With the Caribbean season in full swing, the island of St Barth’s is set to come alive when more than seventy yachts race against one of the most idyllic backdrops in the Les Voile de St Barth Regatta next week. The racing is a drawcard for some of the most high-performance yachts and crews.
After a five-year hiatus from the Caribbean, Hap Fauth’s Maxi 72 Bella Mente is set to make an anticipated return, lining up against Jim Swartz’s Maxi 72, Vesper. This season, Vesper will showcase an entirely new inventory of Doyle sails alongside Bella Mente with the exclusive Structured Luff technology and Doyle designers at the forefront of the sailmaker switch.
With first-hand experience in Structured Luff and Stratis technology through many past collaborations, Grand Prix designer Jordi Calafat hit the ground running when he joined the network in 2021. With the intense attention to detail required to deliver sails to one of the most competitive fleets on the planet, Jordi and Richard Bouzaid (Doyle Sails Design Director) are the obvious choices for new Maxi 72 sails and make a formidable partnership – between them having designed sails and sailed on the majority of the yachts in the fleet during their careers.
Racing against the Maxi 72s in this year’s Maxi IRC fleet is Botin 85 Deep Blue, owned by Wendy Schmidt. The spectacular bright blue hull cannot be missed and will surely be a fixture at the front of the fleet after several Caribbean regattas under their wings this season alone. Boat captain Rob MacMillan from Doyle Sails Newport comments: “It is great: I think more maxis should come across to race in the Caribbean. It is one of the best places on earth to sail. The more sailing is done here, the better. It is great that the maxi class has come together so that we can all be in the same place at the same time and have great racing. The level of racing is high in the maxi class, and we are pleased to be part of it.”
The Doyle sails on display are not limited to the Maxi IRC fleet, with many Doyle powered yachts in the Spinnaker Division. Perhaps one of the more notable is the recently launched Botin 52 Caro as a favourite. Featuring a complete Doyle Stratis inventory, pro sailor and Doyle Sails expert Justin Ferris has been the design lead and project manager for the new state-of-the-art race yacht.
In the lead up to the Les Voiles de St Barth Regatta, Caro spent a significant portion of their time training in Antigua after successfully crossing the Atlantic in one of their inaugural sea trials.
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