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Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - Maxi Day 3

by Maguelonne Turcat 6 Oct 2022 19:48 UTC 24 September - 8 October 2022

At the suggestion of Pierre Roinson, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, the magnificent Club 55 Cup duel, traditionally staged on the first Thursday of Les Voiles for the Classic and Modern yachts, was repeated today within the context of the Maxi Yacht week.

As such, the Wallys Tango and Magic Carpet 3 made the most of the lay day to challenge one another to a friendly, along a course bound for Pampelonne and the Club 55. It was Magic Carpet 3 who ultimately won the day after a fantastic duel featuring multiple changes of tack.

The remaining crews, including those on the two 12mRs Kiwi Magic KZ7 and French Kiss, they too invited to join in the festivities, also got the chance to make the most of the gulf of Saint Tropez, where the summer just keeps on giving.

Pierre Roinson, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez: "The Maxi owners wanted a lay day in the middle of the week so, after consulting with Patrice de Colmont, we came up with the idea of a Club 55 Cup, Maxi version. They enthusiastically agreed and with Tango competing against Magic Carpet 3, they had an absolute ball, match racing towards Pampelonne. These friendlies might well be extended to the other boats too next year."

Racing round-up

Since Tuesday, each of the four competing groups has managed to validate two races over courses spanning around fifteen miles, singularly complicated by the whims of a frequently evanescent breeze, which has tormented the strategists, navigators and trimmers. It is said that a good sailor can also perform well in light airs, in which case the 800 sailors competing at Les Voiles this week are the champions of the world.

This evening, it is the McKeon design Pattoo that has sailed to best effect at the start of this week. Indeed, at the midway mark in the competition, she is tied on points with Morgana (Reichel Pugh) in the Maxi 1 group, vying for the North Sails Trophy, and just one point ahead of the enormous Jasi (Swan 115 Frers). Spirit of Malouen X, the French Wally 107, has made a remarkable comeback in fourth place thanks to her success yesterday.

The Galeries Bartoux Trophy rewards the best yacht in the Maxi 2 group. 13 craft, each more remarkable than the next, make up this category, which includes the sprightly 72-foot Maxis. The Vrolijk design North Star, is topping the leader board this evening after bagging a win yesterday and a second place on Tuesday. Cannonball (Botin 72) is following in her wake after some similarly sublime performances. Sir Peter Ogden's Vrolijk design Jethou is hot on their heels just 3 points shy of the top spot.

The Maxi 3s clashing swords for the Besserat de Bellefon Trophy comprise twelve 18 to 33 m racers. It's the amazing and venerable Capricorno, launched in 1995, which is really holding her own against the fearsome Wally 77 Lyra. There's still everything to play for in this group though, with the Swan 601 Les Amis already pulling off a creditable performance thanks to a great victory in Tuesday's race.

Finally, the Maxi 4 group battling for the Torpez Trophy is also unwilling to reveal a clear winner so far. The beautiful ketch Saïda, a 1973 Swan 65, is duelling hard with the 12mR Kiwi Magic KZ7, the pair constantly jockeying for position at the front of the fleet under the envious gaze of French Kiss, the group's other 12mR.

Reduced weight in light airs

Luca Bassani, the visionary founder and Chief Designer of Wally, has created an iconic brand and shaped a very special spirit with an uncluttered aesthetic. His manufacturing approach is dictated by a very specific philosophy. "Wally has always been synonymous with innovation, a combination of the latest technologies and a contemporary design, and it is constantly seeking ways to improve the experience out on the water through performance, comfort and style."

A familiar and enthusiastic presence at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez and this second week dedicated to the Maxi Yachts, he generously shares his impression of how the boats handle in light Mediterranean airs.

"Today, we're able to build boats measuring 100 feet long and weighing less than 50 tonnes with every possible on-board comfort by using the very latest materials used in the aeronautics domain, like carbon in particular. The weight saving in relation to a traditional glass fibre boat, for example, equates to between 40 and 50%. As such, the power-weight ratio is very favourable and these boats are super quick in light airs, posting speeds of between 8 and 10 knots in 4 to 5 knots of breeze, or double the wind speed.

"90% of the time, the wind is very light in the Mediterranean and this notion of sailing in light airs forms part of our specifications, in line with the major race programmes in the Mediterranean. Our boats are light and the evolution of the measurement means that it's now possible to add ballast tanks so we can continue to perform well in breezy conditions, whilst allowing owners the possibility of reducing weight in the boat in light airs."

Partner to Les Voiles - Fabrice Boyer, Marshall

Marshall is an Italian RIB brand created back in the eighties. Today, it ranks among the sector's European leaders, enjoying great renown, especially so in northern Europe where over 2,000 boats are sold every year. "It's the third year that we've partnered Les Voiles. We place twelve boats at the race's disposal, all of them equipped with Suzuki engines. They are robust and simple boats, which are ideally suited to their race support role at Les Voiles. We're developing our brand across northern Europe as well as the Mediterranean."

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