Thanks to a slight easing of the Mistral and a warm sunshine, all the racers, in both the Modern and Classic fleets, were poised for battle this morning, eager to test their mettle in the still bracing W’ly wind. From 11:00 hours, the 132 Modern sailboats set sail for L’Escalet, where a fantastic coastal course hugging the shore awaited them.
Meantime, the 82 Classic yachts tried, in vain alas, to make for their own start zone, the sea state and the gusts of over 30 knots breaking their stride. Ultimately the latter group were forced back into port, but not before the many image hunters caught them on film. The 5 Groups of Modern IRCs fortunately managed to validate their second race of the week.
Party-time for the TP52s
Designed for racing and at ease in a strong breeze, the TP52s had the opportunity and the ingredients to cook up a storm in the IRC C group, which is competing for the BMW Trophy. The President of the Hong Kong Yacht Club, Karl Kwok and his TP52 BeauGeste repeated their performance from Monday to snatch another victory after a very wet 90-minute sprint in today’s short coastal course.
The other two TP52s, Peter Harrison’s Jolt 3 and reigning champion Prince Frederik of Denmark’s Nanoq, completed the TP52 podium. Vying for the North Sails Trophy in IRCB, the mano-a-mano initiated on Monday between Laurent Courbin’s First 53 Yagiza and Linda Goddard’s Swan53 Bedouin continued apace in the day’s breezy conditions.
Tonight, each of these two boats boast one victory and one second place. The Baltic5 Music and Mad IV, Clive Llewellyn’s Grand Soleil 50, will have to raise their game if they are to tease the two leaders.
The competition was equally fierce in all the other groups, with the IRC D boats competing for the Suzuki Trophy particularly closely matched in elapsed time.
The Yacht Club de Gstaad’s Centenary Trophy
Tomorrow, Thursday, will play host to the 11th edition of the Centenary Trophy for the 21 Classic sailboats aged 100 and more. Double champion of the event, Olympian (Gardner 1913) will really have her work cut out to defend her title, especially against the fantastic former champion Spartan (Herreshoff 1913).
Quotes from the organisers
Philippe Serenon, President of the IRC Owners Association: “This is an owners association grouping together IRC boats which race on handicap with the aim of making it easier for a wide range of keelboats, racing and cruising monohulls to compete against one another. Supporting owners and races like the Ar Men race, the Spi Ouest-France, an Atlantic and a Mediterranean championship, the association is currently considering the idea of a national final involving the new Class 30 fine-tuned by the UNCL and RORC.
“40 boats have already been commissioned to date from Multiplast. Our owners are spoilt for choice in Saint Tropez when it comes to the kind of wonderful festive races they relish…”
Today’s partner: North Sails
For the 4th year, North Sails is the official clothing supplier for Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. As such, a special collection dedicated to the event has been created for Men, Women and Children, with graphics inspired by the world of racing. It’s a ‘lifestyle’ collection, designed using natural materials, organic cotton or nylon made from recycled plastic. 96% of the collection is produced using organic or recycled materials.
The brand is making every effort to reduce the carbon footprint of its manufacturing processes and its products and the North Sails boutique in the race village at Les Voiles is selling this special dedicated line.
Event website: www.lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr