St. Barths Bucket Regatta boats in action (Photo © Cory Silken)

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.

 About teamwork:

 “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.”

 About evolution:

“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

 Each year the Bucket Regatta designates a portion of the entry fee for donation to a meaningful non-profit program in St Barths.

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

The Yachts

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.

 You can track the boats on the course each day on  TracTrac 

Photo © Michael Kurtz

Pursuit Class Entries — ORCsy
Yacht Builder Designer Model
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
Leopard3 (30m) McConaghy 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
Q (52m) Alloy Dubois ketch
Rebecca (43m) Pendennis Frers ketch
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)
Yacht Builder Designer Model
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

Yacht Builder Designer Model
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
Indio, Newport Bucket Regatta Overall Wnner  (Photo by George Bekris)

Indio, Newport Bucket Regatta Overall Wnner I(Photo by George Bekris)


Seventeen spectacular yachts competed for Bucket honors under sunny Newport skies. Blessed with beautiful New England weather, well sailed races were completed on each of the regatta days. The winds were light and challenging but the yachts all rose to the challenge.

Indio’s consistent good sailing brought them to the podium to accept class and overall honors. The 102 foot Frers designed and Wally built sloop won both races in the very competitive Gazelles class.

 

Sejaa sails past Beaver Tail Lighthouse (Photo by George Bekris)

Sejaa sails past Beaver Tail Lighthouse (Photo by George Bekris)

Sejaa was well-sailed on both days and won top honors in the Mademoiselles class. A good light air boat, conditions were on their side. The Grandes Dames trophy went to Tenacious – another well sailed yacht.

 

Tenacious  (Photo by George Bekris)

Tenacious (Photo by George Bekris)

Saturday’s race presented light but very sailable conditions and the Race Committee sent all  classes  on more lengthy courses. The Gazelles had a 26nm course and the Grandes Dames and Mademoiselles were sent on a 22nm one. The course was set to challenge all with beat, run and reaching legs. The tacticians rose to the challenge and the best sailed boats rose to the top. The first four boats crossed the line within 45 seconds, making for a very exciting finish.

Sunday’s weather projections were for very light air, with some saying that the Bucket would be very lucky to get a race underway. After a half hour delay the wind did fill in and two short courses were set. The Gazelles were sent on an 11nm course and the other two classes on a 9nm one. Halfway through the race the breeze abated, making it of a bit of a struggle for some, but the racers hung in there and sailed their very best.

Hanuman (Photo by George Bekris)

Hanuman (Photo by George Bekris)

Race Director Peter Craig remarked that despite the light conditions, there were “two fun races, and as is usually the case, the best sailed boats were on the podium.”

Bucket Regattas are famous for their 26 years of shoreside fun and camaraderie. The 10th edition of the Newport Bucket was no exception. Friday and Saturday night socials at the Newport Shipyard marquee were filled with enthusiastic partygoers. Live music kept people dancing and the laughter and libations were in great supply! The ALLY Foundation was honored on the first night and their supporters and organizers joined in the welcoming celebration.

The Baywatch crew on KEEWAYDIN (Photo by Laurie Warner)

The Baywatch crew on KEEWAYDIN (Photo by Laurie Warner)

The Sunday awards ceremony took place at Salve Regina’s beautiful Ochre Court Mansion. A gorgeous sunset and gleaming crystal trophies made for a lovely presentation. In addition to the coveted perpetual Bucket trophy, Indio received a spectacular custom inscribed Mariner Chelsea Clock. Second and third place overall winners received beautiful Ship’s Bell Chelsea Clock trophies.

 

Lady B   (Photo by George Bekris)

Lady B (Photo by George Bekris)

Special Trophies were awarded to three very deserving yachts. The Wolter Huisman Memorial Spirit of the Bucket Trophy was presented to Lady B. Both ashore and on the water, their hospitality, enthusiasm and energy were in evidence. The Vitters Seamanship Trophy was awarded to MITseaAH in recognition of their great sportsmanship. Last but not least, the Chippewa Bomb was awarded to Wild Horses for their creative and fun “branding” of the other yachts.

