(Gustavia, St Barth)- On the eve of the third running of Les Voiles de St. Barth, April 2-7, the palm-fringed port of Gustavia, St. Barthlemy quickly filled with an impressive array of race boats: ocean-racing maxis to a fleet of J sailors ready to give some of the top sailors in the Caribbean and other parts of the world a taste of “island style” sailing– fun, fast, laid back and competitive.
Racing runs from Tuesday, April 3 to Saturday, April 7 and will feature a mix of Olympic triangles, short coastal courses, and a 20-30 nautical mile round-the island race. Thursday is a lay-day at Nikki Beach, with lunch and a full afternoon of activities, including a paddle board competition.
In St-Barts, people sail for pleasure and to win. Once ashore, they can find a warm, friendly atmosphere, where sailors from around the world can get together. The Voiles de Saint Barth aims to ensure that these rare moments of coming together ashore are a cornerstone of this event. Each day will finish with something special going on ashore. One can talk about the very special evening for the crews, which is scheduled for Wednesday 4th April on Shell Beach and at the “Do Brasil Restaurant”. No fewer than 700 sailors are expected to attend. The lay day, which is very much appreciated in the middle of such intense racing (waaay too much sun, wind and waves drenching you with salt-spray), will prolong this enjoyment throughout the day on Thursday 5th April. The racers will be down on Nikki Beach with their families and friends simply to enjoy themselves with in particular a very secret sort of race planned, where the crews will have fun competing against each other. Each evening the Voiles de Saint-Barth invites all the crews into the race village to enjoy a concert, in collaboration with the two historic partners to the Voiles de Saint-Barth, Taittinger Champagne and Mount Gay Rums.
As the Les Voiles St Barts has grown, it has attracted some fun-loving, competitive teams from the J contingent. Look for two teams to be a factor in Spinnaker 2 Class with nineteen boats, the largest single class in the regatta– leading the charge for line honors will be the J/122 LAZY DOG sailed by Sergio Sagramoso from San Juan, Puerto Rico and challenging them for handicap honors will be the J/109 BLUEJAWS sailed by Frenchman Jean-Noel Tourin from France.
In the Non-Spinnaker there are eight sailboats vying for honors, including a strong team sailing the J/120 JAGUAR- ISLAND WATER WORLD skippered by Ben Jelic. Plus, having learned the ropes of “island sailing” the 120 boys will have a tough contender in the form of the J/95 SHAMROCK skippered by Tom Mullen from New Hampshire, USA. For more Les Voiles St Barth sailing information