Bequia - Candy Store Cup 2017 Overall and Class B winner (Photo © George Bekris)

Bequia – Candy Store Cup 2017 Overall and Class B winner (Photo © George Bekris)

 

 NEWPORT, R.I. (July 31, 2017) – Sailors couldn’t have asked for a sweeter experience at the 2017 Candy Store Cup Superyacht Edition. The event showcased some of the world’s most spectacular and technologically sophisticated luxury sailing yachts racing off Newport, R.I. on Thursday through Saturday (July 27-29) and provided three days of wildly varied conditions, courtesy of Mother Nature, as well as a full slate of colorful social events, courtesy of co-hosts Bannister’s Wharf and Newport Shipyard, the latter of which was headquarters for the event and home to most of the fleet while not racing.
 

 

At Saturday night’s prize giving at a Newport estate on Ocean Drive, the 92-foot yawl Bequia was declared overall winner and awarded the silver Candy Store Cup Trophy in addition to its Class B victory prize of a glass vase filled with penny candy. Until then, no one was quite sure who would take the overall honors, due to the close racing that had taken place over three races, held one-per-day and covering from 12 to 26 miles each.

 

 

Thursday, in a 23.7-mile race that started off Castle Hill and featured Brenton Point and the Cliff Walk as scenic backdrops, the enormous superyachts struck imposing silhouettes against an overcast sky that every so often allowed the sun to peek through. The mid-range southwesterly winds allowed Bequia to set the pace with a 58-second win over Freya at the finish line, which was set just off Fort Adams as a “first” for the regatta, which debuted last year as a combination of two individual regattas previously known as Newport Bucket Regatta and Candy Store Cup.

 

Freya (Photo © George Bekris)

Freya (Photo © George Bekris)

When the wind switched to an ever-so-light northerly on Friday, Freya returned the favor by beating Bequia by a mere 43 seconds at the traditional finish line off Castle Hill. With the two boats now tied, it meant that Class B’s winner would be determined with Saturday’s final race. This was the case, also, in Class A, where Action and Sunleigh had three and four overall points, respectively, and Class C, where MeteorWhitehawk and Naema were tied with four points each.

Sunleigh (Photo © George Bekris)

Sunleigh (Photo © George Bekris)

 

On Saturday, a dogs-off-chains nor’easter demanded that the Candy Store Cup winners be especially deserving…and they were. Bequia handled the 25 knots like it was 15 and won the race after Freya was forced to retire with a split mainsail.

 

 

“We had a wonderful week sailing against Freya,” said Bequia‘s tactician Tom Whidden at the awards party. “We’re quite different boats, but obviously the handicap rule is doing a good job, and we had some really close racing. We felt badly they had a breakdown on the last day; we were looking forward to seeing how we’d do, and I think we would have been very close.”

Ranger (Photo © George Bekris)

Ranger (Photo © George Bekris)

Bequia‘s overall victory was contingent first on class victory, next by lowest point score among class victors (Action and Bequia both had four points each), and then by traditional sailing tiebreaker rules, but when the latter failed to clarify the winner, the race committee deferred to the regatta provision of “starting prowess” as the final determinant. That trait, it turns out, the extraordinarily well-sailed Bequia possessed in spades.

Meteor (Photo © George Bekris)

“How spectacular to have a medium-air, a light-air and a heavy-air race,” said Whidden, noting that despite the whipped-up seas on Saturday, the course allowed them to sail in relatively flat water. “They couldn’t have planned it better.”

Dan Meyers, the Newport/Boston resident who won Class C, skippering his 170′ schooner Meteor to finish positions of 1-3-1, agreed: “The first day was a perfectly moderate day, so nobody could complain. Friday, much to our detriment, it was light and a struggle for us but kind of fun to try to keep Meteor going on the track. And Saturday was full-on. A kite up in 30 knots keeps your attention, but it was fun. We had it all!
Wild Horses (Photo © George Bekris )

Wild Horses (Photo © George Bekris )

“This is different than any other superyacht regatta in the world,” added Meyers. “It’s run by a team of people who know how this is supposed to go; the courses were really well conceived, the classes were really well conceived…They made everything better: the social events are better, the racing is better, the new Thursday-through-Saturday format is better. It’s more fun…more friendly, but they don’t sacrifice on the sailing.”

NAEMA G Schooner (Photo © George Bekris)

NAEMA G Schooner (Photo © George Bekris)

 

Ian Walker, tactician aboard Class A winner Action, a 121′ sloop, said that for a boat that was built for cruising, Action was raced pretty hard. Action had to beat Sunleigh on Saturday to win, but Sunleigh chose not to sail in the conditions. Ranger had a problem with its mast track and had to retire, leaving Action as the default winner.