For More Newport Bucket Regatta Photos click  HERE 

For All the Results in Detail click HERE

 

P2 Newport Bucket  (Photo  by George Bekris)

P2 Newport Bucket (Photo by George Bekris)

 

Hanuman Newport Bucket 2010 by George Bekris

Hanuman Newport Bucket 2010 by George Bekris

Newport, RI — The Newport Shipyard is buzzing as captains and crews prepare their yachts for the tenth edition of the Newport Bucket. Classic and contemporary superyachts are gathering for a weekend of racing and socializing.

Racing begins Saturday August 25 in the beautiful waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. Executive Director Tim Laughridge expressed his delight at the impressive turnout: “2012 will add a classic chapter to the Bucket history. These superyachts are always a magnificent sight under sail and there’s no more beautiful place to sail than Newport.”

P2 during 2009 Newport Bucket (Photo by George Bekris)

P2 during 2009 Newport Bucket (Photo by George Bekris)

Seventeen yachts ranging in size from 72 to 156 feet will compete in three classes: Les Gazelles des Mers, Les Grandes dames des Mers, and Les Mademoiselles des Mers. Daily and series class trophies will be awarded with overall honors going to the top three yachts in the combined fleet. In addition to the coveted perpetual “Bucket” trophy, the overall winners will receive beautiful custom inscribed Chelsea Clock trophies.

Racing in her first Newport Bucket is the beautiful148 foot sloop Lady B. The Vitters Shipyard built, Dubois design, captured second overall and class honors at the St Barths Bucket last March. A familiar and favorite local yacht is the W-Class Wild Horses.

A Bucket hallmark is the focus on the friendly competition and fun socializing on shore. The “Spirit of the Bucket” is unique and time-honored with a storied 26 year history. The nightly parties begin at the Newport Shipyard with a welcoming party that honors The ALLY Foundation www.allyfoundation.org/

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Bucket Regattas the Bucket committee commissioned a beautiful coffee table book highlighting the Regattas’ evolution. The Bucket Book is spectacularly illustrated with dynamic photography photos of the various regattas in Nantucket, Newport and St Barths taken over the years. Included also are memories and anecdotes from those involved – organizers, sponsors, owners, guests, crew, and spectators. For more information and to place your order bucketregattas.com/25thbook.html

MITseaAH at 2009 Newport Bucket start by George Bekris

MITseaAH at 2009 Newport Bucket start by George Bekris

ENTRIES for 2012

Les Gazelles des Mers

Yachts (6)

Type

Builder

Designer

LOA

Hanuman Sloop Royal Huisman Dykstra & Partners 138 ft
Indio Sloop Wally Frers 102 ft
Lady B Sloop Vitters Shipyard Dubois 148 ft
P2 Sloop Perini Navi Briand 125 ft
Rambler Sloop McConaghy Reichel-Pugh 100 ft
Rebecca Ketch Pendennis Shipyard Frers 138 ft

Les Mademoiselles des Mers

Yachts(6)

Type

Builder

Designer

LOA

Fearless Sloop Alden Hellenberg 72 ft
MITseaAH Sloop Pendennis Shipyard Pedrick 156 ft
Sejaa Sloop Chantier Naval Judel & Vrolijk 83 ft
Sorcerer II Sloop Cookson Frers 95 ft
Timoneer Ketch Vitters Shipyard Dubois 144 ft
Wild Horses Sloop Brooklin Boatyard White 76 ft

Les Grandes Dames des Mers

Yachts (5)

Type

Builder

Designer

LOA

Altair Sloop Derecktor S&S 96 ft
Bolero Sloop Nevins S&S 74ft
BooToo Sloop Pendennis Shipyard Holland 89 ft
Keewaydin Ketch Palmer Johnson Yachts John G. Alden 108 ft
Tenacious Sloop Trident Shipwork Ted Hood Design 115 ft
Meteor   (Photo by George Bekris)

Meteor (Photo by George Bekris)

By Norma Trease

Emails are already flying back and forth from yachts, to skippers, owners, race crew, the Race Committee, to hotels on island and everything in between, just a short week in advance of the always breathlessly anticipated Saint Barths Bucket, March 22-25, 2012. Soon, yachts, owners and crew will be descending on this verdant little slice of Caribbean heaven, eager to share the tremendous excitement and pure sailing joy that is Bucket Racing.

Beautiful Video of Saint Barths Bucket Regatta 2011  by Superyacht Media

Just announced by the Race Chairman Peter Craig is a spectacular fleet of more than 40 vessels, representing builders and designers worldwide. Once again, the fleet will be split into three classes: Les Gazelles, Les Grandes Dames, and Les Elegantes.

