The splendours of our 20th anniversary!
The crowning of the champions to close this anniversary edition of Les Voiles
4,000 sailors and their array of 300 Modern and Classic craft spent a whole day rightfully celebrating the winners at the traditional prize-
Les Voiles de Saint-
Glorious sunshine and all types of breeze resulted in some sumptuous races right up close to the enchanting shores of France’s Var region.
Tony Oller, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-
“It’s been a fantastic week with some very varied weather conditions. The sailors are unanimous in their opinion that this edition has been a very fine vintage. The new village has been very popular. It was imagined and designed with a view to being eco-
Our partners, Rolex, BMW, are delighted by this approach. After a transition year, I feel as if I’ve really got things in hand with a fabulous team behind me, because you can’t do it on your own. It’s very stressful, but as soon as the village is open, the event is no longer ours, it belongs to the sailors. The 2020 event will last 15 days, with one week dedicated more to the big boats. We’re working with the International Maxi Association on this and it really appeals to our partners.”
Georges Korhel, Principal Race Officer:
“Everyone seems to be delighted! We had no particular problems to report. The racers have grasped the fact that Les Voiles is a festival of sailing and not a world championship. There were no general recalls, no actual contact and no injuries… Everyone adhered to the instructions and we worked well with the rescue services, the volunteers and the racers…
My only regret is that despite start lines spanning over a mile, those boats which were over the line systematically came back to cross the line again, increasing the risk of contact.
We had great weather, despite two days of Mistral. We got the boats racing at between 8 and 18 knots, which is very pleasant! I’m delighted with my teams, as well as the spectators who fully respected our safety zones.
For next year, we’ll run Les Voiles de Saint-
Martin Billoch -
“Without doubt it’s the finest edition of Les Voiles de Saint-
Fjord III, our sistership helmed by the naval architect German Frers junior, was a formidable opponent, as was Jour de Fête. With 18 boats in this class, it was a race within a race and we just kept applying the pressure.
We’re very honoured to win this Rolex Trophy and above all we’re very grateful that the brand is honouring our category in this way.
We’re now going to get Cippino II back to Argentina after a 4-
The Trophies 20th anniversary edition 2019:
Town of Saint Tropez Trophy: Nanoq -
Rolex Trophy: Cippino II -
Loro Piana Trophy: Velsheda -
Yacht Club de France Trophy: Khayyam -
BMW Trophy: Wally 77 Lyra -
Club 55 Cup: Ikra
Centenary Trophy: Olympian
IMA Mediterranean Inshore Challenge: Wallyno -
Maxi Friendly Challenge: Leopard 3 -
ISA Schooner Cup Series: Elena of London -
North Sails Trophy: Solte -
Torpez Trophy: Nanoq -
Suzuki Trophy: Bella Donna -
Marines de Cogolin Trophy: Give me Five -
Air France Trophy: Sumurun -
SNSM Trophée: Kismet -
Bessarat de Bellefon Trophée: Seven Seas of Porto -
Esprit Village Trophy: Yanira -
Mercantour Trophy: Stiren -
Crew procession: Frogfoot
Bowls competition: Pondoro
The Yacht Club de France’s Autumn Cup: Pitch -
Sumurun by a nose
The darlings of the general public and specialists alike, the classic or traditional boats are bunched into 11 groups in Saint Tropez according to their size, rig type and class measurement, with the aim of putting on a fair competition.
To give honour where honour is due, in the group of Grands Traditions,
Sumurun, the Bermudan ketch (Fife 1914) sailed brilliantly to finish just one point ahead of the 15mR Mariska (Fife 1908) after a series of races contested in all types of breezes. Moonbeam of Fife (Fife 1903) completes this podium.
Among the breathtaking schooners, Elena of London, with an LOA in excess of 50m, bagged the title after winning all the races ahead of Naema, Orianda and Puritan.
Il Moro di Venezia among the 12mRs
Three magnificent 12mRs, spanning a decade of the America’s Cup competition from the seventies, relished the racing in Saint Tropez.
