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!

 

 

White Wings Winner of Day One Of Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 (Photo by George Bekris)

White Wings Winner of Day One Of Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 (Photo by George Bekris)

The 2010 Newport Bucket Regatta was launched in a Carnival Atmosphere on Friday evening with three significant splashes.  Our Ratings Guru, Jim Teeters, Charlie Dana, our host at Newport Shipyard and race director Hank Halsted, were sacrificed to the “dunk tank” where amid cheers and laughter they were dumped one by one, into the tank with our guest juggler, fire thrower and stilt walker entertaining the crew all the while.  With light wind forecast for the weekend, the Skippers meeting also called for a special tribute to our patron God, Neptune, wherein all in attendance served up a toast of vintage Calvados  – with a tot into the sea, and a hearty cheer for the wind gods. 

Clevelander upwind on Rhode Island Sound (Photo by George Bekris)

Clevelander upwind on Rhode Island Sound (Photo by George Bekris)

Unfortunately, six of sixteen yachts which were entered in the regatta were forced in the past week to withdraw for a bizarre set of circumstances involving two serious engine problems, a cruising permit issue, a death in a family and a couple other disabling events.  Regardless, ten boats arrived at the starting line, five “Grandes Dames” and five “Gazelles” filled the cruising and racing classes.

Saturday was a sparkling fall day with a brisk 15 knot northerly blowing in the morning, forecast to diminish substantially.  The starting line was well recognizable, with magnificent 160′ Trinity Motoryacht,  VITA, as committee boat, loaned to the Bucket by the Owner of J Class, RANGER.  Thank you John!!  The two classes sailed courses of 14 and 19 miles respectively, from the same start to the same finish, with reasonably close racing within the classes. 

Even sailing the extra five miles, the Gazelles dominated the day with the W 76, WHITE WINGS finishing first in class and overall, a minute and a half ahead of the classic 12 Meter, EASTERNER, driven by Paul Callahan, director of the “Sail to Prevail Foundation” which uses sailing as an instructional format for the handicapped.  HANUMAN, the J Boat by Royal Huisman Shipyard finished third. 

Meteor  on Day One Of Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 (Photo by George Bekris)

Meteor on Day One Of Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 (Photo by George Bekris)

Among the Grandes Dames, the Royal Huisman 169′ Schooner, METEOR won her class by over five minutes, having sailed a tactically beautiful race.  The yacht is simply, a visual feast!  PALAWAN, the Little Harbor 75′ Sloop finished second with AURELIUS, the 77′ Modern Classic Dykstra design sloop, in third.

Gloria crossing the start line in the Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 (Photo by George Bekris)

Gloria crossing the start line in the Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 (Photo by George Bekris)

In sum, this was a perfect fall day of sailing off Newport with sun, crisp breezes that never died, thanks to our patron, Neptune, and a good time had by all!

For More Photos Of Newport Bucket Regatta 2010 click HERE

Newport Bucket Regatta Image Gallery by George Bekris

 

(click on image below to view gallery)

Hanuman Upwind Racing (Photo by George Bekris)

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Newport Bucket Regatta 2009

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(Click on Hanuman photo above to view Gallery of Newport Bucket Regatta Photos By George Bekris)

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Athena, the 295′ Huisman yacht and this year’s race committee boat, was even hard to make out in the foggy start conditions on Saturday for the first race start .  Soon after the start the sea breezes kicked in and blew the fog out leaving a beautiful New England summer day. The breeze held for the afternoon at around 20kts. The 19 boat  Bucket Regatta fleet flew around the course in the ideal conditions.

Timoneer, the 147′ DuBois/Vitters Ketch, dominated the day. Her seasoned crew racing flawlessly and furnishing first by 5 minutes. The new Perini Navi Performance 125′ Sloop, P2, came in second.

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Hanuman and Ranger Battle It Out (Photo By George Bekris)

The two J Class yacht entries Ranger and the newly launched  Hanuman (Endeavour II)  were reminiscent of the old America’s Cup days with their beautiful long lines. The New Hanuman took third place after a close contest between the two boats. They beat Ranger ,who placed fourth, by only 38 seconds. Avalon finished fifth, followed 13 seconds later by the Swan 100, Virago in 6th, and the Swan 80, Selene 36 seconds later in 7th.

(click on images to enlarge)

Hanuman Upwind Racing (Photo by George Bekris)

Hanuman Upwind Racing (Photo by George Bekris)

Broken down into classes the results were: Les Gazelles des Mers (Racing Division), P2 finished first, Hanuman second, with Ranger in third place. Among Les Grandes Dames des Mers (Cruising Division), Timoneer is in first place, Avalon in second and Taza Mas in third place.

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Ranger Flashing a Smile (Photo by George Bekris)

It was hard to tell which boat team won the party following the race.  Clearly a great time was had by all the crews.

