St. Barths Bucket Regatta (Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Studio Borlenghi )

St. Barths Bucket Regatta (Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Studio Borlenghi )

by  Barby MacGowan

The second day of the Bucket Regatta saw six new winners in six classes after the 38-strong fleet sailed a long “Not So Wiggly” course around and through the smaller islands and prominent rock formations lying to the north and west of St. Barths. Performances turned in by the victors (Unfurled, SPIIP, Axia, Rosehearty, Koo and Hanuman) also translated into new teams atop the leaderboard in four of the five pursuit classes as well as the J Class when cumulative scores were tallied.  
After yesterday’s race around the island, Rosehearty sat in third in Grandes Dames as did Unfurled in Gazelles. Both are defending champions and made a point of saying they were far from being counted out. Unfurled’s victory today put her in second overall, only one point behind yesterday’s leader WinWin, while Rosehearty’s gave her a tied point score with Meteor for first (tie-breaker rules give the nod to Rosehearty) and dropped yesterday’s leader Perseus^3 to third.

 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.” 

St. Barths Bucket Regatta (Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Studio Borlenghi )

St. Barths Bucket Regatta (Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Studio Borlenghi )

 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.

St. Barths Bucket Regatta (Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Studio Borlenghi )

St. Barths Bucket Regatta (Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Studio Borlenghi )

 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.

St. Barths Bucket Regatta (Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Studio Borlenghi )

St. Barths Bucket Regatta (Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Studio Borlenghi )

The Bucket Stewards collaborated in 2016 to establish a new criteria for the coveted Bucket Trophy.  With the racing format having changed in recent years, the emphasis is now directed to class racing. This has provided an opportunity to reestablish a quantitative criteria for the overall winner of the Bucket Trophy.

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.

St. Barths Bucket Regatta (Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Studio Borlenghi )

St. Barths Bucket Regatta (Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Studio Borlenghi )

 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

St. Barths Bucket Regatta (Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Studio Borlenghi )

St. Barths Bucket Regatta (Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Studio Borlenghi )

 

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
This Is Us Crew  at award ceremony  (Photo by Billy Black)

This Is Us Crew at award ceremony (Photo by Billy Black)

By Norma Trease

As The Bard said “parting is such sweet sorrow”, and that is exactly the way everyone feels at the end of another fantastic edition of the Saint Barths Bucket. With every hug, every single-double-triple goodbye kiss, every sincere “I love you” a piece of your heart leaves with each friend and sailing companion who departs for their home ports by plane, ferry – or indeed by yacht. Yet we all know that in this world, we will all meet again, whether in another country, surely another regatta, boat show, wedding, or quay encounter in another port town. ‘Tis the nature of our biz! The upshot is that we carry with us, one and all, amazing memories of another Bucket, bigger and better than ever.

Michael Bradfield, owner of the superb Dubois-designed, Royal Huisman built Twizzle, summed it up as well as I ever could. “What a superb and exciting Bucket Regatta. The sailing was varied and challenging and brilliantly planned. The four categories were spot on and the exciting and tight finishes were a testament to the superb rating by Jim Teeters. Peter Craig as PRO and the team did a superb job of promoting a rich and varied regatta with a strong emphasis on safety and good nature. It was a privilege being able to take part.”

 

With forty seven yachts of this value and calibre, all competing for prizes, glory and bragging rights, racing can sometimes get a little hairy. Yet with the intense professionalism of both permanent and racing crews, once again, Bucket racing in Saint Barths remained safe, and with other than a few protest-enducing close calls, and some gear failure, everything turned out well in the end. However, there were some incidents of the yacht air-kiss variety.

On Day Three of racing, “Round the Island the Other Way”, with the four classes separated into two parallel courses, there were less of the mega-million-dollar-baby pile ups we all gasped at on Day Two. Day Threes’ biggest heart thumping moments happened at the finish line, which went between a marker buoy, and the lovely Burger yacht committee boat, Ingot. Blue Too, who had a great race, coming in 2nd in Class and 3rd place overall, narrowly avoided becoming the filing in a Perini panini. It was an exciting race for Perinis today, as Fidelis, and Parsifal III came across the finish line within inches of each other, and Andromeda also came exceedingly close to the committee boat.

