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Time To Play In St Tropez

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  • Time To Play In St Tropez

    A moderate W’ly wind of 15 knots, increasing to 25 knots with gusts of 30, generous sunshine and a lovely swell fringed with foam. Saint Tropez served up its much-fantasized conditions today for the 132 Modern yachts and their thrilled crews in this sporty opener to the 24th Voiles de Saint-Tropez. As such, Cavalaire witnessed a procession of boats in tip-top condition from IRC Groups B to F setting a blistering pace, the race favourites already settled nicely into position at the head of the fleet. The bunched arrivals off Le Portalet, with all their spinnakers flying, were the absolute embodiment of racing at its finest on this opening day of competition.

    Go West
    With the W’ly wind building, Race Management was in no doubt that the 132 Modern yachts should be sent due West, towards L’Escalet and Cavalaire, to reap the benefits of the powerful downwind conditions synonymous with speed and spectacle on their homeward leg, their spinnakers and large gennakers a rainbow of colours. The seas remained gentle and perfectly manageable, which was particularly appreciated by the smallest craft. As they made landfall at Cavalaire with its swirling winds, it proved to be one of the most boisterous episodes of the day for the crews, who promptly set to work on a series of manoeuvres and sail hoists to get round the mark before dropping down the gulf under spinnaker. Among the IRC Bs competing for the North Sails Trophy, Clive Llewellyn’s Grand Soleil 50 Mad IV, a familiar face on the podium in Saint Tropez, was evenly matched against rival Ada Cuciac’s formidable First 53 Yagiza. Among the honed IRC Cs vying for the BMW Trophy, Fr?d?ric Puzin’s Ker46 Daguet3 was already at an advantage ahead of Hanno Ziehm’s Marten 49 Moana in elapsed time. Discover all the results online in elapsed time on Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez’s website.

    Thanks to a slight easing of the Mistral and a warm sunshine, all the racers, in both the Modern and Classic fleets, were poised for battle this morning, eager to test their mettle in the still bracing W’ly wind. From 11:00 hours, the 132 Modern sailboats set sail for L’Escalet, where a fantastic coastal course hugging the shore awaited them. Meantime, the 82 Classic yachts tried, in vain alas, to make for their own start zone, the sea state and the gusts of over 30 knots breaking their stride. Ultimately the latter group were forced back into port, but not before the many image hunters caught them on film. The 5 Groups of Modern IRCs fortunately managed to validate their second race of the week.

    Party-time for the TP 52s
    Designed for racing and at ease in a strong breeze, the TP 52s had the opportunity and the ingredients to cook up a storm in the IRC C group, which is competing for the BMW Trophy. The President of the Hong Kong Yacht Club, Karl Kwok and his TP 52 BeauGeste repeated their performance from Monday to snatch another victory after a very wet 90-minute sprint in today’s short coastal course. The other two TP 52s, Peter Harrison’s Jolt 3 and reigning champion Prince Frederik of Denmark’s Nanoq, completed the TP52 podium. Vying for the North Sails Trophy in IRCB, the mano a mano initiated on Monday between Laurent Courbin’s First 53 Yagiza and Linda Goddard’s Swan53 Bedouin continued apace in the day’s breezy conditions. Tonight, each of these two boats boast one victory and one second place. The Baltic5 Music and Mad IV, Clive Llewellyn’s Grand Soleil 50, will have to raise their game if they are to tease the two leaders. The competition was equally fierce in all the other groups, with the IRC D boats competing for the Suzuki Trophy particularly closely matched in elapsed time.

    Scintillating Schooners Sublimate
    There may have been no racing for the classic yachts today, but their presence on the water was eye-popping to say the least, especially amongst the supercharged schooner fleet eager to give their all to secure the Rolex Trophy in the 1.50 m waves. Don’t miss the photos!

