Yesterday evening, Francis Joyon and the crew of the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran, Clément Surtel, Alex Pella, Bernard Stamm, Gwénolé Gahinet, with just Sébastien Audigane missing as he was busy on a delivery trip in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, received the Jules Verne Trophy, the amazing sculpture which seems to float in the air created by the American Thomas Shannon, in the very prestigious Naval Museum (Musée de la Marine) in Paris. More than 300 guests came together around Patrice Lafargue, President of the IDEC Group, and the two patrons of honour who support Joyon’s multihulls, Professor Gérard Saillant, President of the ICM and Jean Todt, President of the FIA. The title was handed over by the previous record-holders represented by Pierre Yves Moreau from the Banque Populaire team, who was joined for the event by the legendary British sailor, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who held the trophy with the late Peter Blake in 1994 (Enza New Zealand). It was a highly emotional evening, which brought together these exceptional sailors who have been sailing again in their own projects since their triumphant return to Brest after 40 days and 23 hours on 26th January.
I am proud of this crew and what they achieved,” declared Patrice Lafargue, who yesterday evening once again showed the same affection and admiration he spontaneously showed on the return to Brest last January of the maxi-trimaran, which displays the colours of the IDEC Group. Once again showing their contrasting characters, while remaining humble and expressing their joy of sailing, Francis, Clément, Alex, Bernard and Gwéno relived some of their memories of their amazing 40 day, 23 hour and 30 minute long voyage around the world during the evening in Paris. Titouan Lamazou was extremely pleased to see that the idea he launched 25 years ago with Florence Arthaud continues to offer an incredible experience as shown in the tales told by the IDEC SPORT crew, which sailed 26,412 miles averaging 26.85 knots on the theoretical route. “There have been 23 attempts in the 24 years,” he explained, “with nine successful campaigns. It is fantastic that, sailors and the designers of these boats are continuing to carry out attempts at this ultimate dream voyage around the world.”
Never really at ease hen the spotlight is on him, Francis Joyon admits he has not really been looking back. “I can remember some magical moments, which I shared with an exceptional crew. But I am already busy with new challenges, other races, more special moments with this crew in the summer with The Bridge, a race reserve for the Ultime boats between St. Nazaire and New York…”
“I’m still finding it hard to come to terms with what we achieved. The finish and the leap back to reality were a shock to the system. I think our success is down to Francis, who knew how to train and unite a very coherent team. In the Southern Ocean, it’s as if Francis was at home and the way he deals with the stress is amazing. I will always remember the moments on the long surf, those long days at full speed in a dense mist and the permanent tension. Rounding the Horn was highly emotional to, as that is when we felt like we could pull it off…”
“I very quickly got back to the Diam 24 circuit, but I feel I’m still recovering from this experience. This was an exceptional voyage around the world from every angle. The success came thanks to Francis. I’m still amazed by this boat, which always feels so safe… We thought we had a change as we raced across the Pacific, but the key part was in the Indian. After that, we kept things under control. Sailing around the world twice in two years creates some very strong friendships.”
“I don’t dwell on this adventure, as I am looking ahead. This award ceremony is an opportunity to look back and to catch up with those involved. We’re very proud to add our names to the list that includes sailors like Robin Knox-Johnston, Peter Blake and Bruno Peyron. I’m very pleased to receive this trophy from Sir Robin.”
“I’m still finding it hard to believe we did it. I keep thinking of the great times and have forgotten the bad moments. Getting this Trophy with this great crew in a prestigious location like the Naval Museum makes me very proud. This is an incredible record, but I too am now looking ahead, to see what can be done to beat our record. I’d like to thank Francis for inviting me along in this great adventure…”
“We have got back to life ashore after our three attempts and our two Jules Verne Trophy races. I still can’t believe it. During the evening, we better understood what we achieved with so few means and with our small team. The next transatlantic race, The Bridge 2017, will enable us to sail together again.”
