Les Voiles de Saint-Barth 2014 expected to host more than 70 yachts

Set to run in the lovely Caribbean yacht charter destination – St. Barth ...

Les Voiles de Saint-Barth 2014 expected to host more than 70 yachts

December 18, 2013

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Set to run in the lovely Caribbean yacht charter destination – St. Barth from April 14 to 19, the next year’s 5th edition of the popular Les Voiles de Saint-Barth is expected to host more than seventy boats and 1000 sailors. Owners, sailors, as well as partners have got it right. This year, the historic partners will in fact be joined by Veuve Clicquot, the world-renowned champagne house.

Les Voiles de Saint-Barth 2013 - Photo by Christophe Jouany

Les Voiles de Saint-Barth 2013 - Photo by Christophe Jouany

Once again, this year we can look forward to a fantastic line-up in St. Barth. Five months before the starting gun is fired, forty boats have already registered in the five classes that are available: Maxi yachts, Spinnaker class, Non Spinnaker class, IRC 52s and Multihulls. “This is clear progress, as usually at this time of year, we have only had around thirty boats registered. So I think it is quite reasonable to look forward to seeing more than seventy boats lining up this time,” declared François Tolède, the organizer of the Voiles de Saint-Barth alongside Luc Poupon.

Rambler, Bella Mente, Ocean Phenix, Caol Ila R…
High performance sailing out on the water and a friendly atmosphere ashore, and all within the magnificent setting of St. Barth. The concept attracts the world’s finest yachts, including superyacht Rambler, George David’s famous Maxi-Yacht, already confirmed to be returning to the event. Once again this year, we will be able to admire the elegance and speed of this Reichel-Pugh designed 90-foot boat.

Superyacht Selene, Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80 will also be attending, as will Ocean Phoenix, the Spanish Humphreys 77 skippered by Juan Luis Serra Lalaurie. Staying with the Maxi yachts, for the first time we shall be able to enjoy the sight of luxury yacht Bella Mente, Hap Fauth’s mini-maxi (designed by Judel/Vrolijk) with her crew of 26, including Mike Sanderson and Dee Smith, the Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup heroes.

Luxury sailing yachts participating in Les Voiles de Saint Barth 2013 - Photo by Tim Wright/Les Voiles de St Barth

Luxury sailing yachts participating in Les Voiles de Saint Barth 2013 - Photo by Tim Wright/Les Voiles de St Barth

One of their major rivals will be sailing yacht Caol Ila R, Alex Schaerer’s Mills designed 68-foot boat, a stand out performer last summer, when she won the Rolex Capri Sailing Week Volcano Race, achieving line honours and first place under corrected time ahead of thirteen other maxis.

Among the many interesting features of the racing in St. Barth is that we are looking at an island. In other words, it is always possible to come up with a race course, where the sailors will be more or less exposed to the trade winds.

On top of that, the many smaller islands offer ideal race marks to Luc Poupon (the Race Director) and his team, who make the most of this to ensure the most enjoyable racing possible for those competing and watching the event. This explains why crews from around the world compete with 70% of them coming from English-speaking countries.

Many nationalities can be found aboard the boats and on the pontoons in Gustavia: Americans, Australians, the British, Spanish, New Zealanders, Italians, Belgians, Swiss, the French and of course, race enthusiasts from around the Caribbean.

Trimaran Paradox - Photo by Tim Wright

Trimaran Paradox - Photo by Tim Wright

We should add that this fifth edition of the Voiles de Saint-Barth will be welcoming a fine group of TP52s, sailing here in the IRC 52 category. On board there will be top professionals from the America’s Cup and the world’s leading crewed races. Franck Noël’s Near Miss will be one of the overall favourites in this highly spectacular series, where the boats are pushed to their impressive performance limits. There’s going to be some fantastic racing, just as in the three other Voiles classes: Spinnaker, Non Spinnaker and Multihulls.

A dazzling display of elegance, at sea and ashore, a subtle mixture bringing together competitive racing and a friendly atmosphere all perfectly organized and there you have what explains the ever-growing popularity of the Voiles de Saint-Barth… and the loyalty shown by its partners. Richard Mille, Gaastra, La Banque des Antilles Françaises, the St.Barth local authority will be joined this year by the major champagne house, Veuve Clicquot, part of the LVMH Group. A sign of confidence and an additional indicator showing how everyone know recognizes the Voiles de Saint-Barth. We can hardly wait for April to arrive.

Veuve Clicquot partner
This fifth edition of the Voiles de Saint-Barth is therefore noteworthy for the arrival of a new Premium Partner: Veuve Clicquot, the famous champagne house.  Aymeric Sancerre, head of international communications, explains, “One of the main features of the communication strategy of our house is the link to “lifestyle”. We are therefore partner to sporting events such as polo, golf and car racing. We carefully choose our partners based on their elegance, and the quality and refinement of what they offer… the Voiles de Saint-Barth suits these criteria perfectly. We intend to show everyone what we call the “Twist Clicquot”, in other words that little bit of craziness in this lifestyle that we wish to celebrate in St. Barth alongside the world’s greatest sailors.”

Highfield RIBs, official supplier to the 2014 Voiles de Saint-Barth

Les Voiles de Saint-Barth has signed a partnership with the YB Group, which distributes Highfield RIBs in France. A fleet of RIBs will therefore be made available to the race organizers. Highfield inflatables are directly descended from Australian Swifts and with their aluminium hulls are extremely well known for their performance in the water and their sturdiness.

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