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Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez Day 10 - No racing with Special Weather Warning in place

by Maguelonne Turcat 7 Oct 2020 18:10 BST 26 September - 9 October 2020
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez © Gilles Martin-Raget

With a Special Weather Warning in place offshore of Cape Camarat, with an established WNW'ly of over 30 knots, Race Management in charge of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez had no other option this Wednesday than to cancel today's racing.

Though the majority of the Maxi Yachts and two classic schooners remained alongside, some of the top-flight crews competing in Saint Tropez since the start of the week didn't think twice about heading out into the bay to put in a few tacks in the more sheltered section of the race zone.

"We had to think long and hard before taking the decision to cancel today's race," explained Georges Korhel, Principal Race Officer "Nobody in my teams likes taking this sort of decision. All the crews, smitten by yesterday's wonderful racing, were keen to get back on it this morning. However, the Special Weather Warning issued by Météo France quickly made its presence felt and the bay has been really stirred up throughout the day by winds in excess of 25 knots, whilst along the edge we've been contending with gusts in excess of 30 knots. The whole fleet is wisely remaining dockside as nobody wants to break anything. The competition will reassert itself tomorrow, this time with lighter wind conditions, which will really put the navigators' tactical prowess to the test."

Preserve La Solitaire, Les Voiles and the Vendée Globe!

Corinne Migraine, Vice-President of the French Sailing Federation (FFV), in charge of offshore racing, is crewing aboard the Mylius 60 Lady First 3: "We had a great day's racing yesterday, with wind and flat seas, in the highly competitive IRC2 group. Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is opening and closing the season, which is naturally a source of great frustration, though equally we're very grateful to the clubs and associations which have managed to run their events this year. It shows that by putting the necessary means in place, our sport can withstand a crisis, because it's outdoors. The vast international visibility of Les Voiles means we can reassure the sailing domain that anything is possible within the context of this crisis if strict measures are put in place. The FFV has put in a great deal of work with all our partners - institutions, classes and racers - to ensure that the authorities understand our sport and the economic challenges. The Solitaire du Figaro, Les Voiles and the Vendée Globe must be preserved. Sport is an extraordinary vehicle, a genuine economic lever on which we must rely if we are to withstand this crisis. Les Voiles is a unique, sporty and festive event. The diversity of the crews we see out on the water is fabulous. They come from all over and the mix we have here is one of the key values of our sport. I've been coming here for 35 years. I competed in the Nioulargue with my grandfather aboard Félicie."

Poland a welcome addition to the dock in Saint Tropez

Przemyslaw Tarnacki, representing the Ocean Yacht Club Poland, is the skipper of the VOR 65 Sisi. "Our project is based in Sopot, on the Baltic, the 'Polish Saint Tropez' where I hail from. My father participated in the first Whitbread in 1973. Like him, I'm a naval architect and I do a lot of match racing. Ocean Yacht Club Poland was created 6 years ago, with the aim of combining an amateur crew with professionals to contest the world's major races. We're raising the status of offshore sailing in Poland. With no sponsorship structure or culture since the fall of communism in 1989, especially for a sport like sailing, we're starting to channel a growing interest among the different classes by offering them the opportunity to participate in major offshore sailing events: Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Middle Sea Race, Rolex Sydney-Hobart and of course Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. 200 people have joined us on our adventures since the start and we're here in Saint Tropez with 14 amateurs and 6 professionals, including two Austrians and one Briton. The 14 amateurs are financing the campaign. It's a chance to talent spot and everyone's really enjoying themselves. Our VOR 65 is perfect for this project, even though her rating is disadvantageous for an event like this, but we're here to learn after all!"

Today's partner: Bernard Optic France

Bernard Optic creates and manufactures binoculars for watersports and hunting. The Corsican company has been present in the race village since the early days of Les Voiles. "We're presenting our specialist range for boating here. Having binoculars aboard a boat is compulsory. We're happy to be here despite the context. Today the market is evolving towards sophisticated products, with a bearing compass, a distance calculator and a way of measuring leeway for racing. Everything's manufactured by us in Ajaccio, save for the glass which is a Swiss speciality. The aim to is to get the best possible luminosity, and we even have special lenses for night vision. We have thirty or so models in the range, including our products exclusively for hunting, and we export to 37 countries. Our binoculars are guaranteed for 20 years, as we place the emphasis on the watertightness of our products and the anti-corrosion properties as rubber suffers a great deal in a salty environment."

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)

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