Skip to main content

2009 Classic Boats Regatta - Falling In Love Again

Should you find yourself needing a bit of reassurance as to why you sail, a glimpse of the 300-plus beautiful classic yachts that were assembled in Saint Tropez in September for the 2009 Classic Boats Regatta will immediately have you remembering exactly why you fell in love with our sport-and lifestyle-in the first place.

Should you find yourself needing a bit of reassurance as to why you sail, a glimpse of the 300-plus beautiful classic yachts that were assembled in Saint Tropez in September for the 2009 Classic Boats Regatta will immediately have you remembering exactly why you fell in love with our sport-and lifestyle-in the first place.

This year's fleet ranged from majestic classic yachts-some of which are a century or more old-to recently built "spirit of tradition" boats that use modern construction techniques and technologies, but that assume classic lines. The fleet also ranged in size from exquisitely elegant daysailers to large (in some cases huge) custom one-offs.

It takes a cold heart to see these magnificent boats sailing and not fall in love with the craftsmanship, the timeless styles, the intriguing rigging, and the graceful sheerlines. These are not just boats but rather floating pieces of history that serve many purposes, one of which is to sail. For the owners and the dedicated crewmembers who race these lovely vessels, performance isn't the point. Rather, it's the experience of reaching back in sailing's rich history to a time when aesthetics and taste ranked alongside function.

If you think maintaining a fiberglass boat is a handful, simply gaze of the forest of varnished timbers that were floating off Saint Tropez and you'll quickly realize how easy modern sailors have it. But, should you be a modern sailor lucky enough to crew on-or own-one of these boats, you have long ago realized that the work, the effort, and the dedication needed to maintain one of these glorious boats is worth every second that's spent shoreside.

In fact, many wooden boat owners admit that working on their boats is as much a part of the experience as sailing them. This isn't to say that racing these majestic boats isn't a challenge for the crew and the brain trust alike. Dealing with the billowing walls of sail in close mark-rounding situations demands close attention and years of sailing experience. Many of these boats are crewed by professionals so you can bet your last can of varnish that these sailors take this seriously.

And should you need a little boost to your sailing psych, these few sights will send your heart and imagination into overdrive faster than watching two or more J-class boats flying their full downwind wardrobe. Now take this same vision a few steps further and imagine 300 glorious classic boats racing in the waters of Saint Tropez. If you're having memories of the first girl you kissed or the first time you went sailing, odds are spot on that you've heard the siren's song of these amazing pieces of sailing history.

Related

Background-02

Notice to Mariners: A Blog from the SAIL Editors

As a teenager, I stumbled across a copy of Derek Lundy’s Godforsaken Sea in the back room of a used bookshop. I had never heard of the Vendée Globe and frankly found all the boat-speak in the first 50 pages a little difficult to get through. But Lundy’s storytelling and the draw ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

VIDEO: Celestial Navigation Episode 2

Celestial navigation is an invaluable tool for all kinds of sailors. In episode two of the celestial navigation series, learn the basic elements of navigation and the sight reduction process using declination and GHA to determine the Geographic Position and navigate using a ...read more

Film-poster

Cruising: Year of the Sea Shanty

Along with other timeless pursuits, like baking sourdough and gardening, singing sea shanties surged back into popularity during the recent lockdown, thanks, in part, to the app TikTok and its “duet” feature, which allows singers from around the world create music together. By ...read more

Book-Cover-9780712353700

Book Review: Sailor Song

Sailor Song is the ultimate guide to the music of working sailors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The book includes lyrics and sheet music for 50 of the most beloved sea songs with fascinating historical background on the adjoining page. Chapter introductions provide ...read more

Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 10.42.33 AM

Race Update: RORC Transat

With the fleet leaders about halfway to Grenada, the 2022 RORC Transatlantic is shaking out to be a tactically interesting one. The race, now in its 8th edition, began on Saturday with 30 teams ranging from 70-foot catamarans to a 28-foot JPK 1010. Early in the race, light winds ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_1585

Experience: Fire Down Below

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, local racing had resumed with household crews only. My wife, though, while always up for a pleasure sail, was not up for this kind of thing, so, for the fifth time in what was any measure an unusual sailing season, I found myself singlehanding my ...read more

BestBoats2022-logo

Best Boats 2022

In case you hadn’t heard, the fall 2021 boat show season was one for the record books. If there was ever any doubt the sailing public still enjoys making its way to Newport, Rhode Island, or Annapolis, Maryland, to see the latest in boat design, those doubts were put to rest ...read more

01-LEAD-Dominique-David-2048x

Mulithull Show Coming to La Grande-Motte

After a year without boat shows, 2021 proved to be a blockbuster summer and fall for events around the globe, and the International Mulithull Show is looking to continue that trend in 2022. First held in 2010, the show, which takes place in La Grand-Motte, France, on the shores ...read more