St. Barths Online

News

Aug 15, 2005

St Barth's traditional sailboats

space

local sailors Fishing and sailing are two of the most popular activities in the lives of the people of Saint Barth. Many islands in the Caribbean have their own flotillas of traditional sailboats; each built in a different style. Summer in Saint Barth is the perfect time to celebrate this tradition, with a series of regattas held in conjunction with local events.

In the 1950s, Saint Barth's professional fisherman set forth in small pirogues, 15 to 18 feet long, carved out of wood from the "gum" tree, using paddles and a small sail to help them get out to sea. Many inhabitants from the neighborhoods of St. Jean, Saline and Cul-de-Sac owned a small dory of 9 to 12 feet, used primarily to fish along the coast, or retrieve their fish traps. For the little regattas, or "boulines" that were organized during the summer festivities held in the various neighborhoods, the dories were equipped with a false keel, a mast, and a sail. Saint Barth probably had about a dozen pirogues and at least 30 dories, certain of which still exist.

The first traditional sailboats:

In the 1960s, the pirogues were replaced, little by little, by small square-front wooden boats with motors. These boats were 15' long with a keel and a V-shaped bottom. In Flamands, the old timers still remember Titanic, King of the Sea, and the Normand, while others remember Lisette of Corossol or the "Sans Pareil" of Gustavia. For the regattas, these wooden boats were equipped with a mast and a sail, as well as rocks in the bottom to serve as ballast. The next generation of traditional sailboats, such as Eclair, Flash, and Patsy, were built especially as little racing boats.

Arrival of the "Santoise" boats:

In 1975, fishermen from Les Saintes (islands off of Guadeloupe), settled in Saint Barth and brought their own style wooden boats with flat bottoms and powerful motors. Larger and more practical for fishing, these boats rapidly replaced the traditional boats of Saint Barth, which were henceforth reserved just for regattas. But as of the 1970s, the Saint Barth sailors turned away from these little boats and opted for more modern sailboats, measuring 24 to 30 feet, that were more comfortable and easier to maneuver. Friendly competitions were organized for these boats, as well as visiting boats, on a regular basis. In 1977, a dozen of these sailboats decided to sail around the little islands of Boulanger and Fourchu. Back on dry land, the sailors sat around a table at Le Select and decided to meet again at the same time the next year. They left the organization of the next regatta Loulou Magras, and that annual race became Loulou's Saint Barth Regatta. The last of these races was held in 1983, hosting over 120 sailboats of all sizes in the harbor of Gustavia.

The next generation of traditional sailboats:

In 1988, Michel Geoffrin, who was a great sailing fan, ordered a small sailboat from the Forbin boatyard in Guadeloupe. Baptized M. Korbo, the boat was based on the style of small sailboats popular in Guadeloupe: 20 feet long, 5 feet wide, with a mast 28 feet high, and a total weight of 1300 pounds. M. Korbo was the only boat of its kind in Saint Barth until the next year when Raymond Magras ordered Puchotte from the same boatyard. The same year, the Cultural Center of Saint Barth ordered four of the same boats, one for each of the non-profit sports/cultural organizations on the island. La Belle du Vent was for AJOE in Lorient, and Dauphin destined for ASCCO in Colombier. In 1990 Eagle was donated the Ouanalao association in Gustavia, and Joshua to ALC in Corossol. At the same time, Théophile Peter, a fisherman from Les Saintes living in Saint Barth, built Flamme, a small sailboat in the same style, but not exactly alike, the ones from Guadeloupe. A seasonal championship was organized for two consecutive years. Crews from Guadeloupe and Les Saintes came to participate in the races… exciting regattas, followed by long discussions… In return, the boats from Saint Barth would take their boats to race in Guadeloupe and Les Saintes. They began to notice that their competitor's boats were lighter and newer than theirs. When they got back to Saint Barth, sailor Luc Poupon designed a new version of the traditional wooden sailboat. Two boats, Dedet's Girl and Budget, were built in 1994 using his plans, and ushering in a new generation of traditional sailboats in Saint Barth. These boats are lighter and faster, but within the same size and weight class as the traditional sailboats from Guadeloupe.

