This morning near summer conditions returned once again to Saint-Tropez and participants gathered in La Citadelle for the prize giving ceremony that marks the closing of this year's edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. It is with a note of nostalgia that teams will leave this famous fishing village to return home until the 2009 edition of this spectacular event.
For the past three years there has been a special trophy given to the 16-metre Classic Yacht who accumulated the fewest points over the week of races. This year the winner was Graham Walter and his Marconi Rowdy, who finished the week at the top of her class. Philippe Schaeffer, Rolex France, presented Mr. Walter with the Rolex Trophy and a Rolex Submariner, close companion to all nautical achievements. Rowdy comes after previous winners So Fong (2006) and Agneta (2007) had inscribed their names on the Rolex Trophy.
Rowdy was designed by legend Nathanial Herreshoff and built by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company in 1916 in Bristol, Rhode Island. She is part of the New York 40 Class, named so because the design is 40 feet off the waterline, and is one of the 14 or so boats in the class that was constructed between 1916 and 1917. Also known as the "Fighting Forties," these sailing yachts were built for members of the New York Yacht Club and Rowdy raced for many years with great success. World War I put a halt to further construction of the class and most of these great vessels have ceased to exist today. Rowdy is one of the few. She has recently undergone a major rebuild and won the yacht Club de France's Autumn Cup (Marconi Division) in Cannes just before her arrival in Saint-Tropez for the 2008 edition of Les Voiles.
This year the racing was grand in spite of the Mistral crashing the party with violent winds that prohibited most racing on Thursday and all racing Friday. The final results are in and the winners in each category follow.
CLASSIC YACHT RESULTS, following three races
"Epoque" Sailboats (before 1950)
1. Moonbeam III, Erwan Noblet
2. Mariquita, Jim Thom
3. Altair, Stephan Benfield
1. Bona Fide, Guissepe Girdano
2. Oriole, Francis Van De Velde
3. Pesa, Jean Yves Roubinet
1. Rowdy, Graham Walter
2. The Blue Peter, Mike Aalders
3. Cholita, Dany Degraci
1. Anne Sopie, Hanns Klein
2. Classic Addy, Henk Bouma
3. Aile VI, Alain Ferri
1. Mercury, Jordi Cabau
2. Stormy Weather, Christopher Spray
3. Tomahawk, Richard Bond
1. Windhover, Marc Poullain
2. Lak, Guy Laforest
3. Arrow, Phil Plumtree
"Classic" Sailboats (1950-1975)
1. Galvana, Freres Pella
2. Sagittarius, Frederic Laffite
3. Fantasque, Jacques Daligaux-Bordat
1. Crazy Life, Bernard Olivieri
2. Pelikan, Peter Koerfer
3. Undina, Griff Rhys Jones
Spirit of Tradition Sailboats
1. Shamrock V, Nick Ryan
2. Finsco, Willi Balz
3. Savannah, Hugh Morrisson
1. Bellerophon, Nicolas Edmiston
2. Grey One, Hervé Margolis
3. Cambronne, Bernard Vilarem
For the third consecutive year Rolex is in the "Partner Club" for Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. This regatta, organized by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez (SNST), is part of the Rolex Yachting Portfolio that includes over twenty world-class sailing events that take place around the world. Rolex is also the title sponsor of mythic races such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart, the Rolex Middle Sea Race and the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race.
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