Traditional Sailing in Guadeloupe
Some fifty years ago, every inhabitant of Les Saintes had his own fishing sail boat. On holidays, regattas and races were organized for fun in the splendid Saintes bay.
Since then, the use of fishing boats with motors had somewhat got rid of these traditions. But not everyone had forgotten them ... a handfull of sailing passionates decided to make them revive.
In 2000, the Comité Guadeloupéen de Voile Traditionnele (Guadeloupean Committee of Traditional Sailing) had been created, The Round Les Saintes Race, and since 2001 also the Round Guadeloupe Race by legs. In 2005, the class of boats and the races have been made official by an affiliation to the French Sailing Organization.
Spécification as for the boat construction and the material used have been defined in order to be in conformity with the traditional shipbuilding:
Hull of natural wood with ribs, 5,35m max. length and 1,80m max. beam, keel max. 33cm and 5cm thick.
Mast of natural plain local wood, max. 7,25m, collars of creepers for the main sail, wooden cleats, pulleys without winch.
Sails (main sail and jib) without laths of cotton or woven polyester.
The crew consists of maximum 6 team members, 7 if they are women. The only additionnal authorised ballast are sand or pebble bags which may be dropped during the race. A race for insiders at the beginning, the Round of Guadeloupe Race became more popular and can count up to 27 competitors - renown sailors joined in, while of course the leaders of traditional sailing in Guadeloupe, among them of course sailors from the Saintes, intend to hold their position.
- Final rankings of the Traditional Sailing Race Round Guadeloupe
- official site of the Guadeloupean Committee of Tradition Sailing