Title sponsor, Richard Mille gives us the low-down on the Richard Mille Record Trophy
Present at Les Voiles de Saint Barth since the very first edition in 2010, Richard Mille is taking its support for the event to a whole new level to become title sponsor for the race. Up for grabs from Richard Mille in 2018 is a prize for posting the best time over a reference course: the Richard Mille Record Trophy.
The highlight of the 2018 edition has to be the creation of the Richard Mille Record Trophy. The principle behind it is simple: rewarding the boat that racks up the best time in the event over a course amongst the islands spanning some sixty miles or so. “The record will be open to the fastest classes, namely the Maxis, the Spinnaker 0s and the Multihulls, explains Luc Poupon who first trialled the concept back in the 2015 edition of the race over a 42-mile route between Saint Barth and the island of Tintamarre. “At the time, Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo 3 completed the course in a stellar time (1 hour and 53 minutes) and the resulting feedback from the racers was positive”, says the Race Director for Les Voiles.
The Maxis out in force
It’s already shaping up to be a battle royal in the event’s star class, the Maxis, whose fleet boasts a combination of carbon racing steeds and demanding yachts where state-of-the-art technology, comfort and perfection are key, elements embodied by Richard Mille. So far, no fewer than ten crews have stepped up to the plate, including La Bête (Reichel/Pugh 90) skippered by Yves Montanari, Nelson Moore’s Windfall (Southern Wind 94), the VOR 70s Green Dragon and Ocean Breeze, respectively helmed by Johannes Schwarz and the Zuidzande Holding company, Arco Van Nieuwland’s Aragon (Marten 72) and George David’s Rambler 88, that recently bagged a record in the Caribbean 600. In fact, the latter skipper clearly has a soft spot for Les Voiles de Saint Barth since he’s back for the seventh time and already has four fine victories to his credit here. Fellow rivals will also include the Maxi 72s Proteus belonging to George Sakellaris (winner of the last two editions) and Peter Harrison’s Sorcha. Harrison, a very familiar face on the podium in the TP52 category, will this time be making a bid for glory at the helm of his JV72, the former Robertissima and Ran II built by Green Marine according to a Judel Vrolijk design. A mighty challenge then for the CEO of Richard Mille Europe, the Middle East and Africa, who very much hopes to fly the flag for Richard Mille, a brand that constantly relies on innovation and cutting-edge materials as a guarantee of excellence… Just like the sailors competing in Les Voiles de Saint Barth.
For this year’s edition of the event, Richard Mille will also once again award a watch, the RM 60-01 Regatta Flyback Chronograph, for the winner of the overall ranking in the Maxi Yacht category, accompanied this year by a new cup, the Richard Mille-Maxi Cup.
The Route du Rhum adds some punch to Les Voiles de Saint Barth
Among the competitors already signed up, there are a whole bunch of familiar names of course, but also some very interesting newcomers, including a host of Frenchies. Indeed, from Marc Dubos on the Class40 Akilaria RC2 Esprit Scout, to the multihull sailors Christian Guyader on the TS42 Guyader Gastronomie and Gilles Lamiré on the Multi50 French Tech Rennes St-Malo, all three are in preparation for the upcoming edition of the legendary Route du Rhum transatlantic race, whose 10th edition sets sail from France this November. “For some time, I’ve been dreaming of racing over the winter in the West Indies where I lived and sailed for ten or so years. At this time of year, there are some fantastic races in the Caribbean with some of the most beautiful boats in the world. The competition is thrilling and the images are inspirational. This winter it’s our turn to enjoy it and inspire others by lining up for two of these fine races: the Caribbean 600 and Les Voiles de Saint Barth. So see you on these wonderful waters!” enthuses the winner of the Multi50 category of The Transat bakerly 2017, Gilles Lamiré.