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The Worlds Finest Yachts Racing in the Heart of the Caribbean

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From 6th to 11th April 2010

The local council in Saint Barthélémy, the Tourist board and the Saint Barth Yacht Club are setting up a new sailing event from Tuesday 6th to Sunday 11th April 2010, which will be open to Classic and modern yachts, Super Yachts, Racing-Cruisers, as well as Racing Multihulls, in one of the most delightful settings and on the finest waters in the world with what is bound to be a friendly atmosphere as we have come to expect in the Caribbean. "The world’s finest boats racing in an area known for its fun with the simple goal of bringing together sport and sheer pleasure."

At the crossroads between the continent of North America, South America and the Caribbean islands, Saint Barthélémy has always included sailing races among its traditions and has made great use of its know-how. The desire to create a special event unique to Saint Barth, with the backing of François Tolède, member of the Saint Barth tourist board and in charge of special events at the Saint Barth Yacht Club, is the latest example in a long history of glorious yachting events on the island, ever since the Loulou’s regatta, which in the seventies brought together up to 200 sail boats. Using all the knowledge and expertise it has acquired in welcoming large yachts and racing boats, with a know-how that is recognised with such varied races as the Transat AG2R, the Route du Rosé and the St-Barth Bucket Regatta, Saint Barth is organising a week of racing in the best spirit of the sport with the finest yachts that can be found in this part of the world. "We’re looking forward to welcoming the big American yachts, which sail in the Caribbean in the winter months," explained Luc Poupon, the race director. "We are inviting the finest yachts in the world, including the Maxi Yachts, and Racing-Cruisers, and we hope that for this maiden event that no fewer than a hundred of the greatest Classic and modern yachts will be appearing here.”

We can therefore expect the jewels in the crown of the international racing world to be heading for Gustavia at the start of the spring of 2010. "80% of the sailors will be from a British or American background," added "Lucky" Poupon. "But the boats will be coming from all over the world, from the USA of course, but also from Mexico, South America, and we’ve even had requests from Poland and Hong Kong. It will really be an opportunity to discover yachts, many of which do not sail in European waters." 

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So we can be sure that the whole of the Caribbean sailing world will be celebrating at the start of next April. There will be a friendly and festive atmosphere ashore outside of the races and a special village will be set up for the racers and their sponsors. "We are planning a lot of special events ashore, in order for the hundreds of sailors from around the world to have fun together," continued François Tolède. "The fact that we are an island means we attract motivated people, who come to Saint Barth for the charms of the island and the beauty of the racing yachts throughout this week."

Specific start areas will be set up according to the size of boat in order to make this a fair contest. "On the leeward side of the island, where the races will start, there are a number of possible courses off Gustavia or around the islands, which means that each class can enjoy a fair competition in the best spirit of the sport," explained Luc Poupon. "The trade winds tend to ease off in April, and we can legitimately hope for a steady easterly of around fifteen knots." Which means we can look forward to some great racing in the sunshine.

The world’s finest yachts, from Classic yachts to Maxis, often with top names from ocean racing and regattas at the helm (Peter Holmberg, Russell Coutts….), windy races, offering a spectacular show, an atmosphere ashore based around the simple pleasures of life… under the auspices of the photographer, Patrick Demarchelier, the Voiles de Saint Barth will also be bringing together the traditional values of classic yachts and the spectacular modern approach of the newest Racing-Cruisers, to ensure that all those, who love beautiful boats will enjoy this event that the Saint Barthélémy council would like to see become a regular date on the calendar of the international yachting world.

Guest yachts:

The Super Yachts

They are very different from each other, so it is very difficult to classify them. A handicap time system will be put in place based on specifications, such as the size of the boat, the sail surface and weight. Some of these boats take part in the Bucket Regatta.

The Classics

Classic boats must be at least 35 years old and will be ranked in various classes. To deal with them fairly a handicap system is set up based on the specifications of the boat, such as the size, sail surface and weight.

Racing yachts

Racing monohulls built specifically for coastal or ocean racing. Often built of carbon or other so called exotic materials, their sail surface is immense and they have a large crew on board for hiking out.

Racing Cruisers

In most cases, these are series boats, fitted out for cruising or racing.

Racing Multihulls

Racing multihulls, trimarans or catamarans, with a length between 30 and 60 feet. In general, they are very light and fast.

The schedule for the 2010 race

• Tuesday 6th April 2010: Official opening of the registration office (daylight hours)
Publication of official programme
Opening ceremony, Quai Général de Gaulle
Cocktail reception in the race village

• Wednesday 7th April 2010: 1st day of racing
Harbourmaster’s office
10H00 Skippers’ briefing
11H00 Start of the first races
16H00 The competitors return to shore
17H00 Special light show Quai Général de Gaulle
Opening of the weather centre: cocktail reception for the sponsors

• Thursday 8th April 2010: 2nd day of racing
10H00 The boats set sail
11H00 Lunch on the start line – weather unit
16H00 The competitors return to shore
17H00 Special event in the race village: light show

• Friday 9th April 2010: 3rd day of racing
10H00 The boats set sail
16H00 The competitors return to shore
17H00 Special event in the race village: light show

• Saturday 10th April 2010: Final day of racing
10H00 Final day of racing: the boats set sail
17H00 Prize ceremony and cocktail reception
20H00 Party evening and closing ceremony for the Voiles de St Barth
Sponsors’ dinner – Weather centre

• Sunday 11th April 2010:
10H00 Start of the Colombier Regatta
13H00 Giant picnic


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So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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