    The Nioulargue comes back to life in Saint Tropez on Thursday…
    Appreciated by racers and owners alike, tradition has it that Thursday is a celebration of the spirit of the Nioulargue, forerunner to Les Voiles, and its creator Patrice de Colmont. With challenges aplenty, combining classes and styles, the Club 55 Cup and the Centenarians’ Race, the day is a regatta between the gentlemen and gentlewomen of yachting that is all about the beauty of the gesture and the creation of memories that will last a lifetime. The start line off Le Portalet is open and each captain is allowed to set sail once their presence has been announced to the Race Committee. On shore, the hilarity of the customary parading of the crews along the M?le Jean R?veille will culminate in the rescheduled Sardinade des Voiles – a feast for the eyes and the stomach alike!

    Club 55 Cup, France and Tuiga to duel.
    Since 2003, the Club 55 Cup has been a replay of the epic challenge of 1981 between the 12mR Ikra and the American Swan Pride. Racing between Le Portalet and La Nioulargue, this duelling always takes place amidst the friendliest of atmospheres. This year, with the defending champion regrettably unable to race, the Organising Committee has been tasked with finding two new protagonists for tomorrow. A clash of genres but not cultures, the 12mR France (1970) will thus be pitted against the 15mR Tuiga (1909).

    The Yacht Club de Gstaad’s Centenary Trophy
    Tomorrow, Thursday, will play host to the 11th edition of the Centenary Trophy for the 21 Classic sailboats aged 100 and more. Double champion of the event, Olympian (Gardner 1913) will really have her work cut out to defend her title, especially against the fantastic former champion Spartan (Herreshoff 1913).

    Philippe Serenon, President of the IRC Owners Association
    “This is an owners association grouping together IRC boats which race on handicap with the aim of making it easier for a wide range of keelboats, racing and cruising monohulls to compete against one another. Supporting owners and races like the Ar Men race, the Spi Ouest-France, an Atlantic and a Mediterranean championship, the association is currently considering the idea of a national final involving the new Class 30 fine-tuned by the UNCL and RORC. 40 boats have already been commissioned to date from Multiplast. Our owners are spoilt for choice in Saint Tropez when it comes to the kind of wonderful festive races they relish…”

    Today’s partner: North Sails

    For the 4th year, North Sails is the official clothing supplier for Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. As such, a special collection dedicated to the event has been created for Men, Women and Children, with graphics inspired by the world of racing. It’s a ‘lifestyle’ collection, designed using natural materials, organic cotton or nylon made from recycled plastic. 96% of the collection is produced using organic or recycled materials. The brand is making every effort to reduce the carbon footprint of its manufacturing processes and its products and the North Sails boutique in the race village at Les Voiles is selling this special dedicated line.

    Programme 2022
    Week 1: Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez: Modern and Classic
    Thursday 29 September: Challenge Day, Club 55 Cup, Centenarians Race
    Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October: racing for the modern and classic yachts
    Saturday 1 October: Prize-giving (week 1)

    Week 2: Les Voiles Maxi Yachts and Multihulls
    Sunday 3 and Monday 4 October: registration for the large modern yachts (Wally, Mini Maxi, Maxi, Super Maxi) and Performance Cruising Multihulls (in excess of 60-feet)
    Tuesday 4, Wednesday 5, Friday 7, Saturday 8: racing
    Thursday 6: lay day
    Saturday 8 October: Prize-giving (week 2)


    Photo Credit: SNST/Gilles Martin-Raget

    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2

    A dazzling finale to Act 1 of Les Voiles
    Trophies and rewards for the Classic stars: Shenandoah, Scud, Skylark, Sumurun, Jap, EugeniaV, Espar II, Lulu and Bona…
    Nanoq takes the win once more in the BMW Trophy

    Thousands of square metres of sails have been lowered in a joyous din this Saturday evening after a truly amazing finale to part one of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2022. The particularly boisterous conditions that greeted today’s fleets prompted the Race Committee and the Soci?t? Nautique de Saint-Tropez’s teams to turn the programme on its head from the crack of dawn to make the most of a lively but manageable weather window early this morning. Tonight, the thousands of crews competing on the Modern sailboats measuring less than 60 feet and the incredible fleet of Classic yachts who slugged it out on the water, have absolutely no regrets. Indeed, their heads are filled with memories and their batteries have been fully recharged out on the racecourse, and they’re sure to be back at Les Voiles again next year!

