St Barths Bucket (Photo © JCLASS/Carlo Borlenghi/ Studio Borlenghi )

St Barths Bucket (Photo © JCLASS/Carlo Borlenghi/ Studio Borlenghi )

As this beautiful island is still getting back to normal, the excitement of the Bucket is the same as ever. St Barths is a close-knit community that has been working non-stop to be ready for us, and as the sailors and guests arrive, we realize we are part of this special family. Everyone asks in earnest how their island friends are, how their homes survived.

It’s been a long road with some extra bumps in it for sure. Last week a “Surge” with a capital S closed the Port of Gustavia, prohibited ferry service and cargo drop-offs, and caused a paralyzing island-wide phone and internet outage. Port Director Ernest Brin said, “The surge was 3.5 metres at 17 and 19 seconds,” he said, “with the water so high it was hitting our office windows!” Brin is a hands-on kind of guy and doesn’t simply direct Port operations from his place on high; he’s often there to catch a dock line or otherwise lend a personal hand to visiting Buckateers. He even brings flowers every year to the “Bucket girls” who run registration.

Photo © 2018 Ed GudenasThe swell also effected J Class Svea. Their race sails and equipment missed getting unloaded on schedule last week when the container ship that was carrying the goods was forced to hold up offshore because of the Surge. Svea warriors tracked it down and made a passage with their J Class yacht to St. Martin on Tuesday to execute an interception. The team unloaded their containers themselves, taking hours to pile high Svea’s deck. The process, in reverse, repeated itself at the docks of the Capitainerie on Wednesday. It was not ideal and didn’t allow for any practice days. Svea and many others were able to resolve the situation. And, Svea won Thursday’s J Class race. 

Photo © 2018 Ed GudenasNorth Sails also overcame challenges.  On Wednesday, James Downing and Macia Alleminy from the North Sails Superyacht loft in Mallorca, were prepping Wisp’sspinnaker for repair in their mobile Bucket loft across the harbor and waiting for sewing machines – due to be delivered three weeks ago – to show up. “We’ve got back-up from the local loft, but it’s very small,” said Downing who thought perhaps his ship might have finally come in at the same time as Svea’s.

Owners, sponsors and other guests enjoyed a strikingly lovely evening Thursday at a private home on the west side of the island. For the 300 or more attending, the chef from Maya’s Restaurant created delectable appetizers while champagne flowed from bottles kept in illuminated bowls. The outer and inner harbor were similarly aglow with lights from the 26 Superyacht chariots that, by day, await those who are fortunate enough to be participating in the Bucket racing and other activities here this week.

Superyacht Cup Palma 2015 Fleet (Photo  ©www.clairematches.com)

Superyacht Cup Palma 2015 Fleet (Photo ©www.clairematches.com)

Last night’s disco-themed dock party proved epic with the entire crew of the mighty Marie wearing orange wigs, pink sunglasses, glitter, gold and green satin suits; these clear winners went all out and so, not surprisingly, took the best-dressed-in-disco prize: VIP tickets to Pacha‘s after party and a bottle of bubbly to boot. Also team Tulip, colorfully kitted out in, well, ‘Tulips’, scored tickets, as well as own it on the dance floor for most of the night; think slick break-dance moves and a spirited ‘polonaise’. DJ Eazy Michael kept those feet on the dance floor which was followed by Bilonda’s soulful tunes. All in all last night’s fun was a perfect ending to a great day out on the water..

This morning saw the SYC race village bustling with the owners, sailors, friends and guests of the 21 spectacular superyachts charged to get the second day of sailing underway. And while some of the world’s most talented sailors were ardently discussing today’s tactics, the scene was set for today’s second day of racing.

Today’s menu served up a blazing sun, cloudless blue sky and the sea breeze getting it’s foot in the door a little earlier than yesterday. While on our first race day the breeze actually built more than expected, becoming moderate to fresh for much of the afternoon, today was predicted to be even beefier with 12-14 knots around midday and 14-18 in the afternoon.
The fleet headed out at 11 to make their way to the start line and racing got underway at 13.00. It was yesterday’s Class C winner Clan VIII who got off the start line first. The 45m Perini got off to a cracking start but unfortunately at 14.00, as the yachts were on their first run to Bahia 2,  the race got abandoned and the fleet had to return to the start line. Racing commenced again at 14.50 with the race committee opting for a shorter 18.7nm course. This time it was the ferociously green hulled,Vitters built Inouï and Nautor’s Highland Breeze who boasted best starts.