The nine successful Jules Verne attempts
FRANCIS JOYON / IDEC-SPORT 2017
40 DAYS 23H | 30MINS | 30S
LOÏCK PEYRON / BANQUE POPULAIRE V
45 DAYS 13H | 42MINS | 53S 2012
FRANCK CAMMAS / GROUPAMA 3
48 DAYS 7H | 44MINS | 52S 2010
BRUNO PEYRON / ORANGE II
50 DAYS 16H | 20MINS | 4S 2005
OLIVIER DE KERSAUSON / GERONIMO
63 DAYS 13H | 59MINS | 46S 2004
BRUNO PEYRON / ORANGE
64 DAYS 8H | 37MINS | 24S 2002
OLIVIER DE KERSAUSON / SPORT-ELEC
71 DAYS 14H | 22MINS | 8S 1997
PETER BLAKE & ROBIN KNOX-JOHNSTON / ENZA NEW ZEALAND
74 DAYS 22H | 17MINS | 22S 1994
BRUNO PEYRON / COMMODORE EXPLORER
79 DAYS 6H | 15MINS | 56S 1993
Nelson’s Dockyard was the quintessential venue for the 30th celebration of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta sponsored by Panerai. For the final evening of a jam-packed week, the historic grounds blossomed with lights, tents, and a magnificent stage filled with glittering trophies.
The evening set for honouring a fleet of winners began with the beating drums of the Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Band. Captains, crew and revellers congregated before the stage, anxiously awaiting the results of races and special presentations to outstanding yachts and sailors.
The Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, the Honourable Dr. Rodney Williams, acknowledged the significance of holding the ACYR in the recently designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. “We are honoured that almost 50 classic yachts have come to Antigua from all corners of the world, mostly under sail,” he said. “I understand one of you quoted “wooden boat enthusiasts or gluttons for punishment? Is there any difference?”
This year’s entertaining announcer was Tommy Paterson, assisted by a Mount Gay rum and ginger ale. Praise and appreciation were given to Shannon Falcone’s committee boat and to Archie Bailey, Winston and Janeild for their excellent work in setting the marks each day. One by one, sailors took the stage as winners were announced. Dress for the evening was varied. Most teams sported clean crew shirts but some donned evening attire while the crew of the 52’ Skagen gaff ketch Samsara pirated the stage with swords held high, a clear winner of the prize for Best Dressed Crew. The men and women of the 77’ Fife yawl Latifa regaled the audience in floral pareos.
Winner of the Seahorse Studio Trophy for Spirit of the Regatta was 66′ Faiaoahe
Highlights from the evening included the presentation of the Kenny Coombs Memorial Trophy to the 42’ Carriacou Sloop Genesis; the Anne Wallis-White Trophy for Smallest boat awarded to the 30’ Alden Cutter, Calypso; and winner of the Seahorse Studio Trophy for Spirit of the Regatta was Faiaoahe, a 66’ Spirit of Tradition sloop. Full results are available at www.antiguaclassics.com79’ Fife yawl Mariella won the Mount Gay Rum Trophy and coveted Panerai watch
It was most fitting, that after an extensive refit in Italy, the Antigua flagged 79’ Fife yawl Mariella, returned to Antigua to win the Mount Gay Rum Trophy, winner of the most competitive class. Topping that outstanding accomplishment, she also won the coveted Panerai watch, awarded to the boat with the lowest total corrected time from Traditional,Vintage or Classic Class. Carlo Falcone and his army of supportive crew took the stage for a well-deserved photo op and an explosion of cheer from the crowd.
Cannons shot off, ship horns blasted and the sky filled with fireworks. Music erupted from the lively band The Strays and the party took off in style. When it ended is a well-kept secret.
At the end of Race 4, there was a unanimous decision amongst the fleet that the Regatta Committee ordered and received flawless weather. Wind speed started today at 16 knots climbing steadily to the low 20s, turning the last day of racing into a grand finale. Nearly 50 yachts, with sun, clear skies and the Caribbean’s sassy seas turned the waters off Antigua into an artistic masterpiece. For those following the race through the lens of a camera, it was a dream come true.
Spirit of Bermuda’s spinnaker was the most notable
On the Windward course, flying sails popped out for the broad reach after the first mark. The three-masted schooner Spirit of Bermuda’s spinnaker was the most notable, emblazoned with a dark and stormy seal, until it self destructed and took a swim.
