While most of the entrants, especially the smaller boats in the Racing/Cruising category, hail from the islands of the French West Indies, Les Voiles de St. Barths has more than doubled in size since its first running in 2010. That event attracted 23 entries. This year, 48 boats signed on, and the number of serious racing boats in the mix hinted at an even larger field in 2012.
The skippers’ briefing in the media/registration room overflowed capacity. The predominant language of the meeting was French, painting bewilderment on the faces of more than half the attendants. Someone, in a tone of complete frustration, requested a translation of each point in the briefing, and the officials graciously complied.
Photo: Christophe Jouany
Later that day toward the close of the race, Genuine Risk, sailing on a broad reach in 32 knots of true wind, surfed down a wave at 30 knots, completely under control as the crew cheered her onward. We crossed the line in second place, behind Rambler 100. Considering the differences in the design of these two yachts, second, even on corrected time, was less a position of first loser and more like a triumph.