Dedet’s Girl and Budget race against La Belle du Vent, Dauphin, Eagle, Joshua, Poisson Volant, and Eclair II, the last traditional sailboat built in the style of the little boats from the 60s. A formula was devised based on the various characteristics of each boat in order to give each style a racing handicap. Since 2004, the Saint Barth Yacht Club has organized a seasonal championship for the traditional sailboats, with races one Sunday per month for these little boats. Last year the winner was La Belle du Vent. This year, the championship ran from October through June, with Dedet’s Girl the winner.

This summer's festivities included that of ASCCO on July 30, followed by the fair in Lorient on the weekend of August 6 and 7, with a regatta for traditional sailboats held on Sunday morning. Among the various crew members there were two rather well-known French sailors: Philippe Poupon at the helm of Dedet’s Girl, and Marc Guillemot, a frequent visitor to Saint Barth, aboard Joshua.

Cécile Lucot


[Jun 27, 2013] Kay Quattrocchi is passionate about the Universe

Interview with Kay Quattrocchi by Panos Charitos Kay Quattrocchi is an artist passioned about the Universe and inspired by the latest discoveries unveiling some of its secrets. For Kay “Learning, discovering and opening our minds to other dimensions than those imposed by our five senses” is a so...

[May 31, 2013] World's 100 best beaches

CNN ranked Saline Beach N°5. Is it possible to rank the world's best beaches? Of course it is. This is the Internet. Will everyone agree with their ranking, murmuring respectfully among themselves about how perfectly accurate every placement is? Maybe not. This is the Internet. But that's why they...

[May 18, 2013] Dream races at Les Voiles de St Barth 2013

Performance and a friendly atmosphere. For four years now, the Voiles de Saint-Barth has stuck with its simple philosophy of offering high class performance and a friendly atmosphere in the magnificent setting of the islands of Saint-Barth and has attracted increasing numbers from the yachting frat...

[Mar 27, 2013] J.crew catalog in St Barts

Preppy chic fashion finds an exotic backdrop on the island of St. Barths. If you've opened your mailbox in the last week you've probably seen the latest j.crew catalog with a cover photo featuring the famous Eden Rock hotel ...well, the floating dock at least! The world class crew found inspiration...

[Dec 18, 2012] Victoria Secret Angels heat up St Barts

Candice Swanepoel, Erin Heatherton, Maryna Linchuk, Alessandra Ambrosio The worlds sexiest angels hit the beaches of St Barths for a smoldering Victoria Secret photo shoot. The crystal clear Caribbean sea was the perfect compliment to the flawless curves of these stunning super models. Splashing ar...

[Dec 17, 2012] Kate Moss flaunts her famous figure in St Barts

Kate Moss on Gouverneur beach Kate Moss was the perfect ornament for the stunning Gouverneur beach on st. Barths. The iconic super model joined famed fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier for a glamorous photo shoot on one of the islands most pristine beaches. Still stunning at age 38 the Br...

[Sep 10, 2012] Rhony and the last hurrah on Island!

Last day in St. Barths. Aviva just couldn't give it up! Good thing they were able to escape for a classic St barths lunch at the nearly untouched Le Tamarin. Carole is shocked that the restaurant has not changed in 20 years! The traditional beauty of St. barths is well and alive at this eclectic ge...

[Sep 3, 2012] The Real Housewives of NYC more fierce than hurricane Issac!

RHONY continue to sizzle on the island of St barths. Come one come all...Looks like Sonja is going to get some action of her own tonight! LuAnn's not the only one who can speak the language of love...and all is fair on this sexy tropical paradise. Villa Dunes is turning into quite the love shack...

[Aug 29, 2012] Rhony and The Isle Of french Men

Fabulous, Sexy, live in the moment place! The Real Housewives Of New York all agree St. Barths is a "fabulous, sexy, live in the moment place". The fun begins with an exhilerating flight and safe landing at Gustav III airport in St. Jean, thanks to the expert pilots at Winair. Little did they kn...