Needless to say, there will be a huge variety in the fleet, which this year will range from 27 to 62m LOA. He has published a detailed description of the various factors involved in the devilishly complicated task of calibrating the classes, so for more details, please do check    St.  Barths Bucket

2012 Entries

Les Elegantes des Mers
Yachts (12) Type Builder Designer LOA
Adela Schooner Pendennis Shipyard Dykstra & Partners 55m
Athos Schooner Holland Jachtbouw Hoek 62m
Bequia Ketch Brooklin Boat Yard Stephens 28m
BooToo Sloop Pendennis Shipyard Holland 27m
Marie Ketch Vitters Shipyard Hoek 55m
Meteor Schooner Royal Huisman Dykstra & Partners 52m
Paraiso Sloop Alloy Yachts Fontaine 33m
Rebecca Ketch Pendennis Shipyard Frers 43m
This is Us Schooner Holland Jachtbouw Hoek 42m
Whisper Sloop Holland Jachtbouw Fontaine 35m
William Tai Ketch Royal Huisman Hood 40m
Windcrest Ketch Hogdon Fontaine 30m
Les Grandes Dames des Mers
Yachts (17) Type Builder Designer LOA
Andromeda la dea Ketch Perini Navi Perini Navi 47m
Antara Ketch Perini Navi Perini Navi 47m
Axia Ketch Palmer Johnson S&S 38m
Baracuda Ketch Perini Navi Holland 50m
Blue Too Ketch Alloy Yachts Holland 34m
Clan VIII Sloop Perini Navi Holland 45m
Destination Sloop Alloy Yachts Dubois 41m
Fidelis Ketch Perini Navi Perini Navi / Holland 56m
Ganesha Sloop Fitzroy Yachts Dubois NA 39m
Genevieve Sloop Alloy Yachts Dubois 37m
Helios II Sloop Perini Navi Holland 45m
Hyperion Sloop Royal Huisman Frers 48m
Koo Sloop Vitters Shipyard Dubois 43m
Moonbird Sloop Fitzroy Yachts Dubois 37m
Panthalassa Ketch Perini Navi Holland 56m
Parsifall III Ketch Perini Navi Holland 54m
Zenji Ketch Perini Navi Holland 56m
Les Gazelles des Mers
Yachts (18) Type Builder Designer LOA
Bliss Sloop Yachting Developments Dubois 37m
Endeavour Sloop Camper & Nicholson Thomas Sopwith 40m
Firefly Sloop Claasen Jachtbouw Hoek 35m
Hanuman Sloop Royal Huisman Dykstra & Partners 42m
Hetairos Ketch Baltic Yachts Dykstra / R/P 67m
Lady B Sloop Vitters Shipyard Dubois 45m
Mari-Cha III Ketch Sensation Briand 45m
P2 Sloop Perini Navi Briand 38m
Ranger Sloop Danish Yachrs Burgess & Stephens 42m
Salperton IV Sloop Fitzroy Dubois 45m
Sojana Ketch Green Farr 35m
Symmetry Sloop Yachting Development Frers 30m
Twizzle Ketch Royal Huisman Dubois 58m
Unfurled Sloop Royal Huisman Frers 34m
Varsovie Sloop Nautor Swan Frers 30m
Velsheda Sloop Camper & Nicholson Nicholson 38m
Virago Sloop Nautor Swan Frers 30m
Zefira Sloop Fitzroy Dubois 50m

CLASS BREAKS

J-Class Hanuman  (Photo by George Bekris)

J-Class Hanuman (Photo by George Bekris)

 

Everyone has a soft spot for one repeat Bucket boat or another, and back this year will be fleet favourites Antara, Andromeda La Dea, Axia, Parsifal III, Ranger and Sojana to mention but a few. A couple of newer beauties will be making their second Bucket appearances including Huismans Twizzle, and Hanuman; joined by Hoek-designed Marie, who fired up the crowds last year with their spectacular air shows of historic WWII planes. Making Bucket debuts this year are Holland Yachtbouw schooner Athos, at 62m the largest Bucket Boat 2012; and of course, it wouldn’t be a Bucket without a couple of brand-new Perini Navis,  Clan VIII and Fidelis.