“I’ve really enjoyed this regatta,” said Walker. “I love that the boats are so close together on the docks here; it’s well supported by sponsors; there is lots of hospitality in a relaxed atmosphere; and obviously Newport is a beautiful place to be this time of year. You couldn’t wish for a better superyacht regatta, and in a way the fact that the Candy Store Cup is smaller and more intimate is its unique selling point.”

Shore-side parties included an owner’s dinner at the famous Clarke Cooke House on Bannister’s Wharf; a “yacht hop” on Friday at the Shipyard where hundreds of sailors milled around the M. GEMI pop-up store selling Italian leather shoes and sharing gelato in addition to a food truck that provided a hearty dinner for the hungry sailors.

Candy Store Cup headquarters ( Photo © Robert W. Kranz )

Candy Store Cup headquarters ( Photo © Robert W. Kranz )

 

 

Saturday’s prize giving hosted 400 people who got their last thrills of the regatta dancing to an Eagles cover band that could have easily been mistaken for the real thing.

Royal Huisman, Perini Navi, Vitters and Rybovich, which are major players in the superyacht industry and were all stewards of the Newport Bucket, are presenting partners of the Candy Store Cup. Supporting partners of the event are KVH Industries, North Sails, Sentient Jet, Southern Spars / Future Fibres, Willis Towers Watson, The Marshall Islands Registry, and M. Gemi.

Candy Store Cup Newport Results  
July 27-29, 2017

Class A Winner - Action at start crossing the start line Thursday's race. ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class A Winner – Action at start line Thursday’s race. ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class A
1. ACTION, 121′ (37m) Royal Huisman/Dykstra Sloop, 1-2-1, 4
2. SUNLEIGH, 105′ (32m) Jongert/Tony Castro Sloop, 3-1-4/DNS, 8
3. RANGER, 138′ (42m) Danish Yachts/S&S Dykstra Sloop, 2-3-4/RET, 9
Class B Winner - Bequia at race start on Thursday ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class B Winner – Bequia at race start on Thursday ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class B
1. BEQUIA, 92′ (28m) Brooklin Boat Yard/Stephens Yawl, 1-2-1, 4
2. FREYA, 88′ (27m) Nautor’s Swan/Frers Sloop, 2-1-5/RET, 8
3. WILD HORSES, 75′ (23m) W-Class Yachts/White, 3-3-2, 8
4. AUDREY II, 89′ (27m) Jongert Ketch, 4-4-5/RET, 13
Class C Winner - Meteor at the Breakers ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class C Winner – Meteor at the Breakers ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class C
1. METEOR, 170′ (52m) Royal Huisman/Dykstra Schooner, 1-3-1, 5
2. WHITEHAWK, 104′ (32m) Lie-Nielsen/Bruce King Ketch, 2-2-2, 6
3. NAEMA, 118′ (42m) Graafship/Hodgdon Yachts G Schooner, 3-1-4, 8
4. ZENJI, 184′ (56m) Perini Navi/Ron Holland 4-4-3, 11

More George Bekris Candy Store Cup Photos

More photos will be added to the gallery in coming week.

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George Bekris Photography

Meteor © George Bekris

For the second year running, the Candy Store Cup Superyacht Edition will showcase some of the world’s most spectacular yachts racing in a regatta designed specifically for them. The event, scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, July 27-29, is organized and hosted by Newport Shipyard and Bannister’s Wharf, which partnered last year to consolidate the Newport Bucket and Candy Store Cup regattas.

The largest yacht entered thus far is the 184’ (56m) Perini Navi ketch Zenji, which will join the other entries at Newport Shipyard’s newly expanded docks alongside dozens of other megayachts, both sail and power. The working shipyard has become the epicenter of the megayacht industry in New England and is uniquely positioned on the Newport waterfront to allow the public to view the yachts that are berthed there.

 

The Candy Store Cup is all about sportsmanship and camaraderie, as the pristine superyachts must race to rules specially formulated to keep them safe distances from each other. The format calls for pursuit-style (staggered start) racing on Rhode Island Sound, with one race planned for each of the three days, leaving plenty of time in the afternoons and evenings for socializing. Racing begins at 1 p.m. off Castle Hill and will provide a stunning visual for those watching from vantage points along the shore of Narragansett Bay’s East Passage, south of the Pell Bridge. The Candy Store Cup Party and Awards are on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Royal HuismanPerini NaviVitters and Rybovich, which are major players in the superyacht industry and were all stewards of the Newport Bucket, are presenting partners of the Candy Store Cup Newport. Supporting partners of the event are KVHNorth SailsSentient JetSouthern Spars / Future FibresWillis Towers WatsonThe Marshall Islands Registry, and M. Gemi.