Dramatic close calls today
There were some dramatic close calls today – nicely executed, of course! Rounding the mark at Old Road Bluff saw a few traffic jams as boats hardened up for the beat while manoeuvering between the beach and tight tacking duels. It was definitely not the place for indecision.
Upwind work was wet and wild and on the final reach, knot-metres got a workout, some hitting the mid teens. Every boat fought hard and no matter what the numbers say, everyone finished a winner for taking part in the 30th Antigua Classic Regatta. Full race results can be seen at www.antiguaclassics.com
Yachts came to Antigua with purpose. Rittler Sighe, owner of Tilly XV, gave up a quest to scale the 7 summits of the world, replacing it with sailing his Sonderklasse Gaff Sloop at all 7 Panerai Classic Regattas.
You’re not going to find a collection of boats like this anywhere else
Class Lehmann and Sophie Heyer on Hera, their Abeking and Rasmussan yawl, sailed across the Atlantic in December with their 6-week-old daughter to take part. Judging by the party near their boat each afternoon, it was well worth the effort.
Praise for this year’s ACYR is flowing like beer in the Presidente Garden. Michael Higgins of the gaff rigged cutter Samara T said of this year’s event, “Fantastic. Great to be here in Nelson’s Dockyard. So wonderfully unique. You’re not going to find a collection of boats like this anywhere else.”
Mike Brown, the owner of the 50’ Hedges headsail schooner, Russamee added, “It’s an endless sailing party. How could you ask for anything better? I guess we’ll know more after tonight!”
Spirit of Tradition yachts – photo by Ted Martin
Four boats finished today holding all firsts: the 42’ German Frers Vagabundo II; Adix, a 178’ Holgate 3 Masted Gaff Schooner; Chloe Giselle, a Sean McMillan 65 Spirit Sloop; and Chronos the 157’ Klaus Roder Staysail Ketch. Their victories will be celebrated tonight along with dozens more at the glamorous Trophy Presentation and Party on the lawn of Nelson’s Dockyard in front of the Copper and Lumber Store. Before it starts, an amazing slideshow of top photographic shots on the big screen will give the audience a chance to relive the week.
The sailing is over but not the need to party
The sailing is over but not the need to party with friends old and new. Live music from The Strays will kick off a night that everyone hopes will never end.
The Gig Racing and Cream Teas take place tomorrow afternoon at the Admiral’s Inn. It’s a do-not-miss event with sailing, sinking and plenty of humour.
Sailors at the RORC Easter Challenge left Cowes this Easter Sunday sunburned, full of chocolate and brimming with freshly acquired wisdom about their sport.
Across the 50 boat fleet competing at the RORC’s three day long domestic season opener, that doubles as its annual training regatta, it was close across most classes, but none more so than IRC One. In this, Mike Greville’s sparkling Ker 39, Erivale III managed to lose her three point lead in today’s opening round the cans race and the victor was only decided on the final, head down, charge for the finish line in race two.Ultimately Roger Bowden’s King 40, Nifty (ex-Tokoloshe 1), claimed first overall, two points ahead of Erivale with another King 40, Cobra, another point behind. As Nifty’s skipper Sam Cox recounted: “Coming into the finish [of race 2], Zero pipped us and we had Erivale III and Zero II stacked up right behind us. All weekend we’ve been having really good boat-on-boat racing between us – it was fantastic.
Three races were scheduled today, but the wind dropped as the new breeze attempted to settle towards the end of the first race, causing the course to be shortened for IRC Two and Three. With the wind shifting dramatically, it took three attempts to get what was to be the second and final race underway Within IRC One, there was a match race between the two Mark Mills-designed MAT 1180s. Tor McLaren’s two week old Gallivanter got its first taste of glory, winning today’s opening race, However sistership, Christian Zugel’s Tschuss, finished seven points ahead overall McLaren appreciated the coaching laid on by the RORC, spearheaded by Jim Saltonstall and Eddie Warden Owen and supplemented by North Sails UK staff: “We were very happy with the way we performed. We were together upwind – which we weren’t on day one. The groove is very narrow and main and runners have to be trimmed in sync. The crew work at the front is really good and our tactics were great.”
