“Do you, do you, do you Saint Tropez?”

Last weekend, thirty-five of us, kids-free and converted into pop-up sailors all dressed in whites, boarded the historic tallship Don du Vent that we had hired for the finals of the 14th annual Les Voiles de Saint Tropez.

The magic started with a zodiac sprint from the charming seaport of Port Grimaud, France’s provençal Little Venice, to Saint Tropez. A pinkish mist slowly lifted as hot air balloons rose into an intensifying blue sky and warming sun.

In our baskets: croissants, brioche, Nutella, candy, fresh fruit, juice, brewed coffee and exotic teas. How’s that for world-selling authors fascinated by French women’s diets. On the horizon, sailors making their way out to sea.

We cruised our way to the Baie des Canoubiers where we anchored for breakfast + dip, overlooked by decadent homes. Seemingly, the Brigitte Bardot appeal lives on. Onboard, supersized beanbags invited us to catch a few needed zzzzs discarded the night before.

At 11:00 am, five-four-three-two-one, shotgun. Ahead, the traditional J-class crossed the starting line while our captain called out “10 o’clock is a Monaco’s boat”, “3 o’clock is the Spanish team”, “here what you see is the insignia of British aristocracy”, “the one to our left was built in 1847”… The legends carried out as we were mezmerized by the ballet of sails.

We spent the rest of the afternoon on the look out – together with myriad yachts and zodiacs – praising  modern, classic and Wally boats for their unequaled styles, as they intersected through the waves. I felt somewhat awkward persuing these beauties – a sense of paparazzi. The photo hunt was intense.

By 6:30pm, hundreds of sailors made their way back to the harbor for a traditional promenade and evening of celebrations. Visitors snapped candid shots of NYSE guys sipping champagne on their yachts before strolling through the village tent to purchase souvenirs from the event.

We, mingled our way to Barbarac for an artisanal ice cream (N2S: visit the Paris location!), followed by a stop at Sennequier for nougat, bypassing the Place des Lices where we bumped into local friends who were competing in a round of pétanque, glass of rosé in hand. I particularly enjoyed the remote quartier de la Ponche that managed to feel off the beaten path despite the nearby affluence.

Dinner and dancing on the boat lasted until the wee hours of the morning, when we spotted a tiny zodiac steered by three adults floating by in the dark. Naturellement, we congratulated them for crossing the finish line. Très bon enfant. A late picnic brunch on the Pampelonne Beach closed our weekend festivities. When in St Tropez, dance, sing, go a little crazy and live your life!

Saint Tropez, I do, I do, I do!

Bienvenue à la quatorzième édition des Voiles de Saint Tropez. Un ballet magique où se croisent modernes, Wally et classiques, dans un lieu mythique. La chasse aux photos. Le oh-hé sur l’eau. Les garçons sont beaux. Un spectacle éblouissant. Des bateaux par centaines, des marins par milliers… Du dernier cri au vieux gréement. Un mélange de genres, de cultures et de voiles.

Départ à bord d’un zodiac de la cité lacustre de Port Grimaud sous un ciel légèrement rosé et orné de mongolfières. Paniers fournis de petits pains moelleux, Nutella, rosé, ricard, salades et fruits… nous voilà prêts pour la belle vie. Nous étions 35 p’tit mousses – sans enfants et tout de blanc vêtus – à bord du Don du Vent, loué et divinement équipé pour cette dernière journée. Après une halte rafraîchissante dans la Baie des Canoubiers, un “bang” annonce le début du ballet de chassés-croissés sur un fond de légendes contées par notre capitaine.

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Au salut du soleil, la traditionnelle promenade s’impose sur le port. Les visiteurs captent les NYSE boys sur leurs yachts, avant de gagner le village pour remplir leurs sacs de souvenirs. En amoureux, direction Barbarac pour une glace artisanale, Sennequier pour un morceau de nougat, quartier de la Ponche pour le calme, Place des Lices où nous croisons de vieux amis prêts pour la pétanque et le rosé. Oh lé.

Au petit matin, on enfile le maillot de bain. Pour terminer, plage de Pampelonne pour un pique-nique enchanté. On se moque de demain, ici on est bien!

A Saint Tropez, « on s’amuse on rit. On danse on fait les fous. On chante, on vie sa vie. »

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4 Responses to “Do you, do you, do you Saint Tropez?”

  1. Bravo ! I loved reading your text … it made me relive the moment ! thanks

  2. very nice written again. I loved it.
    XX Patricia

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