The Italians on Il Moro di Venezia took the win in corrected time, paying homage to second placed Ikra, which is always very quick whatever the conditions in the hands of top French racer Nicolas Bérenger, ahead of Pierre Bausset’s legendary France.
Yanira ahead of the curve
The Bermudan cutter Yanira, built by the Danish naval architect Bjarne Aas and masterfully helmed by the Spaniard Pepe Negrete, took the main spoils in the Marconi A Classic group. Validating three races and as many victories despite some fierce competition, her rivals had to battle it out for the remaining podium places;
Daria Cabal ultimately snatching second on the Bermudan cutter Saint Christopher (Sparkman&Stephens 1968) and Philippe Monnet and Yves Pajot’s Lys bagging third on Lys.
Stiren takes the title in the Group B Bermudan rigs
The most recent winner of the Rhum category in the 2018 Route du Rhum, Sidney Gavignet sailed aboard the Bermudan yawl Stiren (Sparkman&Stephens 1963) this week. It proved to be a good call since he leaves Saint Tropez as champion thanks to two fine race victories.
The Bermudan sloop O’Jala II put up some solid resistance by taking the win on Wednesday. Palynodie II, the 1962 Olin Stephens sloop earns herself another podium at Les Voiles.
Kismet dominates Viola
Just as spectacular, the Group of Gaff Bs that gathers together a number of metre boats, all of which are over a hundred years old, witnessed a merciless battle between the season’s top three boats.
In this way, Viola (Fife 1908), winner in Antibes and Cannes, had to make do with second place as she did in Monaco. Indeed, it’s Kismet (Fife 1898) which triumphs despite a great finish by Viola in the last race. Oriole (Herreshoff 1905), which is just as familiar with the top step of the podium, had to content herself with third.
Seven Seas of Porto dominates the group of large Bermudans
The Epoque Marconi A group comprises ketches, yawls, schooners and Bermudan cutters of nearly 20m in length.
It’s the 12mR Bermudan rig Seven Seas of Porto (Crane 1935) which dominated this very elegant group, finishing ahead of the Italian sloop Emilia Prima (Costaguta 1930) and the American yawl Manitou (Stephens 1937).
Cippino II does it again
In the very dense fleet of Epoque Marconi boats that features the 18 craft chosen as this year’s group to compete for the Rolex Trophy, it’s the 1949 Frers design Cippino II which has repeated her success at Monaco Classic Week.
Only Blitzen (Sparkman&Stephens 1937) managed to challenge her domination by taking one win. Within this tough context, the Bermudan yawl penned by Stephens (1934) Stormy Weather of Cowes, secures a worthy third place.
Earning many admirers, the group comprising gaffers of 15 to 18m in length (the Epoque Gaffer A category), saw one of Saint Tropez’ regulars take the win: the Gardner (1913) P Class Olympian. Jostled about at the start of the week by Ester (Hellgren 1901), the gunter-
Aloha secures the win among the small “Epoque Marconis"
James McElroy took victory aboard Aloha, a 1923 Bermudan R Class (Edson B. Schock), in a group comprising metre yachts and Bermudan yawls. It’s the 8m Sonda (MacGruer 1951), that takes second ahead of Java (Raymond Hunt 1938).
Josephine the most consistent…
For the old familiars that don’t fit into any Class Measurement at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, there is a special ‘Guest’ category made up of 6 craft this year.
It’s the Bermudan IOD Josephine (Bjarne Aas 1959) which posted the most consistent performance this week, making the podium every time.
Maria Giovanna II (Olin Stephens 1969) is second ahead of Windhover (Luke 1904).
The curtain falls on the Mediterranean racing season for the Modern craft
They make up the largest contingent of boat at Les Voiles, ranging from the futuristic Wallys and other Maxis, to the fine racer-
In Wally, Lyra confirmed her place as leader to take the BMW Trophy, ahead of Galateia, Magic Carpet3 and Y3K, the latter two tied on points.