    Chic classics!
    For this final day of competition, the gulf served up some stunning racing on calm to rough seas, blown by a moderate to strong W’ly wind. Their starts under spinnaker, on port tack for all the classes, were just sublime, leading to a series of decisive jousting at the head of each of the groups. Between the Mistral at the start of the week and Thursday’s Challenge Day, the Classics completed two races, each of them contested in very different contexts: moderate wind yesterday and a building Mistral today. As such the sailors had to really push their steeds in very different ways on an extremely changeable race zone, forcing them to put in a number of high-pressure manoeuvres and sail changes. With spinnakers aloft downwind, genoas on a reach, then a beat towards the far end of the gulf and Le Portalet under jib and genoa, the spectacle out on the water and along the piers was really something special today. There were many momentous occasions, including the three 12mRs Il Moro di Venezia, France and Ikra embroiled in the most spectacular of speed runs. France just got the better of Ikra, albeit it by just a few seconds, but she didn’t have quite enough of a lead to finish ahead of Eugenia V (Rhodes 1968) in corrected time. This scenario was echoed in the Epoque Aurique Group which Spartan, the speedy Herreshoff designed New York 50, dominated play on the line, but her handicap let her down against Torben Grael’s formidable Scud (Herreshoff 1903).
    Shenandoah of Sark, the impressive three-masted schooner (Ferris 1902), was the big threat in the group vying for the Rolex Trophy. Beaten in race 1 by the amazing Paine design Viveka, she came right back into the game in the breeze, securing victory in today’s race and with it the prestigious Rolex Trophy.
    8 other Trophies were awarded this evening to the champions in the 8 remaining groups of Classics: Torpez Trophy (Classic Marconi A), Eugenia V (Rhodes 1968), Turquoise Trophy (Classic Marconi B), Espar II (Sangermani 1968). Mercantour Trophy (Epoque Aurique A), Scud (Herreshoff 1903) Byblos Trophy (Epoque Aurique B), Lulu (Rabot 1897), Marshall Trophy (Epoque Marconi A) Skylark1937 (Olin Stephens 1937), SNSM Trophy (Epoque Marconi B) Bona (Baglietto 1934), Besserat de Bellefon Trophy (Grand Tradition) Sumurun (Fife 1914) and the Pierre Basset Trophy, won by Jap (Fife 1897) for the best yacht in the ‘Guests’ group.

    Modern yachts, enjoy slipping along
    Today was punctuated by perfect conditions for the 132 Modern yachts at Les Voiles who were able to slip along at pace. Treated to a lovely smooth race zone at the start, with a breeze right in line with the exit from the gulf, the sailors and tacticians were inspired to hoist all their sail aloft as they made for Cavalaire. As forecast, the Mistral got into her stride over the course of the day and the finish was decided in a lovely 25 knots of breeze, gusting to 30, with a powerful chop.
    The BMW Trophy crowns an undisputed and very familiar champion in IRC C, the Prince of Denmark’s TP52 Nanoq. Hong Kong Yacht Club member, Karl Kwok (Beau Geste), who had a thundering start to the week, lost some of his vigour on Friday, but secures a much deserved second place tonight, way ahead of another TP52, Peter Harrison’s Jolt 3.
    The North Sails Trophy for IRC B, also witnessed some epic battles all week long. Laurent Courbin (First 53 Yaziga) came out victorious in the end, ahead of Linda Goddard (Swan 53 Bedouin) and the Solaris 50 Nergy (Jean Fran?ois Guillon).
    Peter Dubens (North Star II Cape 31) was awarded the Suzuki Trophy for his IRC D win, after a hellish tussle with Marc Pajot (Cape 31 Dopamine). Jolt 4, the third Cape 31 (Tilly Harrison) completes the podium. The Marine de Cogolin Trophy for IRC E and the Bernard Optique Trophy for IRC F were respectively awarded to Pascal Fran’s King Of Blue, and Bernard Giroux’s Tofinou 9.5 Pippa.