[Aug 27, 2012] St Barts here Rhony come!

St Barths here they come! The RHONY start their primping for the luxury island trip to St barths! Ramona and Sonja get their "quick fix" of beauty treatments...LuAnn shops for bikinis it's like...well ... "something you want to do alone..." Will Avivas fear of small planes stop her from making the ...

[Jun 11, 2012] Where RHONY stayed in St. Barts?

Take a tour of the exclusive villa. Live like the Real Housewives of New York! St. Barths Online takes you inside the Dunes luxury villa where the girls stayed on their glamorous trip to the Island of St. Barths. The 16,000 sq ft Villa Dunes offers the ultimate in luxury. Heated pools, tropical ...

[May 22, 2012] Real Housewives Of New York

RHONY live it up on the Island of St Barts! Yachts, private villas, pristine beaches, barely-there bikinis and plenty of Pinot Grigio...the Real Housewives of New York (RHONY) hit St. Barts in style. Veteran housewives Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and Luann De Lesseps (The Countess) join new cast ...

[Apr 10, 2012] Beyonce and Jay-Z spend Easter in St. Barts

Beyonce and Jay-Z have taken their daughter on her first vacation. The couple, who celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary last week, have been enjoying the sunshine on the Caribbean island of St. Barts with three-month-old Blue Ivy over the weekend, and took the tot for a day trip on a yacht. ...

[Apr 2, 2012] Les voiles de Saint-Barth 2012

Kick-off Les Voiles de Saint Barth 2012 Caribbean regatta in the magical French West Indies sailing paradise! Today the pres­ti­gious and top-class Caribbean sail­ing regatta Les Voiles de St. Barth 2012 with Gaas­tra Sports­wear as the offi­cial part­ner starts: At the third edi­tion run...

[Mar 31, 2012] The Ambiance of St Barths Bucket 2012

Inside the Bucket. This video features the 2012 St Barths Bucket Regatta and music by the Evan Goodrow Band. Special thanks to the entire crew of the Rebecca, Baz Bar, St Barths Online and the guys from the Evan Goodrow Band for putting on a fantastic show. The song from the Evan Goodrow Band is c...

[Mar 27, 2012] Bucket Regatta 2012: SY Rebecca

On board with Rebecca. The best event in St Barths took place on March 24 - 27, 2012. This video features the beautiful 141 ft sailing yacht, The Rebecca. produced by Real Media Travel for St. Barths Online and Baz Bar St Barth.

[Mar 14, 2012] Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell in holidays

The age old saying of "I need a holiday to get over my holiday" actually seems applicable if you happen to be Paul McCartney. The Beatle took wife Nancy Shevell on a romantic break to the Caribbean island of St Barts, just days after the pair visited Paris. Last week, the lovebirds showed support ...

[Jan 19, 2012] Chris Hemsworth - Elsa Pataky - Matt Damon

On the day their pregnancy news was announced, Thor star Chris Hemsworth, 28, and Elsa Pataky, 35, were seen in sunny St. Barts, France on Wednesday (January 18). The Fast Five actress looked lovely in blue, sporting her beautiful baby bump. Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky Chris and Elsa - w...

[Jan 3, 2012] Tamara Mellon on the beach

She might be 44, but Tamara Mellon still boasts a figure that women half her age would be proud of. The Jimmy Choo co-founder showed off her toned figure in a sexy animal-print bikini as she hit the beach with her daughter in St Barts yesterday. The skimpy string two-piece highlighted Tamara's env...

[Jan 2, 2012] Gary Lineker and his wife

With almost every other celebrity couple enjoying the New Year in exotic locations, Gary and Danielle Lineker weren't going to be any different. The married couple were spotted enjoying a romantic walk along a beach in St Barts today - and looked very much in love. Gary, 51 and his wife, 32, had o...


Search the Site


Powerful advertising

Expand your advertising power with the #1 in St. Barths.

Learn more »


 
Official Sponsors