Les Voiles de Saint Barth: first trophy for Rambler 88Saint Barth, 11 April 2018
This is the first year for the "Richard Mille Record Trophy" that rewards the fastest Maxi and fastest Multihull. The 49-mile course took the fleet up near Tintamarre, Saint Martin. Today’s race also counts in the overall Les Voiles series for the Maxis and the Multihulls. While the Maxis and Multis were off flying around the islands on a 49-mile hunt to win line honors for the inaugural "Richard Mille Record Trophy", the CSA fleets battled it out in two 12-mile races. The top boats across the three CSA fleets are either tied on points in CSA 1 and 3 or within 2 points in CSA 2 after their first two-race day in the regatta.
Rambler 88 stretched her legs and quickly pulled a horizon job on the fleet, finishing the race in 3:01.58, more than 28 minutes ahead of the Maxi 72 Proteus. Rambler 88 also won the day on corrected time. Proteus remains in first overall for the Les Voiles series, two points ahead of Rambler.
“It feels great to win,” said George David, Rambler 88 owner. “We had a pretty good squall over Saint Martin at one point, but it was a great day sailing. Our boat needs to have distance to get up to speed, and this course was well suited for us. Even better today to win both the new trophy and to win the race on corrected time.”
In the Multihulls, La French Tech Rennes St-Malo (IMRR), the Multi 50 trimaran skippered by Gilles Lamiré, took line honors and the trophy, finishing the course in 3:27.24.
“We are very happy,” the French skipper said. “The race was beautiful, with incredible scenery. Winning this record is very rewarding for us. I think this is the type of challenge that will attract other boats. It adds a real plus on the sporting level.”
Only a half point separates the top three boats as Conviction continues its strong run, tied at 10 with the Melges 32 Lazy Dog out of Puerto Rico, and a half point behind is Albator from France.
Upon seeing today’s results, Steve Travis, owner of Conviction happily called out to his crew still on board. “Hey all, 1 and 1 today,” to the response of cheers and high fives from the team. “How can you say anything other than nice?” he asked back about their regatta so far. “And then last night we got to see a Jimmy Buffett concert, I mean how can you top it?”
Albator’s tactician Aymeric Arthaud enjoyed the two-race day. “The courses were relatively short with close VMG and VMG headings. On the first race, we had a good start and pretty good upwind,” he said. “In our class, there is really a good fight!"
While Meg Reilly and her Hermes / Ocean Racing Team may be in 9th place, they are enjoying a series of firsts. “It is the first time we are doing Les Voiles, and it’s the third day for this crew on the boat,” said Reilly. “And some people are just starting to get used to it. Today we flew our masthead kite for the first time with this crew, and we had a clean hoist clean jijbe, clean hoist and a clean douse, so that was really exciting.”
Reilly and skipper Morgan Watson run a sailing charter program. “We have new crew each time, so it’s a judgement call to balance them having a really good experience, and keeping people safe. But, we also don’t want to be embarrassed by the big boys in this tough fleet. But each day we take it up a notch and get closer.”
The battle is on between Ventarron and Blitz as two points separate them (5, 7), and there is no doubt Blitz’s owner-driver Peter Corr has his sights set on earning the top spot before the week is out.
“It was a good first race today. We won that race, and it’s good competition but the corrected times are tough,” Corr said. “We like the tactical courses the best, but overall the competition is great. There are not many slackers here.
"In the type of conditions we had today, a boat like Phaedo is better suited than us because it manages to go fast upwind in a rough sea. The latter has made the navigation chaotic but the great downwind runs have been fabulous, "said Guyador’s Arthur Le Vaillant, who will be found at the start of the next Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe next November at the helm of a Class40.
“This is such a beautiful regatta, I love coming every year. This is the first time we’re sitting in second, so we are gunning for first. That is what makes sport sport.”
Credit Mutuel - PTO, a Jeanneau 3200 owned by Claude Granel and Marc Enig sits in the top spot today thanks to a first-place finish in the second race. They are tied at six points with Team Island Water World, the Melges 24 owned by Fritz Bus. Water World is the smallest entry in Les Voiles but as a local he and his team are extremely comfortable in the big breeze and swell that’s been on order this week.
Louis-Christian Derussy, skipper of Kimbe Red! thoroughly enjoyed their day. “We had two beautiful squalls that brought wind up to 30 knots, which let us take full advantage of the power of the boat (a Dufour 34). We are here with a new crew, and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. There is a good fight between the two local crews, Speedy Nemo and Maëlia Caisse d'Epargne Cepac Antilles, and us. They are very friendly and welcome us with open arms. We are loving it here at Les Voiles de Saint-Barth!"
A Look Ahead
Thursday is the signature “Day Off” for the Les Voiles de Saint Barth Richard Mille participants. Fun and games will begin around noon at Nikki Beach. Friday, racing resumes at 10 am.
Les Voiles de Saint Barth Richard Mille Website: www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com
Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Richard Mille
From 8 to 14 April 2018, Saint-Barth’s will host the 9th edition of Les Voiles de Saint Barth, with the legendary musician and sailor Jimmy Buffett and French radio and television personality Alessandra Sublet as the event’s American and French ambassadors. Created in 2010 at the behest of François Tolède and Luc Poupon, today the event has become an unmissable meeting for monohulls - included in the calendar of the International Maxi Association - and multihulls alike. The reason for this is the unique competitive spirit and sociability that colours the race, both on the water and on land, which have earned it a spot as a major event in the Caribbean. Today, it has a real international dimension, each year gathering together 15 or so nationalities, the most high-performance boats in the world and the top international sailors, who come along to the make the most of the trade wind breezes and the famous French Touch (hospitality, gastronomy…). In celebration, the 2018 edition will be fleshed out by a fifth day of racing. For the record, on 6 September 2017, the island was hit very hard by Hurricane Irma.
Event Director: François Tolède
Race Director: Luc Poupon
Offshore Operation Manager: Xavier Marchal
Onshore Operation Manager: Béatrice Albe
Communications Manager: Alexandra Lemarchand
U.S. Writer: Kirsten Ferguson
Photography: Christophe Jouany et Michael Gramm
Videography: Air Vide et Eau productions
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