Just two weeks to go before the start of the 2017 edition of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez. Some highlights and essentials which make up this iconic get together, organized by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, which brings together some 300 of the world’s most beautiful classic and modern boats in the gulf. Here are 5 things you need to know before you get there…. obviously!

* This year, the Voiles takes place entirely in October: Why?
As a rule, the Voiles takes place over the weekend that bridges September and October. A particularity of the 2017 calendar gives the option of two weekends that fall into these criteria. Hence the traditional feeder race from Cannes to Saint-Tropez hosted by the Yacht Club de France’s autumn cup determines the date, kicking-off the start of the Voiles on Sunday, October 1st.

* The Modern yachts: a new Wallycento!
4th prestigious arrival to the Wallycento class, Tango, skippered by Marc Pajot, makes its debut appearance on the racing scene. Without doubt, this is the Wally not to be missed. The IRC fleet holds its breath welcoming brand new 72-foot maxi, Canonball, built by Premier Composite Technologies in Dubai under the plans of Botin Partners, already with a win at Palma Vela and a second at the Copa del Rey under its belt. A first-class show is guaranteed amidst the big players of the series: My Song, Rambler, La Bete (former Rambler), Varsovie and Wallyno. Worth watching is the evolution of Monaco Yacht Club’s Imoca, Malizia II, along with significant developments in the “Spirit of Tradition“ class with Farfalla, Savannah and Vintage. Pressure is on for the IRC C, an impressive class with some great contenders (GP42, TP52, Swan, Ker, Farr, IMX, and prototype Nivelt). 2016 winner, TP 52 Team Vision has changed hands and comes back as Renata with Sébastien Col onboard. In IRC B nine out of ten of the top ranking 2016 fleet will be present, similarly in IRC D, eight of the top ten boats are returning players.

*The Classics: a symphony of schooners and centenarians
New-comer to the Voiles de Saint-Tropez and to the queens of the gaff-rigged schooners is 38-meter Doriana, designed by Wedell-Wedellsborg, built in 1930 by the Frederiksund shipyard in Denmark. She joins in the ranks of Elena of London and Puritan. These great dames are youngsters amidst the fleet of more than 25 centenarians proudly headed by gaff-cutter Nan of Fife (1896). Also welcome this year to the Mediterranean is special guest, American P-Class Chips (16m35 – 1913). Amongst the beauties returning to this year’s 17th edition is the ketch Hygie (24m – 1930), Bermudan sloop Blue Peter (19.65m – 1930), and the elegant Bermudan cutter Eilidh (17.75m – 1931) amongst others. An increase in participants within the realms of the classics is due in part to the expanding range of the meter classes: 6M, 8M, 10M, 12M, 15M, and 23M J1. The Modern Marconis who race alongside the Classics, welcome the latest arrival to the Tofinou class from Latitude 46 shipyard, M’Lou2.

* Trophies: the essentials
The Rolex Trophy will this year go to the best in the 15 M JI class
The BMW Trophy will be awarded to the winner of the Wally class
The Edmond de Rothschild Group Trophy goes to first in IRC C class

* On shore: not to be missed
Monday October 2nd, 9.00 am blessing of the fleet from the terrace of the Sube (restricted access)
Wednesday 4th, 6pm boules competition, Place des Lices
Thursday 5th, 6.30 pm crew parade on the dock
Tuesday 3rd, Friday 6th, Saturday 7th, 5pm – 9pm musical entertainment on the dock and in town

In brief:
Saint-Tropez – Saint-Barth: in the name of the Saints
Tragically hit on September 6th by the passage of Hurricane Irma, the small island of Saint-Barths, well known in the sailing community, can count on support from the sailors of the most famous village in the Var. Saint-Barths is the destination of the Route du Rosé, an Atlantic crossing under the initiative of Patrice de Colmont in the 1990s with the complicity of wine producers from the region. This jewel of the Caribbean has retained a special place at the Voiles de Saint- Tropez and has over the years welcomed its crews. To mark this solidarity, the president of the Société de Saint-Tropez, André Beaufils, has launched an initiative on how to best aid in the restauration of nautical activities on the island.

Vendée Globe: Around the world from Saint-Tropez to Saint-Tropez
This solo, unassisted circumnavigation of the globe is known and recognized as the ultimate in sailing races. Many dream it, few realize it. Achieved by Sébastien Destremau, we find a sailor who holds his own important place in the history of the Tropezian regatta with 10 years at the helm of the legendary 12 mJI Ikra, (one of the two original participants of the Nioulargue, founding regatta to the Voiles de Saint-Tropez). Crossing the finish line at Les Sables d’Olonnes on March 11th, 2017, the navigator has one more leg to complete his tour of the world. Returning this year to race in Saint-Tropez, he will present his book.
Seul au Monde : 124 jours dans l’enfer du Vendée Globe,
The story of an incredible inner voyage, by Sébastien Destremau
Publisher: Xo

Team Jolokia: red hot!
Jolokia is the name of the world’s hottest chilli pepper. It is also the code name chosen by an atypical crew who will make its debut at the Voiles this year on the Volvo 60 Libertalia. And it’s not only the key government departments: Labour, Health and Sports who support Team Jolokia. It is a peoples‘ initiative launched in 2013 whose goal is to demonstrate that there is richness in diversity, mixing the origins of its team members: men, women, young people, seniors, French nationals, foreigners, people with disabilities, experienced or not in the knowledge of sailing. A challenge that takes on new meaning in the context of a race.

Les partenaires des Voiles de Saint-Tropez

Saturday 30 September – Sunday 1 October: Registration and inspection
Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4, Thursday 5(J. Laurain Day, Challenge Day), Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October: Coastal course, 1st start 11:00am

Sunday 1 and Monday 2 October: Registration and inspection
Sunday 1 October: finish of the Yacht Club de France’s Coupe d’Automne from Cannes
Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4, Thursday 5 (J. Laurain Day, Challenge Day, Club 55 Cup, GYC Centenary Trophy), Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October: Coastal course, 1st start 12:00 noon

Prize-giving for everyone
Sunday 8 October, from 11:00am

Organisation :
Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, Commodore : André Beaufils
Principal Race Officer: Georges Korhel
On the water organisation: Philippe Martinez
On shore logistics: Emmanuelle Filhastre
Financial management : Delphine Reusse
Registration : Frédérique Fantino
Communication : Chloé de Brouwer
Website: www.lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr
Facebook: Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez official
Twitter: @VoilesSTOrg

Press Relations :
Maguelonne Turcat
Tel +33 (0)6 09 95 58 91
Email magturcat@gmail.com

Photos :
Gilles Martin-Raget, www.martin-raget.com