Friday, 24 September 2010

Voiles de Saint-Barth 2011: Gaastra, the new official partner to the Voiles de Saint Barth

Image copyright Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth.

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

Gaastra, a Dutch company specialising in sportswear, in particular nautical wear, has become the official partner for the Voiles de Saint-Barth, the second edition of which is due to take place between the fourth and ninth of April 2011. Used to being involved in prestigious nautical events, the Dutch manufacturer has joined the organisers and other partners with the intention of staying alongside in the long term and becoming associated with the reputation of the event by developing a product range, which will be distributed around the world.

The event’s headline partner, the watchmaker Richard Mille is keen to pursue his commitment. With the backing of these heavyweight supporters and the loyalty of the institutional partners that have always been alongside, the organising team is continuing its campaign to attract owners and skippers of Maxi Yachts and Classic boats. Fifty of these elegant boats are expected to take part next spring in the magic setting of St. Barts.

Image copyright Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth.

"Les Voiles de Saint Barth won us over with its first edition that we watched closely from the outside", explained Emmanuel Galle, General Director of Gaastra France. "This major sailing event is aimed at the world’s finest racing, Maxi and Classic yachts. This prestigious yachting corresponds to the image of our brand. Many yachts from North America, as well as from Latin America sail in the Caribbean in April, and this is a way for our group to be more present in these markets."

Used to sporting partnerships particularly in the world of yachting (Voiles de Saint-Tropez, Copa del Rey...), Gaastra will be presenting its brand new “Voiles de Saint Barth” range in early 2011. This full range of sportswear brings together the competitive spirit of the race with the year’s fashion trends and colours. Gaastra is closely linked with the international world of sailing. This reputation is based around the fact that they successfully bring together practical wear and fashion, which is perfectly expressed in the Gaastra Pro and Gaastra Sportswear collections. Gaastra offers men, women and children a full range of clothes, footwear and accessories.

Image copyright Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth.

François Tolède, the organiser of the Voiles de Saint Barth is obviously pleased to be able to announce the arrival of Gaastra. "The Dutch Group’s strategy fits in perfectly with our own," he explained. "The power of marketing and the image of Gaastra will help us to step up our promotion of the event to British and American yachtsmen. The prestigious yachts that sail in St. Barts convey an image of elegance, excellence and quality, which matches perfectly the aims of Gaastra". The organising team is continuing with its international tour, meeting owners and skippers from around the world, who like to leave the winter behind them by enjoying the paradise conditions in the Caribbean.

"In St. Barts we offer them a prestigious setting with the islands and the little port of Gustavia with its unique charms," added François Tolède, "And we can certainly offer the very best sailing conditions with sunshine, winds and lively seas, as we saw in the 2009 event, which everyone fondly remembers." The word is spreading and from Newport to Porto Cervo, the reputation of the "Voiles de Saint Barth" is gradually building. Already many exceptional boats have expressed their interest in doing battle here with Rambler, which won the Richard Mille Trophy last time. The names of ICAP Leopard and Sojana of course, but also Ran and Titan are among those that everyone is talking about...

In short:
It was in 1897 that Douwe Gaastra, a 22-year old man, who loved the sea and racing, set up his own sail-making workshop in Sneek, his home village in the Netherlands. While remaining humble in this confrontation with nature, he loved a challenge and wanted to make sailing faster, more efficient and more competitive. The Gaastra name remains faithful today to its maritime heritage and the values its founder believed in: "You don’t ask the sea any questions, you just dress for the occasion".

Voiles de Saint-Barth 2011