As a sailboat lover, I was dismayed to have missed this boating news. The 25th Annual Tour de Martinique des Yoles Rondes took place between July 26 and August 2. The 2009 regatta was the silver anniversary of this week-long competition that celebrates the distinctive type of yawls known as yoles-rondes that have been developed and perfected for sailing the waters around Martinique over hundreds of years. These sleek, wind-driven vessels are powered by brightly colored sails and manned by crews who display strength, skill, acrobatic dexterity, and incredible teamwork to keep them going at maximum speed. Every summer, for the past quarter century, the Tour de Martinique has marked the peak of the boating season with a prologue and seven stages of racing that circles the entire island. Besides the racing on the water, the regatta includes dockside parties that welcome sailors and spectators alike with music, dancing, and local cuisine.
This year’s tour began and ended with events near the southern town of Vauclin. Although UFR-Siapoc won the last leg of the race, the winner of the 2009 yawl race was Joseph Cottrell-Optika, who won by 17 seconds.
For more information on theTour de Martinique des Yoles Rondes, see www.yoles-rondes.org and http://martinique.org/blog/2009/07/25th-tour-de-martinique-des-yoles-rondes/
For information on this year’s classifications, see http://www.bondamanjak.com/martinique/28-a-la-une/7783-tour-de-martinique-des-yoles-rondes-17-secondes-qui-valent-de-lor.html
Photos from http://www.martinique.franceantilles.fr/une/tour-des-yoles-2009-l-album-photos-02-08-2009-40343.php?pos=1#diaporama and http://www.bondamanjak.com/martinique/28-a-la-une/7783-tour-de-martinique-des-yoles-rondes-17-secondes-qui-valent-de-lor.html