Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille 2023

Published on April 22nd, 2023

A morning rain squall drenched competitors and stole the breeze, canceling the final day of racing at the 12th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille, held in 2023 on April 17-22 in Gustavia.

Winning the Overall Multihull class was the MOD70 Zoulou with owner and skipper Erik Maris while Nemo, a HH 66 owned by Todd Slyngstad, won the Offshore Multihull Class.

Pyewacket, Roy P. Disney’s Volvo 70 not only won its class, it also celebrated winning the 2023 Caribbean Maxi Challenge, presented by Benoît de Froidmont, president of the International Maxi Association. The multi-event challenge is open to boats 60 feet and above, and this year included the RORC Caribbean 600, St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille.

Disney, a first-timer at Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille, said that the course configurations provide a good challenge. “Racing around and through the surrounding islands makes the wind tricky,” he said. “We often saw 20 degree shifts, and big puffs swirling around. There’s a lot happening.

“The short course racing at Les Voiles is totally different from what the Pyewacket team typically does. I have really good guys who don’t make mistakes. If I didn’t have these guys, I’d be dead. Going around the buoys in this race is a lot more stressful in many ways, because offshore racing is more consistent.”

Due to a lack of sufficient wind this year, race organizers did not send the Maxi class on the quest to break the Richard Mille Record Trophy. The 47-mile course is set between the islands of Saint Barth and Tintamarre, and the current record holder is Rambler 88 led by George David (3 hours 01 minutes and 58 seconds).

The Swan 50 OD Balthazar cleanly swept the CSA 1 class and according to Navigator Bouwe Bekking, “Everything went our way, and the owner [Filip Balcaen] did a fantastic job driving the bus.

“It was just a week that we couldn’t do anything wrong. We had good starts and were always leading at the top mark. It was great racing against Stark Raving Mad IX, because they go a little faster, but I think we were a little bit luckier than they were. Hats off to Final Final as well; they were really pushing at the starts. Overall, just a really enjoyable week.”

First-time competitor Steve Rigby of El Ocaso J/122 had earned enough credit early in the week so that the tail end of two third-place finishes wasn’t severe enough to knock them off the top of the CSA 2 podium.

Winning the CSA 3 class by one point, Sergio Sagramoso’s Melges 32 Lazy Dog had a great week competing against the Melges 24 Team Island Water World and the Cape 31. “We’re very happy with our performance,” said the skipper from Puerto Rico. “It was tough to compete against a boat you have to give so much time, but on the other hand it really pushed us. And because of the distance between us, many times we would have very different wind conditions.”

It was an especially sweet victory for Sacha Dauna, owner of the First Class Pepsi Max in CSA 4. He raced the event six times previously on board Pamala Baldwin’s boat Liquid, but the 12th edition was his first time at the helm.

Nicolas Ramis on board Cry Baby, won in Diam 24 OD.

Details: https://lesvoilesdestbarthrichardmille.com/us/

Source: LVDSB

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