 

So, Bucket fans worldwide, prepare yourselves for the best week of the year coming up very soon, an annual treat for racing fans, and lovers of beautiful yachts alike. So it’s Bon Voyage and A Bientot until we see you next in Saint Barths!

 

 

Niklas Zennstrom's Rán. (Photo: by  RORC/Tim Wright photoaction.com)

Niklas Zennstrom's Rán. (Photo: by RORC/Tim Wright photoaction.com)

 

It has been a busy 24 hours at the Antigua Yacht Club. At dawn on the fifth day of the RORC Caribbean 600, only three yachts were still at sea vying to complete the course before tonight’s Prizegiving celebrations and all of the class winners are now provisionally decided. The bar at the Antigua Yacht Club has been in full swing, buzzing with stories between the crews and songs in a myriad of different languages.

Team Selene skippered by Benjamin Davitt finished yesterday morning. The Swan 80 sailed an excellent race to claim third place overall and will lift the prestigious Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy later this evening.

Without doubt, the closest racing for this year’s event was in IRC One. Colin Buffin’s Swan 62, Uxorious IV, was first to finish, but the team did not celebrate a class win. Buffin and his young team knew that Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56, Clem, was extremely close to eclipsing their corrected time. Just over three and half hours passed before Clem crossed the finish line to win the class by just 21 seconds on corrected time. There were ecstatic scenes dockside as the Spanish crew of Clem celebrated their class win. The entire crew of Uxorious IV including Colin Buffin sportingly applauded their rivals. Amanda Hartley spoke of their win.

“‘We had no idea until we crossed the line and turned on our phones which went crazy with people calling in from Spain. By our calculation we thought we had lost out by five minutes. We got stuck at Guadeloupe for four hours and we could only sit and watch Uxorious get away. We are obviously extremely delighted and really appreciate Colin and his team coming over to give us such a lovely welcome back to Antigua.”

Jaime Torres’ Puerto Rican First 40, Smile And Wave, finished shortly after midnight last night to claim third in IRC One.

Scarlet Logic, co-skippered by Ross Applebey and Tim Thubron, finished the RORC Caribbean 600 shortly after 2300 last night. The Oyster 48 has been vying for the overall win for the last two days. In the end Scarlet Logic missed out, but the team had put in an incredible effort and have been rewarded with a convincing win in IRC Two. Scarlet Logic has the best corrected time in IRC One, Two and Three and as a result will be awarded the fantastic prize of a week’s accommodation at the luxurious Inn at English Harbour.

“Fantastic, elated but bloody tired,” admitted Tim Thubron, co-skipper of Scarlet Logic. The weather lined up nicely for us and we were aware that we were in with a chance of beating the big, well funded professional teams and that really spurred us on and made us push even harder. A lot of credit must go to the whole team, especially Ross Applebey. Scarlet was immaculately prepared and we hardly had a single breakage, however we did need to drop the main to replace a sail slide. The job was done and the main back up in eight minutes, that to me says it all.”

There was joy and pain for both IRC Canting Keel and the Class40s. Ernesto Cortina’s Volvo 70 Gran Jotiti finished the race in just over two days. The Spanish team is racing the yacht formerly known as Telefonica Black in the last Volvo Ocean Race. Ernesto spoke about his team shortly after finishing. “This has been a great experience, even though our result was badly affected by a lot of sail damage. Many of the sails are tired from thousands of miles of racing. However, the crew have been a joy to sail with and this race is helping us build for the future. Gran Jotiti’s aim is to create a world class amateur Spanish offshore sailing team and we have learnt a lot through this race.

Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50, Privateer, showed exceptional pace and boat handling throughout. Unfortunately the American team failed to start correctly and accepted a 10% penalty from the race organisers resulting in Gran Jotiti being declared winner of IRC Canting Keel.

IRC One, Two, Three and Class40 Start. Smile and Wave, Scarlet Logic, Clem and Uxorious IV (Photo by Tim Wright)

IRC One, Two, Three and Class40 Start. Smile and Wave, Scarlet Logic, Clem and Uxorious IV (Photo by Tim Wright)

 

The Class40s turned into a battle royale between Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche and Christof Petter’s Vaquita. The two Class40s were locked in a heroic tacking duel for the final push to the finish line, a 40-mile beat from Redonda to the finish in Antigua.

