Saturday was the last day of the first week of Les Voiles in its new format: 140 Modern yachts and 82 Classic yachts strove to take advantage of every last gust of easterly wind that tickled the water of Saint Tropez. A welcome softness then in a harsh universe where the teams of Georges Korhel, Principal Race Officer, have kept a cool and lucid head to keep the 10 Classics groups and 5 IRC categories racing in the light current bathed in light. In the end, a fifth race was validated among the Modern boats and a fourth for the pretty classic sailboats. A busy week, therefore, colored with twists and turns, dazzling sails and plenty of funny moments, which will make the crews and the public smile until next season. Then come on stage the giants, the Maxis and the super yachts, which will take over from the Classics on Tuesday, where the azure waters of the Bay of Var will overflow with carbon and futuristic lines.
5 races for modern yachts
The beautiful week of Les Voiles regattas is ending as it started, with fleets competing in light winds, pushing sailors, strategists and coxswain to corner their rivals. This way each sailboat was served under conditions they were able to work with throughout the week as they tried to get the most out of their mounts and build on their strengths. It is in this context of races with very different profiles that Les Voiles celebrated this evening its heroes and its winners with teams on the podiums particularly skilled at adapting to all conditions. Thus, the Nacira 47 Prétexte by Benjamin Horeau excelled in IRC B (North Sails Trophy) whatever the force of the wind. By winning two victories this week, its crew is well ahead of Pascal Ferry’s Solano. Nanoq, skippered by Prince Frederik of Denmark, also edged out the rest of the IRC C group competing for the BMW Trophy. North Star II of Peter Dubens in IRC D, King of Blue (Pascal Fan) IRC E and Tofinou Jolt (IRC E) of Tily Harrison are the big winners of the week.
Classics: reign supreme
They were the big favorites and they held up: Patrizio Bertelli’s Scud (Herreshoff 1903) with Torben Grael at the maneuvers completely crushed him in the Period Gaffer A group competing for the Rolex Trophy. The little gaffers (Gaffer B), did not succeed in nullifying Eva’s natural affinity (Fife 1906) for Les Voiles, despite the best efforts of Oriole, another Herreshoff. The Q-Class Fête Day (Paine 1930) fought for victory in the Marconi B Period against the dreaded Stormy Weather (Stephens 1931). The Lady Anne, the 15mR Fife launched in 1912, won the Grand Tradition category ahead of the Halloween cutter and the powerful Sumurun ketch. The Sparkman & Stephens Blitzen plane also had an absolute ball over the water leading the Period Marconi A fleet, which ultimately saw him beat in the Bermudan yawl Varuna. The C32 Andale (Potter 1951) won the day and the week in the Marconi C group ahead of the 8mR Carron II. Lys, the Monegasque sloop (Sparkman & Stephens 1955), Resolute Salmon, the Encounter and the one-design of the port of Cork Jap were the other absolute champions of the Sails 2021 …
And on the ground …
A brand new Les Voiles trophy was awarded tonight to Sagittarius (Sparkman & Stephens 1974) for Best One Tonner, a class destined to be in the spotlight in future episodes of The Voiles. These One Tonners are dinghies measuring up to 7 meters in length, able to glide in certain conditions and built with the lightest possible sampling, the balance being achieved by the crew. These sailing ships were also present at the 1900 Olympics in the 0.5 to 1 ton class.
From tomorrow Sunday, the Maxi Yachts called to compete in the second week of the Voiles will make their grand entrance into the port of Saint Tropez. 40 of these fabulous machines will line the small port of Var while awaiting the start of the battle from Tuesday, once Monday’s registration has ended.
Georges Korhel, race director:
“We were very lucky with the weather. We took advantage of all kinds of configurations, light weather, heavy breeze and medium wind… It has been a long time since we had such a busy week with races validated every day, interspersed with a beautiful day of Challenge. All the teams on the water are delighted. Every year, we make minor improvements that make it easier to organize on the water. Everyone is ready to move on to the second week, which in some ways will be a bit lighter than last week in the sense that we only have one class, the Maxis, although it does count. more than 40 boats… ”
Kevin Escoffier: North Star II
Kevin Escoffier, official skipper of the Imoca PRB, and luxury freelancer for the next Transat Jacques Vabre aboard Armel Le Cléach’s Maxi trimaran Banque Populaire XI, is at Les Voiles at the invitation of his partner North Sails. “North Sails developed my sails during the last Vendée Globe and asked me to help design their technical clothing and their ‘Performance’ range. As such, I was very happy to come and spend a day sailing aboard North Star II, a Cape 31 which dominated the IRC D group. I had already come to Les Voiles, a few years ago, and I am always touched by these magnificent boats. This environment is different from that of ocean racing, but it is tinged by the same passion for navigation. It’s still boating and I’m excited to share the craze here. I have the impression of having passed from one extreme to the other; Two days ago I was doing 40 knots while flying over the water aboard an Ultime and today I am fraternizing with yachts that are more than a hundred years old.“
Chevalier Torpez – The vineyards of Saint Tropez
The Saint Tropez peninsula is also a land of winegrowers; in fact, the Master Vignerons of Saint Tropez bring together 10 estates and 3 large cellars across the most beautiful terroirs of Provence. Torpez is an exceptional jewel of a brand resulting from one of these vineyards located on the tip of Saint Tropez and extending over 180 hectares surrounding the bright and timeless village. These wines tell and share the history of the village created by nature, the arts and exuberance, as well as the passion of men and women since 1908. “Our wines are the fruit of a particular vineyard” explains Alain Guichet, an oenologist and CEO, “a veritable ‘garden of vines’ surrounding the village of Saint Tropez, near the old Provencal houses and modern villas with contemporary architecture, overlooking the beaches and the shores. Wine, like sailing, is a universe of passion shared by people who love to celebrate life. Torpez is a real signature, on a very particular terroir perfumed with sea and salty air, which gives our white, red and rosé wines a rather special flavor.