The Maxi 72, Bella Mente, and American owner Hap Fauth will stage a big return to Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Richard Mille in April.
After a year’s absence, Fauth returns with a new boat, which was unveiled last July and is ready to race in Les Voiles. Designed by Botin Partners and built by New England Boatworks, this yacht adheres to the strict standards of the Maxi 72 class, so that the six yachts in competition on a worldwide basis can race at the most similar level of performance as possible.
“I was excited to dive into the development and build of a new yacht again and go through the process of figuring out how to optimize boat speed and get back into competition mode,” said Fauth, adding humorously that his team’s nickname among competitors is “Experimente” due to the in-depth testing and analyzing they perform on the boat each season. “When you’re sailing at this level, even the smallest details can be game changers. As we move forward with this new build, no stone can be left unturned.”
Three-time winner of the Maxi 72 Cup, Bella Mente will compete against three other Maxi 72’s during the 10th edition of Les Voiles: Sorcha, Proteus, and Momo.
IRC Rating System For Maxi and Maxi 72 Class
The IRC Rating System is used in many regattas around the world, such as the Giraglia and the Rorc 600. Applying the IRC Rule for the Maxi and Maxi 72 racing boats that participate in many other races throughout the year saves them both time and money.
“This allows for a homogeneity on the racing circuit for Maxi and Maxi 72,” explains race director Luc Poupon. “We are very attached to these classes and the feeling is mutual. We are lucky to have at least three of the six Maxi 72 yachts that race worldwide. The same goes for the Maxi class, such as Rambler 88, who happily comes back every year. It takes a lot of logistics to get them here, and we are aware of that. So anything we can do for them, we are happy to do!”
This 10th edition of Les Voiles looks like it will be a great one, based on the number of entries as of late October: Over 20 boats are already registered, a record since the first edition!
Other than the Maxi 72 entries in the running, the regatta is also looking forward to the participation of Raymond Magras’ Speedy Nemo, celebrating its 10th outing in the event: “We are pleased to have taken part in Les Voiles for the past ten years. The event has continued to grow, with more and more larger boats, but the organizers also take into account the need of the smaller ones, including shorter races, as will be the case next year!”
Team Island Water World, second in their class in 2018, will also return to race, along with Argentinean entry, Ventarron, class winner in 2018.
Newcomers from all over the world are also expected: the First 40, La Réponse, from Great Britain; the Ker 60, Phoenix, from Poland; Summer Storm, a Martin 49 from the United States; the Grand Soleil, Cachondo, from Puerto Rico, French sailors Jean-Pierre Dick with his JP 54 The Kid, and Pierre Jerome Baitallard with Sao Bernardo, a 63′ shipman. We are also looking forward to an entry from Belgium with Amalia and skipper Alexis Guillaume, a regular at Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Richard Mille.
Finally, several boats from the Route du Rhum could very well join Les Voiles after their arrival in Guadeloupe, such as Bertrand de Broc Pampero’s TS 42, the TS 42 Guyader Gastronomie, or Royan, the Team Delhumeau trimaran. Stay tuned!
Take advantage of our special offer, now through December 1: 10% discount on registration fees!
Our concierge service remains at your disposition to provide the best pricing for hotels and villa rentals. Berths in the port are also available at the low-season rate of 50% off.
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A word from Rob Weiland, Maxi 72 and TP52 Class Manager
“For the owners who are a fan of the Caribbean, the two preferred events for sure are the RORC Caribbean 600 and Les Voiles de St Barth Richard Mille. Both I would say for the mix of great sailing conditions, good event organization, good parties, and the very scenic locations, with good if not great accommodation and restaurant facilities. Personally I also appreciate very much the differences between the two, certainly if one knows France and the UK well, it is quite fascinating to see how these cultures have translated to St Barth and Antigua.”
by Les Voiles de Saint-Barth