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Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
LUCK OF THE DRAW
A fitting finale for the last day of racing at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez as the wind gods delivered 15 knots of breeze from the southeast. All divisions went off on time, with the Moderns off starting at 11am, followed by the Tradition divisions at 12 noon. These latter were sent on a 14 nautical mile course out of the Golfe de Saint-Tropez downwind towards Saint Raphaël with a beat back to the finish line.
Leading their classes in the Tradition division going into today’s final race – and tied for the Rolex Trophy – were Graham Walker’s NYYC 40 Rowdy in the Epoque (Classic) Marconi 1, and Yves-Marie Morault’s 12 metre, Ikra in Grands Classiques.
Two-time Rolex Trophy winner Rowdy has had a fairly faultless week with wins on three days. Today’s race was theirs to triumph in again, but a sequence of events almost provided a different outcome. Eager to get a clean start, Rowdy was over early and had to circle back behind their 14-boat class and restart. Then with the forecast of a stronger breeze filling in, the call was made to go with double headsails which didn’t provide enough power in the chop, and so time was lost time with a sail change to a bigger genoa. Finally, a tactical error had the boat overstand the top mark, which put them further behind. The Blue Peter, the 20 metre Mylne-designed cutter led around the course, finishing ahead of Rowdy, but the quick Herreshoff sloop managed to correct out a minute ahead for their 4th win of the week, thus securing a class win for the regatta.
In the ten-boat Grands Classiques class, the 12 metre Ikra won decisively. Owner Yves-Marie Morault was quick to praise his skipper, Sebastian Estremau for their results. Morault sails the boat with his wife, Arlette and son Francois, and a close group of friends. In 2005, Morault bought the boat and has been sailing in the classic regattas in the Mediterranean ever since. The boat had a major refit in 2007 with extensive work done to the hull and deck, as well as a new mast and rigging, and a new interior the year following. The crew work has improved along with the boat itself, and in 2007 Ikra won class in the 12 Metre Worlds.
Estremau said, “I think we won convincingly today (in class). We were quite pleased with our performance because it was quite tricky today. For the owner it’s the end of the season, the boat is going to the yard tomorrow to get packed up, and to finish on a victory is great!
“Now the question is whether or not we’ve won the Rolex Trophy or not, which is very important for the owner. The boat has been having good results, but this year we’ve been sailing really well in Saint-Tropez. It’s been a really good week, to give credit to the organizers. We came here for four races and we had four races, they were all different, and it was challenging …that’s what it’s all about.”
The winner of the Rolex Trophy will be announced at the official Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez prizegiving tomorrow, Sunday 3 October at 11am at the Citadelle.
The Rolex Trophy
The Rolex Trophy will be awarded to the low point winner from the Tradition division boats that are more than 16 metres (length on deck). There are 44 boats eligible in this division, spread over seven classes. At Sunday’s prize giving ceremony at the Citadelle, the winner will be awarded the Rolex Trophy and a Rolex Submariner timepiece. The Trophy was first awarded in 2006, past winners include:
2006 – So Fong, 25 metre Marconi-rigged schooner. Designed by the renowned naval architecture firm, Sparkman & Stephens and built in Hong Kong in 1937.
2007 – Agneta, 25 metre yawl, built in 1951. Agneta’s beautiful varnished mahogany hull and tanbark sails are unmistakable on the water.
2008 & 2009 – Rowdy, Herreshoff-designed NYYC 40 class. Commissioned by the New York Yacht Club, this design is 40 feet on the waterline (approx 65 ft LOA).
For full results, please go to the official event site: http://www.societe-nautique-saint-tropez.fr/menus_regates.php?id_course=27&cat=3
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2010 Event Programme
Sunday, 26 September: Welcome for yachts
Monday, 27 September: Welcome for yachts; Racing in Modern division
Tuesday, 28 September: Coastal race for all
Wednesday, 29 September: Coastal race for all
Thursday, 30 September: Challenge Day (match racing)
Friday, 1 October: Coastal race for all
Saturday, 2 October, Coastal race for all
Sunday, 3 October: 11am, Prizegiving Ceremony at La Citadelle