Les Voiles de Saint Barth: Everything Clicks

The final day of racing at Les Voiles de Saint Barth served up lively conditions for the fleet, with 20+ knots of wind whipping up four- to six-foot seas.  The race committee sent the Maxi/Racing, Maxi, and Spinnaker 1 and 2 classes on a 17 nautical mile course along the western side of the island, somewhat protected by the lee of the land but nevertheless providing shifty conditions. Spinnaker 3, Melges 24, Classic, Non-Spinnaker, and Multihull classes sailed a 26 nautical mile course around the islands off the north and east side of Saint Barths, fully exposed to the fresh breeze and ocean swell. [Read more…]

Les Voiles de Saint Barth: Finding the Groove

Having been given plenty of time on yesterday’s longer courses to sort out their crew work, sail selection, tactics and sunscreen, sailors took to the turquoise seas off the French West Indies island of St. Barth for a second round of competition today at Les Voiles de Saint Barth. With the first day down and competition defined, now it was time to fine-tune and sort out standings.

The race committee selected three courses: 22 nautical miles for Classics, Non-Spinnaker, Spinnaker 3 and Melges 24 classes; 27 nm for Spinnaker 1, Spinnaker 2, and Multihulls; and 29 nm for Maxis. All three courses took the boats out and around the northern end of St. Barths and the outlying islands.  The southeasterly breeze was more sustained today at around 18 knots, with gusts to 20, which on the windward-side of the island produced large swells.
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Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean topped by Stark Raving Mad and Arethusa

Stark Raving Mad (USA), Class A winner, 2013 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands provided the sumptuous setting for the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean, which concluded on Friday 15 March following four days of intriguing, sporting competition. Over twenty Nautor’s Swan yachts representing nearly ten countries and territories provided a dynamic spectacle in idyllic waters and varying wind conditions.

The week’s triumphant crews and recipients of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean Trophy and Rolex timepieces were: Stark Raving Mad (USA) in Class A (reserved for yachts measuring upwards of 18.29m/60-ft) and Arethusa (USA) in Class B (yachts measuring less than 18.29m). [Read more…]

Start line antics dictate race winners at Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean

HIGH YIELD, Owner: Hanns Ostmeier , Sail n: GER 5335, Model: Swan 45MUSIC, Owner: James Blakemore, Sail n: GBR53N, Model: Swan 53

Jostling at the start line set the scene for day three of racing at the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

With Classes A and B sharing a start line, there were bound to be a few exciting moments including this morning when Swan 90 Freya mixed it up with Swan 56 White Rhino and Swan 48 Catch 22 at the committee boat end of the line.  It was the pin end of the line that paid however, where Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad and Club Swan 42 Arethusa were well placed, headed out to the left of the course and led their respective Classes around the 15nm course.

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Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean sees repeat performance for leaders

Rolex Swan Cup – Caribbean 2013 Photo By: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi

Swan 80 Selene takes the win off Jim Madden’s Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad in Maxi Class while James Blackmore’s Swan 53 Music was first in Class B on second day of racing in Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean

Late night dancing under the stars at the Oil Nut Bay Beach Party did not dent the energy and enthusiasm of the Swan crews and owners at the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean this morning.

With ten knots of prevailing Caribbean winds out of the East, racing organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda got underway at 1100. The course for the racing divisions reversed the route taken yesterday, with a downwind start outside North Sound down Drake’s Passage keeping the Dog Islands to starboard. Turning North with Round Rock to port and racing hard on the wind along the East coast of Virgin Gorda before turning West at Pajaros Point, launching their spinnakers to pass Oil Nut Bay and continue towards Necker Island and onto to the finish. PRO Peter Craig ensured that the fleet returned to the dock in good time for the ClubSwan Cocktail competition. [Read more…]