Vaquita crossed the line just after sunset beating Partouche by a slender margin, just 15 minutes in a race lasting over 3 days. However, Vaquita failed to start the race correctly and to the Austrian crew’s disappointment, the class win was awarded to Partouche: “It was a tough race and we had a couple of moments that really slowed us down,” commented Christophe Coatnoan who raced two-handed with Eric Calmard. “We picked up a fishing float after Nevis without realising and we probably lost 8 miles before we knew it was there. Later at Guadeloupe, I had to dive into the water to free Partouche from yet another fishing buoy. The race was an excellent test for our new design especially for our sails as I think we used every one of them during the race.”

Superyacht Start. Windrose, Adela, Hetairos, Sojana and P2 line up for the start. (Photo by Tim Wright)

Superyacht Start. Windrose, Adela, Hetairos, Sojana and P2 line up for the start. (Photo by Tim Wright)

Vaquita’s Andreas Hanakamp commented: “Obviously we are disappointed to have been penalised but we were delighted with our performance. Partouche is a brand new Finot design, whilst Vaquita is a 2006 Akilaria. The RORC Caribbean 600 is a testing race course and a very tough race, exactly what we needed to prepare for our main competition of the season, The Atlantic Cup later this year.”

The latest competitor to finish the RORC Caribbean 600 is Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension. Falmouth Harbour exploded with noise as the smallest yacht in the race tied up right outside the Antigua Yacht Club. Thunderous blasts from megayachts, superyachts and foghorns literally shook the dock as the whole of the sailing community in Falmouth heralded the arrival of local hero Bernie and his crew.

“I said we would be here tonight but I always like to be early for appointments,” joked the Antiguan dentist. “It was a hard but satisfying race and the beat from Redonda to the finish seemed to take forever. We could see Antigua but it just didn’t seem to be getting any bigger, however a few miles out a massive rain squall hit and veered the wind favourably for us to speed our way to Antigua. After last year’s dismasting, I think maybe someone was looking out for us!”

Tonight the RORC Caribbean 600 Prizegiving Ceremony will take place at the Antigua Yacht Club. The two yachts still racing are Igor Zaretskiy’s, First 40.7 Coyote II and the RACYC Offshore Racing Team – White Knight’s Spirit of Venus. Both are expected to make tonight’s party, which should be a momentous occasion.

IRC OVERALL RESULTS

 

Rayon Vert Pulsar 50  (Photo by Tim Wright )

Rayon Vert Pulsar 50 (Photo by Tim Wright )

 

Ran (Photo by George Bekris)

Ran (Photo by George Bekris)

 

The 4th RORC Caribbean 600, starts at 1100 on Monday 20th February. There isn’t a single hotel room left near Antigua Yacht Club, as competitors fly in to the magical island of Antigua from all four corners of the world – Falmouth Harbour is filled to the brim with astounding yachts.

Niklas Zennström’s JV72, Rán, and George David’s RP90, Rambler, are the hot favourites for the RORC Caribbean Trophy, but the two highly impressive yachts are almost hidden in Falmouth Harbour. Rán were out practicing today and Navigator Steve Hayles reports that conditions were a bit lighter than usual, but he expects 15-20 knots of trade winds for the race with their weather routing predicting that they could finish the race in 48 hours, may be less.

RORC member, Stan Pearson has lived and sailed the sublime waters around Antigua for over 20 years. He was one of the creators of the RORC Caribbean 600 and will be racing this year on Adela, the 181′ twin masted schooner:

“I can’t remember ever seeing Nelson’s Dockyard and Falmouth Harbour with so many impressive yachts but I know why they are here; there is nowhere in the world quite like Antigua and the ‘600 is a real celebration of all that the Caribbean has to offer. The sailing is just fantastic; constant trade winds, warm water and air temperature in the high 20’s provides brilliant sailing, but this is a tough race. The course has a lot of corners and there is a lot of activity for the crews. Looking at the fleet, there are going to be some great duels going on, it is going to be a very competitive race.”

For the first time, a Volvo Open 70 will be competing in the RORC Caribbean 600. Some might suggest that the canting keel carbon fibre flyer could have been designed for this course. Ernesto Cortina’s Gran Jotiti has a highly talented Spanish crew and could well be a contender for line honours and an overall win.

