The establishment at the beginning of the afternoon of a nice thermal breeze from the western sector allowed the opening with fanfare of these 23rd Voiles de Saint-Tropez, with a first good start for the 5 categories of Modern sailboats IRC B gauged , C, D, E and F. Five departures harmoniously punctuated under the Portalet, downwind towards the open sea, on a slightly lapping wave. Already the first clashes at the top of each group, like the long side to side along the route between the large sloop Solano and the Grand Soleil 48 ASAP fighting for the North Sails Trophy. Quick to mingle with the show, the tenors of the IRC C group, crowned by the BMW Trophy, like the TP 52 Nanoq , the Ker46 Daguet 3, or the German 52-foot Rafale , came to titillate the largest units to offer this astonishing mixing of spinnakers at each key passage of the race. The happy return to land of the crews, accompanied by music from the Village des Voiles, launched the party on land, which naturally mingled with the crews of the Classic yachts already ready to do battle in turn from tomorrow.



all images © Gilles Martin-Raget





Modern: 19 miles windy at will as an appetizer of the Voiles
130 Modern sailboats have therefore launched in an admirable way this beautiful sporting week of Les Voiles. 19 miles were on the menu proposed by the teams of the Principal Race officer George Korhel towards Pampelonne and return via La Moutte, this shallow beacon at the entrance to the gulf. The acceleration of the west-south-west wind favored the boats that left last and it is a nice grouping in the form of traffic jams of all classes which we witnessed the passage of the Moutte shortly after the start. Sliding, varied gaits to accompany the progressive rotation of the north-westerly wind, and long downwind edges on a sea not very agitated by the land wind, offered runners something to have fun by pulling their machines as much as possible. Nanoq , the formidable TP 52 helmed by the Australian champion Tom Slingsby, left no one to cross the finish line first in real time, any group included, ahead of just a few minutes another protagonist of the IRC C, the Swan 50 Mathilde M and IRC B Solano .

Tomorrow the Classics!
Nearly 80 traditional boats, including 21 sailboats over one hundred years old, make up the fleet of Classic sailboats competing in the Gulf from tomorrow. About twenty gaff-rigged sailboats, with this non-symmetrical quadrangular mainsail, divided into two groups A and B will launch the debates. The Grands Tradition category, some of which exceed 40 meters overall, this year has no less than 12 registrants sporting remarkable silhouettes: schooners, ketches, cutters or yawls. This Tuesday day will also mark the kick-off of the Rolex Trophy, open this year to the Epoque Aurique A class.
As for the “guests”, a singular class in view of their small size and their rigging, 5 sublime sailboats race at Les Voiles. Each offers a page of maritime history, architectural imagination in the service of elegance but also performance. Thus, the reproduction of the Marseille Houari Alcyon 1871 will find it in Dainty (Westmascott 1923), the smallest sailboat of the fleet with its 8.12 meters, Djinn (Nevis 1938), Jap , the auric cutter signed Fife (1898) ) and the Bermudian IOD sloop Josephine designed by Danish metrics master Bjarne Aas, material to be raced at the highest level of racing pleasure.









Portrait of the day: The man who whispers in the ear of the wind Tom Slingsby is in Sails! The man who whispers in the ear of the wind, born September 5, 1984 in Sydney,

is one of the most successful sailors in the world, having won an Olympic gold medal, nine world championships, the America's Cup and set many world records, in addition to being crowned sailor of the year 2010. He dominated the Laser class between 2006 and 2012, winning six world titles during this period, his last championship coinciding with his Olympic gold medal in that event at the London Games. For his achievements in 2012, he was named Athlete of the Year by the Australian Institute of Sport and received the Order of Australia medal. Shortly after the 2012 Olympics, he joined ORACLE TEAM USA as a strategist, helping to stage one of the biggest comebacks in sports history when the team won the America's Cup in 2013. In December 2019, he clinched his first world title in the Moth class after dominating the competition and winning all but one race. He is sailing in Saint-Tropez aboard the TP 52 Nanoq in IRC C. “ This is my first time at Les Voiles. I officiate as a strategist aboard the TP 52 Nanoq, with a Danish crew and Prince Frederik at the helm. The boat, launched in 2008, is very competitive and magnificent to see sailing. I am very happy to be here and I think we are going to have a good time… ”

On the program tomorrow:
Its weight in Rum
The Mount Gay rum weighing of Admiral Satan 2021, Carl Ollivier, is scheduled for tomorrow Tuesday September 28, 2021 in public and at the Village des Voiles in Saint-Tropez. This is an initiative initiated in 2019 by Lionel Péan, who crowns the winner of the Bailli de Suffren Trophy in the Classic category, while paying tribute to the famous bailiff, called Satan by his eternal British adversaries. No analogy, the winner of the Modern category is awarded the Jedi Trophy. The route of the 21st edition of the Trophy, mysteriously called the “SUFFREN Trilogy” will take place on the terrace of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez on Friday October 1st at 7pm.









They said:
Maxime Sorel, Eileen 1938
The Cancalais Maxime Sorel was one of the revelations of the last Vendée Globe, signing at the age of 34 a more than honorable tenth place for his first participation. He launched the construction of an Imoca prototype, with the aim of the next Route du Rhum and the Vendée Globe 2024.
“This participation in Les Voiles is a great first for me. I discovered this atmosphere which made the reputation of the event. My new Imoca boat is under construction. I will therefore not be taking part in the Transat Jacques Vabre, which leaves me a little time to respond to this type of invitation. I meet a lot of people, from all types of sails. I am sailing a classic, Eileen 1938. I am a coxswain. The boat is very heavy, while being very regatta in its fittings. The helm sensations are amazing. We do not find the impression of power of modern boats, but we drive, without electronics. Everything works for sensations. A real homecoming. All of these Classics are magnificent. On land, we see the ball of the crews in the colors of their team. Very good waves. I do not have the culture of the crew and the yachting but I sail a little on the Bisquine de Cancale and I like the atmosphere of the crew, with the pleasure of racing. "

Pjotr ​​Lezhnin, J / 99 Space Jockey
He will be one of the competitors to follow this week in IRC E, the J / 99 Balte Space Jockey, skippered by the Russian Pjotr ​​Lezhnin, winner of the Giraglia in his IRC group. “We have a mixed crew, male / female and of various nationalities. The idea is to have fun here in Saint-Tropez in this very competitive group of IRC E. The J / 99 is very efficient at all speeds, and in all types of wind. So we have a great card to play here. I have sailed a lot in Northern Europe, Germany and the Baltic States. In the Mediterranean, the season goes on until the gates of winter and it's very pleasant. The mix of genres here is fascinating, with the Classics and the moderns… The J / 99, Johnston design, is a very versatile boat, between cruising and racing… ”

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