The ninth edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Barth is around the corner and organisers are pulling out all the stops to guarantee sailors another epic year both on and off the water, despite the passage of Hurricane Irma this past September. Scheduled for April 8-14, 2018, and hosted out of Gustavia in St. Barthelemy, the Caribbean favorite 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.”
Jimmy Buffett, Copyright DR
Since its inception in 2010, the regatta has attracted top competitors from around the globe with its unique blend of world-class competition and vibrant shore-side entertainment. The ninth edition comes bearing extra bells and whistles, with not only the return of classes dedicated to classic and traditional yachts, but also the addition of a fifth day of racing on the agenda.
“Our goal above all is to listen to the participants and the extension of the regatta adds to both the competitiveness and the fun that makes Les Voiles de Saint-Barth the event that it is,” said Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Race Director Luc Poupon, adding that the 2018 edition kicks off on Sunday, April 8 and wraps up Saturday, April 14, with racing scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. In addition to a series of nightly concerts and socials, the regatta’s official “Day Off” on Thursday breaks up the on-the-water competition.
“It has been four years since we’ve hosted classes for classic and traditional yachts and are looking forward to these competitive teams to join in the fun again this April,” said Poupon. “With the famed Antigua Classic Yacht Race scheduled for late April on a neighbouring island, it is the perfect opportunity for these period yachts to double up on the competition.”
Copyright Christophe Jouany, Les Voiles de Saint-Barth 2013
With four months to go, the entry list already boasts a number of top maxi, monohull and performance multihull teams representing eight countries, including the Canadian team Touch2Play, which raced in the event for the first time last year.
“It’s a wonderful island, a wonderful racing opportunity and it really needs to be on every serious sailor’s bucket list,” said Owner/Driver Rob Butler. “We had heard wonderful things about the island and the regatta and decided to go ahead and do it and are so glad we did. The island is phenomenal and the regatta organizers do such an exceptional job at putting the event on. We’re looking forward to getting back out on the water in April.”
Free Concierge Service
Organisers are encouraging participants to utilise the event’s free concierge service for assistance with everything from travel and on-site logistics to charter options and beyond.
"The trauma brought on by Hurricane Irma has been real on many levels, and we know that the ninth edition will certainly be different due to the circumstances, but the solidarity is very strong in Saint-Barth and we are recovering quickly,” said Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Race Event Director François Tolede.“By April we’ll be ready to launch and ask that competitors contact us for assistance and any questions they may have.”
For free concierge service, contact [email protected].