Newport Shipyard, one of the most popular and recommended shipyards in the U.S., is a full-service marina and shipyard with over 3,500 linear feet of dock space that can accommodate yachts up to 300+ feet. Its amenities include a dockside café, ship store, fitness center, courtesy vehicles and crew housing. Bannister’s Wharf, founder of the original Candy Store Cup in 1977, is situated in downtown Newport and attracts visitors and locals alike with 20 shops and galleries that offer a diverse selection of life’s niceties. The social center of the Wharf is the Clarke Cooke House, home of the original Candy Store Cup.

 

PRELIMINARY CLASS BREAKS (UPDATED JULY 13, 2017)

CLASS A:

Action – Sloop – 37m – Royal Huisman – Dykstra
Ranger (J) – Sloop – 42m – Danish Yacht – S&S / Dykstra NA
Sunleigh – Sloop – 32m – Jongert – Tony Castro

CLASS B:

Audrey II – Ketch – 27m – Jongert – Jongert
Bequia – Yawl – 28m – Brooklin Boat Yard – Stephens
Freya – Sloop – 27m – Nautor’s Swan – Frers
Wild Horses – Sloop – 23m – W-Class™ Yachts – White

CLASS C:

Meteor – Schooner – 52m – Royal Huisman – Dykstra NA
Naema – 42m – G Schooner – Graafship – Hodgdon Yachts
Whitehawk – 32m – Ketch – Lie-Nielsen – Bruce King
Zenji – Ketch – 56m – Perini-Navi – Ron Holland

 

Newport Shipyard Candy Store Cup aerial view ( Photo © Billy Black )

 

Panerai-©JamesMitchell

Panerai-©JamesMitchell

 

Despite the physically demanding first few days of race the crews of the Panerai Transat Classique 2015 are continuing to push their “old ladies” as hard as they can. With such a marked contrast in the strategies chosen by the competitors, we can expect changes in the trade winds occurring in the next few days to upset the established order.

A record! Clocking up 273 nautical miles in twenty-four hours (an average of 11.4 knots), Altair has broken her previous best of 260 miles in one day. Not only that, the big schooner has covered 1,000 nautical miles in the first four days of the race (an average of 10.4 knots), thus achieving the goal Captain Stephane Benfield set for his antique vessel in the days leading up to the Panerai Transat Classiqe 2015. Surely William Fife III, the genius Scottish yacht designer, would be delighted to discover that one of his creations has performed so well eighty-four years after her launch. And positively proud after learning that another of his designs, Adventuress, the doyenne of the fleet dating from 1924, is currently leading the pack with a few minutes’ advantage over Altair. Prior to the race, pundits expected a duel between the “dragons” (nickname derived from the motifs carved into the bows of every Fife) and they haven’t been disappointed.

“We won’t give an inch”

Faced with such juggernauts, the other yachts in the race will have to redouble their efforts if they want to be in with a chance of a place on the podium… and that’s exactly what they are doing. The symbolic threshold of 200 miles per day has been exceeded by more than half the fleet, averaging eight knots, sometimes nine, day after day. And to those who thought the crews wouldn’t dare push their “old ladies” to the limit, just take a look at the figures and you’ll be convinced otherwise. Vagabundo II and Desiderata are hanging in there and their perseverance is paying off with a respectable 5th and 7th place in corrected time respectively, and with only a few hours behind the leaders. Argyll, the Stephens design from 1948, has swiped 3rd place from Gweneven with a lead of twenty small minutes, and the elegant Mylne plan from 1930, The Blue Peter, is consistently logging 200 nautical miles per day.

Messages received from the boats attest to the single-minded determination of every watch to push its sailing thoroughbred harder than the next. For example, here’s what Oren Nataf aboard Gweneven, the smallest vessel in the fleet, had to write earlier in the day: “We’ve been sailing side by side with Corto since sun up. She’s slightly faster than us but we’re a determined bunch and won’t give an inch. They’ve just put their big kite back in the locker whereas we’re still flying ours in twenty-six knots of wind. Lucas, Gildas and Clément have been at the helm and took advantage of the darkness to gain a few miles. We’re in the heat of the battle and overtook Desiderata yesterday, calling her up on the VHF as we passed. This isn’t a cruise and Gildas [Ed: sailed in several Figaros, winning some legs] has been baring his teeth…

Corto flashed at 16.6 knots!

