A festive yachting event unfazed amid raging storm
Before the world broke loose with torrential rains and flooding that devastated several areas of the Maritime Alps this past weekend, there was Les Voiles de St. Tropez traditional splendid regattas that ran from September 26 through October 4, 2015. A festive event of excellence, celebrating yachting and a vitrine of more than a century of naval architecture, with the participation of 4000 sailors in more than 330 Classic and Modern yachts, during 6 days of racing. The monumental Walllys enjoyed 5 very windy races, while the five IRC groups racked up 3. It was a special period in St Tropez where the sun was shy in appearing during the whole week, but rich in sportive challenges of the highest level. We can assert that in spite of the inclement weather, it did not rain in their parade!
André Beaufils, President of the SNST, said: ”We made the best of it. We learn something new each year about the effect the elements have on proceedings and we’ll take that into account more and more in the future. The initial reactions from the competitors are positive, as they understand the difficulties we face when working with Mother Nature. The Race Committees were able to adapt to the daily problems and already we’re reflecting on the siting of the village next year as the Harbour Master’s Office is being expanded. The village will be different, albeit of the same high quality. It has certainly been a festive affair as we were able to respond to whatever the weather threw our way and the mindset at the soirées was certainly worthy of Saint Tropez. A theme dear to my heart for next year is “owners aboard and friends first and foremost”. And he added “The idea is to inspire the boat owners to come back here for fun with a group of friends. Furthermore, the notion of a challenge is important in yachting. I want to take inspiration from this to revive the notion on the water. A Challenge is the very essence of racing. Owners, skippers and sailors jump at the prospect because of the adrenalin hit it gives them and with it the ensuing celebration on shore.”
The Lady Anne won the competition but Tuiga got the title
The last rendezvous of the season after the Baleares (August 14-16), the Monaco Classic Week (September 9-13) and Portofino (September 17-19), the Voiles of Saint Tropez constituted for the four 5 M JI the last stage of the 2015 championship of the “15 Meter Class Association” organized under the support of Rolex. Mariska (1908), Tuiga (1909), Hispania (1909), and The Lady Anne (1905) are the four last 15 M JI in the world that still navigate. They are the survivors of a series that includes twenty units at the beginning of the 20th century, that dominated yachting from 1906 to 1917 over all the European regatta bodies of water.
The Voiles of Saint Tropez were a major challenge that decided the fate between Mariska, title-holder after two seasons, from Tuiga, both with equal points before the start of the regattas. Benefiting from their own course on Monday, and with differentiated departs throughout the week, five furiously disputed courses were validated in spite of the gale wind in the middle of the week. The best of four, it is The Lady Anne who won the St. Tropez competition.
Tuiga, the fore-and-aft cutter of the Monaco Yacht Club, lead in the beginning of the week by Bernard d’Alessandri, General Secretary of the Y.C.M., who passed the relay to Pierre Casiraghi, Vice-President of the Y.C.M., finished third overall but in front of Mariska. The Monegasque crew won at the same time the “15 Meter Class Association Annual Trophy 2015” by one small point. Evidence of the high level of the competition, each of these four exceptional vessels had the chance to shine this week by winning each at least a leg.
And the winners are…
The traditional Prize ceremony took place on Sunday in the Village des Voiles (Sails Village), where every class was duly compensated. The Rolex Trophy went to the winner of the Groupe des Maroni B, the Edmond de Rothschild Trophy to the best IRC C sportsmen, while BMW recognized the Wally champion. Closing with a festive buffet lunch for all the participating jolly crew members who days earlier had participated in a colourful parade.
- CLASSIC YACHTS CHAMPION – The Classic yachts race in 11 of the most balanced groups possible, taking into account the boat’s rig sizes and types, gaff or Marconi. For the first time, the four 15m JIs, Mariska, Tuiga, The Lady Anne and Hispania competed in the final race of their championship at Les Voiles. Going right to the wire, it was Tuiga who took the win, just one point ahead of Mariska, who’d held the title for 2 years.
- ROLEX TROPHY Classic Marconi B: Maria Giovanna II
- EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD TROPHY IRC C: Vesper
- BMW WALLY TROPHY: Magic Blue
- Grand Tradition Group – SILLINGER TROPHY: Moonbeam of Fife
- Period Gaffer Group A – BYBLOS TROPHY: Chinook
- Period Marconi A – GL EVENT TROPHY: Rowdy
- Period Marconi D – ESPRIT VILLAGE TROPHY: Windhover
- IRC A – KAPPA TROPHY: Ranger
- IRC B: SFS TROPHY: Music
- IRC D: MARINE DE COGOLIN TROPHY: Team Chalets
- IRC E: SNSM TROPHY: Absolutely
- YACHT CLUB DE FRANCE TROPHY: Moonbeam III
- TROPHEMINA: Abe – PASCALE LIGIER
- CREW PROCESSION: The crews of Bernina, Rafale and Xantus took the prize.
Photos copyright @ Gilles Martin-Raget/SNST