The first upwind Sech mark saw first timer, the 25m Maegan, round ahead of the fleet, pursued closely by new-boat-on-the-block Guardian Angel and the 26m Tulip. Maegan flew at full bore towards Bahia 2 but was chased hard by Kiboko Dos who managed to hunt her down and jibe around the mark first.
In the mean time in Class C both Highland Breeze and Clan VIII were not having a good day at the office. Highland Breeze stayed close to the shore which made her lose her 7th position and Clan VIII tacked later than her competitors who then started to reel her in one by one. The 28m Southern Wind Kiboko Dos however got seriously into gear and held her front running position rounding the fourth Illetas mark first, after which she gunned it towards the finish line crossing 3.27 minutes ahead of speed machine Open Season and 4.16 minutes before the stylish Swan 90 Odin.”For tomorrow we would like to continue doing a good job, in fact we did a good job yesterday. I think that we have to keep pushing and try our best. The team works together really well and we are very happy” commented a beaming Raimon Pascó, captain on board Kiboko Dos.

Today’s Class B winner, the 28m Southern Wind Kiboko Dos. © www.clairematches.com

Possibly the many sailors with local knowledge on board were the secret behind Kiboko Dos’ success today as she pulled out her impressive class win in Class B.

In Class A the Vitters built classic ketch Marie showed again she was on top form by winning her second bullet while newbie boat Maegan’s potent performance secured the team with a victory in Class C. On the new ORCsy rule Maegan’s navigator and CEO of Oyster David Tydeman said: ” The new superyacht rule is working. Oyster’s built 35 boats over 80 feet and with the previous handicap system it wasn’t worth coming to these events but it is now and we’re having a great time and I’m going to be encouraging Oysters to come regularly”. Regatta regular P2 took second after Marie. “The owner was super happy, he said we couldn’t have gotten any more out of the boat and the crew couldn’t have done a better job, so we felt we left nothing on the table and the results after day 2 sort of show that” smiled Captain Jonathan Kline.

A happy crew on board Kiboko Dos today. ©www.clairematches.com

As crew make a post-debrief lay line for the Regatta Bar sponsored by North Sails, the owners and their guests head for the unique St. Regis Mardavall. A stunning resort framed by the Tramuntana mountains, the luxurious marina of Puerto Portals and the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. With one group on the southwest coast of the island and the other in Superyacht Cup central we’re certain in both places all talk will feature the final day of sailing tomorrow, as everything will come down to the crunch in Saturday’s ultimate showdown.

Connect with us through Twitter #SYC15 and Facebook (The Superyacht Cup) for real time updates of all the action on and off the race course and/or follow the race live via Trac Trac.

2015 Entry List

Boat Size Design Shipyard
Blue Too 34m Ron Holland Alloy Yachts
Clan VIII 45m Ron Holland Perini Navi
Gaia 30.6m Spirit Yachts Spirit Yachts
Ganesha 46m Dubois Naval Architects Vitters Shipyard
Guardian Angel 26m Humphreys Yacht Design Oyster Yachts
Heartbeat 24m Hoek Yacht Design Claasen Shipyards
Highland Breeze 34m Frers Yacht Design Nautor Swan
Inoui 33m Briand Yacht Design Vitters Shipyard
Kiboko Dos 28m Reichel/Pugh Southern Wind Shipyard
Maegan 25m Humphreys Yacht Design Oyster Yachts
Maria Cattiva 40m Bruce King Royal Huisman
Marie 55m Hoek Yacht Design Vitters Shipyard
Odin 27.7m Frers Yacht Design Nautor Swan
Open Season 30.4m Judel/Vrolijk Wally Yachts
P2 38m Briand Yacht Design Perini Navi
Perseus ^3 60m Ron Holland Perini Navi
Saudade 45m Tripp Design Wally Yachts
Tilakkhana 24m Wally Yachts Wally Yachts
Tulip 26m Frers Yacht Design K&M Yacht Builders
Visione 45m Reichel/Pugh Baltic Yachts
Win Win 33m Javier Jaudenes Baltic Yachts

Les Voiles de Saint Barth 2012 fleet (Photo by Tim Wright)

With winter weather persisting in northern parts of the U.S. and Europe, sailors could be envied for heading to the Caribbean to extend their racing calendars. As it is, over 60 yachts and crew are currently on the island of St Barths, in the French West Indies, preparing for tomorrow’s start of Les Voiles de St. Barth. The fourth edition of this regatta will offer up four days of racing on a mix of courses and a social schedule equally as demanding, with dockside entertainment each evening and a lay day (Thursday) full of activities at Nikki Beach on St. Jean Bay.

