2010 Voiles de Saint-Barth

Posted: April 8, 2010 in boat, boating, sailboat, sailboat race, sailboats, sailing, sailing race, yacht, yacht race, yachting, yachts

Les Voiles de Saint-Barth

Les Voiles de Saint-Barth by Christophe Jouany

2010 Voiles de Saint-Barth

After an evening party to welcome everyone with music and a friendly atmosphere, the twenty-three crews taking part started racing at the Voiles de Saint Barth, the latest international regatta in the Caribbean. As was promised by François Tolède and Luc Poupon, all the ingredients that are so appreciated by yachtsmen, came together for the start of this first edition, which will serve as a standard of excellence for the future.

The tone is set
19 knots of wind from the east-north-east, flat calm seas on the leeward side of the island and brilliant sunshine of course, with two courses set up by someone, who knows the waters around here very well, the race director, Luc Poupon. He is determined to share with crews that have come from around the world the subtle beauties of this island and its many surrounding isles.  These will serve as natural course marks that the racing crews will discover, along with the thousand and one mysteries of the paradise creeks and coves. Classic and Racing Cruising yachts took to the leeward coast late in the morning, while the Super Yachts and the Racing class battled it out on the windward side with a heavy swell in the strong warm trade wind. At the height of the regatta, these boats all came together thanks to the magic of the courses between Boulanger Island and Forked Island for a final sprint with the wind on the beam to head for the famous Sugar Loaf and the finishing line.

29 miles of sailing windward of the islands in a powerful trade wind was also what faced the big boats in the event, while the Classic Yachts and small cruisers were in the sheltered waters off the island for 25 miles of racing close to the shoreline, where tactics were important. Luc Poupon’s scheme to offer the racers a vast range of points of sail and sea conditions became reality as they weaved their way around the rocks. In a strong trade wind, those on the heaviest boats carrying the most sail really enjoyed themselves, sometimes teetering on the crests of the steep waves. It was no surprise that at the end of two long tacks reaching, heading to Roubes Rocks on the southern shores of the island, the easily identifiable rigs of the large American sloop, Rambler, and the magnificently powerful ketch Sojana appeared together. A few seconds earlier it was the elegant Joel White designed boats in the W 76 class, Wild Horses and White Wings, which passed Coco Island, and undertook a magnificent duel off the white beaches of Grande Saline. There were fabulous sights to be seen throughout the day around the idyllic locations of St. Barts, with Maxis and Cruisers reaching towards Lorient Point, while Classic and Racing Cruising boats sailed upwind towards Grande Pointe.

The first edition of the Voiles de Saint Barth began in style. The week will continue with the frenzied rhythm of friendly parties ashore and bitter duels at sea, with the benediction of the trade winds, which are being particularly cooperative.

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