The autumn’s major festival of international yachting, Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, is getting ready for battle in the popular Mediterranean yacht charter destination – Saint Tropez and right around the bay. A festival on shore, a sporting celebration at sea, the proven recipe for success that is synonymous with the race is once again pulling in thousands of sailors, fans of spectacular yachts, journalists, as well as photographers.
A participation as dense as ever
Every year, it’s a real brainteaser for the team at the Harbour Master’s Office, in collaboration with the organisation, to face up to the challenge of accommodating the yachtsmen and women competing in Les Voiles. And every year, the waiting list remains as long as it ever was. Shoehorning them in to satisfy the multitude of requests, a minor miracle is accomplished and the small port in France’s Var region has managed to satisfy the demands of nearly 330 yachts, spread across the ports around the Bay, including a number of Classic and Modern boats spanning over 30 metres in length. The distribution of participants can be broken down into 115 Classic yachts, 160 Modern boats, 18 Tofinous, 8 Code 0s, and no fewer than 13 Wallys!
Newcomer among the Modern boats, Nomade IV, a Finot Conq design 100-footer
Superyacht Nomad IV has been putting in her first tacks this summer and will be one of the many attractions in Les Voiles de Saint Tropez’s Modern category. Built entirely from carbon Nomex, Nomade IV can be distinguished by a slender design that sits low on the water, with a chined hull. This Finot Conq design boasts a Pierre Frutschi minimalist interior with a layout by Pierre Forgia that comfortably accommodates 12 guests in addition to the crew.
The pearls of Les Voiles
Five classic yachts in their seventies and eighties and rigged either as gaff or Bermudan, will be making their first appearance at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez this year. They bear the symbolic marks of excellence in the rare and magical combination of aesthetics and performance. Sonny, the Bermudan sloop, (Olin Stephens 1935), Bounty, the Bermudan ketch (Herreshoff 1936), Blazing Star, the Bermudan yawl (Alden 1928), and the Bermudan schooner Belle Lurette (Alden 1927) are the Stars among the Stars.
Leonore is… Cotton Blossom II
A familiar sight at Les Voiles for many years, the splendid Bermudan sloop Cotton Blossom II has created a stir in the bay on numerous occasions through the quality of her restoration and her prowess on the water in the expert hands of her owner, a past America’s Cup winner, Dennis Conner. Cotton Blossom II is a Johan Anker design from 1924, restored with passion and in minute detail, which has earned her all manner of praise in the U.S. Built at the Jensen yard near Oslo this sloop won multiple prizes in the thirties.
BMW partner to Les Voiles de Saint Tropez with Loïck Peyron!
The German car manufacturer BMW and Saint Tropez’s Société Nautique have signed a partnership agreement for Les Voiles de Saint Tropez. Eckhard Wanniek, head of international sponsorship at BMW, is delighted by this move: “Les Voiles de Saint Tropez is the spot par excellence where Modern and Classic yachts come together, where timeless aesthetics meet design and high technology. The desire to win and the team spirit play a key role here too, as does the passion of yachting and the camaraderie. BMW is happy to support such values, as they are of primary importance for our brand.”
The French sailor Loïck Peyron, a sailor with multiple feats under his belt, will take up the role of the brand’s ambassador in Saint Tropez. He’ll be presenting the latest BMW model, the hybrid BMW i8 during a reception within the context of Les Voiles. BMW has also chosen to celebrate a Class of yachts that is particularly committed to high technology, the famous Wallys. The BMW Trophy will be awarded to the best Wally when the racing draws to a close.