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Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez Day 7 - Analysis of the first week

by Maguelonne Turcat 4 Oct 20:19 BST 26 September - 9 October 2020
Voiles de Saint-Tropez © Gilles Martin-Raget

The first week of Les Voiles concluded yesterday evening with the awarding of a great array of Trophies. It's the gaff cutter Eva (Fife 1906) who wins one of the most prestigious, the Rolex Trophy, whilst the Grand Soleil Couleur Soleil secures the BMW Trophy.

A highly satisfying moment for both the organisers and the sailors, everyone involved was delighted to have been able to round off the sailing season with such flair, particularly in light of the great slew of cancellations in 2020. All these competitors can head home filled with hope at the prospect of returning again next year, with the usual convivial entertainment on shore that is one of the hallmarks of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. The 130 yachts measuring between 10 and 24 metres according to the category, will now leave the way clear for the Super Series, thirty or so maxi yachts and large schooners, which will hit the racetrack from Tuesday onwards.

Analysis by Pierre Roinson, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, racer and participant in the IRC D category

"With the Prize-giving ceremony rounding off this first week, we can safely say that the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, its volunteers and all its partners, working hand in hand with the Town of Saint-Tropez, have together pulled off quite a gamble. Launching this 22nd edition was a massive challenge. I'd like to thank all the owners and skippers for trusting in us. Everyone is delighted to have been able to get out sailing. It's important to realise that for a great many competitors, the race season began and ended with Les Voiles! Everyone's happy, despite the lack of festivity and sociability on land, which are one of the signatures of Les Voiles. However, I've witnessed very nice social exchanges between the boats, which is something that had begun to disappear slightly, and which, given the context, spontaneously resurfaced between the crews on neighbouring pontoons. That's a wonderful thing because you rediscover an atmosphere where sailors and crews chat about that day's races once they get back to the dock. If everything returns to normal, all our usual festivities will certainly be hosted again next year, with many more boats. There have been some great races out on the water this year and the competitors have had a ball throughout as we were able to finish on a high with a great day's racing. Next week, the forecast is for breezier conditions for the bigger boats and I hope we'll witness the same convivial atmosphere."

The results group by group:

Period Gaffer Rolex Trophy; Eva excels against Viola
The Rolex Trophy gathered together 6 sumptuous gaff riggers dating over a hundred years old and hence the oldest competitors signed up for Les Voiles. Eva, the elegant 1906 Fife design skippered by Charlotte Franquet and her 80% female crew, triumphed over Viola (Fife 1908) skippered by Mini sailor Fabien Després, despite his win in yesterday's race, with Lulu, one of the eldest yachts at Les Voiles, launched in 1897 according to a Rabot design, completes this admirable podium.

Period Gaffer A: Scud untouchable
Scud maintained the lead in the P Class in what is a remarkable group in so many ways. The gaff sloop Scud (Herreshoff 1903), restored by her new owner Patrizio Bertelli and helmed by the legendary Olympic sailor, Brazilian Torben Grael, really sailed a blinder against the formidable armada of three P-Class yachts, Olympian taking second and the Swedish 10mR Marga completing the podium.

Period Marconi B: Meerblick finishes on a high
The Bermudan sloop Meerblick Classic (Anker 1917) from Germany posted two bullets in a row to round off her week in Saint Tropez, whilst the pretty Class Q Jour de Fête (Paine &Burgess 1930) paid dearly for her counter performance (5th) on Tuesday in the light airs, to take second, Comet (Olin Stephens 1946), finishing third.

Period Marconi A: Varuna of 1939 makes a clean sweep
Varuna of 1939 triumphs in Marconi A, which boasts splendid yawls, ketches and cutters in excess of 20m. Eileen 1938 (Anker 1938), Manitou (Olin Stephens 1937) and Ellen (Talma 1931) were all outmanoeuvred by Varuna of 1939, a Sparkman design that comfortably won all three races this week in elapsed and corrected time.

Period Marconi C: Andale by a breath
With Andale (Nicholas Potter 1951) and Harlekin (Nilsson 1948) neck and neck in the overall ranking with 6 points each, the former ultimately took the prize thanks to the number of victories (2 against one). The 8mR Rainbow III (Fife 192è) pipped the other 8mR Sonda (MacGruer 1951) to the post by a hair's breadth.

Classic Marconi A: Péan (Hermitage) ultimately takes the win
Right to the wire, victory could have gone to either Hermitage, a Bermudan yawl helmed by Lionel Péan or the ketch Eugenia V (Rhodes 1968), but thanks to winning the last race, Hermitage drew level with her rival and took overall victory on race wins (2).

Classic Marconi B: Palynodie II on the line
Comprising sloops and yawls of 12m and over, the battle was fierce between Stiren (1937) and Palynodie II (1962), both Olin Stephens designs. After yesterday's fine victory, the latter struck gold.

