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Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille

With more breeze on the second day of racing, Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille race organizers sent competitors on one or two races depending on the class, to explore the west side of Saint Barthélemy in the easterly 13 – 15 knot conditions.

Today, a technicality caught up with CSA 1’s Wave Walker, when the Swan 58 team made a navigational error and retired from the race they would have otherwise won. American owners Woody and Carolyn Cullen were pragmatic about the mistake.

“We feel really good about our day today, despite the error,” said Woody. “And to be honest, it’s hard to be upset for too long about something like this when you’re here in Saint Barth.”

Racing with their three kids plus great friends, the Cullens are relishing all that Les Voiles offers on and off the water. “We love how competitive it is while racing,” said Carolyn. “But once you get to shore, there’s incredible camaraderie among all the sailors. This event really is the whole package.”

Les Voiles de St Barth Richard Mille - photo © Christophe Jouany
Les Voiles de St Barth Richard Mille – photo © Christophe Jouany

The 14-strong multihulls are segmented into an Overall Class, Offshore Multihull and CSA Multihull breakouts. The MOD70 Zoulou continues to fly, finishing today’s race in first place on corrected time for Overall and CSA Multihull. In Offshore Multihull, Nemo, the HH 66 owned by Greg Slyngstad, moved into first-place overall.

Misfortune continues to plague Nala, the HH 66 owned by American Jim Vos. Last year, the boat retired after the first day of racing due to illness. Returning this year with high expectations, a mainsail failure caused their retirement today.

Nala’s foredeck crew Ben Bardwell said that the top three meters of the sail ripped, happening just after rounding a course marker and turning to head upwind. “At the time, we were well positioned on the fleet,” said Bardwell.

Yesterday, Nala finished first in Overall multihull, and 3rd place in Offshore Multihull.The team has made arrangements for its much smaller ‘cruising mainsail’ to be delivered from Antigua overnight so they are able to continue sailing. Admittedly, Bardwell said given the reduced sail area, they don’t have high expectations for competitive finishes.

Les Voiles de St Barth Richard Mille - photo © Christophe Jouany
Les Voiles de St Barth Richard Mille – photo © Christophe Jouany

In CSA 4, Pepsi Max, a First Class 10 skippered by Sacha Daunar from Guadeloupe, solved yesterday’s rig tune issues and moved into first place overall. “Yesterday, our mast settings were definitely off,” said Daunar. “We managed OK, but we spent a lot of time before today’s racing to reset it, which helped a lot. That, and we sailed really cleanly especially around the marks, which helped to gain a few lengths on our competitors.

He’s well aware they are only two days into the regatta, and with a close battle already shaping up between Maelia and Sang Neuf, Daunar said, “We know that in our CSA 4 class, the smallest mistakes are paid for ‘in cash’.”

Three fleets raced twice today, CSA 2, CSA 3 and the Diams, the sporty 24-foot trimaran class. The J/122 El Ocaso leads CSA 2; the Melges 32 Lazy Dog holds a narrow lead over the Melges 24 Team Island Water World in CSA 3; and in the Diam 24s, Saint Martin’s Cry Baby, skippered by Pierre Altier, so far has a string of first-place finishes.

 Les Voiles de St Barth Richard Mille © Christophe Jouany

Racing continues tomorrow, with the first race scheduled at 10 a.m. EDT.

Full results available here.

For more information visit

by Laura Muma

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