What is the Mediterranean race

Interview with Patrick S., owner of the RITUAL (First Yacht 53)

The Regatta Voiles de Saint-Tropez almost didn't take place at all, but then its 22nd edition (September 26th to October 9th) turned into a grandiose event, as we know it from the competition. A total of almost 150 classic and modern boats lined up in the first week, the second week was reserved for around twenty tall ships during the “Super Series”. The First Yacht 53 was also there for the first time RITUAL in the “Modern Yachts” category. A nice “premiere”, as its owner and skipper Patrick S. tells us in an interview.

Hello Patrick, how did you feel when you took part in the Voiles de Saint Tropez for the first time?

Very good! Taking part in this well-known race was something very special for the whole crew. And although there wasn't much time between our arrival on September 8th and the start of the race, we managed to get the ritual To make it suitable for regattas and to make all the necessary preparations. My team consisted of 11 people, men and women, all of whom were long-time friends and my wife was there too.

The complete team of the ritual at the honor pier in the port of Saint Tropez.

How long have you been racing?

For a long time! I started with a used First Class 12 that I bought in Deauville and shipped to the south. In the 90s I was either on the Mediterranean or other waters, always on a First 310 or a Figaro.

And then came the FIRST 45 ...

Yes, I bought a First 45 in 2008 and kept it for twelve years. After that it was bought by my dealer Chemins d'Océanstaken back from La Grande-Motte, who also supported me in my project with the First Yacht 53.

How did you come to buy the First Yacht 53?

I discovered the First Yacht 53 for myself in 2019 at the Cannes and Paris boat shows. I am also in Paris Yves Mandin encountered by BENETEAU Premium Service. Yes, and then I ordered the boat at the beginning of the year. I then visited the BENETEAU shipyard to see my boat when it was still being made and got to know the PREMIUM team. That was a great day!

As the RITUAL When it was finished, it was delivered by truck to the port of La Grande-Motte, where it replaced my First 45. Then I took a few things into my own hands, like installing the electronics, after all, I'm on early retirement and have time.

D.he First Yacht 53 RITUAL on one of her first trips on the Mediterranean.

How do you rate the yacht's competitive performance?

During the Voiles de Saint Tropez we were dealing with teams that have been sailing on a wide variety of boats for years. We focused on getting the boat out properly and getting used to the trim. Overall, the First Yacht 53 is really easy to handle.

«The performance is promising. The boat is fast, responsive and really amazing! »

With the RITUAL, we were on par with Jean-Pierre Dick's JP54 “The Kid” several times and delivered nice races, it was a lot of fun. Overall, we ended up in 7th place. We are not among the first, but we did win the Journée des Défis (NdÜ: non-official part of the regatta).

In action ! Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget

What's in store for you and them in the next few months ritual at ?

From Arles, where we live, it is only an hour's drive to the port of La Grande-Motte. So we have the opportunity to go on the yacht whenever we feel like it. For now we just want to take nice trips and take part in local races. Next year we want to take part in other major Mediterranean races. At the GIRAGLIA, for example, with its beautiful route between Saint Tropez, Giraglia in the north-west of Cap Corse and Monaco, and at the MIDDLE SEA RACE in Malta!

Thank you, Patrick, for talking to us. RITUAL ... the name should be remembered.