The final day of maxi yacht competition at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez saw the fleet take on a trapezoidal course off the Bay of Pampelonne with Cannonball, Lyra and Wallyño sailing to victory to secure wins in their respective fleets.
The 39 competing maxi yachts were divided into four classes, the largest competitors being Bernard Sabrier’s 34-metre Silvertip and 34-metre Spirit Yachts Geist, and the fleet completed five courses during the second week of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez.
In the Maxi A division, 30-metre Galateia, fresh off a win at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and helmed by co-owner Chris Flowers, was frequently claiming line honours ahead of the pack and finally secured a win on the last day that put her in third overall. In second was Peter Dubens’ North Star and in first was Maxi A class winner Cannonball.
This event marked the first Maxi 72 victory for Cannonball since Peter Harrison acquired her a month ago, sailing with many of the previous owner's crew. “Their approach is in a different league and that is what made all the difference – the boat is great too,” said Harrison. “This week what was interesting for us is that she worked well in strong breeze and we had good results in light breeze. I think how the crew have optimised the boat is the reason why."
In Maxi B, it was Terry Hui's 24-metre Wally Lyra that took the win after a strong start to the week with three back-to-back wins. “We have a good team and we are learning every year but there is good competition and it is very tight every time,” observed Hui. “The third day [big wind Tuesday] was very good. We would like that every time because we were surfing the waves - we stayed on some a really long time. This year we had some tight competition with Rose [Sven Wackerhagen’s sistership] so we couldn’t make any mistakes.”
It was the 24-metre Wally Rose that disrupted what may have been a perfect scoreline for Lyra after securing a win on the fourth course of the week, the team eventually taking second place with Rose and Thomas Biton's Maarten Aragon in third.
In Maxi C, IMA President Benoît de Froidmont secured the win with straight bullets on Wallyño with a day to spare, the only competing Maxi across all four divisions to achieve a perfect scoreline. During the week the crew scored two consecutive wins both on the water and on corrected time, leaving Jean-Pierre Dreau’s Lady First 3 in second place and Maurits van Oranje’s Mylius 60 Sud in third.
“It was a fantastic week,” said de Froidmont. “The crew is really on fire now at the end of the season. With light breeze and flat sea this week - it has been the conditions for the boat.”