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
Artemis 23 Skippers, Nick Cherry and Sam Goodchild (Photo © Alexis Courcoux)

Artemis 23 Skippers, Nick Cherry and Sam Goodchild (Photo © Alexis Courcoux)

At 13.00 CET on Saturday 21st April, Artemis Offshore Academy sailors Sam Goodchild and Nick Cherry set off on the 3890nm race across the Atlantic in the 11th edition of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale; from Concarneau to Saint Barthelemy. Flying the flag for Great Britain and the youngest crew in the fleet, Sam and Nick are taking on the some of the finest competitors in the Beneteau Figaro 2 class.

After a final weather briefing, the sailors headed down to the docks for the last time: “We’ve just rigged the boat for windy conditions. Conditions at the moment are clear skies, sunshine and the forecasted 20 knots of wind, so similar conditions to the prologue.”  At 11.00am CET, the 16 Figaros said their final emotional goodbyes, and headed out of the harbour one by one to the applause of a growing crowd of spectators who provided a great atmosphere and added to the emotion of the departure.

Artemis 23 round the first mark in 4th position (Photo by Artemis Offshore Academy)

Artemis 23 round the first mark in 4th position (Photo by Artemis Offshore Academy)

Nick Cherry and Sam Goodchild on board Artemis 23 © Artemis Offshore Academy

The fleet crossed the start line at 13.00 CET, with Goodchild and Cherry setting off in great shape. Artemis 23 made a great start as Artemis Offshore Academy performance director, John Thorn details: “The race started with a chilly North Westerly wind of around 15 knots, (gusting up to 25 in the rain squalls) Conditions were sunny, with patches of heavy rain. The spectator boats have turned out in force off Concarneau churning up the sea, and cheering on the double handed sailors as they head out to open ocean. Sam and Nick set of in great spirits buoyed on by a good first leg and rounded the first windward mark in 4th position. Nearing the next mark, Artemis 23 is creeping into 3rd. As usual for a race start in France, there are masses of spectator boats, creating rough and confused waves making it a very difficult race start, especially for the boats

Prior to the race, Goodchild reported: “I’m feeling good, looking forward to getting out there after months of preparation. We have fairly bad weather predicted for the next three days, so I’m looking forward to getting through that and eventually seeing the Caribbean on the horizon.” To which Cherry added: “Conditions from tomorrow (Sunday) are looking pretty heinous, with strong winds and rough seas.” Weather conditions are set to take a turn for the worse with rain, big waves and winds of up to 50 knots setting in off Cape Finistère, a point on the course notoriously difficult at the best of times.
The masses of spectator boats made for a difficult start.

These conditions are expected to moderate somewhat by the time the fleet arrive there on Monday. After which the course turns South from Cape Finistère and heads off towards a virtual turning mark near the Canary Islands; the temperatures will increase and as the wind turns and comes from behind, the downwind spinnaker conditions should make for much more comfortable sailing.

La Transat AG2R La Mondiale is famous for it’s varying and challenging weather conditions and the claustrophobic living conditions will only add to the pressure. After leaving Concarneau at 13.00 CET on Saturday 21st April, the fleet hope to cross the Atlantic in 23-25 days.
For daily updates on the race and Artemis 23’s progress visit www.artemisoffshoreacademy.com and the Transat AG2R La Mondiale official race tracker.

Get all the latest news and track the race on your phone or ipad with the La Transat AG2R La Mondiale app or visit the official La Transat AG2R La Mondiale website.

You can also follow the Artemis Offshore Academy on Facebook and Twitter.

Race: La Transat AG2R La Mondiale, start time 1300 CET
Route: Finistère, Concarneau to Gustavia, Saint Barthelemy
Distance: 3890nm
Specification: Double-handed, one design transatlantic crossing
Yacht: Figaro Beneteau II
Length: 10m
Teams: Artemis, Banque Populaire, Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Performance, Cercle Vert, Cornovaille Port de Peche, EDM/Pays Basque Enterprises, GAES, Gedimat, Hotel Emeraude Plage Saint-Barthelemy, La Solidarité Mutualiste, Les Recycleurs Breton, Nacarat, NC1, NC2, One Network Energies, Sepalumic, Skipper Macif, Vendee
Competing Nationalities: French, British, Spanish
Current weather conditions for the start 21.04.12 –  NW winds of up to 20 knots

 Artemis 23 race towards 3rd position nearing the second mark © Artemis Offshore Academy

Artemis 23 race towards 3rd position nearing the second mark © Artemis Offshore Academy