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Timoneer 3rd Place Overall Winner (Photo by George Bekris)

In another Bucket first, the 156′ Pendennis Shipyards, MITSEAAH, engineered to power at over twenty knots and sail with respectable performance, was challenged on day one in keeping up with the racing yachts on the upwind leg.  Respecting the fact that the Bucket is also here to showcase the best attributes of each yacht while cultivating good racing, MITSEAAH was invited to start the race under full power, then execute a high speed 360 degree turn and roar off to the windward mark, where she re-converted to a sailing yacht, shut down the power and got into the race!   Her left-field handicap worked well too; she crossed the finish line in fifth position.

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Mitseaah Blasting their way across the start line Sunday (Photo by George Bekris)

Sunday’s racing started out with Mitseeah blasting across  the start line  at 20 kts without a bit of sail up.

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Summer Wind 2nd Day Racing Winner (Photo by George Bekris)

The  racing  started out with light wind but sea breezes filled in during the afternoon. Summer Wind placed first, followed by Taza Mas in second , Sea Diamond took third for Sundays racing.

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Avalon Second Place Winner Overall (Photo by George Bekris)

Jerry Kirby must not have gotten enough sailing time in during the Volvo Ocean Race. He was onboard Hanuman  as Bowman.

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Jerry Kirby Bowman On Hanuman For Sunday's rRacing (Photo by George Bekris)

These awards, first through third, are presented for the best performance overall for combined results, all classes, all races
Overall

1st     P2
2nd   Avalon
3rd   Timoneer

Les Gazelles   (Racing Class)

1st       P2
2nd    Hanuman
3rd      Wild Horses

Les Grand Dames   (Cruising Class)

1st       Summerwind
2nd     Taza Mas
3rd      Timoneer

All Star Crew Award presented by Holland Jachtbouw
(also presented by The Yacht Report and Crew Report Magazines)

At each Bucket Event, every yacht is asked to cast a ballot for the yacht crew among the fleet that demonstrates the most professional service in all tasks, while maintaining the best voie de vivre, camaraderie, teamwork and respect among the crew.  This is the crew that displays the pinnacle of the profession and has the most fun at it – the yacht that everyone wants to work aboard.   Because the award is earned by peer recognition, it has earned serious stature within the marine industry.

Sea Diamond

Vitter’s Shipyard Seamanship Trophy

The Vitters Seamanship Trophy is awarded to the yacht that demonstrates the best seamanship and sportsmanship in the interest of promoting safety on the race course.  All participants in the Bucket acknowledge that superyachts have serious limitations operating safely in close quarters and therefore, the RC has always valued safety well above performance.  This award will recognize the yacht that best demonstrates that understanding.  It also goes to prove that nice guys don’t always finish last!!

Taza Mas

Skullduggery Cravat

Avalon

Newport Bone

Easterner

The  Chippewa Bomb

MitSeaah.

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     Hanuman On Narraganset Bay, Rhode Island, USA  (Photo by George Bekris)

 

Most of the yachts are docked at Newport Shipyard.   They are making the last of preparations for this weekend’s events.   The First Gun/First race for the Newport Bucket will be at 12 noon Saturday July 18.  Courses to be announced.   Fair Weather Courses will be sailed in Rhode Island Sound. 

 

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Avalon, 108 Ft Southern Pacific (Photo by George Bekris)

 

 

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Chippewa, 68 ft Swan (Photo by George Bekris)

 

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Virago, 100ft Swan (Photo by George Bekris)

 

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Ranger, 137 ft J Boat (Photo by George Bekris)

 

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Hanuman, 125 ft Royal Huisman (Photo by George Bekris)

 

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Wild Horses, 76 ft Brooklin Boat Yard W Class (Photo by George Bekris)

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White Wings, 76 ft Rockport Marine W Class (Photo by George Bekris)

 

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P2 ,125 ft Perini Navi, Ready To Race (Photo by George Bekris)

 

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P2 Deck (Photo by George Bekris)

 

 No, they are not planning to Grill Out on P2.

 

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P2 Navingation Instruments (Photo by George Bekris)

 

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Athena, Newport Bucket Regatta Committee Boat (Photo by George Bekris)

 

 

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Summerwind , 100 ft Alden (Photo by George Bekris)

 

 

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Selene, 80 ft Swan (Photo by George Bekris)

Challenge and Adventure Image Galleries of Newport Bucket Regatta by George Bekris

(click on image to view gallery) ranger http://www.challengeandadventure.com/Newport_Bucket2009/ Newport Bucket 2008 http://www.challengeandadventure.com/Newport_Bucket2008/ Newport Bucket 2006 http://www.challengeandadventure.com/Newport_Bucket2006/ bucket_2005 http://www.challengeandadventure.com/Newport_Bucket2005/ .