Please select your home edition
Trident-UK 2012 May

Les Voiles de St. Barth: A truly international competition

by Les Voiles de Saint-Barth on 8 Mar 2013 8-13 April 2013
The 4th edition of Les Voiles de Saint Barth takes place between 8-14 April © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth

One of the Caribbean's most enjoyable sporting events will see skippers and crew from around the world arriving to take part in the fourth edition of Voiles de Saint Barth from the 8th to 14th April. All are keen to extend the sailing season in the paradise waters of Saint Barth. This little corner of France in the Caribbean offers so much to charm and please those looking for the best yachting with an added French touch.

A strong international line-up

Yachtsmen from around the world have known about the attraction of the Caribbean for a long time and the Voiles de Saint Barth has managed since it started in 2010 to pack into one week the true spirit of international yachting. The harbour in Gustavia buzzes with conversation in languages with sailors from around Europe mixed in with those from America, the Pacific and the Caribbean.

Early prediction make the Dutch crew on the Swan 45 Satori one of the serious contenders for a place on the podium, but the trimmer, Maurits van Oranje remains very modest, "We don't take ourselves too seriously, but hope that one way or another, people will have a good opinion of us," he declared. "Apart from our skipper Gerard Verduyn, who has raced with some of the top international crews and leading sailors from around the world, most of our crew are not professionals, but they have had a lot of experience. We've been sailing together for more than 20 years on a wide range of boats..."

For van Oranje and his crew, what makes the Voiles so attractive is the quality of the organisation, which ensures a perfect mix of leisure activities ashore and excellent racing out on the water. "The geography of the island prevents the event from expanding," adds van Oranje, "so the Voiles can continue to offer great racing..."

The American, Alexandria Kilmon, skipper this year on French Kiss (Bénéteau 50) cannot praise enough the work done by the organisers, "who have found the perfect mix to ensure the success of the event." An artist by profession, she is particularly thrilled by the "fantastic sailing conditions," the extraordinary range of colours the sailors can enjoy with "all the different shades from sky blue to the deepest indigo with hints of pure turquoise, which are different wherever you look and change from race to race..."

High standards throughout and closely fought races

In the Classic Yachts group, Jaime Enos, skipper of the ketch Saphaedra which is 1965 vintage, will have just one other sailor aboard, Amanda Sparks. "We're used to delivering Saphaedra with just the two of us on board," explained Enos, "and since 2010, we have competed in classic races in Antigua and in New England. St. Barth is one our favourite events, and we're really looking forward to racing against Wild Horses and The Blue Peter."

Among the other entrants determined to defend their country's colours, is the Puerto Rican Sergio Sagramoso on his J/122 Lazy Dog, and the elegant Ker 51 Varuna belonging to the German owner Jens Kellingshusen.

Jean Pierre Dreau is back again at the helm of his super-maxi Med Spirit with a 100% French crew. Completely won over last year by the Voiles de Saint Barth, he set up his schedule this year to ensure he could compete in the event.

Simonas Steponavicius and the Lithuanians on the Volvo 60 Ambersail are equally passionate about the event. They are returning to the Voiles with an experienced young crew, which has already clocked up more than 100,000 miles of ocean sailing and are even more motivated now, as they look forward to announcing shortly that they will be competing in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Dynamite Idea is another superyacht designed by the Farr team. This 80-foot boat has successfully competed in major races on both sides of the Atlantic. Her skipper, Tony McBride, is coming to Saint Barth with some serious ambitions in the spectacular Maxi Yacht class and is aiming to win, "in spite of the very high standard of racing we can expect here..."

Related Articles

Best of the Best for 2017 Edition
Of Les Voiles de St. Barth When former United Technologies Chairman George David (Hartford, Conn./Newport, R.I.) first brought his grand prix racing yacht Rambler to Les Voiles de St. Barth, it was the event's 2010 inaugural edition. Posted on 24 Dec 2016
Les Voiles de St. Barth gathering momentum
SFS Group joins as sponsor and competitor for 2017 After competing in the last edition of Les Voiles de St Barth with a chartered boat in its company colours, the SFS Group, a leading construction insurance specialist, is consolidating its presence at the 2017 event through its role as Gold partner. Posted on 20 Oct 2016
Les Voiles de St. Barth overall
A riveting final race in light winds The final race at Les Voiles de St. Barth was riveting to watch, especially during the first beat and at the finish. The wind, like yesterday, was light, but unlike yesterday, just strong enough for officials to actually get off a race. Posted on 17 Apr 2016
Les Voiles de St. Barth day 3
Vagaries of the wind For the first time in Les Voiles de St. Barth's seven consecutive years of existence, racing was cancelled due to lack of wind. Posted on 16 Apr 2016
Anything but a quiet day off
At Les Voiles de St. Barth All was quiet on the waterfront this morning, with the Les Voiles de St. Barth racing yachts sitting calmly at the dock or on their moorings in the outer harbour of Gustavia. Posted on 15 Apr 2016
Les Voiles de St. Barth day 2
Full of Finesse A change in conditions necessitated a change in gear today for hundreds of sailors competing at Les Voiles de St. Barth. Posted on 14 Apr 2016
Les Voiles de St. Barth day 1
A day for close matches Exciting one-on-one matches punctuated opening day action at Les Voiles de St. Barth, where nine classes competed in testing seas and 12-15 knot breezes on courses, ranging from 24-31 nautical miles. Posted on 13 Apr 2016
In the Starting Blocks
At Les Voiles de St. Barth The energy has been palpable on and around the docks of the Capitainerie in Gustavia as hundreds of sailors from dozens of countries prepare for Tuesday's kick-off races for the seventh edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth. Posted on 12 Apr 2016
Last day to prepare for Les Voiles de St. Barth
Ready for racing, beach games and barefoot dancing The seventh edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth is set to start April 11 and run for six days. Four of the days (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) will showcase fast action on the testing waters around the French island of Saint-Barthélemy. Posted on 10 Apr 2016
A healthy line-up of maxis
For Les Voiles de St. Barth From 11 to 16 April 2016, Saint Barths will host the 7th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth, an event which, since its creation in 2010, has quite simply become indispensable thanks to the unique sporting atmosphere and conviviality. Posted on 2 Apr 2016