As it has for its prior three editions, Les Voiles de St. Barth again has drawn a competitive mix of international yachts and crews from the UK, USA, France, Italy, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, and South Africa, as well as a strong Caribbean contingent from Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Anguilla, Antigua, and Trinidad.

The inaugural event in 2010 drew 27 boats, and since then, entries have steadily grown as the media and sailing’s coconut telegraph helped spread the word. Event Director François Paul Tolède was enthusiastic as yachts tied up stern-to at the Quai General de Gaulle in Gustavia. “The atmosphere is great on shore and the weather looks perfect,” he said. “With 62 boats entered so far (registration closes at 5 p.m. today) and considering the current economic climate, the turnout shows what great regard the yacht owners have for the Voiles de Saint Barth.”

Tolède continued: “Luc Poupon (Course Director) has come up with some new courses, slightly longer in some cases, as many of the sailors wanted to spend more time on the water, and so racing will start a little earlier. We expect anywhere between 15 to 20+ knots of wind this week — ideal conditions for the fleet, which ranges from 24 feet (Melges) to 100 feet (the Swan 100 Varsovie).”

The fleet is divided into eight classes: Maxis; Spinnaker 1, 2, and 3; Melges 24; Non-Spinnaker; Classics; and Multi-hulls. Organizers can chose between 28 course variations, from 11 to 40 nautical miles. Racing begins tomorrow, Tuesday April 9, with the first signal at 1100.

Jim Swartz, owner/skipper of the TP52 Vesper, is the anointed “godfather” of this year’s regatta. An enthusiastic competitor, he has participated in all four editions. For Swartz it is a do-not-miss event. “The conditions are fabulous,” he said.  “Sailing around this island is beautiful — the winds are always predictable, they are always a lot of fun, particularly when we get a good breeze on the back (windward) side of the island.” Sailing onboard Vesper will be former America’s Cup sailors Gavin Brady (tactician), Rob Salthouse (jib trim), Kazuhiko Sofuku (mid bow), and Jamie Gale (navigator), past Volvo Ocean Race crew.

After Vesper competed in the TP52 Worlds in Miami last month, the boat was shipped to St. Thomas to get it race ready and then delivered to St. Barths this week. “Les Voiles is always on our calendar,” Swartz said,  “It’s the atmosphere — the racing is great, the people are great, as is the organization.  It all runs very well. And the dining and shopping (for the ladies)…all that St. Barths is about, we enjoy the same thing!”

Over half the boats and skippers are return competitors. Notable new editions this year include Jens Kellinghusen’s Ker 51 Varuna, which has raced in the year since its launch at Kiel Week and Les Voiles de St. Tropez; the Volvo 60 Cuba Libre (ex-Heineken) in Non-Spinnaker (while the V60 Ambersail will be in Spinnaker 1); Phil Lotz’ Swan 42 Arethusa, which is fresh off winning the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean; Jolt 2, a Baltic 45 that has already stretched its legs on the recent RORC Caribbean 600; in the Classic class, Heroina, a 74’ cold molded Frers design build in the ‘90s; and the 51’ Aage Nielsen-designed ketch Saphaedra, a seasoned ocean racer.

At this morning’s media briefing at Hotel Carl Gustaf on the hill overlooking the harbor of Gustavia, Nils Dufau, Vice President of the Collectivity of St. Barth’s and president for the Tourism Committee, said, “Les Voiles de St. Barth has become a formidable communication tool for our island as an up-market destination. This event conveys to all the “state of mind” of an island that has built up over time and which today has become a haven of peace and stability — the very basis of its reputation.”

In a further nod to this relatively new event, the Caribbean Sailing Association named Les Voiles de St. Barth and the BVI Spring Regatta “Best Events of 2012.”

This evening is the Skipper’s Briefing after which event organizers will kick off the week with the Opening Ceremony and party in the Race Village on the Quai General de Gaulle.

