It was one of the objectives of the event’s organisers to ensure that from the second edition of the race, which is scheduled from the 4th to 9th April 2011, Les Voiles de St. Barth would become a regular fixture on the Caribbean racing calendar and be seen as one of the major events of the season. Following on from the success and reputation that was established with the maiden event last year, François Tolède, Luc Poupon and the whole team of organisers are working hard to promote Les Voiles de St. Barth, in Europe of course, but also throughout the Caribbean and along the U.S. seaboard all the way to Newport, R.I., the home of many superyachts and Maxis. Peter Holmberg, the racer based in the U.S. Virgin Islands, an Olympic medallist and America’s Cup winner, took part in the very first Les Voiles de St. Barth sailing aboard the 114-foot ketch Sojana. Won over by the concept, he, too, is working within the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) to promote the event. With 25 boats already signed up, the aim of seeing 60 taking part next April is in the process of being fulfilled.
Since the climax of the 2010 Les Voiles de St. Barth, all of those involved in organising this event have been back at work to ensure the success of the second edition of the event. They can already be proud that the partners were keen to sign up again for 2011 after they contributed to the success of the maiden event. Richard Mille will therefore once again be the headline partner. The sportswear specialist Gaastra is also entering the arena, and is the new official partner for Les Voiles de St. Barth. Their know-how in contributing to sailing events is well recognised, and the range of special clothes linked to the event that they are about to market around the world, will considerably help with the promotion of the event created by St. Barth. Taittinger champagnes, whose presence at the prize giving last spring helped win over many of the sailors taking part, will be back again alongside Rémy Cointreau and Mount Gay rum, which is associated with the famous Red Cap. The Banque des Antilles Françaises, the Guanahani & Spa hotel, the St. Barth Hoteliers’ Association and of course, St. Barth Tourist Board also come together to join this panel of loyal and committed partners to spotlight the assets of the island.
Thanks to all this support, Les Voiles de St. Barth is to become even more proficient in every area of the event. The reception on the island, the establishment of a race village, special events and promotions are all being worked on to ensure that in every area the approach is of an even higher standard. Last time, it was the serious, efficient work of the organisers out on the water for the races and the quality of the reception and friendly welcome ashore that left their mark on the racers taking part. The organising team has learned some lessons from its first experience and is determined to eliminate any imperfections in 2011. A new village, a new range of events and displays, music, fireworks--a festive atmosphere ashore as at sea should ensure all can look forward to another memorable event.
The idea of bringing together so many elegant yachts in the spring in the Caribbean is an attractive proposition. Maxi yachts and superyachts are included on the invitation list alongside classic yachts. Particular efforts are being made to attract these boats, as many of them winter in Antigua. As well, specific measures are being put in place to attract North American owners. Multihulls are also invited, and the organisers have opened up the event to the dynamic and international Class 40 monohulls, many of which are taking part in the famous Route du Rhum.