    Hosted in the warm atmosphere of the Race Village at Les Voiles, the prize-giving for this 24th Voiles de Saint-Tropez was presided over by Pierre Roinson in the presence of Sylvie Siri, Mayor of Saint Tropez, Eric Colombin, CEO of Rolex France, and Patrice de Colmont, initiator of the Nioulargue. Tomorrow, Sunday, we shall bid a fond farewell to the Classic yachts and the smaller Modern yachts and welcome other more futuristic ‘speed demons’ in the form of the Maxi Yachts measuring in excess of 60 feet. 50 of these craft are expected to keep us entertained for this second week of Les Voiles.

    Georges Korhel, Principal Race Officer
    “It’s been a wonderful week at Les Voiles. Of course, we regret the lack of races for the Classic yachts at the start of the week due to the Mistral. We’re adapting though. Today, for example, we got everyone up a little earlier to avoid the worst of the breeze this afternoon. Today’s starts were absolutely fantastic. We opted for courses along the coast throughout the week to avoid the heavy seas. Challenge Day was a big hit once again, with a wonderful Club 55 Cup, which had a special course to avoid the bad sea state at Nioulargue. After 24 years we’re continuing to find ways to sail well. The schedule for the Maxis in the second week means we can have shorter course nicely adapted to the fleet. The geopositioned marks have worked well, which is a real plus for us and the environment.”

    Serge Guilhaumou, captain of Shenandoah from 1993 to 2002, crew in today’s race
    “We set sail in good downwind conditions in a shifty breeze. From La S?che mark, the wind from land began to pick up so we had to dump the topsails and headsails. It was wonderful, flat out! We sailed the whole thing on one tack, with some big gusts, and we had to do a big ease so as not to break anything. We were making over 12 knots. Naema had to put in a counter-tack just before the finish line and we made the most of that to scream past them and take the win. There were 21 of us aboard, but she can accommodate up to 30. The boat was completely revamped in New Zealand for two years in 1996. We’ve also completed two round the worlds since her refit.”

    Programme 2022
    Week 2: Les Voiles Maxi Yachts
    Sunday 3 and Monday 4 October: registration for the large modern yachts (Wally, Mini Maxi, Maxi, Super Maxi)
    Tuesday 4, Wednesday 5, Friday 7, Saturday 8: racing
    Thursday 6: lay day
    Saturday 8 October: Prize-giving (week 2)

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    • #3

      Surprises on opening day of maxi racing at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
      Press release issued by the International Maxi Association on 04/10/2022

      With a light wind forecast for this entire second week of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, the race committee from the Soci?t? Nautique de Saint-Tropez, aided by the International Maxi Association’s race officer Ariane Mainemare, worked miracles to get a first race started and finished on the opening day of maxi racing, in just 5-7 knots from the east.

      From the centre of the Golfe de Saint-Tropez, amid a mass of spectator craft and with more watching from onshore, the four classes were sent off in size order, with the superyachts in Maxi 1 first. However on the first upwind it was Dario Ferrari’s 75ft Cannonball, racing in Maxi 2, that made the best of the shifts and, after a long leg out to left, tacked back on to port, crossing all of Maxi 1.

      While the course got shortened at the end of the return leg back into the Golfe de Saint-Tropez, finally Cannonball was overhauled by Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’ Wallycento Magic Carpet Cubed winning on the water by 18 seconds. However the trio of former Maxi 72 thoroughbred grand prix racers, excelled in the ultra-light conditions compared to their heavier, longer opponents and under IRC corrected time Cannonball, which won by 12 minutes, was followed by Peter Dubens’ North Star and Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou, ahead of Magic Carpet Cubed and the other 100ft Wallys, Claus-Peter Offen's Y3K and David M Leuschen's Galateia.

      “You needed to go left and then at a certain point the forecast had a big shift when you needed to go right. Our plan worked,” stated Cannonball’s Vasco Vascotto. “Today it was very light, but we know in Saint-Tropez you can have races like that. The wind built after 1400 and we saw 7 knots - Cannonball is a good boat in those conditions. In more than that the big boats are faster. Today was hard work. With Jethou we are very similar in these conditions and North Star is fast in the light too.”

