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LES VOILES DE SAINT BARTH RICHARD MILLE:

ASTONISHING AND SUPPORTIVE EDITION

The 9th edition of Les Voiles de Saint Barth ended on Saturday the 14th of April after a fierce confrontation between the 53 crews competing in 7 classes, and this despite a rather singular context, seven months after the devastating passage of Hurricane Irma.

Despite the logistical difficulties, many sailors came, showing their solidarity with inhabitants of the island. ‘We did not necessarily expect such high turnout for this 9th edition, and our satisfaction is the greater for it. We also hope that next year, the celebration honouring the 10th anniversary of Les Voiles will be as unforgettable as this edition was unexpected,’ commented François Tolède, director of the organisation.

Richard Mille, an early partner, has reinforced his support for the event by becoming title partner of the regatta. ‘I like being involved in a project from the beginning’, says Richard Mille. ‘We have placed our trust in Les Voiles de Saint Barth since the project launched in 2010, and even before the race existed. We have accompanied its evolution year after year. Now that the event has reached maturity, they are a major event in the Caribbean. François ensures that this world-class level is maintained by seeking to make Les Voiles ever more attractive. More than ever faithful, we are strengthening our participation in solidarity with the organisers. Helping to create a successful event is a source of great shared pride that builds a true camaraderie’. François Tolède, who sees the design of a new logo as ‘ fantastic news’ adds that ‘it is above all a beautiful token of confidence and recognition for all the work accomplished over the past nine years’.

The strength of the wind, which oscillated throughout the week between 15 and 30 knots, prompted incredibly fierce battles between the participants. To top it all off, the inauguration of a fifth day of events, and the creation of a Richard Mille Record Trophy were welcomed by very enthusiastic speed demons. Reserved for the fastest categories (Maxi and Multihulls), the principle of the prize is simple: to achieve the best possible time over a 49 mile course. Rambler 88, belonging to George David, and La French Tech Rennes Saint-Malo owned by Gilles Lamiré established the time to beat. ‘It is a very good idea to have set up this type of challenge which will attract other boats and especially racing craft. It adds a real sporting plus. It’s very stimulating,’ enthused the native of Cancal, who came in 3rd in the 2014 Route du Rhum.

In the Maxi Yacht 2 category the confrontation raged between Aragon and Windfall. The most incredible duel of the week erupted between George Sakellaris’ Proteus and Sorcha, belonging to Peter Harrison, CEO of Richard Mille Europe Africa Middle East, among the Maxi 1 contenders. The two 72-footers were neck and neck from start to finish completing the race than a minute apart on the finish line. However, a slight edge favoured George Sakellaris’ men, who took home the Richard Mille Maxi Cup for the 3rd time in a row. The crew received the RM 60-01 Flyback Regatta Chronograph.