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Following last week’s classic and modern yachts at the Les Voiles de Saint Tropez regatta, the large Maxi yachts, measuring between 20 and 40 metres (65 and 131 feet), have now set sail. With over 45 competing boats in the Maxi week, some comprising of nearly 30 sailors, the race starts and finishes just in front of the port of Saint Tropez. The yachts represent the very best there is in terms of naval architecture and are manned by talented crew including Olympic champions and America’s Cup skippers.
The Maxi yachts are split into four separate groups. IR1 and IR2 contain the Super Maxis with a waterline length of 24 to 30 metres (80 to 100 feet), including 35-metre (114-foot) Swan 115 Odin. These groups also feature other famous vessels such as Magic Carpet Cubed, the Wally 100 Y3K, and the Walley 107 Green Eyes (ex. Kauris III).
The other two groups, IR3 and IR4, will make up sailing yachts measuring 18 to 24 metres (60 to 80 feet), known as the Mini Maxis. Among these yachts, Jethou, Vesper and North Star will be racing against Wally 80s Ryokan 2 and Rose.
Benoit de Froidmont, president of the International Maxi Association, and owner of Wallyno, said, “2020 was a very difficult year, especially for our sailors, who were at a loose end for far too long. However, we’ve made up for it this year and the Maxi owners’ willingness to get out sailing again is impressive. Everyone’s delighted to be here and when you look at the line-up and the quality of the boats here, it’s absolutely outstanding.
“We loved mixing it up with the modern and classic yachts, but competitively it’s great to have the whole bay to race on. The IMA is continuing to expand and there’s a great team to assist the event organisers. We have nearly 60 members and growing.”
Giorgio Benussi, of Wally Class, said, “Six Wallys are participating at Les Voiles this year in various classes: IR1, IR2 and IR3. The largest is Green Eyes and the smallest are three 80-footers in IR3. The owners requested that we participate here in Saint Tropez as it’s one of our major events. Following issues created by COVID, we’re rebuilding the class according to some new rules and an approach more geared towards racing and competition for yachts like Magic Carpet and Y3K, and fewer purely sporting objectives for some of the smaller craft like Ryokan and Lyra so as to mix it up a bit.
“Les Voiles has it all as far as the owners are concerned - the site, the atmosphere and the prestige, as well as the opportunity to join the Maxi and Wally competitions.”
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