Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez – 45 Maxis in the Mistral


Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez


Obviously, as if it was enough to put together the most beautiful maxi lineup in the most beautiful harbor in the world, the Mistral came together today to show off a grand opening. It is a current of western trend that welcomed the 45 Maxis Yachts that compete for the first event of this second week of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2021. The most beautiful Maxis, J Class and other Wallys have settled in the gulf. at the invitation of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and they intend to end their Mediterranean season there in the most dazzling way. 20 knots of tonic wind coming from the Gulf with a more pronounced swell offshore, the perfect opportunity for the Race Direction, ably led by Georges Korhel, (Chief Sailing Regatta Officer), to send these units reduced to speed, in the Fourmigue side, this pebble planted in front of the Lavandou, along the longest coastal course of these Voiles, a beautiful 40-mile circuit. Sun, a shining sea and a strong breeze, all the ingredients were offered to these magnificent steeds and their international crews to put on a great show and share a great moment of pure sport.

4 groups, 4 starts, but 5 classifications
With good regularity, the 4 Maxis groups in contention left shortly after noon and 10 minutes apart from the Portalet, in full view of a large audience. Group IR1’s “tall” sailboats paved the way, down to the bottom of the gulf and a clearance line, and it’s no wonder record-hunters Comanche, Rambler88, and Leopard 3 immediately launched into the promised great, friendly explanation. At more than 17 knots upwind in the direction of Le Lavandou, while the wind blew in gusts and bleached the sea, the three large prototypes collided in a virile way, in the foam and facing the wind. But then they also had to rely on other protagonists, also experienced in the exercise of breeze racing, starting with a great regular on the podiums, Magic Carpet Cubed, but also Deep Blue, the Botin 85 and Odin, the great Swan 115 in particular. . in your business. Designed for the leeward side, Comanche literally flew past the Fourmigue mark, in a Mistral that at times was reinforced up to almost 30 knots. With speed spikes of over 26 knots, the VPLP / Verdier plan was able to break through and somewhat faster than a magic carpet very comfortable in the breeze and at all speeds. Rambler 88 is credited with a good run, long in contact with Comanche but also powerless against the spectacular flight of the Comanche “luge” with its portable rhythms … Leading at the finish with a good lead, Comanche n ‘could have made up for their terrible rating. This is Deep Blue, which gives the profit of the round, before Magic Carpet Cubed and Rambler. Note that various Trophies will reward the great week thrown in such a beautiful way, but 5 rankings will be formalized, the 72-footers will want to fight each other! In fact, at the request of the owners of the 72 feet (21.90 m) sailboats, the IRC3 group was therefore divided into two subdivisions, IRC A and IRC B; Therefore, we will find in the daily classification 4 sailboats, Ambersail, the VOR 65, and the three North Star of 72 feet, Jethou and Vesper. A fight in the fight between four sailboats with very similar ratings, guaranteeing a drawn knife fight throughout the week.

Saint-Tropez, scene of the Topaz-Velsheda duel between giants
The rivalry between the two Grand Class J still active in the Mediterranean, Velsheda and Topaz continues throughout the week under the Voiles. The two giants compete in the Super Maxis squad, IRC 2. The Topaz crew, the J-Class designed by Frank C. Paine and launched in 2015, seek revenge after being defeated last month by Velsheda in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. The class J yacht competition at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is held under IRC handicap in a group of six IRC 2 boats featuring designs as diverse as the Swan 82 Kallima, the 32.9m Wally Green Eyes , Silvertip, 33.83 m long and designed by Dubois, and the Swan 80 Umiko. Francesco d’Angelis once again navigates Topaz as a strategist. Jules Salter, the English sailor, former Volvo Ocean Race winner and TP52 world champion, is looking forward to sailing Velsheda again. Topaz arrives with the winning Velsheda crew in Porto Cervo virtually unchanged, with several Europeans recruited to replace New Zealanders unable to travel. The day’s regatta delivered on all his promises, with a sumptuous heads-up that lasted until the entrance to the gulf where Velsheda was forced to abandon, veil torn, when he had gained the lead over Topaz.
Class J was used to define whats tall racing yachts built between 1930 and 1937 to the universal width, established by Nathanael Herreshoff in 1903 and the New York Yacht Club as part of the standardization of water sports in all sizes. designed between 1930 and 1937. Ten were built, Shamrock V, Endeavor, Velsheda, the originals, Ranger, Hanuman, Lionheart, Rainbow, Topaz, Svea, recent constructions on period plans.

The beautiful 72 foot battle A
A demanding day for crews and equipment subjected to severe tests in gusts of almost 30 knots. The Race Directorate chose to reduce the route of the smaller Maxis grouped in IRC 3 and 4. Many preferred to return to port rather than jeopardizing the rest of the good week in progress. The 72 feet reigned supreme in these IRC Groups 3 and 4. Jethou thus reaches the rear of the Super Maxis, ahead of Vesper and North Star by only a few minutes. Obviously, the 72-foot week promises to be particularly contested.