charter yacht CrackerjackEach autumn, the South of France plays host to Les Voiles de St. Tropez, a regatta that typically attracts about 300 of the world's finest modern and classic sailing yachts. This year's Les Voiles de St. Tropez will be held September 25 through October 3, which means there is still time to book a charter yacht either for racing or for use as a spectator.

BCR Yachts tells me that two of the serious sailing yachts in its fleet are being made available for charter clients who want to race. (Racing charters include different stipulations than regular charters because of the extra wear and tear on the yachts, and the potential for collisions. Not all racing yachts are made available to charter clients.)

The first BCR offering for Les Voiles de St. Tropez is the 82-foot Swan sailing yacht Crackerjack, a 2008 launch whose captain, Nik Pearson, holds multiple world titles, has sailed in two America's Cup races, and has coached sailing at the Olympic level. That's Crackerjack in the photograph at right.

Second is the 62-foot J&J sailing yacht Tucana PJC, whose carbon-fiber hull was designed specifically for offshore, high-speed sailing. Its captain is Patrick Maflin, who has raced on the Swan circuit and was part of Team Delta Lloyd's shore-based operation during the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race.

Each of these yachts will charge premium base rates for clients who want to race. Crackerjack is being offered at €70,000 per week, while Tucana PJC is listed at €24,000. Charter clients who want to use these yachts as spectators only can book them for base rates of €35,000 and €14,000, respectively.

Other sailing yachts in the BCR fleet that are available for spectator use at Les Voiles de St. Tropez include the 72-foot Shipman Geometry at a base rate of €24,000, the 97-foot Chantier Moonlight II at €26,000, the 107-foot Wally sailing yacht Wally B at €54,000, and the 76-foot CNB Sunday Morning at €23,000.

Any reputable charter broker can tell you more about racing at Les Voiles de St. Tropez, or help you book a week onboard these yachts as a spectator.