BTW, a sincere “Merci Bucket” must be given to our three graciously loaned committee boats Rena, Krisujen, and Ingot. They are an integral part of Bucket racing, providing excellent hospitality and a great environment for our hard-working Race Committee officers, while also serving as appropriately elegant foils to the superb sailing yachts who pass them twice each day. Thanks very much!

It’s virtually impossible to fairly rate a gigantic fleet of this magnitude and diversity. No one has more data available, or crunches those numbers more assiduously than our ratings guru, Jim Teeters. Yet unfortunately, despite achieving the goal of many excitingly close-to-photo finishes, you can never please everyone in this super knowledgeable and experienced crowd. Amy Laing, who has for many years managed the complexities of the very busy Whisper program, delicately explained their frustrations at the ratings they received this year (which saw them start three from last on Day Three, for instance.) “The racing format needs work!” She further explained, “the size and number of yachts has rendered the objective of an overall winner impossible to fairly determine. The committee should be applauded for running this Bucket Regatta as competitively as it did given the obsolete format. I am sure Peter Craig will solve the format issue and Jim Titters will fairly rate the fleet in the future.” Extremely constructive criticism, and it is obvious that the Bucket racings need to be as varied and flexible as are the entries themselves.

Excellent racing and cruising skipper Dean Maggio, who unfortunately was involved in one of the few protests, looked at it from a historical perspective “this used to be resolved with a case of champagne, but no more! Maybe we could go back to that!” Capt. Johnno Johnson of Antara, always the Bucket host-with-the-most, also shared his frustrations too, “not matter how well we sail- and we’ve had some cracking good sailing here, we simply can’t get ahead of all of these bigger, newer boats. Sure, the owner and guests are having the time of their lives – but we like to at least be in the middle of the fleet.” Antara was this year awarded the Skulduggery Cravat for their always-excellent good humour, and much appreciated hospitality.

The All-Star Crew went to Endeavour ­- who were so much admired as they decorated the courses daily, and also came in top in the J-Class, with a very respectable 23rd overall. The Vitters Seamanship Trophy was given to Race Committee member Don Gunning, who worked night and day to keep this race safe, and enjoyable for everyone.

Lots of awards going around: Perini Navi Barracuda, took home the always coveted Escargot Cup – whose title is self-explanatory. The Alloy Yacht Award for the top performing Alloy Yacht went to Blue Too. In a charming speech, Alice Huisman presented the Wolter Huisman Memorial Award, given to the yacht or person who best exhibits the ‘spirit of the Bucket’ to Capt. Richard Archer of the Swan Virago, well-known for their competitive spirit, and intense emphasis on safety. The Perini Navi Cup, which had a lot of potential winners in this years bumper-crop, was given to Panthalassa, who had an excellent race, coming in 2nd in Les Grandes Dames class, and 4th overall.

 

BRAVO, BRAVI, BRAVE to every one of us all lucky enough to part if this always totally awe-inspiring event – or as Don Tofias, that yacht-loving, and Bucket-loving sailorman says “the 2012 edition of the St. Barths Bucket is now complete, and as always – Yachting was the Winner.”

Blogger Norma Trease, one of the most sincere Bucket fans ever, is  celebrating her own 25th Bucket Regatta – but who’s counting?

St Barths Bucket Photo  (Photo by Claire Matches)

St Barths Bucket Photo (Photo by Claire Matches)

Overall Winners

First

This Is Us

Second

Lady B

Third

Blue Too

Les Gazelles Winners

First

Mari-Cha III

Second

Firefly

Third

P2

Les Grandes Dames Winners

First Parsifal III
Second Panthalassa
Third Axia

Les Elegantes Winners

First

This Is Us

Second

Blue Too

Third

Windcrest

Les Mademoiselles Winners

First

Lady B

Second

Ganesha

Third

Twizzle

J Class

Endeavour

Skullduggery Award

Antara

Escargot Cup

Barracuda

Alloy Cup

Blue Too

All Star Crew Award

Endeavour

Wolter Huisman Memorial Spirit of the Bucket Trophy

Virago

Perini Navi Cup

Panthalassa

Vitter’s Shipyard Seamanship Trophy

Don Gunning – Race Committee

Descriptions of Awards

Best Performance by an Alloy Yacht

All Star Crew Award

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.

