Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014: Famine to Feast

With several classes still up for grabs, crews going into the final day of racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth were eager to get on the race course and best the score. The conditions remained fresh, with a 22 – 25 knot southeasterly producing an impressive swell on the island’s windward side. [Read more…]

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014: Back to Business

Competitors at Les Voiles de St. Barth headed back to the race course today after enjoying the regatta’s traditional lay day yesterday, which gave them a chance to indulge in the French island’s onshore charms. Many regattas no longer feature such a break in the racing, but Les Voiles has maintained a five-day format (four days of racing with a mid-regatta break) since its inception five years ago, and it has proven to be a draw. In fact, more than 400 of the thousand or so sailors racing here gathered at Nikki Beach on Baie Saint Jean for lunch and some organized team sports, including water polo, stand-up paddleboard races and petanque matches. [Read more…]

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014: Weather Factors In

The Weather Gods had promised more breeze for Day 2 of Les Voiles de St. Barth, and it came in a steady line of squalls moving south to north across the island, presenting challenging conditions for competitors and the Race Committee alike.

After a general recall, the Maxi and Spinnaker Zero classes took off on a 17 nautical mile course along the southern coast of St. Barth, only to disappear into a driving rain and building breeze halfway up the first beat as they got raked by the first squall. [Read more…]

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014: Ready to Rumble

Gustavia’s Quai General de Gaulle was abuzz with Les Voiles de St. Barth competitors this morning as they fortified themselves with croissants and café au lait while checking the official notice board for the day’s race courses. With the nine classes separated into four starts, the fleet was sent off in a light southeasterly breeze of about 8 -10 knots, sailing courses of either 21 nautical miles or, in the case of the bigger, faster boats, 28 nautical miles. The light breeze made for a long day for most, though no one was complaining given the otherwise ideal conditions. With the breeze forecast to build throughout the week, all boats will have a chance to revel in their best conditions. [Read more…]

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014: Countdown to Action

Les Voiles de St. Barth, which in five short years has become one of the most beloved regattas on the Caribbean sailing circuit, is preparing once again to rock the waters off the island of Saint Barthélemy. Scheduled for next week, April 14-19, the event has become progressively more seasoned while its participating teams have, in parallel fashion, become increasingly more impressive in terms of talent on board. Currently 70 strong and counting, the Les Voiles fleet of racing boats -ranging in size from 24 to 112 feet- will be divided into Maxi, IRC 52, Spinnaker, Melges 24, Non Spinnaker and Racing Multihull divisions. [Read more…]