The IRC As were themselves split into 4 sub-
The duel between the giants finally saw Velsheda get the edge within the context of the Loro Piana Trophy, designed to reward the best racer of over 24 metres. It’s also worth highlighting the success in IRCA 2 of the Swan 82 Kallima, the Italian Mylius 80 Twin SoulB in IRCA 3 and the Mini Maxi Vesper in the very elitist group of 72-
Solte, Genser Hasip’s Swan 53 has made a dazzling entrance at Les Voiles, taking the win in IRC B, a group of stellar 50-
Another familiar crew at Les Voiles, in IRC C this time, was that of Prince Frederik of Denmark on the TP 52 Nanoq, which triumphed in a strong group of 35 craft. Second was the Cookson 52 Rowdy 2 and third the TP 52 Spirit of Malouen.
38 yachts crossed swords all week long off Pampelonne in IRC D. Victory went to the formidable Farr 40 Bella Donna, ahead of the French prototype Albatros, and the Italian Galinari Vanessa.
The young prodigy in the multihull category, Adrien Follin, enjoyed a thundering finish at Les Voiles, snatching victory for the JPK Give me Five in IRC E. The Farr 30 Topas bags second place, followed by another Farr 30, this one German, Heat.
Finally, the ‘small’ racers in the IRC F group, comprising the Modern Marconi Tofinous and Code 0s, saw the three Tofinous dominate the competition this year: Camomille 3, followed by Pitch and the German Tofinou Aetos.
Results, all 11 groups:
IRC A 1
IRC A 3
IRC A 4
Marconi A Classic
Marconi B Classic
Marconi R Classic
Epoque Gaff A
Epoque Gaff B
Epoque Marconi A
Epoque Marconi B
Epoque Marconi C
Saturday 05.10.2019 Happy Birthday to Les Voiles!
Saturday saw yet another massive day of racing for the 300 competitors in this anniversary edition, the likes of which is only possible at Les Voiles de Saint-
Sunday, 4,000 sailors will come together at the village Citadel for the traditional prize-
Under the leadership of Georges Korhel, the Race Committees have skilfully managed to contend with a very varied forecast, that has included gales and zones of high pressure, to set the courses at the far side of the bay as far as Pampelonne and Cavalaire.
Bathed in sunshine, these same, wonderful courses will be enough to see the racers’ appetites for close-
On a competitive front, the changeable wind conditions throughout the week delighted the favourites in each group, Classic and Modern boats alike, and the list of winners for 2019 not surprisingly pays tribute to those yachts which have performed amazingly well throughout the season.
Big boats and large schooners
The large gaff and Bermudan schooners are one of the main attractions here and there has been an abundance of them for this anniversary edition of Les Voiles de Saint-
Their races within the Grand Tradition group amazed even the most indifferent observers. First in line was the Fife-
She triumphed by a whisker against a yacht that is a very familiar sight on the podiums of Saint Tropez, the 15mR Mariska.
Though Elena of London, the immense (51m) gaff schooner built according to a Herreshoff design, has often gained the edge in elapsed time, on this occasion she had to bow down to the lightning speed posted by the gaff cutter Moonbeam IV (Fife 1914).
However Black Swan (Nicholson 1899), Halloween (Fife 1926) and Tuiga (Fife 1909) won large as the most photographed yachts!
The sprint specialists!
Two groups gathered together the gaffers in Saint Tropez.
Among them the latest representatives of the sportier, more fine-
The P Class, the Q Class, the metre rule boats of 7, 8, 10 or 12 metres, the sloops, the cutters and the yawls… these are the true sprinters in this nautical jousting.
Small, stocky and explosive, they are tough and supremely seaworthy. No swell is too steep, no chop is too short to discourage them.
