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World Class Yachting at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez

A key component to the Mediterranean regatta circuit – with some claiming it as the most exciting – this year’s Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez yacht festival takes place from September 26th to October 2nd and promises to be an event not to be missed.

 

Starting out in 1981 as La Nioulargue, when two friends and sailors decided to race one another between Saint-Tropez and the restaurant Club 55 (with La Nioulargue marking the turning point) since 1999 a full festival has grown, drawing the most beautiful yachts from around the world, from the classic and traditional to the modern and cutting edge.

 

 

As part of the prestigious regatta circuit that includes Imperia in Italy, Porto Cervo in Sardinia, Monaco, and the royal regatta in Cannes, Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez has seen some epic clashes to win coveted trophies: the Rolex trophy for yachts over 16 metres in the classic division, and many others across varying classes, including the Edmond De Rothschild and BMW Wally trophies. Each year the regatta culminates in a day of prize-giving celebrations for the successful crews and many viewers, both local and international, to enjoy.
 

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Last year the Rolex trophy went to Maria Giovanna II which took the trophy by just one point ahead of Namib and Stiren, and although the weather was not always on their side over 4,000 sailors came together to crew 330 yachts, the magnificent Wallys managing five races, and the five IRC groups completing three, with four days of sailing. Of the Wallys, Magic Blue was most successful, winning three victories in total from five hotly contested races.

 

 

Bringing both yachting fans and those new to the sport together, St-Tropez offers the perfect backdrop to a very special yachting festival – perfect for a spectacular scene of magnificent yachts and for the adrenalin-fuelled celebrations too. Viewing from sailing vessels or from shore-side, it is impossible not to be drawn into the competitive spirit.

 

However, if you do fancy a little diversion from the flurry of the race Saint-Tropez has been delighting visitors with its many charms for decades. From coastal walks along the Pampelonne beaches to cobbled streets; fine dining to fine art at France’s longest established modern art gallery, there certainly is plenty to do.

 

This year, hopes are for better weather, but even if not, organisers of the festival Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez have been busy making sure this splendid event runs as smoothly as possible, working on their committee boats and their marks. Their theme for 2016, “Les Propriétaires à bord et les Copains d’abord” invites boat owners to return once more and this time to make sure to bring all their friends, to share in what each year is a grand spectacle on one of France’s most famous beach resorts.

 

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