In Les Voiles de Saint Barth, geography plays a part

Everyone can see the island. This is what the wind is chasing after them – in the shadow of the earth or “lee” – and how each team reacts to what Les Voiles de St. May determine the winners at Barth.

Most regatta race courses are built on open water that uses moving buoys – set by the wind – as a sign of their turn. These windward-leaved courses strategically create engaging racing that tests each team’s ability to run faster on two wind angles: up-wind, or in the air, and down, or down the wind.

Les Voiles de cent. Barth Richard Mille, which starts on Sunday from St. Barthelemy, whose names include St. Barth and St. Barts, is located in the Caribbean’s lower Antilles, instead of the coastal strip of the island, with its many satellite islands and rocky outcrops. , And a few boots to make the most of the Serpentine courses for 74 teams in a competition.

These courses usually include the reach of the pier, where the boats are almost sailing the wind.

“It’s unusual,” said Susan Glenn, captain of the Olympia Tigers, a Benito First 40, about the use of islands and rocks around Regatta, but not unique. Other breeds use geographical turning points, he said, but Les Wilds often require a lot of experience.

“You need some navigational skills,” he said, referring to Regatta’s most challenging winds and seas. He described the race as the best regatta in the world, but said that you can’t just get the sailors accustomed to insurance-winged-live racing on their courses.

St. Barts is about nine square miles, making it one of the Caribbean’s smallest islands. But, said Luis Poppon, co-founder and race director of Regatta, St. Barts is fortunate to have 12 nearby islands that can be used to create 28 courses that vary in distance and landscape.

Trade winds, which usually fly from 12 to 22 knots in April, reach the eastern – or windward – shore of the island, first, with some north-south desert.

“One of the things that makes Regatta great is how good the trade winds can be,” said Jonathan Mackey, a two-time Olympic medalist and tactician on the military, a backer 53. But that’s not to say that he did. Flow uniformly. Given course “It’s not so much that the air of commerce is changing, but it’s moving around many rocks and islands,” he said.

The current, which draws salt water from east to St. Barts, is another factor. When the wind blows with the current, the oceans often make for a quiet, fast, and enjoyable boat. When the winds of trade move, the seas can form.

Geography, trade winds, and current strategies can create challenging leases. “The game is to avoid light airfields,” Mackey said, adding that boats sometimes have to travel long distances to maintain the flow of air on their planes.

“The boat is a unique role in the race course,” said Dave Welch, owner of Flash, AHH66. “There are window holes, shadows and gusts over the mountains. Predicting these factors creates a more strategic racing strategy. This is much more challenging than open air race courses, “in which the air flows freely over the water, without the influence of nearby ground masses or rocks.

Stu Bannatyne, winner of the four-time Volvo Ocean Race and the winner of the previous class, Les Voiles de St. Barth described the challenges as managing traffic, meaning controlling one’s race course position compared to other yachts, navigating and predicting the air.

Racing yachts usually carry a list of boats. Each is designed and designed for a specific range of wind angles and speeds. This allows the staff to adapt to current conditions. Beat the range, and boats perform well; Go beyond this window, and the performance will be affected.

Given that most courses at Les Wilds de Saint Barth are turning through each compass point as teams race around the islands, crews will see wind from all sides during a normal race.

“You have to be good on the transfer,” Mackey said, referring to the cell changes.

But changing the fleet can be time-consuming and unnecessary errors are introduced, especially if yachts are operating in tight winters and in tight seas, so it is important for captains and strategists to pay for their costs. End of analysis.

Patrick LaRoche, a Cookson 50, a navigator on Triple Lane, said it is fun to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of changing cells for different feet. “We have cells for all angles, but sometimes it doesn’t pay to work well on every scene, especially when things can go wrong,” he said.

This is especially true if one leg represents only 5 or 10 minutes out of a three to four hour race.

“You need to make a call if it is worth some cell changes,” Bennett said. “There is never a right way to do it.”

This is where the experience, and the ability to predict what is happening in the lease and turn around, matters.

“You need a high degree of climate-navigational awareness,” said Glennie. Racing at Les Violes de Saint Barth, he said, “Shifts have less to do with topology and more with topography.

Given St. Barts’ trade window conditions and whether the race organizers post the next day’s course (or course) each evening, preparation sometimes starts shortly.

“The good thing about geographically based race courses is that you can plan things in advance,” Mackey said, regarding the position and boat selection. “You can predict the winds on the sides and make a game plan.”

There are also rocks and stones.

“Some of the islands and rocks aren’t exactly charted – or exactly – so the challenge is to do your homework,” Bennett said.

While regatta rules require that boats round all course markings in certain directions (for example, hourly or opposing hours), crews can sometimes cut corners to save distance. This usually works best where the ground is low and the lee is small. Mackey said there is an art involved in figuring out how much to cut one corner, and “a little luck.”

For example, LaRoche said that near the Pointe Toiny, on the east-southeast corner of St. Barts, boats could cut into a rock that appeared to be just below the surface. When he said it was a common tactic, “It keeps me up at night.”

GPS based chart plotting technologies can help. “I also overlay our track from previous generations to see where we haven’t hit things successfully,” Laroche said.

While Les Voiles de St. Barth can test the capabilities of a team, it can also test every sailor’s fitness, especially with many cell changes. “It can beat the staff very quickly during the week,” LaRoche said. “You have to manage everyone’s energy and focus every day.”

The result is a one-day boat regatta, which some critics said was more reminiscent of distance racing challenges, rather than the standard wind-racing races.

However, given that Les Voiles de St. Barth Reflecting one of the Caribbean’s most exclusive and French-flavored islands, sailors can expect some high turns.

“For us, this is one of the more stressful off-shore races where you sleep all night in one villa instead of a hot box,” said LaRoche, referring to sailors who practiced with off-ship shipmates during off-shore races. Rotating the bank. General Chat Chat Lounge

Mackey said sailors were tired at the end of the day, which usually included six to seven hours of intense sailing.

But then, he said, “You are in the pool in a magnificent villa, watching the sea, with drinks in hand.

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