A ‘Safety-First’ Success: 25th Voiles d’Antibes

By George Bains

The 25th edition of Les Voiles d’Antibes, supported by Hill Robinson, was successful hosted in a ‘safety-first’ manner in a magnificent celebration of classic yachts. The return of this major sailing event brought excitement back to the seas, after the regatta was postponed from July to September as a result of the global pandemic.

Yann Joannon, Event Director, was full of praise for Hill Robinson for making the event happen during difficult circumstances. “Les Voiles d’Antibes are very proud to have the main Sponsorship support working as a team with Hill Robinson,” said Joannon. “During the COVID-19 crisis we have been able to work together and adapt ourselves to this unusual situation. Hill Robinson and their teams have always supported us in our decisions and without their involvement we would have never been able to organise Les Voiles d’Antibes 2020 as it happened.”

Staging an international yacht regatta in the midst of a global pandemic is no mean feat, and required a series of rigorous planning and safety protocols to ensure total safety for both those sailing and the teams onshore. The return of Les Voiles d’Antibes also marked a significant environmental statement, with a carbon offset initiative driven by Yacht Carbon Offset enabling the event to be signed-off as carbon neutral. A great step towards widespread sustainability in yachting.

Weather conditions were varied during the 25th Les Voiles d’Antibes, with a few days of a balmy breezed followed by some zesty sailing days in winds of up to 40 knots at times. The 1909-built classic sailing yacht Tuiga, designed by William Fife, won in the big yacht category. The 28m sailing yacht was a worthy winner for the Yacht Club de Monaco.

The founding partners of Hill Robinson, Nick Hill and Niall Robinson, were in amongst the action onboard their ‘modest classics’. Nick Hill commented “we were certainly nervous in the lead up to the postponed regatta, as the Covid situation did not improve at the end of the summer season in the Alpes-Maritimes. However a huge thank you to the determination and hard work from Les Voiles d’Antibes team: Yann Joannon, Thierry Piel and Maurice Carette, who made sure all local and regional regulations were respected and followed, with the support of the Mairie of Antibes Juan-les-Pins.

“The conditions varied from swimming in flat clam to surviving in squalls of 40 knots, but fortunately no casualties, apart from some torn sails and dented egos. We all had fun and were delighted to host this wonderful regatta. Well done especially to ‘Viola’ for winning one race in her class and the Hill Robinson teamwork award, sporting very nice shirts at prize giving.

The September winds certainly provoked some nervous excitement, and next year Les Voiles d’Antibes will return in its usual summer setting from 2-6 June 2021.

"We all had fun and were delighted to host this wonderful regatta."

Nick Hill, Founding Partner of Hill Robinson

"We all had fun and were delighted to host this wonderful regatta."

Nick Hill, Founding Partner of Hill Robinson
By George Bains
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