Spirit of the Bucket Trophy

This award is presented each year by Alice Huisman, to the yacht that best exemplifies the spirit of the Bucket Regattas.  The selection is absolutely subjective, but considers sportsmanship, safe seamanship, best hospitality and overall contribution to the event.

We have created a lot of humor around the premise that “Bribes can get you anything in the Bucket” and this is where the truth comes clear.  The Bucket Regatta was really started as a Club of yacht owners who loved nothing more than sailing their yachts well, getting the best out of them, and then sharing great yarns and libation at the end of the day.  There are a group of owners who have contributed a lot to the event over the years, from tenders to parties, committee boats, etc.  It is this Spirit that sets this event apart from all others.  It is in recognition of this Spirit that the Wolter Huisman Memorial Trophy is awarded.

Perini Navi Cup

Perini-Navi Yacht with the best result.

Vitters Seamanship Trophy

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!!

Skullduggery Cravat

The Skullduggery Cravat is a perfectly tied Admiralty Noose, framed, with instructions in elegant calligraphy on how to tie a proper, 13 turn noose.  This was originally awarded to the owner of SARIYAH in 2002, so his captain, Timothy Laughridge (Bucket Committee) could be hung at the pleasure of the Fleet.

The award was renamed and put forward by the Committee to reinforce the Bucket premise that we are NOT here to promulgate adult behavior.  The Cravat will be awarded to the yacht and crew who display the best bucket humor.  As a guideline, we again focus on SARIYAH, where one year they spent the evening prior to the last race, slaughtering a down feathered mattress, then they packed the feathers in with their spinnaker so when they set their ‘Chute with the Hawk logo the following day, they not only dusted the horizon with feathers, but left a rubber chicken hanging from their spinnaker pole!!!

 

 

Breathtaking photos, results and more on the web site: http://www.bucketregattas.com/stbarths/index.html

Cumlative Results

St. Barths Bucket Day One (Photo by  Claire Matches)

St. Barths Bucket Day One (Photo by Claire Matches)

 

By Norma Trease
 
My mother used to say “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” The Saint Barths Bucket version of this was heard at the end of today’s very rainy race from Rebecca’s helmsman saying “well, at least we don’t have to wash down – or chamois!” The other upside of this unseasonable – even cold – rain falling in buckets all day was that it brought wind. Albeit the gusty, the fluky, variable winds we saw proved as much a challenge as an asset. So Day One of the Saint Barths Bucket proved to be very interesting indeed, a dramatic start to an always fascinating racing spectacle.
 
To begin with, this incredible fleet, featuring 47 of the worlds’ most impressive sailing yachts, hailing from every yacht building nation on earth, with a LOA of close to two kilometers in length total is mind boggling to any normal human being, even us hundreds of die-hard Bucketeers. Add in a new, fourth ratings class, and the ever-present discussions which surround the Bucket Ratings System, and the stage is set for a lot of excitement.
 
Day One as usual featured the ‘Round the Island Race’ clockwise. The races here are based on the pursuit racing theory which has yachts begin at staggered times based on predicted performance, which when figured correctly (as if this were possible with a fleet of this breathtaking diversity), and counting in slightly differing courses for some of the classes – could, or should result in all of the yachts coming across the finish line at the same time. Great concept, and there’s doubt that no one does it better that our ratings guru Jim Teeters, but can you imagine the fear factor in that amount enormous, and hugely valuable fleet of floating assets bearing on the same finish line at the same time? Needless to say, it rarely happens just that way.
 