      On Magic Carpet Cubed Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones was enjoying the competition with Galateia, finally having the white Wallycento in their rear view mirror. “It is a good fleet,” said Owen-Jones, for whom this is his local regatta having first raced here in the late 1980s. “They made the best of what could have been a horrible day. I was afraid they were going to give up and stop at the first mark but they were brave and hung on and got lucky with the wind. Today it was shifty, so we took the middle and just kept the boat going well.”

      While half of Maxi 2 had overtaken them by the finish, first across the line in Maxi 1 was Francesco de Santis' Southern Wind 100 Morgana, only to be beaten under IRC corrected time by the McKeon-Vitters 108 Pattoo.

      Tactician on Morgana, Brazilian Olympic legend and round the world sailor Torben Grael said of their race: “It is very difficult when it gets so light - anything can happen. Saint-Tropez is a tricky place, but having sailed here a few times, surely helps.” Grael might seem dialled into Saint-Tropez having raced here last week on Patrizio Bertelli’s classic Scud however last week there was much more wind.

      “Today was good,” he continued. “We had some traffic but it wasn’t critical. We didn’t start together and get run over, so it was okay. Cannonball is much faster than we are in light conditions, perhaps in general. But we sailed a pretty good race and we managed to beat other boats in our class which are faster than us. We were ahead until it got very light.”

      In Maxi 3, Terry Hui’s Wally 77 Lyra put in her usual exemplary performance finishing ahead of other favourites such as Alessandro Del Bono's ILC maxi Capricorno and Jean-Pierre Dreau's Mylius 60 Lady First III.

      “It was slow at the beginning,” said Hui. “We went inshore to find wind. When we were approaching the mark we didn’t get our Code 0 up fast enough into the lock, but we managed to fix it quickly thanks to our good crew. It was very tight.”

      His tactician, Danish SailGP and GC32 skipper Nicolai Sehested added: “We kept the others close to us - it was a tricky day with light winds. Terry drove very well today - when there is no heel it is very difficult.”

      However with the breeze shifting and building slightly towards the finish it was Walter Pizzoli’s Swan 601 Les Amis that beat all the Maxi 3 big guns. Trimmer Gaetano Figlia di Granara commented: “We had a good race. We started on the right side and we had a good upwind and probably we won the race because we hoisted the Code 0 before the other boats and we could extend. And she is fast in light wind. For us it was good because we stayed with our group and then when the pressure stabilised we had the right sail up. Beating Lyra was a big surprise, but we will wait until tomorrow..”

      Juerg Schneider’s Swan 65 ketch Saida claimed Maxi 4. While Schneider has won races on his local Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, this was the first in his 1973 vintage yacht with her fully amateur crew. He had to pinch himself to make sure the news was true: “We had a really good start and we went to the right side which was very nice and on the next leg we had some luck that the wind was shifting to the right direction and then we just had to go back in one line.”

      Perhaps the Swiss lake type of conditions helped? “We were fully concentrated…” Saida finished ahead of the two 12 metres French Kiss and Kiwi Magic KZ7.

      Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow again at 1200. The wind will still be from the east but marginally stronger.

      by James Boyd / International Maxi Association

      For more information on Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez click here:
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      • #4

        Capricorno fights back at
        Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez

        Once again, the race committee of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez showed the patience of Job as they and the 46 maxi yachts competing waited for the wind to defy the forecast and fill in on the Golfe de Saint-Tropez. Finally a light easterly from 070? arrived and, after almost an hour and a half’s wait, racing got under way for the maxi fleet’s four classes, ranging in size from the Swedish-owned Swan 115 Yasi to 60 footers from manufacturers such as CNB, Nautor’s Swan and Mylius.

        Week two of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, run by the Soci?t? Nautique de Saint-Tropez with assistance from the International Maxi Association (IMA), is the final event of the IMA’s 2022 Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge. Leader going into this event was Alessandro Del Bono’s Capricorno. The 27-year-old ILC maxi further asserted her position in this today by winning the Maxi 3 class ahead of Terry Hui’s Wally 77 Lyra, a past winner here.

