(CNN) -- Legend has it that a bet in 1981 between two yachtsmen in a chic Saint Tropez restaurant prompted a race between Pride, an American-owned Swan 44 sailboat and Ikra, a French-owned International 12-meter rival.
The 30km race, from Saint-Tropez to the Pampelonne Beach -- via the Nicoulargue shoal -- ended with victory for the French boat.
This year, the dying days of summer herald the 11th edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, which features a mix of 300 modern and classic yachts in a nine-day event that has grown from that inceptive race 28 years ago.
The schedule allocates four days of coastal racing for the traditional boats and five for the modern.
The International Rule Club (IRC) rating system governs races between the modern boats, implementing a measurement and handicapping system that ensures ocean cruisers and racers of far-ranging size and design are able to compete on fair terms. Meanwhile, the Comite International pour la Mediterranee will govern the races for the classic boats.
With some of these vessels more than a century old, the fashionable port resembles a living archive of vintage models over the decades.