Monday, April 9, 2018

Voiles St Barth Regatta IX Preview

J/122 Liquid sailing Caribbean (Gustavia Harbor, St Barthelemy)- The IX edition of the Voiles de Saint Barth is about to start this coming weekend.  A fleet of forty-four offshore racing thoroughbreds and a dozen cruising multihulls will be plying the spectacular aquamarine waters around St Barths for a week of fun in the sun and fabulous sailing.  And, to be sure, the après’ sailing is simply outstanding and considered some of the best in the Caribbean.

St Barthelemy islandAfter Hurricane Irma in September 2017, the island community and friends from around the world answered the call for help and the island has been completely cleaned up.  Amazingly, most of the villas and hotels survived in great shape because building codes on St Barth are by far the strictest in all the Caribbean.  It was primarily the north facing beaches and waterfront villas that literally took a pounding, but were repairable.  As such, even the famous Nikki Beach Saint Barth beach club re-opened over the Easter Holiday weekend- Praise the Lord!  Just in time for the throngs of sailors to enjoy their annual ritual, a rite of passage for many, to enjoy their lay-day at Nikki Beach with jeroboams of rose’ wine, enormous “boats” of mouth-watering sushi, and fun & games in the water!

International support has also come in the form of the regatta’s “Ambassadors”, famous personalities in Europe, the Caribbean, the Americas, or in yachting that are present both on the water and ashore to add even more cachet to the overall experience.

French TV personality- Alessandra SubletFrench TV and Radio personality- Alessandra Sublet- has been named as the French ambassador for the ninth edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Barth.  She says, “I take this opportunity to salute the courage of the population and organizers who are what make this event and the island come to life”, said Sublet who has parents that live on the island. “It was natural for me to be in solidarity with the island and the regatta, and I am very proud to be an ambassador to the event for its ninth edition. I have always loved sailing and sailing in Saint-Barth is a dream! The sight of these boats in this beautiful setting is an unforgettable experience.”

Jimmy Buffet - singer- St Barth ambassadorThe LVSB Regatta also welcomes back legendary musician and sailor Jimmy Buffett as the regatta’s official U.S. ambassador. “We all love our special island and we’re moving on from the wrath that Irma brought, and nothing signifies the recovery to me more than the return of Les Voiles de Saint-Barth,” said Buffett who owns a villa on Saint-Barth and last held this honorary position back in 2011. “All the boats and teams return this year to support the rebuilding of our island and have a little fun as well.” The American singer’s relationship with the island spans many decades and some of his most legendary songs were inspired by Saint-Barth. He is an active participant in the recovery of the island post Hurricane Irma!

Nikki Beact St BarthLes Voiles has been a bucket list event for sailors since its inception in 2010, and for its ninth edition, scheduled from April 8th to 14th, the sailors will be enjoying an extra (5th) day of racing! Regatta Director François Tolède commented, “The extra day of racing will bring even more competitiveness and fun to the regatta, which we know is exactly what our participants are interested in! We look forward to the regatta kick off on Sunday, April 8 and wrap up Saturday, April 14, with racing scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Still, the official “Day Off” is scheduled for Thursday and we hope to see you at Nikki Beach to celebrate!”

J/109s sailing Voiles St Barth RegattaAnswering the call to participate and support the event are also a half-dozen J/sailors from around the world.  Sailing in CSA 3 Spinnaker class will be the J/122 LIQUID sailed by owner Pamala Baldwin with skipper Julian White.  They are fresh off recent battles “down island” at St Thomas, Tortola, and nearby St Maarten.  They will be up against two J/120s; PAULISTA sailed by Sacha DAUNAR from France and JAGUAR skippered by Ben Jelic from Saint Maarten.

Then, in CSA 4 Spinnaker class will be two veterans of the Caribbean racing circuit; the J/109 LES VOILES AU FEMININ sailed by owner Sophie Olivaud from St Barthelemy and the J/105 WHISTLER skippered by her owner Peter Lewis from Barbados.  For more Voiles de St Barth Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.