Star performer throughout the regatta was Sir Keith Mills’ Invictus in the FAST 40+ class, racing within IRC One. With a 1-3 today, the black Ker 40+ won the regatta by a mighty 11 points. However it was not easy and all five of the FAST 40+ had their moments with Tony Dickin’s Jubilee looking particularly strong today, leading the opening stages of race two, which was eventually won by Mark Rijkse’s 42° South.”The first race was tough,” recounted Mills. “We were third at the first mark, but managed to climb back and get a comfortable win. Then, in the second race, we didn’t get the greatest start but we kept our place all the way round and we had a photo finish – 42° South got it, but there was half a boat length between three boats,which made it really interesting.”
In IRC Two, a late charge from RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine on La Réponse was enough to get his First 40 onto the podium but not enough to make an impression on the race for the lead between David Franks’ JPK 10.10 Strait Dealer and Redshift Reloaded, the Sun Fast 3600 belonging to Ed Fishwick.While La Réponse claimed today’s first race and Strait Dealer the second, Redshift Reloaded posted a 2-3 to win overall by three points from Franks’ yacht. “The first race was tricky,” recounted Nick Cherry, with whom Fishwick will be racing double handed for the remainder of the season. “It went light and at one point we were looking pretty bad and La Réponse ditched us. In the last race, we only had to finish five points behind Strait Dealer, although we were worried we were OCS. Also there were some big shifts, but they were reasonably predictable.”For the Redshift crew, winning on this the boat’s first major competitive outing is a big achievement: “We are very pleased,” summarised Cherry. “The boat was going quick. The crew did well and it was nice tight racing.”Fishwick praised the RORC Race Committee: “It is a well organised regatta and they did a really good job.”Aguila. The RORC Easter Challenge defending champion today put in a race win and a 2.5, to reclaim IRC Three by 7.5 points from Ian Braham’s MG 346, MS Amlin Enigma.”It was fantastic conditions – it couldn’t have more different to last year when it was very windy,” said Laidlaw. “This year it was light and puffy and quite difficult. Today was challenging with the wind up and down and in the second race we had a good ding-dong with Bullet – they sail really well. It has been close racing all weekend.”The regatta wound up with a prizegiving at the RORC’s Cowes clubhouse where the winners left laden with trophies and Easter eggs.
Photos © Barry James Wilson
The 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda will feature the fastest yachts in the 166 year history of the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport. The sailors racing those yachts, known as America’s Cup Class (ACC) yachts, are supreme athletes, comparable to NFL linebackers or Olympic sprinters in terms of power output and athletic ability, and the crystal clear, turquoise waters of Bermuda provide the perfect stage on which to run the greatest race on water.
However, the 35th America’s Cup is not just about racing on Bermuda’s waters. The events are also going to play host to one of the greatest gatherings of superyachts in history. These incredible boats, beautiful to look at and awe-inspiring in size and impact, will add to the sheer spectacle of the America’s Cup, as well as adding yet more numbers to the thousands of people travelling to Bermuda to witness what many experts are already saying could be the greatest America’s Cup yet.
Superyachts are a very important part of the America’s Cup and, reflecting the high value of their role in the events that will take place in Bermuda in May and June, a dedicated America’s Cup Superyacht Program was created by the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), in conjunction with BWA Yachting. BWA Yachting played a central role in the America’s Cup Superyacht Program at the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco in 2013. Their knowledge, expertise, and the trust the superyacht community has in BWA Yachting made them the perfect partners for the America’s Cup Superyacht Program in Bermuda in 2017.
Sam Hollis, COO of the ACEA, explains, “We have made great efforts to engage the global superyacht community and we are looking forward to showcasing some of the world’s biggest and most beautiful superyachts at the heart of our event. We are offering incredible access for owners, including front row viewing of the race course, premium berthing at America’s Cup Village and experiences and opportunities that, really, money can’t buy. We are aiming to exceed their expectations, which of course is a hard objective to achieve, but with the hard work and dedication of all our partners I am confident that we will do just that. We are sure that this will be another aspect of the America’s Cup that will live long and positively in the memories of all those who take part.”
