As anticipated, the 20th edition of the Voiles will bring together 4,000 sailors on both land and sea, for the final big bash of the Saint-Tropez season, onboard more than 300 of the most beautiful modern and classic yachts in the world.
True to form, the team at the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and new president, Tony Oller, hope to maintain the unique spirit of this event: fair play and sportsmanship on the water accompanied by numerous entertainments ashore.
Ashore: everyone on deck
“The Voiles brings together an extraordinary mixture of boats, entertainments, and people.” explains Tony Oller, new president of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez. “I see my role as that of an orchestral conductor, with the formidable task of bringing together the regatta on the water with the party ashore whilst ensuring the safety and security of all. Thankful of the knowledge that I have the support of an incredible team of volunteers, in addition to a long-standing and loyal team who know their parts by heart! This year we will be adding an environmental dimension, a cause which concerns us all. To this end, an auction will be organised during the Voiles.”
Whilst the Race Village will keep to the same format as last year, the bar will return to the centre of this ground-space. Located near the Capitanerie, between the old and new port, the Race Village is the nerve centre of all the shore-based activities – well attended by the sailors but equally open to locals and the public, every day from 9am to 9pm.
On the water: a new class
Principal Race Officer, Georges Korhel, responds to feedback from competitors: “The ‘Spirit of Tradition’ category has been removed due to its lack of coherence, the feeling being that there was too much diversity in performance and size amongst the boats grouped together under this umbrella. In its place a new class has been born embracing an existing fleet of 8 to 10 big neo-classic boats which will race together in the ‘Big Spirit of Tradition’ class. They will follow the same programme as the Classics, racing from Tuesday to Saturday – Thursday being reserved for the Challenge Races.”
Zoom on the Rolex Trophy 2018
For the first time and in an unprecedented gathering, the Mediterranean pays homage to one of the most famous naval architects of the golden age of yachting: William Fife. To celebrate the 130th anniversary of the first appearance of the dragon engraved in gold on the bow of these beautiful classic yachts, the Voiles de Saint-Tropez welcomes: The Fife Jubilee for the Rolex Trophy.
The story behind the iconic signature of the fire-breathing dragon began in the autumn of 1888, when Scottish sailor, Francis C. Hill of Ardrishaig, met with William Fife III to commission Dragon, a 20 rater cutter, subsequently built in Fairlie. The yacht enjoyed tremendous success in its first season and the eponymous dragon became the symbol of power and speed, prompting Fife to select the image as the yard’s trademark.
Looking forwards to this anniversary, Saint-Tropez will host some of the greatest masterpieces designed on the shores of the River Clyde: Cambria, 40 meters across the deck, will be there to proudly represent the 23M international class rule; Moonbeam IV, once owned and extensively cruised by Prince Rainier of Monaco; Nan of Fife, the most elderly gaff-cutter dating back to 1896, whose current owner, upon discovering that the boat had once belonged to the family, was able to relocate it on-line and has restored it to its present magnificence. Also present will be Viola, elegant 50-meter cutter who happily celebrates her hundredth-year anniversary this year, whilst not forgetting ‘new comers’ such as the 8M JI Falcon and 15 meter Bermudan yawl Dione.
Tony Oller, new president to the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez
This Tropézien of 42 years is the new president of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez. Former high-level volleyball player, he was the youngest pupil of the sailing school, then a dedicated racer, before starting his professional career at the Town Hall as director of maritime and port affairs. A member of the SNST board of directors for three years, he served as secretary-general for some months before being elected president. After 18 years of presidency, André Beaufils, his predecessor, remains an active member of the Saint-Tropez Yacht Club, which boasts 600 members.
Two foundations – one cause
Using the occasion of the 20th edition of the Voiles, the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and new president, Tony Oller, wish to put their flagship event alongside an awareness for the protection of the marine environment. A particularly important cause in the Mediterranean, an enclosed and fragile sea, which should, established now, become a legacy for future generations. This initiative will be in collaboration with two associations: OFF (Ocean Family Foundation) and the Marine Observatory Service of the community of communes of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, partner to the Pelagos sanctuary.
- Saturday 29th, Sunday 30th September: Registration and Inspection
- Monday 1st, Tuesday 2nd, Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th (J.Laurain Memorial Day, Challenge Day), Friday 5th, Saturday 6th October: inshore races, 1st start 11h00
- Sunday 30th September and Monday 1st October: Registration and Inspection
- Sunday 30th September: arrival of the Yacht Club de France Autumn Cup feeder race from Cannes
- Tuesday 2nd, Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th (J.Laurain Memorial Day, Challenge Day, Club 55 Cup, GYC Centenary Trophy), Friday 5th, Saturday 6th: inshore races, 1st start 12h00
Prize-giving for everyone
- Sunday, 7th October, from 11h00
Find out more at www.lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr
by Maguelonne Turcat