Harken Derm

Patterns and protests for Les Voiles de St. Barth

Published on April 16th, 2019

St. Barthelemy, FWI (April 16, 2019) – The Caribbean delivered a perfect 15-17 knot easterly for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth, propelling the 1,000+ sailors on a distance race between 21 to 34 nm dependent upon their class.

While too early to place any bets, a pecking order is forming across seven of the nine classes, but as a Maxi collision and a Multi pre-start protest today demonstrates, no lead is safe. Here is today’s recap from Les Voiles de St. Barth:

Only 40 minutes into today’s race, Selene (Swan 80) and Caro (Botin 65) in the Maxi 2 class called in their retirements after a port-starboard incident that caused damage to both boats.

“It was great conditions and racing out there today,” said Tom Burnham, a trimmer on board Selene. “We were with a large group of boats doing a lot of close maneuvers, and in one of them we were on starboard when Caro tacked to port, they attempted to duck but unfortunately hit us on our back-end port side.”

Burnham confirmed they will not be racing tomorrow, as the team needs to further assess the damage, but is hopeful they can return to finish the regatta later this week. The regatta’s signature “day off” mid-regatta on Thursday (Apr 18) may help give the team an extra day to make repairs and return to racing for Friday and Saturday.

After placing second yesterday and first today, Windfall, who is last year’s winner, now sits first overall in the Maxi 2 class, followed by Sojana.

Alexia Barrier, sailing on board Sojana, said the competition is very close between the two boats. “It’s impressive to see how Windfall has progressed in recent years; but we on Sojana are fighting a good battle and we know there are no room for mistakes, especially in the maneuvers. We must keep improving if we want to finish ahead of them this week.”

In Multihull IMRR, Hallucine skippered by Régis Guillemot and yesterday’s leader, ended today disqualified for a pre-start altercation with Arawak – Team Spellbound by Ian Martin, which dropped Guillemot to 4th place overall. Martin is now hoping to capitalize on the opportunity, but will have to overcome Guyader Gastronomie, Rayon Vert and Olmix, who currently sit in the top three spot.

In Multihull ORCmh, Greg Slynstad’s Fujin, Stephen Cucchiaro’s Flow, and R-SIX began staking claim on the podium with repeat 1 – 2- 3 place finishes today.

In CSA 2, Summer Storm, a Marten 49 skippered by American Andy Burton, continues its streak atop the leaderboard after day two as they sailed a shifty 30-mile course around the eastern side of the island amidst St. Barth’s signature rock outcroppings and uninhabited islands.

He attributes the boat’s success to sailing with a great group of friends and his son. Others include professional sailor Michael Hoey, making his return to competitive racing after a car accident in 2018.

Hoey now races with what he calls his “bionic leg,” a carbon blade. This is his second regatta back to ocean racing with the team, and the team is thrilled he’s back on board.

The newest member of Summer Storm may be one of the most storied — New Zealander Stu Bannatyne, who’s completed eight Volvo Ocean Races and won four. “Stu did the Caribbean 600 with us and is racing with us this week. He helps us take everything to the next level.”

Cuchando, a Grand Soleil 52 from Puerto Rico is in second place with five points, followed by the Santa Cruz 70 Hotel California with seven points in third place. The two French entries, Sao Bernando (Shipman 63) and Zampano (Bordeaux 60) are in fourth and fifth place respectively.

Over in CSA 1, Kuka 3, skippered by Franco Niggeler also enjoyed another successful day at Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille. “Today’s conditions continued to deliver,” Niggeler said. “We made one or two small mistakes but overall we are happy with our day. It was challenging sailing, however, with the shifty conditions and confused sea state. We hope we did as well today because we are clearly here in St. Barth’s to win!”

Triple Lindy moved up one spot to second place, tied with on points with Pata Negra. The next battle developing is between The Kid and Hermes are next tied on nine points in fourth and fifth place.

The 10th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth is on April 15-20, 2019.

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Source: Laura Muma

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