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Les Voiles de St Tropez 2015

The yachting contingent in south-eastern France has enjoyed spectacular events recently with Cannes hosting the Cannes Yachting Festival and Régates Royale Trophée Panerai, and the Principality of Monaco welcoming the annual Monaco Yacht Show.

Saint Tropez is now in the spotlight with the final big regatta of the Mediterranean season, the magnificent Les Voiles de Saint Tropez that attracts visitors who swarm the town to admire a diverse cross-section of yachts ranging from superyachts, maxis and performance cruisers to the photogenic classic yachts that fill media columns worldwide.

At sea, competition is fierce and the festive air continues on land at the Village des Voiles that is the true epicenter of post-race celebrations, but all of Saint Tropez is buzzing and jovial until late in the evenings with luxury boutiques, bars and nightclubs hosting special events.

It’s easy to see why the regatta is a photographer’s dream – the Gulf of Saint Tropez becomes a cauldron simmering with yachts of all sizes, and once ashore being within arm’s reach of these fine examples of the world’s modern and traditional naval architecture along the quays is a memorable experience.

This year, race days have been marred by adverse weather conditions which are making things difficult for race organisers to set marks for the courses – on the second race day, waves of up to 3.50 metres were recorded at Cape Camarat with gusts of 44 knots.

5 Quick Facts about Les Voiles de St Tropez
  1. The regatta originated in 1981 when a 12m JI Ikra challenged Pride, a Swan 44, to a race between Saint Tropez and the Club 55 restaurant at Pampelonne beach. The turning mark was set at Nioulargue buoy (5 miles from the bay of Pampelonne) and so the founding name of the race was set. The Ikra beat the Swan and Patrice de Colmont, the owner at Club 55 awarded the winner’s prize – a lunch at Club 55.
  2. The Nioulargue regatta was stopped after a tragic collision between 2 yachts in 1995, only to be reinstated in 1999 with a new name, Les Voiles de Saint Tropez.
  3. The event is open after admission by the Commission of Voiles de Saint Tropez:
  • To modern boats with IRC certificate, minimum hull length (LOA) 9 metres
  • To traditional boats with CIM certificate, minimum hull length (Lft) 11 metres
  • To Wally Yachts.
  1. Around 300 yachts can participate each year (usually with a waiting list).
  2. The winner of the Classic Division over 16 metres is awarded the Rolex Trophy.

Yachts racing at the Voiles de St Tropez

Notable Mentions for 2015

Keep an eye on Serenade who joins the classic yachts in Les Voiles de Saint Tropez for her debut performance. A 18.90 metre (61-foot) Marconi cutter, she was built in 1938 for the violinist Jascha Heifetz to participate in the famous TransPac, which she won on her first attempt with a certain Humphrey Bogart among her crew. Her name-dropping list of owners range from Hollywood’s Zsa Zsa Gabor to the legendary mariner, Jacques Cousteau. Bought by Alain Moatti, Serenade arrived in Genoa in April where she undertook a quick but considered upgrade before her debut in her first European race, the Corsica Classic.

Partridge, was constructed in Gosport in 1885, before being laid up in a mud berth and converted into a houseboat. It was the determination of her new owner, Alex Laird, which saved her from a scheduled abandon and returned her to her best racing form, following a dedicated restoration effort that took more than 15 years. Les Voiles de Saint Tropez sees Partridge celebrate her 130th birthday!

Genie of the Lamp was the first cruising yacht to be handled by one person only thanks to the features developed by the Wally R&D to make cruising sail yachts more comfortable, faster, safer, and easier-to-handle with a small number of crew. Stay tuned on Thursday’s racing lay-day, when HRH Prince Charles of Bourbon-Two Siciles, the owner of this 24-metre Wally (celebrating her 20th birthday this year), will be proposing a race challenge to HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco, who owns and races the 106-year old 15-metre JI Tuiga.

Remaining Schedule for the Week

Thursday 01 October

From midday: Challenges day Dick Jayson/Jean Laurain ‘Club 55 Cup’. Centenary Trophy (Gstaad YC).

From 5.30 pm to 7 pm: Music and animations (City and Harbour)

From 7 pm: Crew parade along the docks of the old Harbour (Vieux Port quays)

Evening: “Sardinade” Party offered by SNSM with music (Batterie du Mole Jean Reveille)

Friday 02 October

All day: Génie of the Lamp 20th anniversary (Harbour and on the sea)

From 11 am: Classic and modern yacht races

From midday: Rolex Trophy (Classe Marconi B)

From 5.30 pm to 9.00 pm: Music and animations (City and Harbour)

From 8 pm: Invitation only crew party (Quartier de La Ponche)

Saturday 03 October

From 11 am: Classic and modern yacht races

From midday: Rolex Trophy (Classe Marconi B)

From 5.30 pm to 9.00 pm: Music and animations (City and Harbour)

From 6 pm to 9pm: Closing evening with music (Village des Voiles and Old Port)

9.30 pm: Fireworks in the harbour

Sunday 04 October

From 11 am: Prize giving and a brunch for the crews (invitations only); Groupe musical (Citadelle)

St Tropez Citadel

Yacht Charter in St Tropez

You can charter a yacht to view Les Voiles de Saint Tropez which is a fantastic way to see the racing up close regardless whether you are a novice or a seasoned sailing enthusiast.

Saint Tropez is extremely popular as a luxury yacht charter destination and aside from Les Voiles de Saint Tropez there are ample opportunities throughout the year to charter a yacht.

Bespoke Yacht Charter are experienced in arranging all the details for chartering a yacht in Saint Tropez so you can relax and spend your time enjoying this beautiful region of southern France.

To discuss your yacht charter needs, we are readily available for any questions you may have.

Useful Links

Website: lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr

Twitter: @VoilesdeSTtrop

This article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke, who with over 10 years travel industry experience loves to share ‘must-do’ destination tips and hidden spots to discover in France and beyond.

To discuss your Saint Tropez and south of France yacht charter requirements, please contact:

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