As if to ensure that competitors had seen all the beaches and sights that St. Barth has to offer, on Sunday race officers sent the 48-boat Les Voiles de St. Barth fleet on its final circumnavigation counter-clockwise around the eight-square-mile island: a 30-nautical mile course for the Maxis, and a 23-nautical mile course for the Racing, Racing Cruising, Classics, and Multihulls. Rain clouds moved over the island, which by the 11am start time caused some impressive shifts in wind direction and velocity on the right side of the race course. Once around the southern end of the island, the boats were into a 17-knot east-southeasterly with a three-foot sea. While it qualified as the lightest wind speeds for the week, it still ranked as great sailing conditions.
At the Maxi start, it was “all to play for” for Genuine Risk, which trailed Rambler 100 by one point in the overall standings. With the pin end heavily favored, the Dubois-designed 97 footer came down the line on starboard, crossing Rambler‘s bow and tacking over to weather at the gun. Around the east side of the island, with spinnakers set, Genuine Risk managed to draw even with Rambler. Though Rambler‘s skipper Ken Read explained how it had shredded its running spinnaker in practice before the regatta, the canting-keeled 100-footer didn’t appear to suffer too much and made it around the race course in two hours flat. Genuine Risk did a great job of keeping the pressure on and finished 11 minutes behind, missing out on beating Rambler on corrected time by only two minutes.
Peter Harrison’s Sojana 115-foot Farr design, with a who’s who of sailing talent including Peter Holmberg and French sailing legends Lionel Pean and Jacques Vincent, was hard-pressed against the two maxis and turned in a steady performance with a string of third places for third overall.
For the complete results, go to www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com.