Todays’ Bucket racing proved about as good as it gets, despite the unseasonable weather. Most of the yachts had great starts, with many of them right on the money, or bare seconds behind their allotted times. Throughout the race, which was either 20.8 or 24.5 miles depending upon your class, there was some seriously thrilling sailing. The finishes – proving that the years of data crunching behind the Bucket Ratings system actually does produce results – were in a few cases almost too close. The final mark proved a bottle neck, which saw several encounters of the heart-stopping variety, including a couple of clusters of Perini Navis coming within drink-sharing distance of each other. A definitely too intimate meeting of Whisper, Rebecca and Salperton – which came very close to producing the seriously frowned-upon protest – was averted at the last minute by the usual gentlemanly discussion. No T-bones today!
These yachts, although increasingly built to perform on the race course, are still at heart cruising vessels, and invariably, the rarely seen stresses that racing places on the yachts can – and does – cause some damage. Depending on who you spoke to, there were anything from four to eight spinnaker sails shredded, including those on Barracuda and Meteor. Most seriously damaged was the largest yacht in the fleet, the very impressive 67m Baltic Yacht Hetairos, designed by one of hottest current yacht design collaborations possible, Dysktra and Reichel/Pugh. She unfortunately hit a submerged rock and did quite a bit of damage to her keel – yet finished the race to the bitter end.
 
This was a race where experience really counted. The gorgeous classic 43m ketch Rebecca, which was designed by German Frers, and built at Pendennis Shipyard, has participated in many yacht races worldwide. Their well-rehearsed team, composed of experienced former and current yacht skippers, has brought them onto the winners’ podium at numerous Buckets. They chose the conservative route, carrying up on deck and rigging three different spinnakers, and in the end, although they could have chosen a more aggressive approach, went with a heavier sail, but at least, brought it back on deck safe and sound. From my point of view riding on board as an ‘extra’, the swath she cut through the eleven vessel Elegantes de Mer class, with a start as second-to-last place, and finishing right in the middle provided a fantastic view of the entire fleet as we chased and caught up with most of the yachts on the course today.

St. Barths Day One (Photo by Oskar Kilborg)

St. Barths Day One (Photo by Oskar Kilborg)

 
The newly formed Mademoiselles de la Mer class, dominated by no less than ten Dubois designed beauties, saw a very excited Ed Dubois chortling over his very first ever Bucket race win on Lady B, snagging both first in class and first over all. Ganesha and Salperton IV came in at 2nd and 3rd place respectively. With the vast quantity of yacht owners they make happy year after year – not to mention the aesthetic satisfaction they bring to their legion of fans worldwide – they deserve lots of prizes. Congrats to him and his great Dubois team!
 
In Les Grandes Dames, a/k/a the Perini Navi class, there was a battle of titans, as two of the Bucket founder captains, Tim Laughridge and Ian Craddock did guest helmsman duty on Parsifal III and Antara. The light variable winds did not at all favor these elegant, stately beauties, yet that did not stop them from battling mightily all throughout the race course. Capt. Timmy snagged a First in class with some quite aggressive driving. Axia, with her multi-generation family team, their dogged hard work, and long-time Bucket participation, well merited their close 2nd in class. The sleek Panthalassa rounded out 3rd place in Les Grandes.

Symmetry Spinnaker (Photo by Pim Van Hemmen)

Symmetry Spinnaker (Photo by Pim Van Hemmen)

 
Adela, another long-time favourite Bucket boat, swept to first in Les Elegantes, with Blue Too and This Is Us chasing them closely. Overall winners were Lady B, Adela, and Mari-Cha III. The newly instituted daily prize givings were well-attended by many still soggy Bucketeers.
 
The rain stopped just in time for the chamois to be wielded, the champagne popped, and hors d’oeuvres to be prepared for the Yacht Hop, which due to some serious security measures, remained very civilized. Very popular were Bliss, Barracuda and Parsifal III, but as usual – the party winner favours always go to those dancing fools on Antara. Their theme this year was Motown, and they had the sound system, the tunes, the bling and the hairdos to carry it off in style.
 
