SAY lifestyle on the Côte d’Azur

It’s a late summer afternoon. The modest, earth-tone buildings with their restaurants and bars lining the boardwalk in St. Tropez are bathed in incredible golden light; the same light that once drew artistes such as Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard and Brigitte Bardot to the Côte d’Azur. Stilettos click, the engine of a sports car roars, their sounds all mixing with the flurry of languages from around the globe.

Today we have the perfect view of this scene – but not from the Café de Paris or Bar du Port as we sip our usual aperitif. Instead, we are cruising slowing through the Vieux Port. On board our freshly delivered SAY45 RIB, we get a whole new perspective of the goings-on along the water, and of the huge yachts anchored in the port. Crew members and owners of the Mangustas or Benettis wave to us. We are now one of them – boat owners.

My husband slowly pushes the throttle forward as we approach the entrance to the harbour. I turn again to the children – they are beaming with joy. It’s not always easy to get the oldest ones excited about family time, but as soon as they hear the word “boat”…

We’re now gaining speed, heading for the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. The sea has been stirred up a bit by the storms of the past few days, but our nearly 14-metre-long boat cuts through the waves effortlessly thanks to its solid hull. Our GPS displays speeds of about 40 knots, almost 75 km/h. According to the boat’s data sheet, we could still theoretically go 20 knots faster, but we are usually happy with this speed – it’s the perfect adrenaline rush for all of us.

The beaches and beach clubs of the Plage de Pampelonne are coming into view – the perfect place to anchor and have a glass of wine. The rosé in our wine cooler is just right. We’ll leave the crowds and loud music in the clubs to others; watching the hustle and bustle from our boat is enough for us. The kids will go for a swim and dry off in the sun before we return to the harbour shortly before dusk … A perfect family afternoon, topped off with dinner in the chic narrow streets of the former fishing village.

Johannes Haller beim Sonnenuntergang auf der SAY 45
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