Photo: Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth

Voiles de St Barth 2011

Organisers are aiming for 60 yachts at next April's event

Monday November 29th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

One of the objectives of the event’s organisers was that the Voiles de Saint-Bart become one of the major fixtures of the Caribbean calendar.

Following on from the inaugural event this year, so next year the Voiles de Saint-Bart will take place over 4-9 April and the organisers led by François Tolède and Luc Poupon are working hard to promote the Voiles de Saint-Barth both in Europe and throughout the Caribbean and USA.

US Virgin Islands-based match racer, America's Cup winner and Olympic sailing legend Peter Holmberg, took part in the very first Voiles de Saint-Barth sailing aboard Peter Harrison's 114ft ketch Sojana. Holmberg is working within the Caribbean Sailing Association to promote the event. With 25 boats already signed up, the organisers hope to see 60 taking part next April.

Many race partners have signed up again for 2011. Richard Mille will therefore once again be the headline partner. Sportswear specialist Gaastra is to be the new official partner for the Voiles de Saint-Barth. Their know-how in contributing to sailing events is well recognised, and the range of special clothes linked to the event that they are about to market around the world, will considerably help with the promotion of the event.

Taittinger champagne, an integral component of the prizegiving last spring return alongside Rémy Cointreau and Mount Gay rum. The Banque des Antilles Françaises, the Guanahani & Spa hotel, the St Barth Hoteliers’ Association and of course, St Barth Tourist Board also come together to join this panel of loyal and committed partners to spotlight the assets of the French Caribbean island.

The reception on the island, the establishment of a race village, special events and promotions are all being worked on to ensure that in every area the approach is of an a high standard for those taking part. The organising team has learned lessons from its first experience and is determined to eliminate any imperfections in 2011. A new village, a new range of events and displays, music, fireworks - a festive atmosphere ashore as at sea should ensure all can look forward to another memorable event.

The idea of bringing together so many elegant yachts in the spring in the Caribbean is an attractive proposition. Maxi yachts and superyachts are included on the invitation list alongside classic yachts. Particular efforts are being made to attract these boats, as many of them winter in Antigua.

In the United States, specific measures are being put in place to attract North American owners. Multihulls are also invited, and the organisers have opened up the event to the dynamic and international Class 40 monohulls, many of which are taking part in the famous Route du Rhum.

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