Kicking off on Friday 29 September and running through to Sunday 8 October 2023, Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez was launched by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez in 1999. This year, the 25th-anniversary edition remains an ode to the tradition of regatta racing, with around 250 maxis, modern and classic yachts participating in the event. BOAT dives into the biggest Maxi class yachts putting their best sails forward.
Builder: Yachting Developments
With her 572-square-metre mainsail and lightweight carbon composite hull designed by Dubois Naval Architects, natural-born race Silvertip is nimble and quick. Since her delivery in 2001, she has been used only privately and has competed in prestigious regattas around the world – boasting several wins recently at the Mastercard Superyacht Regatta in Auckland, New Zealand, taking third place overall. She also won the Millennium Cup in 2009 and 2012.
Builder: Spirit Yachts
“In the early stages we built a model and presented it to the owner who said, ‘No, it looks a bit dumpy. Can’t we pull out the bow and stern?’” explains Spirit Yachts’ managing director Nigel Stuart. That is exactly what the British yard accomplished – a yacht that grew from 27 to 34 metres overall before she had even left the drawing board. Light, direct and beautifully balanced, Geist steers herself upwind with ease. Don't let her classic look deceive you – she maintains a very advanced technical specification with a carbon mast with non-metallic rigging, as well as her advanced sail-handling systems.
Spirit of Malouen X
Builder: Green Marine
Previously under the name of Open Season, Spirit of Malouen X had a significant refit in 2015, which saw her LOA increase by two metres and a draft increase from 6.2 metres to 7.1 metres. This in turn enhanced her competitiveness in the Wally racing circuit and she basked in several victories at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in 2015 and 2016. The DNV-classed yacht is crewed by a team of four, with a low 89 GT allowing her to perform at a consistently high level.
Builder: Turquoise Yachts
The sailing classic, formerly known as Simba, returned to the racecourse as Namuun after she was sold off-market in September 2022. Built by Turquoise Yachts and delivered in 2012, she was the second Truly Classic 108 sailing yacht to hit the water and features a flush deck, low deckhouse, sweeping sheer, moderate freeboard and keyhole-shaped cockpits. Namuun can carry full main and genoa in up to 17-18 knots of true wind. A low wetted surface area offers good performance in light winds, paired with a high aspect ratio sail plan.
Magic Carpet 3
Owned by Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, Magic Carpet 3 has a displacement of just 50 tonnes (if you remove the keel and the mast, that figure drops to 18 tonnes), which makes her one of the lightest cruising boats ever built. Her Southern Spars rigging flies 640 square metres of sail while a lifting keel reduces her draft by two metres. She demonstrates an impressive trophy cabinet – with wins at the Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta, Rolex Giraglia, Maxi Worlds and Les Viles de St Tropez. Within just a couple of weeks of her launch, the fierce competitor won her first regatta – the Gaastra Palmavela in Mallorca.
Builder: Southern Wind Shipyard
Morgana is a dark horse in the world of regattas and can hit 30 knots under sail. She may appear svelte and serene, but her muscular power could certainly tear down the competition on a racecourse. Her lines are pin-sharp, running from a staunch plumb bow to the very slightly raked transom in an almost straight sheerline. Towering above the hull is a high modulus carbon rig and a powerful sailplan; below the water, a single rudder and a deep lifting keel that extends to 6.1 metres. Her lifting keel, flush deck and large sail area are designed for maximum performance.