        “We sailed a good one - we are quite happy with our sailing today,” said Capricorno’s tactician Flavio Favini. “This boat is good in the light, but you have to deal with your handicap.” The Reichel/Pugh-designed former Morning Glory is also narrow and therefore good in the light and on windward-leewards, which today’s race was closer to than yesterday’s course. “Today was more leftie with a bit more breeze - properly an upwind and a run. Unfortunately there was no wind…! But everyone likes to be here.”

        Showing that their win yesterday wasn't an aberration, Walter Pizzoli's Swan 601 Les Amis was fourth today, leaving her just one point behind Capricorno and Lyra, which are tied on points at the top overall.

        The most star-studded class is Maxi 2, in which there is a unique fight between the ‘hot 100s’ - such as the trio of Wallycentos, Leopard 3 and Claus-Peter Offen's Y3K (plus the highest rated in the class, George David's Rambler 88) - and the grand prix racer former Maxi 72s - Cannonball, Jethou and North Star. Yesterday owner Dario Ferrari, afterguard Michele Ivaldi and Vasco Vascotto and the crew of the 75ft Cannonball gave the fleet a light wind racing masterclass. Today, in a fraction more pressure, the winner was Peter Dubens’ Judel/Vrolijk 72 North Star.

        “We’re really pleased,” said North Star tactician, 470 Olympic medallist Nick Rogers. “Today was down to the trimmers and boat speed. Tactically a lot of it was about lanes and not getting covered. We found it difficult with other boats in front of us, but we were very quick downwind - in fact all of our lead we took on the down-winds. We have changed how we sail the boat - a lot of it is technique and we have a new A1.5 spinnaker which helps.”

        North Star beat second-placed Cannonball by 2 minutes 52 seconds under IRC corrected time with Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou third, so for a second day the ex-Maxi 72s filled the Maxi 2 podium.

        Next were the 100s and today it was the turn of David M. Leuschen’s Wallycento Galateia to prevail over Magic Carpet Cubed and Tango. “We made a bit of a meal of start,” admitted Galateia tactician and birthday boy Kelvin Harrap. “We started down the line and got tangled up. It was quite different from yesterday when the right was very favoured. We got pressure and a lift on the first beat, which got us across Magic Carpet Cubed. If you got in a lane of pressure you were gone. The boat is going better in light airs with our new sails and the way we are setting up the rig.” Galateia has also been sailing with the minimum number of crew – still more than 20…

        In Maxi 1 Jean-Luc Petithuguenin’s Wally 107 Spirit of Malouen X came out on top, winning by a massive 17 minutes under IRC from the Swan 115 Jasi. This came as considerable relief for tactician, Volvo Ocean Race winner Laurent Pag?s: “Yesterday was a bad day for us, mostly because I made really big mistakes and wrong calls. Anyway today we were able to sail properly and make the right calls and we overcame yesterday’s mistakes. It worked really well today starting as usual in the sea breeze, winning the right and heading into the right hand shift and pressure. Fortunately our helmsman C?dric Chateau was able to realise our plan and the boat is very slippery in these conditions. We will see how it goes for the next days.”

        History was made in Maxi 4 with a first bullet going to the legendary Kiwi Magic – KZ7, Chris Dickson’s 1987 America’s Cup challenger. Previously owned by Bill Koch and donated to the US Merchant Marine Academy, the famous 12 Metre was very recently acquired in immaculate state by Danish metre boat sailor Johan Blach Petersen. Petersen is a 12 Metre class fan, who has followed his new baby since she competed in Perth. Petersen’s crew is largely from his native Aarhus, where he has been involved in the renowned match race centre.

        After yesterday receiving a ‘French Kiss’ from his rival 12 metre here, Petersen’s ‘plastic fantastic’ avoided contact from the French 12 metre today, to beat her on the water by a massive 19 minutes. Kiwi Magic also came out on top under IRC, ahead of yesterday's winner, Juerg Schneider's Swan 65 ketch Saida. “We had some fantastic tacks and we have a very good local tactician,” said Petersen, who is looking forward to an expanding program for 12 metres in the Mediterranean over the coming years.

        Tomorrow is layday at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez with racing set to resume on Friday and Saturday. The forecast for both days is light but more promising.

        by James Boyd / International Maxi Association

        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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