Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez concludes with schooner So Fong winner of the Trophée Rolex 9/10/06

The site of the prizegiving ceremony for the 8th annual Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez (and the 25th anniversary of the original La Nioulargue) took place in a spectacular setting under the walls of the ancient Citadelle, with a view overlooking the bay of Saint-Tropez.

Phillipe Masset, General Director of Rolex France awarded the Trophee Rolex and a Rolex steel Submariner timepiece to the yacht, So Fong. The 26 metre (85ft) dark-blue hulled schooner had the lowest score for the week of racing of all the classic division yachts over 16 metres.

So Fong, designed by the legendary naval architects, Sparkman & Stephens, was built in Hong Kong in 1937, and has been owned for the past five years by Bruno Entrecanales of Madrid, Spain.

The final race on Saturday provided perfect conditions for the boat. Skipper Perico Villalonga-Hook attributed the win to “the great Spanish crew”, though in fact he has assembled a capable crew who are also from Italy, France, and New Zealand. Villalonga-Hook added: “We need 20-25 knots of wind to really get the boat going”, and Saturday they experienced just that.

So Fong has competed in a several of the classic yacht regattas this year, including PalmaVela (Majorca), the Copa del Rey (Vintage Sails in Mahon, Menorca), and Regate Royales in Cannes. The yacht is expected to cross the Atlantic next year to compete in the classic circuit in northeastern USA in the summer/fall 2007.

In the Epoque Gaff, Class A (EAA), 1st place overall for the week was the 33 metre (108ft) Fife schooner, Altair. Close behind in 2nd place was the gaff cutter, Moonbeam IV. The big boat class was quite competitive with five of the eight yachts competing near the top of the leader board at some point in the week.

Overall Results (after 3 races, with one discard)

Epoque Gaff – Class A
1) Altair, Joe Pytka
2) Moonbeam IV, M. Lechevalier
3) Eleonora, Steve McLaren

Epoque Gaff – Class B
1) Marilee, Riccardo Banchetti
2) Oriole, Alain Aubry
3) Bona Fide, Guiseppe Jiordano

Epoque Gaff – Class C
1) So Fong, Bruno Entrecanales
2) Lelantina, Patrick Gilbert
3) Owl, Piero Grandi

Epoque Marconi – Class A
1) Mariella, Carlo Falcone
2) Agneta, Markus Sheweiger
3) The Blue Peter, Mike Alders

Epoque Marconi – Class B
1) Cotton Blossom, Dennis Conner
2) Anne Sophie, Hans George Klein
3) Aile VI, Alain Ferri

Epoque Marconi – Class C
1) Cholita, Maria Linda Nettis
2) Tamara IX, Doug Peterson
3) Cometa, Peter Woodd

Epoque Marconi – Class D
1) Dolphin, Lawrence Bryan
2) Sonda, Eric LaPrince
3) Isis, Herve Goudard

Spirit of Tradition
1) Shamrock V, Georges Mueller
2) Finsco, Willi Balz
3) Helisara, Jean Paul Besnard

Classique Marconi, Class A
1) Galvana, Pella Hermanes
2) Running Tide, Eric Pol
3) Eugenia V, Philippe Lapeze

Classic Marconi, Class B
1) Fantasque
2) Pelikan, Peter Koerfer
3) Pen Duick II, David Alexandre

Tofinou Class
1) Bellerophon, Nicholas Edminston
2) Touril, Philippe Joubert
3) Pitch, Patrice Riboud

12 Metre Class
1) French Kiss, Lars Grael
2) Challenge Twelve, William Borel
3) Ikra, Yves Marie Morault