The sun is out for Day Two of the Saint Barths Bucket 2012. We’re all looking forward to enjoying another great day out on the water. See you on the race course!

St. Barths Bucket  2012 (Photo by Claire Matches)

St. Barths Bucket 2012 (Photo by Claire Matches)

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!

 

Hello Little One (Photo by Rawphoto.co.uk)

Hello Little One (Photo by Rawphoto.co.uk)

Confirmation of three more yachts in the last few days brings the total entries for The Superyacht Cup 2010 to 19; the maximum number that can be berthed at The Superyacht Cup Village in the centre of the City. Additional yachts may take part in the event, but they will need to find a berth in the Port’s marinas or at STP boat yard – immediately adjacent to the SYC site.

A new development for this year is the appointment of a professional Race Officer, Premiere Racings founder, Peter Craig from Marblehead, USA. Peter has a huge wealth of experience with top-level international regattas, including the Bucket Regattas and the Perini Navi Cup, the Maxi Rolex World Cup, the Swan World Championships and the Volvo Ocean Race. Peter understands the need for adapting the racing approach for superyachts, and his knowledge and expertise will be invaluable in moving forward the new Superyacht Racing protocol; the aim of which is to provide the best possible format for safe and exciting racing for large yachts with very different design and manoeuvrability characteristics. “I had a great time competing in the Superyacht Cup Palma on the schooner Meteor back in 2007,” said Craig. “I’m really pleased to be back in the capacity of PRO and look forward to being a part of this renowned superyacht event.”

Gliss (Photo by Rawphoto.co.uk)

Gliss (Photo by Rawphoto.co.uk)

Among the fleet this June will be the winner of The Superyacht Cup in 2009, Gliss. The bright turquoise 32m sloop, designed by Philippe Briand and built by Royal Huisman, made her racing debut at The Superyacht Cup in 2006, soon after being launched in Holland and has been racing successfully ever since. Konkordia (formerly Kokomo), the Dubois designed sloop built by Alloy Yachts in New Zealand in 2006, has arrived back in Palma from the Caribbean and will take part in their first regatta with the new owner this June. A new comer to this year’s event is Saudade, an elegant and powerful yacht, designed by Tripp and built by Wally Yachts. Saudade recently took part in the St Barth’s Bucket and is currently heading to the Mediterranean for the summer season.

In the past few days, Palma has seen a huge influx of yachts returning from Antigua and other parts of the Caribbean. As the docks fill up, and the contractors enter their busiest month of the year, everyone knows it is approaching Superyacht Cup time. All of the yachts are undergoing refit work, general repairs and maintenance and preparing for the season ahead.

Cosworth At Guard (Photo by Claire Matches)

Cosworth At Guard (Photo by Claire Matches)

 

 LIST OF ENTRIES

Yacht                    
Designer                           
LOA
P2
Briand/Perini Navi
38m
Ganesha
Dubois/Fitzroy
39m
Blue Diamond
Vaton/JMV
30.2m
Mystere
Tripp/Vitters
43m
Irelanda
Hoek/Alloy
31.9m
Salperton IV
Dubois/Fitzroy
45m
Ithaka
Peterson/Jongert
27m
Tenaz
Dubois/Pendennis Shipyard
40m
Shamoun
Hoek/Claasen Jachtbouw
33m
Maltese Falcon
Perini Navi
88m
Sojana
Farr/Cowes Yachting
35m
Anny
Judel Vrolijk/Baltic
26.5m
Havana
Dixon/Vitters Shipyard
30m
Alarife
Barcos Deportivos/Frers
30m
Destination Fox Harbour
Dubois/Alloy Yachts
41m
Scorpione Dei Mari
Castro/Jongert
29.9m
Konkordia
Dubois/Alloy Yachts
53m
Gliss
Briand Royal Huisman
32m
Saudade
Tripp/Wally Yachts
45m

 

Hyperion (Photo by Rawphoto.co.uk)

Hyperion (Photo by Rawphoto.co.uk)

 

 For more information about the Palma Superyacht Cup 2010 click HERE