Sails up in Antibes

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Three months later than planned, Les Voiles d’Antibes is already up and away this year

Normally marking the opening of the traditional yacht-sailing season on the Mediterranean, the highly photogenic Les Voiles d’Antibes has been running since 1996 and wasn’t going to be stopped by pandemic policies.

Normally held during the first week of June, the six-day traditional sailing fest was instead moved to September. It kicked off yesterday (16th of September) and will run until Sunday, the 20th.

Some of the vintage yachts tied up at the Port Vauban, Antibes (photo: JM Olivier)

The event involves some of the most beautiful vintage vessels (pre-1950) which form around a kernel of ‘star’ boats of mythical stature in the world of traditional sailing. The event has grown each year in popularity as more and more traditional boating enthusiasts are drawn to this movement, with between five and fifteen boats adding to the fleet annually, according to Director of Les Voiles d’Antibes, Yann Joannon.

A programme of races and events take place along the 23-kilometre stretch of coastline running from Antibes to Juan-les-Pins, making it one of the best-loved sailing events in the Côte d’Azur.

This year, the onshore events have been curtailed to a certain degree due to social distancing and mask-wearing measures but most elements are going ahead, including the Village des Voiles at the Port Vauban, with art exhibitions, live music and activities. The marina at Port Vauban in Antibes is the most important for luxury yachts in Europe.

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