Classic Marconi R: Ikra a real sport
The emblematic 12mR of Nioulargue fame, Ikra pretty much dominated play ahead of the Bermudan sloop from Italy, Il Moro di Venezia (Frers 1976), with two fine victories going to skipper Hugues Destremau, who let the Italian boat take the win in the last race.

Guest class: Windhover, indisputable champion
The Bermudan cutter Windhover ((Luke 1904) and the Bermudan IOD Josephine (Aas 1959) were pretty evenly matched, but by taking the win in the last race, whilst rival Josephine let Djinn (Annemans 1934) slip in between them, Windhover pocketed a comfortable victory.

Modern fleet: (5 IRC group and one TP52 group)

IRC B: Daguet2 cuts a dash
The most Hi-Tech fleet at Les Voiles, Frédéric Puzin's Mylius 50 Daguet2 really took the competition by storm, racking up 3 bullets. However, her counter performance in the light airs on Tuesday opened the door to Billy Besson, skipper of the Nacira 47 Prétexte, who really put up a good fight. Very consistent, Jean Paul Mouren on his X50 Ectabane bagged third.

IRC C: Couleur Soleil takes the spoils
Vying for the BMW Trophy, Giovani Di Vincenzo's Ker 46 Lisa R took victory on Monday and Wednesday, one of which was in elapsed time. However, the latter part of the week was less favourable and it's Robert Coriat's Grand Soleil 43 Couleur Soleil that takes the outright win after triumphing in style in yesterday's last race. To add insult to injury, Gian Marco Magrini's A40 Vito 2 and Jean Pierre Joly's GP 42 Confluence ultimately pushed Lisa R off the podium.

IRC D: Lady by a country mile
With a perfect understanding of the race zone, Nicolas Gonzales at the helm of Lady, a Dufour 40, scored two bullets and two second places to trounce the competition. Yves Grosjean on the J 133 Jivaro will be pleased to bag second in a fleet of 20 craft.

IRC E: King of Blue supreme
A similar scenario in IRC E saw the J 99 King of Blue bag 3 of the 4 races contested, only dropping the ball once to let Jean François Nouel's Sun Fast 3200 Hakuna Matata take control. The JPK Give Me Five secures third.

IRC F: The Wally Nano Nostromino triumphs
The pretty cruisers from the Latitude yard are bunched into one group at Les Voiles with the Code Zero, Code 1 and Wally Nano boats. The latter, a Hoek design named Nostronimo outpaced the Tofinous led by Patrice Riboud's Pitch, who likely regrets retiring in Monday's breezy conditions. Bernard Giroux's Team 42 outsmarted Christophe Delachaux's Black Legend to take third overall.

TP52: Stéphane Névé, Spirit of Malouen, to the wire
Vadim Yakimenko's Italian TP52 Freccia Rossa had a slight edge over French rival Stéphane Névé's Spirit of Malouen at the start of the week. However, Monday's winner in the breeze, the ex Paprec finished on a high with a victory in yesterday's race. Tied on points, the latter win saw him take outright victory over the French boat, Gérard Logel's Arrobas2 securing the third spot.

Trophies at Les Voiles 2020:

  • Town of Saint-Tropez Trophy awarded to the Modern yacht with the most points in all the categories combined: King of Blue - Pascal Fan
  • Rolex Trophy awarded to the first Period Gaffer B: EVA - Charlotte Franquet
  • BMW Trophy for the first IRC C boat: Couleur Soleil - Robert Coriat
  • North Sails Trophy for the first Modern IRC B: Daguet2 - Frédéric Puzin
  • Suzuki Trophy for the first Modern IRC D: Lady - Nicolas Gonzales
  • Marines de Cogolin Trophy for the first modern IRC E: King of Blue - Pascal Fan
  • Torpez Trophy for the first Classic Period Gaffer A: Scud - Patrizio Bertelli
  • Mercantour Events Trophy for the first Classic Marconi B: Palynodie - Henri Ferbus
  • Bessarat de Bellefon Trophy for the first Classic Period Marconi A: Varuna of 1939 - Jens Kellinghusen
  • SNSM Trophy (French lifeboat association) for the Classic Period Marconi B): Meerblick Classic - Otto Pohlman
  • 808 Trophy for the first Classic Period Marconi C: Andale - Laurent Jacques Vernet
  • Yacht Club de France Trophy for the YCF's 'favourite': Pantaia (Illing 1962)

Week 1: The Voiles de Saint-Tropez

  • Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September: registration for boats up to 20 meters (except for certain classes)
  • Monday 28th September: racing for modern yachts
  • Tuesday 29th, Wednesday 30th September, Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd October: racing for modern yachts and classic yachts
  • Thursday 1st October: Challenge Day
  • Saturday 3rd October: prize-giving (week 1)

Week 2: The Voiles Super Boats

  • Sunday 4th and Monday 5th October: big boat registration (Wally, IRCA, Maxi yachts, big Classic, big Schooner)
  • Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th, Friday 9th: big boat racing
  • Friday 9th October: prize-giving (week 2)

www.lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr

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