Stefano Tositti, CEO of BWA Yachting, added, “Through our experience and expertise we look forward to delivering the America’s Cup Superyacht Program, making it the experience of a lifetime for everyone who will join us at this exclusive event. BWA Yachting is proud to, once again, be partnering with the America’s Cup Event Authority to deliver the America’s Cup Superyacht Program, this time in beautiful Bermuda – perhaps the perfect setting for superyachts and the America’s Cup to come together again.”
“The exclusive America’s Cup Superyacht Program will bring a stunning number of superyachts to Bermuda, and their owners, guests and crews will be welcomed as part of the America’s Cup family,” explained Laura Esteve, BWA Yachting’s VP Americas. “BWA Yachting is honored to be part of this family and we look forward to providing impeccable services to our elite clients.”
The America’s Cup Superyacht Program was assisted hugely by special legislation passed by the Bermuda Government for the 35th America’s Cup enticing superyachts to come to Bermuda. Brand new superyacht marinas have also been built at the heart of the America’s Cup Village at Royal Naval Dockyard and at Front Street in Hamilton, the capital city. Together with marketing support from the Bermuda Tourism Authority, these initiatives have enabled Bermuda to engage the global superyacht community and really put Bermuda on the map for superyachts.
The original America’s Cup Superyacht Program had 39 berths allocated for superyachts coming into Bermuda from all over the world. Due to overwhelming demand, that number was extended to 50 berths and the total allocation is now very close to being sold out, with just one berth left for a megayacht and an extensive waiting list of superyachts ready to join the action should spare berths become available.
The America’s Cup Superyacht Program is not just about beautiful yachts watching the action. It also incorporates racing with the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta, being run from 13 – 15 June in conjunction with Boat International. 19 superyachts are already entered, including Adela, the 55 metre superyacht which won the 2013 America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta, and a long list of enquiries is being assessed for additional entries.
Last, but clearly by no means least (and for some, the ultimate expression of America’s Cup history), is the America’s Cup J Class Regatta. This will take place on 16, 19 and 20 June and will feature some of the most iconic boats in the history of the America’s Cup, with eight of the nine existing J Class boats committed to participating in three days of racing scheduled around the first weekend of the America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton.
For superyacht owners, the 35th America’s Cup is a must-stop destination in 2017. For admirers of the most impressive, beautiful yachts on the planet, the America’s Cup Superyacht Program, the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta and the America’s Cup J Class Regatta will combine to create what could be one of the greatest gatherings of the world’s most impressive boats ever – that itself is reason enough to join the action in Bermuda from 26th May to 27th June 2017. Tickets for the America’s Cup are available online at www.americascup.com/tickets.
After ratifying the extraordinary performance of the maxi-trimaran IDEC SPORT sailed by Francis Joyon, Alex Pella, Bernard Stamm, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet and Sébastien Audigane around the world, the World Speed Sailing Record Council, the international body, which certifies major sailing records, has just officially recorded three new intermediate records achieved along the way.
Indian Ocean record between Cape Agulhas and Tasmania, which already belonged to Francis Joyon and his men, was shattered by more than a day between 29th December 2016 and 4th January. It now stands at 5 days, 21 hours, 7 minutes and 45 seconds.
Dates: from 16th December 2016, start at 0819hrs UTC, to 26th January 2017 at 07:49:30 UTC.
The international body recorded an average speed of 21.96 knots over the theoretical distance of 21,600 miles.
Francis Joyon and his men actually sailed 26,412 miles out on the water, at an average speed of 26.85 knots.
They shattered the previous record held by Loïck Peyron and the crew of the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V by four days, 14 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds.
by Barby MacGowan
Even with all the “ins and outs” of the course, Rosehearty never put her spinnaker up. “It was pretty windy (18-20 knots), and we had broken our spinnaker earlier in the week, so it was a risk vs. reward thing,” said Rosehearty’s tactician Paul Cayard. “We had good tactics and lay lines, sailed in all the right places and were able to hold everybody off without it.” Cayard saw Perseus^3 deploy its kite and have some problems, which may have contributed to the team’s fourth-place finish. “The angles just weren’t right for us to put it up; it was a little painful to go slow but the right thing to do when racing these boats.”