They’re just as motivated aboard Faïaoahé, even if they ease off the throttle at night: “We start the night with three reefs in our mainsail and the yankee. Sky’s looking black, wind steady at 25 knots, gusting 30-35 in the squalls. The forecast thinks there might be 40 knots tonight. So we’re being careful. And even with this sail plan we’re clocking up 8 to 10 knots with ease. We’re seeing less of the moon as the days pass. It’s a shame, because the recent moonlit nights were splendid.” Keeping more or less shtum since the start, Corto’s crew has been knuckling down to the job of racing. Bruno Jourdren, Sonar world champion in 2013 and 2014, silver medallist in the Beijing Paralympics and winner of the 1998 Transat Ag2r, is optimistic but remains lucid: “All’s well out here after three days of very lively conditions, as you might have guessed. We decided to take things easy in light of the forecast and the expected sea state. We’ve had a few setbacks but nothing serious. The boat is once again 100 % operational. We’re currently flying the kite in a wind varying between 20 and 27 knots. Perfect conditions! She’s sliding along at 9 to 12 knots, sometimes faster. Corto’s record was beaten two days ago by Malik with a brief 16.6 knots. Everybody on board has found their feet. We are now in full racing mode! By the sounds of it we’re better off at sea at the moment. All the best, the crew of Corto.”

For Amazon the northern route continues to pay dividends and the big Stephens yawl is determined to catch up with Altair, sailing much further to the south, to claim back the lead in real time. With such hugely different routes, every change in the conditions has the potential to cause an upset on the race board. So far the big girls have been benefitting from the strong winds but the latest forecast suggests the trades might have a change of heart and cast a favourable gaze upon the smaller vessels in the race. So what are the trade winds going to do? If they ease off, expect the lighter yachts to play catch-up with their larger and heavier counterparts. This year’s Panerai Transat Classique is full of surprises and there will be more to come. Count on it!

Panerai-©JamesMitchell

Panerai-©JamesMitchell

Rk Boat Position Depuis 4 heures Depuis 24 heures DTF
Heure UT Position Cap Vites VMG Cap Vitesse VMG Distane
1 Altair Goélette aurique / gaff schooner 1931 • 40.78m • bois / wood 18:40 UTC-20mi 22°04.89’N34°08.28’W 264 10.9 10.9 270 11.2 10.9 266.75 1611.3 nm0.0 nm
2 Amazon Yawl 1971 • 22.25m • Acier / steel 17:54 UTC-66mi 25°24.64’N33°00.85’W 258 8.8 8.8 258 8.7 8.7 208.93 1722.6 nm111.3 nm
3 Adventuress goélette aurique / gaff schooner 1924 • 31.10m • Bois / wood 18:18 UTC-42 23°33.49’N32°22.08’W 261 9.6 9.6 265 9.5 9.4 226.04 1726.7 nm115.4 nm
4 Faiaoahe Sloop 2006 • 20.14m • Aluminium 19:00 UTC 26°35.10’N32°21.14’W 265 8.2 8.0 261 8.2 8.1 197.69 1778.6 nm167.3 nm
5 Argyll Yawl 1948 • 17.50 • Bois / Wood 18:35 UTC-25min 23°27.22’N30°51.29’W 255 9.0 9.0 258 8.5 8.5 203.45 1806.5 nm195.2 nm
6 The Blue Peter Cotre bermudien / Bermuda cutter 1930 • 19.65m • Bois / Wood 19:04 UTC4min 22°13.80’N30°28.31’W 263 9.0 9.0 262 8.8 8.8 211.73 1813.1 nm201.8 nm
7 Corto Sloop bermudien / Bermuda sloop 1970 • 13.00m • GRP 18:57 UTC-3min 22°59.13’N30°02.16’W 254 8.7 8.7 252 8.2 8.1 195.87 1845.1 nm233.7 nm
8 Gweneven Sloop 1975 • 11.60m • Polyester 19:00 UTC 22°58.07’N30°00.73’W 252 8.1 8.1 252 8.3 8.2 198.05 1846.2 nm234.8 nm
9 Vagabundo II ketch bermudien / Bermuda ketch 1945 • 13.50m • Bois / Wood 17:51 UTC-69min 25°03.33’N29°52.69’W 256 7.4 7.4 259 7.7 7.7 184.33 1880.6 nm269.3 nm
10 Desiderata Ketch 1975 • 20.12m 17:53 UTC-67min 23°07.19’N29°14.06’W 250 7.2 7.1 251 7.6 7.5 180.63 1890.1 nm278.8 nm
Panerai-©JamesMitchell

Panerai-©JamesMitchell

Panerai-©JamesMitchell

Panerai-©JamesMitchell

Panerai-©JamesMitchell

Panerai-©JamesMitchell

Panerai-©JamesMitchell

Panerai-©JamesMitchell

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!