onboard the J-class ranger during Les Voiles de Saint Tropez

I’ve just added a new gallery to my website (check it out here) documenting my week at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. Held in the first week of October, I looked forward to some late summer sun that the South of France is famous for. Whilst researching the event a Google Image search returns pages upon pages of blue skies, beautiful boats (and people), aerial images and action. it quickly became apparent that on this particular week I wouldn’t be getting anywhere near a helicopter or capturing any action where the colour of the sky could be described as blue.

about to board the vessel at les voiles de saint tropez  About to board the rip, which would follow around the J-Class Ranger

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez features a week of racing for a range of categories. Classic boats race alongside modern yachts, making quite the visual feast. I was there to photograph the J-Class division, concentrating on a boat called Ranger. The boat, built in 2004, is an exact replica of the 1937 Ranger that won that years Americas Cup. At the regatta the J-Class boats feel like the royalty of the event. They’re moored at the best location of the port and crowds flock around to see them as they exit and return from the days race.

Photographing Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez My chauffeur for the day

Two days of sailing were unfortunately cancelled due to gale force winds, so we were limited to two days of shooting. The first, rain soaked day I was to follow the yachts, capturing some of the atmosphere of the race. I used a self constructed workstation consisting of dry towels and lens cloths to keep everything operating smoothly. I’d first pat the body and lens down with one towel before using a second to place directly on the lens absorbing any surface water. A third step was to then use a dedicated lens cloth to further clean it. A battle of the elements ensued to keep everything working.

onboard J-class rangerA change of scenery for day two

I don’t think i’ve ever experienced so much rain in one week, but we really had everything thrown at us. I think the shot that was used in the introduction for the 2015 J-Class yearbook sums up the week perfectly.

Until sunnier times….

the 2015 j-class yearbook

See the latest gallery here

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