A mainstay of the Caribbean regatta circuit, the 2018 Les Voiles de Saint Barth will still go ahead, despite the destruction Hurricane Irma caused to the island last year. Reflecting the widespread effort to get St Barts back up and running, organisers have introduced a fifth day of competition as well as a new class.
Close to sixty sailing yachts have signed up to compete, with the first three days of racing taking place from Monday 9 April to Wednesday 8 April. A rest day at Nikki Beach will then break up proceedings before racing resumes on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 April.
On each day of racing, competitors will have to traverse one of 17 possible courses, most of which are based off the east coast of St Barts. The route will only be revealed on the morning of each race to account for the prevailing weather conditions.
In the Maxi class, the 29m/94ft charter yacht WINDFALL from Southern Wind will make her return to the regatta, going head to head with a fellow yacht from the global charter fleet, Nautor Swan’s 21m/68ft sailing yacht ‘Simple Harmony’.
The pair will face stiff competition from the likes of the 27m/88ft sailing yacht ‘Rambler 88’, which set a record at February’s Caribbean 600 and returns for the seventh time with four victories under her belt. Meanwhile, winner of the last two editions, the 22m/72ft sailing yacht PROTEUS, will be back hoping to retain her title.
Organisers have introduced a fifth day of competition and the inauguration of a new class
Thirteen multihulls have signed up to compete at this year’s event, the highest number in the event’s history, while 32 yachts will make up the Spinnaker class.
Another new feature of the 2018 edition is the creation of the Richard Mille Record Trophy. The award will be given to the boat in each class that has achieved the best time of the event on a course of about 60 miles.
The regatta is also well-known for its exciting social programme. Live music, dinners and cocktail parties will follow each day of competition and, after the final race, an awards ceremony and fireworks display will round-up the regatta.
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