / Irlande) 6 points
4: “Thula”, Max Imrie ( (Baltic 39 / Etats Unis D’am) 9 points
5: “Lil’e”, Tanguy Fox ( (Requin / Saint Barthelemy Yacht Club) 10 points
6: “Corban”, Daniel Harper ( (Swann 42 / United States O) 11 points
7: “Iznogoud”, Christophe Baudoin ( (Surprise / Ctre Nautique de St Barthelemy) 15 points
8: “Baladin”, Raphael Magras ( (Feeling 30 / Saint Barthelemy Yacht Club) 16 points
9: “Ormeau”, Alain Charlot ( (Oceanis 473 / Club de Voile du Lac D’orient) 17 points
Groupe SUPER YACHT (SUP) après 2 courses
1: “Rambler”, George David ( (Maxi / Etats Unis D’am) 2 points
2: “Sojana”, Marc Fitzgerald ( (Farr 115 / Great Britain) 4 points
3: “Moneypenny”, James Schwartz ( (Swann 601 / United States O) 6 points
4: “Nix”, Nico Cortlever ( (X 612 / Suisse) 8 points

Puffy (Photo by

Puffy (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Wild Horses (Photo by Christophe Jouany  / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Wild Horses (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

A date on the calendar that is designed to last….

They were waiting for this and the St. Barts Yacht Club has done it. “They” are all those, who love elegant boats, who come to this place, where the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean come together, offering ideal sailing conditions with steady, strong breezes, turquoise seas and brilliant, warm sunshine. The friendly welcome and hospitality of St. Barts are well known. All that needed to be done was to offer a sporting challenge to encourage racers to turn up in large numbers from North America, but also from Europe, New Zealand and Australia.  A challenge, which would allow those who love sailing an opportunity to enjoy the privilege of weaving their way around in the magic waters of the island of St. Barts.

Patron of this first edition of the “Voiles”, the photographer Patrick Demarchelier, who lives on the island, is forgetting for one moment the world of fashion to escape aboard his Swan: “I’ve been enjoying sailing in these waters for a long time. I am of course delighted that is now possible to organise an event, bringing together all the attractions of the island and the surrounding waters. “The Voiles de Saint-Barth” is clearly a wish come true, a dream being fulfilled you might say, for those, who sail in the waters of Newport, Antigua and even the Solent, who are coming here to do battle in the sunny trade winds. This first edition looks like being a huge success in every way and I do not doubt for a moment that the “Voiles de Saint Barth” will become a regular date in amongst the leading events and unmissable regattas of the international yachting calendar.”

For many years, the French sailor, Lionel Péan has been at the helm of Sojana, belonging to the British owner Peter Harrison. The big Farr-designed ketch has been a regular at yachting events in the Mediterranean and in Central America since 2003 and Lionel Péan is pleased to be in charge of Sojana this week in these waters that he knows so well and that he considers to be the most attractive you can find anywhere in the yachting world. “When the trade wind is blowing steadily in strength and direction, which looks like being the case this week, there are many possibilities open to the Race Committee for setting up tactically interesting races. There’s going to be some fine racing and that is something I enjoy…especially when we’re in warm waters,” Lionel concluded with a smile.

Sojana and Moneypenny (Photo by Christophe Jouany  / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Sojana and Moneypenny (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Various courses in the trade wind
“The high-pressure area will guarantee that we’ll be in a trade wind that is steady in strength and direction” Luc Poupon, race director, appears to be very relaxed as he knows the island and the moods of the wind gods well.  Indeed, the trade wind has been blowing strongly from the north east since the start of the week and looks like lasting throughout the regatta, “veering a little bit easterly in the middle of the week”.  So we can look forward to everything going without a hitch and the race directors have already drawn up no fewer than twenty different courses along the coast and around St. Barts, with the aim of ensuring a fair fight between the five classes taking part.  Their choice will determine what sort of challenge the thirty crews will face this week. “There aren’t really any traps in the courses we have chosen” added Luc Poupon. “It takes a very long period of trade winds for any current phenomena to appear around the points. Our races are based around the islands and rocks. The sailors know the local phenomena in our waters, with wind shadows and acceleration around the headlands. However, they will have to be careful to avoid the shallows, and therefore keep away from the temptation of getting close to the beaches.”  The longest course is 32 miles and the shortest 15.  It will of course be the strength of the wind that will determine each morning the course for that day. Luc Poupon and his team reserve the right to send the smaller boats on a shorter course, if the bigger boats are able to keep up high averages and cover the course at high speed.

 

Peter "Spike" Doriean (Photo by Movistar / Volvo Ocean Race)

Peter "Spike" Doriean (Photo by Movistar / Volvo Ocean Race)

The American, Kenny Reed, skipper of the Maxi Puma turned up this morning aboard Rambler, but was clearly shocked by the tragic loss of Peter ‘Spike’ Doriean, who died in an accident Monday 5th April, apparently after slipping over and falling to the floor in his bathroom in Saint-Martin. The 90-foot Reichel-Pugh designed Rambler (ex-Alfa Romeo I) is one of the stars that people are looking forward to seeing at the Voiles de Saint-Barth. Kenny Reed stated that his crew were very distressed, but that it was the will of Spike’s close ones that his memory should be honoured by them taking part in the event. So it is with great sadness and with their friend and fellow crewman on their minds that the sailors on Rambler will be taking part in this first edition of the “Voiles de Saint Barth”.

Peter “Spike” Doriean, a well known Australian sailor and extremely talented professional crewman died in an accident yesterday in his hotel in Saint-Martin. Aged 38, he had taken part in many top class international races. Trimmer on Movistar in the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race and member of the News Corp team in 2001-2002, he was also a regular in the TP 52 circuit on Audi Q8, in the America’s Cup and took part in several Sydney-Hobart races.

Saint Barths (Photo by Christophe Jouany  / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Saint Barths (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)