Les Voiles de Saint Tropez: the joys and “sorrows” of Italian maxis


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14/10/2022, Saint-Tropez (FRA,83), Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2022, Maxis Race 3

Les Voiles de Saint Tropez 2022, which saw everything from small sportswomen to large J Classes on the water, go on record, concluding with the week dedicated to maxi yachts .

The only major absentee was the wind, which, thanks to a vast high pressure, blew consistently light throughout the week of racing, never exceeding 7-8 knots in intensity and making things more difficult for the tacticians.

Les Voiles de Saint Tropez – Two Italians party.


In the maxi 2 class, victory went to Dario Ferrari’s Maxi 72 Cannonball, which finished ahead of Peter Dubens’ North Star and the legendary Wally 100 Magic Carpet Cubed. Owner Dario Ferrari, 73, from Milan, is the founder of Intercos, one of the largest multinational beauty companies in the world. The 72 maxi is a Botin & Partners project. The boat was built by Premier Composite Technologies under the guidance of project managers Ilan Graetz and Micky Costa. A maxi in many ways revolutionary, starting with the inverted bow volumes.

Cannonball is not the only Italian to stand on the podium, in class 3 in fact there was a second place for Capricorno, skippered by Alessandro and Rinaldo Del Bono, another legendary boat of Italian sailing.

Les Voiles de saint tropez

In fact, the Capricorn we are telling you about is the Reichel Pugh 78′, formerly Morning Glory, whose complete interior deck upgrade Nauta Design oversaw in 2005, transforming it from a pure racer and luxury fast cruiser to sail around the world and enjoy it on a boat that still excites.

After the upgrade work Capricorn won the ARC (with a time of 11 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes and 30 seconds) confirming that even after the work the boat’s performance remained at a high level, not surprisingly the record remained unbeaten for several editions of the transatlantic.

Capricorn with the result of Les Voiles took home the Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge 2022, a trophy that encompassed the main inshore trials held in the Mediterranean such as Palmavela and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup as well as Les Voiles de Saint Tropez. A new beginning may be near for the Del Bono family, as a new Capricorn, still top secret, is expected to be born by 2024.

The Sorrows of FlyingNikka

We certainly can’t say it’s been a downhill week for Roberto Lacorte ‘s crew, which has had to contend with the worst conditions the Mark Mills-designed foiler can encounter: light wind. In air well below 10 knots FlyingNikka, which we recall is also equipped with a bulb, because of its design features cannot fly on foils. In displacement mode the boat performs well for a 60-footer, but she had to contend with boats all much larger than her, including some 100-footers, and last place became inevitable.

FlyingNikka Les Voiles de saint tropez
FlyingNikka racing in displacement mode in light wind

Among other things, FlyingNikka’s IRC rating actually assigns her an unrealistic number that does not take into account these situations where the boat does not fly and in general appears extremely punitive to the foiler even if there were always perfect conditions to be on foils.

Indeed, it will be interesting to see what happens when the boat races in ORC, where the tonnage certificate, though with physiological holes, promises to be decidedly more competitive for Lacorte’s boat. in any case it is worth remembering that this is a boat created to break records in real time rather than to race on plywood, Les Voiles and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup were tests the team underwent to develop the boat.




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