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North Sails NEWS

Celebrating a week in paradise for the 8th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth

Spending a week on the island of Saint Barthélemy for the Les Voiles regatta is a not-to-miss opportunity. Keeping the competition level high and the ‘island feels’ strong, the sailors are welcomed throughout the town of Gustavia for a long week of sailing in the sunshine, authentic French indie cuisine, and warm salty air that would make any sailor want to stay forever. With races that span up to 30 miles long, Les Voiles de St Barth puts forth very challenging (and rewarding!) racing that keeps a wide variety of sailing teams coming back year after year.

The regatta incorporates both IRC and CSA racing rules, motivating teams to challenge their ratings with modified rigs, hulls, and sails. Challenging and fun, each race is scored with the ‘time on time rule’, where a boat’s rating is converted to a corrected time factor, which is then used to convert her elapsed race time. In some racing, being the first across the line doesn’t achieve the ultimate win, as the boat’s time correction factor is multiplied by the elapsed time from start to finish. It’s not always about crossing the line first, but putting the most time between you and your competitors, which make this Caribbean event quite special and truly one of a kind.

With a selection of twenty courses to pull from, the Race Committee chose wisely according to sailing conditions. Winds were between 8-15 knots early in the week, which made for competitive timed finishes amongst all divisions. On Friday the wind was much lighter, ranging between 6-10 knots, and tapered off drastically during the last two legs down to 5 knots which made for a very challenging ending to what would be the last race of the event. The selected courses were between 17-26nm, which made for long days out on the water. On Saturday, the wind did not live up to its promise and, at around 11:30am, racing was called off for the day.

North Sails Regatta Repair was on site with an overnight service loft. Certified Service Director, Ben Fletcher went to work with a small staff assisting sailors needing repairs, including some advanced sail modifications. The team completed overnight repairs Wednesday – Saturday, allowing competitors to make the utmost of the long distance round-the-island racing. 

Congratulations to our clients on a job well done!

© Christophe Jouany
© Christophe Jouany
© Michael Gramm
© Christophe Jouany
© Christophe Jouany