Friday, 12 February 2010
ICAP Leopard. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson.
by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson
With less than two months to go to the start of the first edition of the Voiles de Saint Barth, the organizing committee is pleased about the number of competitors registering or pre-registering with some fine luxury yachts attending in each of the five classes taking part. The challenge of bringing together the finest yachts sailing in the Caribbean in St. Barts at the end of the continental winter for a long week of racing and fun on the water is being fulfilled. St. Barts, with its beautiful magical shores and tempting waters, will serve as the perfect backdrop to a wonderful ballet involving classic and modern yachts with one, two or three hulls. Already the presence of ICAP Leopard 3, on her way to attempt the North Atlantic record, and the classic beauty of Kate are something of an event in the racing calendar.
First leg for ICAP
ICAP Leopard 3, with her British owner Mike Slade, is a Super Maxi Yacht designed by Bruce Farr and represents the pinnacle of exceptional yachting, bringing together beauty and comfort, while at the same time she can boast the very latest technological developments seen on ocean racing boats. ICAP is about to leave Australia, where she has undergone some major work in the yard, where she was built, to head for the Caribbean. St. Barts will be her first port of call for racing and pleasure before her major challenge this summer, which involves tackling the North Atlantic record from West to East that is currently held by Mari-Cha IV (6 days, 17 hours and 52 minutes).
While the very presence of Icap Leopard 3 is in itself a major event, the battle with other equally prestigious boats, such as the large ketch Sojana (115-feet), DSK (Swan 90), the 148-footer Saudade and the Briand-designed Hamilton II (115-feet) means we can look forward to some glorious yachting moments.
Gaff rigs and teak decks
Those, who love beautiful classic yachts, will have their appetites filled, as the elegant traditional hulls of Kate, White Horse, White Wings and Lone Fox will be joining in the fun. Kate will be making her long-awaited return to racing in St. Barts after her winter break. This magnificent gaff-rigged schooner was built in 2006 based on designs by Alfred Mylne dating back to 1908. She belongs to the prestigious 12 M IR class, which can be a source of confusion, as she does in fact have a length overall of almost 24 metres.
Modern yachts out in force
Swan 45s, Dufours, Archambaults... designed for day races, the finest "Racing" yachts of the moment, which are particularly well suited to strong winds and heavy swell, could not miss this new date on the Caribbean calendar. "Puffy", a Swan 45 belonging to the event’s godfather, Patrick Demarchelier, Sonodia III (Archambault 40), Money Penny (Swan 601) and the Swan 45 "Victor" are typical of the cruising boats, fitted out to perform well with a crew in close contact racing. Fast on the water and quick to manoeuvre, they have top of the range spectra or kevlar sails and offer a wonderful sight in these toughly fought battles.
The Caribbean has always been pleased to welcome trimarans and catamarans. The Voiles de Saint Barth just had to make room for them. 40-60 foot multihulls will be racing. Claude Tellier with his former Primagaz, the winner of the Route du Rhum, would not have missed this for anything in the world.
Red cap 'Les Voiles de St Barth 2010'
Since its origin, Mount Gay Rum has been intimately linked to the sailing world. From 17th century navigation to present-day regattas, Mount Gay is the brand of rum for all those who love the sea. For them, the red cap has come to symbolise the passion, spirit and identity that unites this seafaring family.
ICAP Leopard. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson.
A minimum length of 24 metres, divided into two classes:
- Performance (CSA rating)
- Cruising (CSA or simplified CSA rating)
- Older boats with a long keel, a heavy displacement and a traditional rig
- Maximum length 24 m
- CSA Classic rules
- Racing yachts under CSA rules
- Racing and cruising yachts
- CSA or simplified CSA rating
- Racing catamarans and trimarans
- 2000 Multihull rules
The Caribbean Sailing Association is a body that was set up to promote yachting in the Caribbean offering handicap rules that are easy to calculate and simple to apply. They are aimed at encouraging all sorts of boat and not just racing yachts to take part in the region’s races.
The CSA Rule is a measurement rule, which takes into account the hull, keel, rudder, materials, sail surface.... to create a handicap that is simple for race organisers to apply. CSA rules require each boat to be measured in true race configuration.
Les Voiles de St. Barth