Near the end of the race, two boats from another class were ahead of Rosehearty, slowing it down, while Meteor was advancing quickly from behind. “We focused on staying in front of Meteor; otherwise, they were going to pass us and they’d be winning the regatta.”
In Les Voiles Blanche class, Koo also stakes her first-place position on a tied overall point score with yesterday’s leader Q, while in the Elegantes, P2 trails leader SPIPP by only four points for second, tied on point score with Sojana.
P2’s tactician Tony Rey said his team spent last night repairing a spinnaker that blew out yesterday, causing the team to start their three-race series with a fifth-place finish. “The pressure is higher when you are dealing with your own adversity,” he said with a chuckle this morning before racing, “but today will be windy and not so wiggly. This is a course that separates the men from the boys. It sounds innocuous and benign, but it’s plenty wiggly for these boats.”
In Mademoiselles, today’s winner Axia, also a defending champion, is now in third overall, tied in scoring with two others behind her, while Adela stands between her and overall leader Wisp from yesterday. According to Axia’s tactician Robbie Doyle, his team’s seventh yesterday hurt them, but mathematically, it’s still possible for them to win. “Wisp has to make a mistake, but mistakes are made, as we’ve proven,” he said.
The J Class had a glorious day of sailing, starting off with a thrilling 2.5 nm downwind leg. Yesterday’s leader Velsheda suffered a penalty after the start, clearing the way for Hanuman to lead the entire way around the 26-mile course.
All to say, there are no runaway winners going into tomorrow’s final day of racing when a race around the island, this time clockwise, will conclude the on-water competition.
The ‘Bucket Trophy’ will be presented to the overall winner of the 2017 St Barths Bucket. Yachts eligible for the prestigious award will be the class winners with five or more yachts in class.The class winner who prevails in the ‘most competitive, closely contested class’ will be the overall winner.
The class with smallest series point differential between first and fourth place finishers will receive 1 point with each class in succession receiving 2, 3, 4 or 5 points. Additionally, the class with the least overall time differential (total time/total distance for all races) between the first and fourth place finishers will receive one point, with each class in succession receiving one additional point as above.
The above mentioned points will be added together for the overall competitive class score. The class with the lowest number of points will be considered the ‘most competitive, closely contested class’.
The winner of this class will be the overall winner of the 2017 edition of the St Barths Bucket.
Should there be a tie, the class winner with the most yachts in class wins. In the event the tie remains unbroken, starting prowess will determine the overall winner (total time for all starts, from scheduled start to crossing the line – with the smallest total time prevailing).
Special Needs Children Project
St Barth schools have 40 special needs students with various motor and cognitive challenges. Outside the school system there are other island children with even more severe disabilities. The existing program facilities and services are not adequate to help these children and their families thrive.
This project supports the island’s first dedicated, handicap-accessible space suitable for assessment, treatment and coordinated support services, and provides the additional special educator and psychological services these children need to achieve greater autonomy, better school integration and a better quality of life.
The 2015 St Barth Bucket was proud to contribute to this initiative of the local St Barth Lions and Rotary Clubs.
Watch replay of all St. Barths Bucket Regatta races on TracTrac
NEWPORT, RI (17 March 2017) – The public is invited to attend the Sail Newport Volvo Ocean Race press conference and Pep Rally on Tuesday, March 21 starting at 10:00 a.m. The major announcement will feature speakers from the Volvo Ocean Race and Sail Newport.
ABOUT THE VOLVO OCEAN RACE NEWPORT STOPOVER
The only North American Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race will be hosted by Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center, the State of Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management (DEM), Discover Newport, and the City of Newport. This two-week stopover celebration and festival will be open to the public for free and will include a Race Village (opens May 8, 2018) with entertainment, a marine Exploration Zone (opens May 12, 2018), kids activities, a food court, team compounds, sponsor pavilions and a theater. On-the-water activities and sailing events are scheduled for each day such as Try Sailing for families, M32 and other sailboat racing, up-close viewing of the race boats at dock and racing during the Pro-Am Race, the In-Port Races, and the boat parade and Leg Start to Cardiff, Wales (May 20, 2018) All sailing will take place within yards of the Race Village on the shoreline at Fort Adams State Park.
