The second edition of the Voiles de Saint Barth will take place between 4th and 9th April 2011. François Tolède
and Luc Poupon, representing St. Barts Yacht Club, which organizes 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 organizers 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, François Tolède and Luc Poupon – who came up with this
Voiles de Saint-Barth event – quickly took advantage of what they had learned from the first edition, which was organized
last April in sailing conditions that were idyllic from 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, Loïck 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
François Tolède 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.
« 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! »