What a sight it must be to walk along the main quay in downtown St. Tropez. This is true on any given day, but most especially this week and weekend while Les Voiles de St. Tropez fleet is in town.
With the collection of classic yachts mostly moored stern to along the downtown waterfront, it is a great opportunity for tourists and interested yacht oglers to get up close to the impressive fleet. All the major classic yacht designers, styles and builders are present – with a few Herreshoff NY40s and the impressive Elena of London (a 180 ft replica schooner launched in 2009), some beautiful Fifes like Moonbeam III, an Alden or two and of course some boats penned by S&S, the J Class yachts, some 12 metres and the list goes on.
Take a walk down the waterfront in this video showcasing the lineup of stunning wood and brass. Meticulously maintained and sailed, these boats put on quite a show on the water while competing seriously on the water…that is on every occasion except when – as is the case a few times this week – racing is cancelled due to bad weather. The crews have plenty to do to keep busy – polishing, entertaining, competing in shoreside activities…. the fun is never ending even when stuck ashore.
And in case you thought this was only a showcase of the most fabulous classic yachts – there is a division of modern yachts, as well, with a 15 boat fleet of Wally yachts and a modern fleet with plenty of impressive carbon fiber and design wizardry. All in all – a major spectacle whether they are ashore for a weather day or out racing.
Once you’ve recovered from this past weekend’s madness – get ready for more on Martha’s Vineyard where the Vineyard Cup is about to go off. This regatta has it all – from classic yachts to PHRF boat and then add in a dash of foiling Kiteboards! SICK! And the best part of it all is that it’s all to benefit Sail Martha’s Vineyard, an island based non profit whose mission is to get the islanders out sailing. Because NO, not every Martha’s Vineyarder is a trustafarian or hedge funder with a yacht on hand. Many scrape together summer tips to join the sailing programs and so helping the locals is the same out on the fancy island as it is in any other town. MV depends on donations and support from the masses to fund sailboats and sailors.
KiteFoiling/ Sailor Vineyarder and TotalBoat Ambassador, Brock Callen who is helping to rally the foiling side of the event says: “We are trying to create an event that is unlike anything out there. Classic Sailboats alongside Foiling Kiteboards, Fully sustainable with all local food and it is all to benefit a great organization.” Callen, who is an 11th Hour Racing Ambassador for clean water, was also proud to point out that the regatta has been granted Sailors for the Sea Gold Level Sustainability Status. No single use water bottles will be allowed! Water Filling Stations will be set up at both Kite venue and Sailing Venue. There will be all glass at the event tent. No plastic cups. Forks and knives are birch and the plates are compostable. And all the food is local. Pretty cool.
And then there’s the cash….
Here is a great write up from Sailing Anarchythat sums up this part of the event really nicely: … the Vineyard Cup was created 10 years ago and it has existed as a family fun regatta with a great party but for 2015 SailMV wanted to make some changes to the Vineyard Cup and wanted to provide the Island with an event that was not only beneficial to one of the most influential non profits but also to provide something that was exciting to watch. Enter Lynch & Associates and their commitment to donate $10,000 in cold hard cash as the prize money for the first Foiling Kiteboard Vineyard Cup.
Bill Lynch and Lynch & Associates have been the force behind the North American Speed Sailing Championships as well as Rob Douglas and his 2008 assault on the Outright World Speed Sailing Record in Namibia. With the prize money in hand Sail Martha’s Vineyard has opened up registration to 30 Foiling Kiteboards to race July 10-12 right off State Beach which in the summer boasts 7,000+ Sun burnt spectators lounging on the beach. So if you think you can nail a foiling jibe at 30 knots or if you want to support a great organization check out the Website here.