The 30th edition of the St Barths Bucket will sail back into St. Barths March 16-19. This year the fleet is 38 beautiful superyachts including six J Class boats battling it out for the historic Bucket trophy. Beyond the sailing, there’s a strong emphasis on ‘winning the party’ rather than the race, and as such, owners, guests and crew can look forward to celebrating in unparalleled style after hours.
In 1995, the beautiful French island of St Barths hosted its first Bucket Regatta and it has done so in March every year since then. Although the size of the yachts and competing fleet has grown significantly, the spirit of the event has remained unchanged. In recent years, 40 or more superyachts have gathered to compete for the Bucket in glamorous St Barths.
The magic in St Barths takes place both on and off the water, when the owners and crews fill the yacht haven before and after racing, with the special yacht Hop taking place on the Saturday evening. In keeping with the tradition, Perini Navi will host owners and guests at Casa Perini for memorable evenings overlooking Gustavia throughout the week.
The entire fleet will compete to take home the ‘Bucket’ trophy. While the stunning silver Perini Navi trophy will also be presented to the best classified Perini Navi competing in St Barths, won in 2016 by the talented crew onboard P2.
“We continue the commitment to maintaining the legendary “Spirit of the Bucket” — that wonderful balance of camaraderie,competition, sportsmanship and, of course, fun,” say the Event Stewards.
“Magnificent yachts from around the world are here for incomparable racing in the unspoiled waters off St Barthélemy. With many of the world’s most elegant and impressive superyachts in attendance, a fantastic J Class, and the debut of the Les Voiles Blanche (Corinthian Spirit) class, together we will write another distinguished chapter in the history of this regatta,” added the organizers.
“We try hard to keep the same crew, because continuity is important to everything,” said Seahawk’s captain Gerhard Veldsman. “The more you can keep the same people, the better you end up sailing the boat, because everyone ends up knowing its limitations.”
“The Superyacht game is heating up at a pretty rapid pace, and all in a good way,” said Peter Holmberg, helmsman of Rosehearty . “The owners are wanting to play harder and faster, so the competitive side of it is going up and up and up. But like any segment of a sport that grows at this rate, you always have parts that are not up to speed. A while back, safety was our first concern: we didn’t have clear rules to keep us all safe, so we realized that was a weakness in the game. (Ed: ISAF’s Appendix SY and heightened overall awareness has helped). Then the rating became the challenged portion of this game and the ORCsy Rule was developed and brought in here last year to fix that.”
About the ORCsy Rule
“We’re happy with the system and how it rates the boats, because it’s creating exactly what we want out of pursuit superyacht racing, where it’s all about the tactics and good sailing coming into the finish,” said P2’s tactician Tony Rey. “Considering how different these boats are from each other, it’s quite an achievement for the ORCsy to have done this in one year, to be able to step back and just let us race each other and have it be this close on the score sheet and on the water. The basic concept is that they’ve used much more of a database analysis of the performance of the boats; there has been great transparency in terms of how they are coming up with the ratings; and they are listening to the owners and sailors.”
About the experience:
“It’s almost heart stopping when you duck another J, because the helmsman turns the wheel and it’s 10-20 seconds before anything happens other than working out his arms,” said Ranger’s navigator Peter Isler, “The delays in ducking, close tacking or making any quick maneuver are just wild; it’s not like driving your sports car. It’s all judgement.”
What They Said… about the 016 St Barths Bucket Regatta
“It’s a gathering, a rendezvous: a celebration of these great yachts, the owners , the crew and friends, with a regatta in the middle.” -Bruce Brakenhoff
Charities helped each year by the Bucket Entrants
The Youth Sailing Program at the St Barths Yacht Club will receive the 2017 donation.
The St Barths Yacht Club is an active sailing school and their priority is the youth of St Barths. Here the children learn to respect each other and their environment, the sea. They also learn how to be responsible and cooperative in the pursuit of their goals.
SBYC offers many programs starting at very early ages. On an island learning to sail is as important as learning to swim. The St Barths Yacht Club tries its best to motivate and support its young people. Over 400 children participate every year.
The SBYC is not a conventional yacht club. Resources and budgets are far more limited than what one would expect to find in a typical club. The Bucket donation makes a significant and meaningful difference.