IRC Zero has 16 entries and may well be the class to watch for the overall winner. George David’s Rambler 100 is the trophy holder and George David’s all-star crew will not be giving it up without a fight.

 Sojana (Photo courtesy of International Maxi Association)

Sojana (Photo courtesy of International Maxi Association)

With a combined water line length that would soar 500ft above the Eiffel Tower, there are some truly amazing yachts in IRC Zero. The 214′ ketch Hetairos is an impressive sight. The crew of 36 have been out practicing all this week and on board there are enough sails to cover a full size football pitch. Sojana is expected to have a Superyacht duel with 124′ Pernini Navi, P2, owned by businessman and philanthropist, Gerhard Andlinger. Sojana was on mark laying duty today. The only laid mark of the course is the North Sails mark, off Barbuda. No doubt the crew, will be using the exercise to practice the first 45 miles of racing.

In the Spirit of Tradition class Adela will line up against Windrose. This will be the first time these magnificent yachts have raced against each other offshore, however Adela did get the better of Windrose in The Superyacht Challenge inshore regatta. A close battle with these two powerful yachts fully off the leash is a mouth-watering prospect. Past RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine and a team of 11 RORC members including current Commodore, Mike Greville, have chartered the 145ft Windrose.

The multihull record for the RORC Caribbean 600 has not been beaten since the inaugural race in 2009. The 63′ Trimaran, Paradox, skippered by Olivier Vigoureux says the six crew on board are out to ‘beat the current record’. The American, French and British crew members have raced in the Figaro Race, Transat Jacques Vabres, America’s Cup and Mini Transat.

Anders Nordquist’s Swan 90, Nefertiti, has an international crew including Rolex Middle Sea Race winner, Christian Ripard from Malta. They should have a close battle with Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80, Selene, and Irish entry, RP78, Whisper.

There are a huge variety of yachts racing in IRC One, including Hound, skippered by Hound from Maine USA. The 60′ classic will be competing in the Caribbean 600 for the first time with a family crew of avid racers. Hound has competed in the last 8 Newport-Bermuda races, winning her class twice.

Ondeck’s 40.7 Spirit of Venus is chartered to the Royal Armoured Corp Offshore Racing Team. The majority of the 11 strong crew are part of the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank Regiment which returned from Afghanistan last spring.

Lt Col Paul Macro RTR: “Soldiers have to work together as a team, under time pressure, when cold, wet and tired, in difficult and even dangerous conditions. The adventurous team spirit required by a successful offshore racing crew is the same as that required by the crew of a tank or any other armoured vehicle.”

There are four Class40s competing. Close duels are expected right through the fleet, but a hard fought and close encounter is expected in this class. Trade wind sailing provides perfect conditions for Class40s, with long reaches and downwind legs, these pocket rockets are capable of surfing at speeds of up to 25 knots. Class40s from America, Austria, France and Great Britain are taking on the 600 mile Caribbean odyssey; Tim Fetch’s Icarus Racing, Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche, Andreas Hanakamp’s Vaquita and Peter Harding’s 40 Degrees, co-skippered by Hannah Jenner. The Class40s will be level-racing under their own rules. First to finish will claim the Concise Trophy; a full barrel of English Harbour rum.

IRC Two includes the smallest yacht in the fleet, Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension. Antiguan dentist, Bernie has competed in all four RORC Caribbean 600 races, however last year, High Tension did not finish the race.

“It is definitely a case of unfinished business,” said Bernie. “We have actually used our downfall to modify the rig, so we have made something good out of the incident. Like many Antiguans, I am amazed how this race has developed since 2009, I have been sailing in the Caribbean for over 50 years and what has been really missing is a well-run, exciting offshore race. The RORC Caribbean 600 has provided that and made my dreams come true.”

 

Icarus Racing (Photo by George Bekris)

Icarus Racing (Photo by George Bekris)

Ranger Upwind Sailing (Photo By George Bekris)

Ranger Upwind Sailing (Photo By George Bekris)

After all was said and done, it was the J-Class Ranger  that took the 2010 Bucket.  John Williams and his crew raced consistently and well, earning a well-deserved victory.   Second place belonged to the the Perini Navi Andromeda la Dea, with the Perini Navi P2 in third place overall.

