The second edition of the Voiles de Saint Barth will take place between 4th and 9th April 2011. FranÃ§ois TolÃ¨de and Luc Poupon, representing St. Barts Yacht Club, which organises the event, have just confirmed the dates after talks with competitors and the event’s partners. Following on from a magnificent first edition last April, this major date on the Caribbean racing calendar is now well established, and the aim is to make it even bigger. The praise that was heaped on the event by sailors, skippers and owners at the end of the first edition boosted the confidence of the organisers in their format and led them to come up with these new dates. The invitation has been issued for all those, who enjoy fine yacht races.
After the success of the first edition, St. Barts Yacht Club, FranÃ§ois TolÃ¨de and Luc Poupon – who came up with this Voiles de Saint-Barth event – quickly took advantage of what they had learnt from the first edition, which was organised last April in sailing conditions that were idyllic in every point of view. Sailors gathering from around the world fully enjoyed this full week of racing on a wide range of courses, which were extremely demanding and continued to impress throughout. St. Barts, its islands, trade winds, Atlantic rollers and tempestuous Caribbean seas charmed even the most experienced skippers. Whether we are talking about Peter Holmberg, LoÃ¯ck Peyron or Ken Read, they all expressed the desire to return next year after these great moments of racing. The Voiles de Saint-Barth brought together around thirty magnificent yachts for this first edition. Classic yachts, Maxi-Yachts and Racer-Cruisers came from all around the Caribbean and the United States.
Set up to last
FranÃ§ois TolÃ¨de intends to see this event grow steadily over the years. "We would like to see this event become a fixture on the calendar and one of the must attend events for skippers and owners,” he explained. "We paid particular attention to taking care of the boats, setting up top quality races on the water and ensuring everyone enjoyed themselves back on the island. It would seem that everyone, racers, owners, spectators and partners were more than pleased with the event. We are looking forward to seeing even more boats here next time and maybe in 2011, we could see as many as sixty boats. The format of our races, with different courses set up each day around St. Barts, was something that the sailors were very keen on. The conditions turned out to be absolutely marvellous and certainly pleased the crews, who, at the end of the winter, were happy to encounter such a powerful trade wind in hot sunshine and on bracing seas. We proved to everyone that we have a lot of things on our side and the time of year in early April will become increasingly seen as the must attend date on the calendar by the owners of these elegant yachts."
All of the major partners from 2010 have already confirmed they will be alongside the St-Barts Yacht Club in 2011, starting with the watchmaker, Richard Mille, "Headline Sponsor" for the Voiles de Saint-Barth, which has dedicated one of its finest creations to the event, the "Richard Mille Trophy". The local authorities in St. Barts, Taittinger and RÃ©my Cointreau will once again be alongside the organisers to ensure that the event will be as enjoyable in 2011, as it was for its first edition. FranÃ§ois TolÃ¨de and Luc Poupon are brimming over with ideas to offer even more to the sailors taking part and their partners. They will be pursuing a promotional campaign throughout the current racing season in the States, as well as in the Mediterranean.
The Voiles de Saint-Barth: the skippers put it best
"The setting is magnificent. If the Voiles de Saint-Barth didn’t exist, someone would have to invent it. It’s in place now and they have intelligently brought together all sorts of boats. It’s fascinating watching them all sailing together. Everything that makes sailing so interesting can be found here and the concept has a great future ahead of it."
Peter Holmberg :
"I was one of the first skippers that Luc Poupon contacted to take part in the Voiles de Saint-Barth. It seemed like an interesting concept to me. I wanted to lend a hand to get the event going. Each island has its own race and St. Barts seems to me to be a major sailing festival, an occasion, which brings together all sorts of different yachts, which is a very good thing for our sport.”
Ken Read, Puma Sailing Team
"With what I’ve seen, I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll soon be attracting a thousand boats to this event! (Laughs). Seriously, the sailing conditions are quite simply fantastic, quite exceptional. St. Barts is now in my Top Five favourite locations in the world for sailing! The island is magnificent, the race committee is doing a remarkable job and the sailing conditions go beyond my wildest dreams!"