What They Said… about the 2016 St Barths Bucket Regatta
“It’s a gathering, a rendezvous: a celebration of these great yachts, the owners , the crew and friends, with a regatta in the middle.” -Bruce Brakenhoff
38 yachts will race in this year’s event, ranging from 30 – 88 metres in length and with a speed differential from the fastest to the slowest in fleet of over four minutes per mile. Entrants for 2017, divided into five different classes, include; Unfurled, built by Vitters in collaboration with designer German Frers and the winner of last year’s race; Maltese Falcon, the biggest (and arguably most recognisable) yacht in the regatta at 88m, built by Perini Navi for the late Tom Perkins; and the elegant 48m Wisp, launched by Dutch shipyard Royal Huisman back in 2014. This year’s event also marks the debut of the Corinthian Spirit Class (Les Voiles Blanche), which offers a more lighthearted alternative to what is becoming an increasingly competitive race. Yachts in this class, which include the 56m Perini Bayesian and the 43m Koo by Vitters, will have no spinnakers and will require far less race preparation – which organisers hope will address a downward trend in entry numbers. This year also sees a record six J Class boats (originally introduced in the 1930s to compete in the America’s Cup) taking part in the race, including the 43m sloop, Topaz and the 44m Lionheart, both built in the last decade using unrealised designs from the 1930s.
|Action (37m)||Royal Huisman||Dykstra NA||sloop|
|Adela (55m)||Pendennis||Dykstra NA||schooner|
|Aquarius (47m)||Perini Navi||Perini Navi||ketch|
|Axia (38m)||Palmer Johnson||S&S||ketch|
|Danneskjold (32m)||Performance Yacht||Dixon||sloop|
|Elena of London (55m)||F.N.M.||Herreshoff||schooner|
|Elfje (46m)||Royal Huisman||Hoek||ketch|
|Ganesha (46m)||Vitters Shipyard||Dubois||sloop|
|Huckleberry (39m)||Alloy Yachts||Langan||ketch|
|L’ondine (30m)||Southern Wind||Farr||sloop|
|Maltese Falcon (88m)||Perini Navi||Dykstra NA||schooner|
|Meteor (52m)||Royal Huisman||Dykstra NA||schooner|
|Nikata (35m)||Baltic||Nauta / J/V||sloop|
|Ningaloo (45m)||Vitters Shipyard||Dubois||sloop|
|P2 (38m)||Perini Navi||Briand||sloop|
|Perseus^3 (60m)||Perini Navi||Ron Holland||sloop|
|Rosehearty (56m)||Perini Navi||Holland||ketch|
|Sojana (35m)||Custom Farr||Farr||ketch|
|Spiip (34m)||Royal Huisman||Frers||sloop|
|Sunleigh (33m)||Jongert||Tony Castro||sloop|
|Unfurled (46m)||Vitters Shipyard||German Frers||sloop|
|Varsovie (31m)||Nautor Swan||Frers||sloop|
|Visione (45m)||Baltic Yachts||Reichel-Pugh||sloop|
|Win Win (33m)||Baltic Yachts||Javier Jaudenes||sloop|
|Wisp (48m)||Royal Huisman||Hoek||sloop|
|Zenji (56m)||Perini Navi||Ron Holland||ketch|
Pursuit Class Entries – ORCcs Les Voiles Blanche (Corinthian Spirit)
|Bayesian (56m)||Perini Navi||Perini Navi||sloop|
|Escapade (37m)||Fitzroy Yachts||Dubois||sloop|
|Koo (43m)||Vitters Shipyard||Dubois||sloop|
J Class Entries — J Class Association Rating Rule
|Hanuman (42m) J6||Royal Huisman||Dykstra NA||sloop|
|Lionheart (44m) J1||Claasen Jachtbouw||Hoek||sloop|
|Ranger (42m) J5||Danish Yacht||S&S / Dykstra NA||sloop|
|Shamrock V (37m) J3||Camper / Pendennis||Nicholsons / Dykstra NA||sloop|
|Topaz (43m) J8||Holland Jachtbouw||Frank C. Paine||sloop|
|Velsheda (40m) J7||Camper & Nicholson||Nicholsons / Dykstra NA||sloop|