The third and final race of the 2010 St. Barths Bucket (the “Wrong Way Around” course) was sailed in conditions very similar to the previous days: fluky winds in the 10 to 15 knot range.  The usual noon start was preceded by a couple of Bucket Scholarship holders, thus spoiling Gloria’s virtual deadlock on the Escargot Cup, which was awarded to the consistently sailed Toto.  P2 and Unfurled earned second and third place in the Gazelle fleet, while Axia and Hetairos were runners up in the Grande Dames contingent. 

It would be a mere redundancy to add that the sailing and the shore side activities were of the customary caliber, with Visione a hands-down winner of the yacht open house on Friday night — after all the rest of the fleet had closed she kept the party going until midnight!  We expected marvelous sailing (this is, after all, the Caribbean) and indeed we got it.  The combination of St. Barths, 39 megayachts, and the blue skies and waters worked their usual magic!

As Tony Hambrook, Managing Director of Alloy Yacht stated, “This was the best regatta ever, anywhere!”

Results: Race 3 

 
Race 3
Points
Finish Time
Time Delta
   
ANDROMEDA LA DEA
1
3:21:25 PM
0:00:00
RIELA
2
3:24:27 PM
0:03:02
HELIOS
3
3:25:10 PM
0:03:45
METEOR
4
3:26:06 PM
0:04:41
ANTARA
5
3:28:03 PM
0:06:38
AVALON
6
3:29:38 PM
0:08:13
GEORGIA
7
3:30:50 PM
0:09:25
GLORIA
8
3:33:16 PM
0:11:51
DSK
9
3:37:26 PM
0:16:01
RANGER
10
3:37:42 PM
0:16:17
REBECCA
11
3:38:49 PM
0:17:24
LIARA
12
3:39:29 PM
0:18:04
UNFURLED
13
3:39:43 PM
0:18:18
SALUTE
14
3:40:22 PM
0:18:57
HIGHLAND BREEZE
15
3:40:45 PM
0:19:20
P2
16
3:41:15 PM
0:19:50
VARSOVIE
17
3:41:16 PM
0:19:51
SALPERTON IV
18
3:42:01 PM
0:20:36
WHITE WINGS
19
3:42:11 PM
0:20:46
AXIA
20
3:43:18 PM
0:21:53
SOJANA
21
3:44:56 PM
0:23:31
WHISPER
22
3:46:17 PM
0:24:52
GANESHA
23
3:47:35 PM
0:26:10
VISIONE
24
3:47:58 PM
0:26:33
GHOST
25
3:48:31 PM
0:27:06
ADELA
26
3:48:43 PM
0:27:18
HANUMAN
27
3:48:44 PM
0:27:19
SAUDADE
28
3:48:56 PM
0:27:31
MYSTERY**
29
3:49:04 PM
0:27:39
ARTEMIS
30
3:49:39 PM
0:28:14
WINDCREST
31
3:50:33 PM
0:29:08
HETAIROS
32
3:52:05 PM
0:30:40
SHAMOUN
33
3:52:26 PM
0:31:01
HYPERION
34
3:53:45 PM
0:32:20
DESTINATION
35
3:53:50 PM
0:32:25
HAMILTON II
36
3:53:59 PM
0:32:34
SYMMETRY
37
4:01:29 PM
0:40:04
TOTO
38
4:33:55 PM
1:12:30
BARACUDA
39
DNF
 

* Safety Penalty: 5 Minute
** Over Early Penalty: 5 Minute

Results: Cumulative

 
Race 1
Points
Race 2
Points
Race 3
Points
Total
Points
 Rank
RANGER
13
1
10
24
1
ANDROMEDA LA DEA
4
26
1
31
2
P2
10
5
16
31
3
AXIA
3
11
20
34
4
UNFURLED
19
4
13
36
5
GANESHA
7
10
23
40
6
GEORGIA
9
25
7
41
7
AVALON
5
31
6
42
8
REBECCA
30
2
11
43
9
SAUDADE
8
8
28
44
10
DSK
20
15
9
44
11
SALUTE
2
29
14
45
12
GHOST
17
3
25
45
13
HANUMAN
12
6
27
45
14
WHITE WINGS
6
20
19
45
15
HETAIROS
1
13
32
46
16
HELIOS
24
23
3
50
17
ANTARA
11
34
5
50
18
RIELA
16
35
2
53
19
WINDCREST
14
9
31
54
20
LIARA
28
14
12
54
21
VISIONE
26
7
24
57
22
SOJANA
29
12
21
62
23
ADELA
18
19
26
63
24
HAMILTON II
15
16
36
67
25
WHISPER
23
22
22
67
26
VARSOVIE
34
17
17
68
27
METEOR
36
33
4
73
28
SALPERTON IV
27
28
18
73
29
HIGHLAND BREEZE
32
27
15
74
30
HYPERION
22
18
34
74
31
MYSTERY
25
21
29
75
32
BARACUDA
21
24
40
85
33
GLORIA
39
39
8
86
34
ARTEMIS
33
32
30
95
35
SHAMOUN
35
30
33
98
36
DESTINATION
31
36
35
102
37
SYMMETRY
37
38
37
112
38
TOTO
38
37
38
113
39

