Monday, September 28, 2009


Photo credit: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Saint-Tropez, France
It may be the end of the summer season, but Saint-Tropez is bustling with life as the 11th edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez takes sail. With nearly 300 boats participating in this grand event that unites both modern and classic yachts, the 2009 edition promises spectacular racing on the water and one-of-a-kind ambiance on land in the race village and town centre.

Yachts have been arriving in Saint-Tropez throughout the weekend, with the port expected to reach capacity this evening when the rest of the traditional yachts arrive, following today's finish of the Yacht Club de France's Autumn Cup from Cannes to Saint-Tropez. Traditional yachts begin racing as of tomorrow while the first of the coastal races took place today for the modern division.

With racing to continue through Saturday 3 October, one can expect some magnificent sights as Saint-Tropez is taken back through generations of history and yacht design. With some boats dating back more than a century, one could say that touring the port this week is like browsing an open history book. Four days of coastal racing have been scheduled for the traditional yachts, five for the modern yachts, with Thursday reserved as the Challenge Day. Inspired by the original race that has now become Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, the Challenge Day offers competitors a chance to duel against one another following the historical route of the race: Saint-Tropez, Saint-Raphaël and La Nioulargue, the buoy that marks the famous shallows in the Mediterranean. Assuming the weather plays its part, one can certainly expect intense and beautiful racing. -