The history of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, an iconic competition

Copyright Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez

The history of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez dates back to the 1980s, when this annual regatta was created by Patrice de Colmont, the owner of the renowned private beach « Club 55 » in Ramatuelle, near Saint-Tropez, France. The event was designed as a celebration of maritime tradition, bringing together classic and modern sailboats in a friendly competition.

Classic Sailboats and Super Yachts

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez attract classic sailboat owners, modern yacht enthusiasts, and super yacht aficionados, creating a unique blend of vessels with diverse designs and eras. The event typically takes place at the end of September and spans around a week.

The primary aim of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is to celebrate the beauty, elegance, and performance of sailboats while upholding maritime traditions. Participants can compete in various categories based on the size, type, and age of their sailboats. The regatta unfolds in the Mediterranean waters around Saint-Tropez, offering thrilling races and camaraderie among sailing enthusiasts.

Copyright R.Catino

The event isn’t solely focused on competition, but also on the spirit of camaraderie and sharing between participants and spectators. Historic and classic sailboats mingle with modern vessels in a festive and convivial atmosphere.

Over the years, Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez has evolved into an institution in the sailing world, drawing sailors and sailing enthusiasts from around the globe. This unique event showcases the diversity and richness of maritime history while celebrating the passion for sailing in all its forms.

Copyright Gilles Martin-Raget

2023 Edition: From September 29th to October 8th

The organization is introducing a fresh approach for this year’s event. Over 250 Maxi, Modern, and Classic yachts from around the world will participate in the event, which will take place from September 29th to October 8th, 2023.

The event’s program has been reimagined, reminiscent of its early days when it was formerly known as La Nioulargue. The Maxis, or super yachts, will kick off the races on October 1st, the first Sunday of the event. This modification will allow the audience to witness the Maxi fleet’s training and observe competitive races between impressive monohulls over 18.28 meters long. The races will occur right in front of the town, providing a spectacle for vacationers.

The racing schedule spans ten days and is structured to accommodate various yacht categories. The Maxis will race on their own on Sunday, alongside the Modern yachts on Monday, and then participate in offshore races from Tuesday to Friday with the entire fleet, including the Classic yachts. A notable feature is the inclusion of a « Rest Day » for the Maxis on Wednesday, during which the « Maxi Club 55 Cup » will take place.

Pierre Roinson, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, highlighted the challenge of designing an event that meets the unique racing needs of each fleet within the allotted time. The goal remains the same: to deliver exceptional races for exceptional boats in the stunning waters of Saint-Tropez.

Benoit de Froidmont, President of the International Maxi Association, praised the return to the event’s original spirit. He emphasized the distinctive mix of Classic and Modern yachts in the Saint-Tropez setting, establishing Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez as a premier gathering for Maxi Yachts on a global scale.

In conclusion, the 25th edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez will introduce a renewed racing format, spanning ten days and encompassing Maxi, Modern, and Classic yachts. The event aims to bring together a century of naval architecture history by combining Classic and Modern yachts in a single setting. This fusion reflects the essence of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, highlighting exceptional races on the water and a vibrant atmosphere on land.

We will publish an article on the 2023 edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez at the end of the event.