In keeping with the great tradition of the Nioulargue, the 25th edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez features a more compact 10-day format. The spirit of the event remaining unchanged, both on the water and ashore.
On the water: A programme for the asking
The Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez is in charge of organizing the event and orchestrating the regattas. It has to manage a fleet of competitors comprising some 250 boats divided into three main categories – Maxis, Moderns and Traditions – themselves subdivided into classes grouping together boats of similar performance and speed.
“We’re going to do the same thing for Les Voiles as we did for the Rolex Giraglia,” explains Georges Korhel, the Principal Race Officer. “The day before each regatta day, the Race Committee will inform the competitors of its intentions, taking into account the weather forecasts. We could imagine the fleet of large moderns racing around the buoys, and the fleet of small moderns doing a short coastal run or racing with the Maxis. One can envisage a multitude of possibilities.”
Thanks to the use of geopositioned electric course buoys that have no impact on the seabed, the Committee will also be able to set up courses in the race zone in front of the beaches of Pampelonne, respecting this area adjacent to the Port-Cros National Park managed by the Marine Observatory of the Communauté de Communes of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez.
Ashore: a village on the water’s edge!
It’s one of the big surprises of the 25th edition: the ephemeral race village of Les Voiles moves in right next to the regattas, on the Môle Jean Réveille seawall! This essential meeting place, open to participants and the general public alike, will be the beating heart of the event for the duration of the Voiles.
“One can see the sea from one side, on the other Saint Tropez’s iconic church tower” Pierre Roinson, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, sums up the incredible location and all its advantages, thanks to the technical prowess of its design and construction: “Beyond the novelty, this will give a different dimension to the Voiles, the tents visible from the port announcing a space accessible to all, including a stage where musicians can perform”
Particular attention is planned for the signage.
On the entertainment front, the pillars of the Voiles’ success will be in place, with evening performances by groups in the Voiles race village, as well as the not-to-be-missed highlights of the Wednesday evening boule competition, and the famous crew parade that lights up the port and adjacent streets on Thursday evening.
Zoom on: Highfield, the world leader in aluminium-hulled RIBs joins the partners of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
Their nickname was given to them by the skippers of the Vendée Globe and Route du Rhum: the “Highfield guardian angels”. Standard-bearers of the brand that has made its deep-V aluminium hulls its trademark, have forged a reputation over the past 12 years for smooth handling and exceptional performance in all sea conditions. Highfield France, headed by Pascal-Eric Montazel, has recently been acquired by RCM, one of the world’s leading automobile and yachting distributors, and will be joining Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez for the next three years, with the launch of a brand-new range with the evocative name “Sport Méditerranée”.
- Friday 29 September: (beginning of the afternoon) Maxi registration (over 18.28m)
- Saturday 30 September: Maxi registration (over 18.28m) and registration for Classic and Modern yachts up to 18.28 meters
- Sunday 1st October: regattas for the Maxis, registration for Classic and Modern yachts up to 18.28 meters
- Monday 2 October: regattas for Maxi and Modern yachts
- Tuesday 3 October: regattas for all fleets
- Wednesday 4 October: regattas for Modern and Classic yachts, Lay Day for the Maxis, Maxi Club 55 Cup
- Thursday 5 October: Challenge Day and Club 55 Cup for Modern and Classic yachts, regattas for the Maxis
- Friday 6 October: regattas for the whole fleet, Prize giving for the Maxis
- Saturday 7 October: regattas for Modern and Classic yachts,
- Sunday October 8: Prize-giving ceremony for Modern and Classic yachts
Find out more at www.lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr
by Maguelonne Turcat