 

A full recap of the St. Barths Bucket and Race Information about the Upcoming Newport Bucket Regatta is available at  www.bucketregattas.com

  
Ranger Head On (Photo by George Bekris)

Ranger Head On (Photo by George Bekris)

 

J-Class Ranger (Photo by George Bekris)

J-Class Ranger (Photo by George Bekris)

 

Who would have guessed that all those navigating fluid libations we so freely poured to Poseidon a few years back (in the days of windless Buckets) would bear compounded interest.  Once again — we sailed in near perfect conditions, under proper Caribbean blue skies.  The word “near” is used advisedly, as the day saw wind speeds ranging from 8 to 15 knots, with direction swings from SE to NE.  This, needless to say, scrambled some otherwise predictable finishes and may well have been a cause of some frustration. 

The 39 yachts were sent off in close formation, with tight starts sometimes a mere 30 seconds apart.  The traditional second day “Wiggley Course” was revised into the “Not So Wiggley” course in the interest of safety, although the dramatic wind shifts reintroduced some of the Wiggles back into the equation. 

In the end it looked like a photo finish between Ranger and Rebecca until the latter hit a wall in the form of a massive header, allowing Ranger claim a well deserved first place.  Some liberal interpretations of the safety protocol for finishing yachts provided some interesting finishing tactics, although good general seamanship avoided any potential problems. 

The traditional owners’ party was again held at the Carl Gustaf Hotel which offered a beautiful view of the fleet below, followed by general merriment on the quay.  Sunday’s race, the “Wrong Way Around” course, promises to enjoy more good weather and lovely sailing for all.

Results: Cumulative

 
Race 1
Points
Race 2
Points
Race 3
Points
Total
Points
 Rank
RANGER
13
1
 
14
1
HETAIROS
1
13
 
14
2
AXIA
3
11
 
14
3
P2
10
5
 
15
4
SAUDADE
8
8
 
16
5
GANESHA
7
10
 
17
6
HANUMAN
12
6
 
18
7
GHOST
17
3
 
20
8
UNFURLED
19
4
 
23
9
WINDCREST
14
9
 
23
10
WHITE WINGS
6
20
 
26
11
ANDROMEDA LA DEA
4
26
 
30
12
SALUTE
2
29
 
31
13
HAMILTON II *
15
16
 
31
14
REBECCA
30
2
 
32
15
VISIONE
26
7
 
33
16
GEORGIA
9
25
 
34
17
DSK
20
15
 
35
18
AVALON
5
31
 
36
19
ADELA
18
19
 
37
20
HYPERION*
22
18
 
40
21
SOJANA
29
12
 
41
22
LIARA
28
14
 
42
23
ANTARA
11
34
 
45
24
BARACUDA
21
24
 
45
25
WHISPER
23
22
 
45
26
MYSTERY
25
21
 
46
27
HELIOS
24
23
 
47
28
RIELA
16
35
 
51
29
VARSOVIE
34
17
 
51
30
SALPERTON IV
27
28
 
55
31
HIGHLAND BREEZE*
32
27
 
59
32
SHAMOUN
35
30
 
65
33
ARTEMIS
33
32
 
65
34
DESTINATION
31
36
 
67
35
METEOR
36
33
 
69
36
TOTO
38
37
 
75
37
SYMMETRY **
37
38
 
75
38
GLORIA
39
39
 
78
39

* Safety Penalty: 5 Minute
** Over Early Penalty: 5 Minute