Glittering waters, sunlit skies and consistent breeze created the perfect Caribbean backdrop for the stacked competition that took to the starting line for day one of racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth.
The 65 boats, split into nine classes, were sent on coastal courses, ranging from 24 to 31 nautical miles, tracing the western and northern coast of the island, all starting and finishing in the port of Gustavia in St. Barth.
“It was a beautiful day of sailing,” said Ian Walker, tactician aboard SW 94 Windfall, which took the win yesterday in the Maxi 2 class. The team has come back to Les Voiles de St. Barth this year on mission after having to retire from racing at the 2016 edition due to its mast breaking during practice.
“We had about 17 knots at the most and 10 knots at the least and you couldn’t have ask for better sailing. It was quite a long and interesting course with lots of legs, lots of mark roundings and lots of work for the crew.”
George Sakellaris’ Proteus, Peter Corr’s Blitz and Frits Bus’ Team Island Water World are still defending their 2016 class wins after yesterday’s racing in Maxi 1, Melges 24 and CSA 3 respectively.
Jordan and Shannon Mindich’s J/105 Solstice shook up the competition in CSA 4, taking the lead after day one from last year’s class winners Credit Mutuel. “We felt pretty good about our general speed and performance,” said Nicole Breault, a USA Women’s Match Race Champion, who calls the tactics onboard Solstice.
The decks were also shuffled in CSA 2 with Ian Hope-Ross’ Kick’ em Jenny 2 pulling ahead of 2016 winner Sergio Sagramoso’s Lazy Dog and in the Multihull Class with Robert Janecki’s R-SIX holding the first place position over Richard Wooldridge and Steve Davis’ Triple Jack.