They put on a show throughout the week in the bay and topping the charts are Chips (P Class designed by Burgess in 1913), Olympian (P Class, William Gardner 1913), Viola (Fife 1908), Kismet (Fife 1898) and Oriole (Herreshoff 1905), all fabulous ambassadors for yachting, which have excelled for more than a century in their ability to combine style and performance.
Cippino II a cut above the rest at Saint Tropez
The undisputed leader since the start of the week in the very coherent and very uniform group of Epoque Marconi Bs, a prestigious Rolex Trophy craft, the Bermudan sloop from Argentina, Cippino II, really made her presence felt in Saint Tropez.
Two victories give emphasis to her superb week. Martin Billoch and his crew really got the best out of this Frers design, which excels in this type of day racing.
Cippino II is a Bermudan sloop designed in 1948 by the Argentinean naval architect German Frers. She is a sistership to Fjord III. She began her career with a degree of success in Buenos Aires before being used exclusively for family cruising by her owner.
In the noughties, her owner, Daniel Sielecki introduced her to the race circuit, first in Argentina and since 2017 in Europe, much to the delight of spectators and racers at Les Voiles.
Lyra Loves Les Voiles
Lyra dominated play with real panache in the fantastic clash of the giant and majestic Wallys in Saint Tropez. Mike Atkinson’s Wally 77 posted two fine race victories to assure her domination against the formidable WallyCento Magic Carpet3 and Galateia. Indeed, by repeating her 2017 performance, she’s proven the true depth of her love for Les Voiles and its subtle playground.
Velsheda, Vesper, Solte et al…
The huge fleet of Modern yachts racing at Les Voiles is divided up into 10 uniform groups, each determined by the boats’ respective measurement rules. The winners of each of these classes will be rightly celebrated tomorrow.
This evening, it’s worth highlighting the stellar performances of those whose wake has coloured this anniversary edition.
Perhaps we’ll start with the J Class Velsheda, which left her competition empty-
Solte, the Swan 53, which was the unlucky adversary of Ikra in the Club 55 Cup, can also take some consolation in nailing a grand slam in IRC B.
Fabrice Payen gives us the low-
Fabrice Payen, 50, spent nearly 20 years working as a captain in the Merchant Navy and as a professional skipper. Originally from Saint Malo in Brittany, he’s sailed a number of legendary boats and is a familiar face at Les Voiles. This week, he joined the crew of Ester, the hundred-
Like Ester, Fabrice has overcome great odds to be here at Les Voiles today. Indeed, in 2012 in India, Fabrice suffered an horrific traffic accident. 4 years of operations ensued to no avail and he finally decided to undergo an amputation. Strangely freeing him of his suffering, he’s since taken the start of the Route du Rhum 2018 and is planning a second transatlantic race next year. Quite an inspiration then and he’s clearly enjoyed racing on Ester this week!
Fabrice Payen: “Ester has a massive potential for speed. She has a traditional rig on what is effectively a very modern hull. Like all classic yachts, she’s a character, a living, breathing person almost. I’m passionate about the history of these magnificent yachts, which are witnesses of the evolution in sailing. Ester is a spartan boat, which is still being fine-
The J Class yacht, Velsheda, was designed by Charles Ernest Nicholson and built in 1933 by the Camper and Nicholson yard in Gosport, UK. Extreme like all the J Class yachts, she has an LOA of 39.40m with a beam of 6.60m and a draught of 4.80m. She was built for the businessman William Lawrence Stephenson, founder member of the Woolworth's chain, who named her after his three daughters: Velma, Sheila and Daphne. Between 1933 and 1936, she won numerous races. Ending up in the mud In 1984, Terry Brabant, rescued her and used her for charter with a steel mast and a simply restored interior. Still with no engine, he regularly sailed her along the south coast of the UK, occasionally going further afield to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Still being chartered back in the nineties, Velsheda ran aground on a beach on England’s East coast with the tide going out. Fortunately she was recovered without too much damage and is a very welcome addition to this anniversary edition of Les Voiles.
Foto Gallery -
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