The event enjoys the continued support of watchmaker Richard Mille as well as sportswear brand Gaastra. Other event partners include leading St. Barth villa rental agency WIMCO, which offers a gorgeous portfolio of private villas for rent on St. Barth. WIMCO’s sponsorship includes presenting eight Les Voiles class winners with a complimentary week in one of their top villas, inclusive of a concierge ready to attend to every request.
 

Rambler in 2012 (Photo by Tim Wright)

.

2013 ENTRIES

MAXI Racing – MAXI Racing Cruising
DYNAMITE IDEA
Design : MAXI 80
Loa: 80′
Skipper: Tony McBRIDE

—–
WHISPER
Design : Souther Wind 78
Loa: 78′
Skipper: Mark DICKER

——–
MAXIMISER
Design : FARR
Loa: 73′
Skipper: Jose DIEGO-AROZAMENA

——–
VARSOVIE
Design : Swan 100
Loa: 100′
Skipper: Tomek ULATOWSKI

——–
SELENE
Design : Swan 80
Loa: 80′
Skipper: Benjamin DAVITT

———

IRC 52
VESPER
Design : TP 52
Loa: 52′
Skipper: Jim SWARTZ

——–
VARUNA
Design : KER 51
Loa: 51′
Skipper: Jens KELLINGHUSEN

——————————————————————————–

Spinnaker
CUBA LIBRE
Design: VOLVO 60
Loa: 60′
Owner: Benedikt Clauberg

——————————————————————————–
PUFFY
Design: Swan
Loa: 53′
Owner: Patrick DEMARCHELIER- Skipper: Karl Spijker

——————————————————————————–
MUSIC
Design: Swan
Loa: 53′
Owner: James BLAKEMORE

——————————————————————————–
AEZ OPTIMIX
Design: Swan 45
Loa: 45′
Skipper/Owner: Gideon MESSINK

——————————————————————————–
AMBERSAIL
Design: Farr Vo 60
Loa: 60′
Skipper: Simonas STEPONAVICIUS

——————————————————————————–
RAMANESSIN
Design: Beneteau First 40
Loa: 40′
Skipper: Christian ZUGEL

——————————————————————————–
HAMACHI
Design : J 125
Loa: 41′
Skipper: Greg SLYNGSTAD

——————————————————————————–
LEFORT CLIM
Design: MELGES 24
Loa: 24′
Skipper: Antoine LEFORT

——————————————————————————–
Boost’n Sail
Design : MELGES 24
Loa: 24′
Skipper: Mowgli FOX

——————————————————————————–
TEAM ISLAND WATER WORLD
Design : MELGES 24
Loa: 24′
Skipper: Frits BUS

——————————————————————————–
Budget Marine/Gill
Design : MELGES 24
Loa: 24 ‘
Skipper: Andrea SCARABELLI

——————————————————————————–
AMCON Express
Design : MELGES 24
Loa: 24 ‘
Skipper: John GIFFORD

——————————————————————————–
FRENCH CONNECTION
Design : MELGES 24
Loa: 24′
Skipper: Didier Roulault/Bernard Sillem

——————————————————————————–
LAZY DOG
Design: J 122
Loa: 40′
Skipper: Sergio SAGRAMOSO

——————————————————————————–
VOILES au FEMININ
Design: J 109
Loa: 35′
Skipper: Sophie OLIVAUD

——————————————————————————–
StBarthSailRacing
Design : A40
Loa: 40′
Skipper: Alain CHARLOT

——————————————————————————–
JOLT 2
Design: BALTIC 45
Loa: 45′
Skipper: Peter HARRISON

——————————————————————————–
MAELIA
Design : X 34
Loa: 34′
Skipper: Raphael MAGRAS

——————————————————————————–
LANCELOT SBH
Design : First 31,7
Loa: 31,7′
Skipper: Serge MAZEIRO

——————————————————————————–
NINA
Design : BORDEAUX 60
Loa: 60′
Skipper: Nicolas CHALAPHY

——————————————————————————–
MERENA
Design :
Loa: 40′
Skipper: Alexis GUILLAUME

——————————————————————————–
SPEEDY NEMO
Design : DUFOUR 34
Loa: 34′
Skipper: Raymond MAGRAS

——————————————————————————–
ARETHUSA
Design : SWAN 42
Loa: 42′
Skipper: Philip LOTZ

——————————————————————————–
ANATOLE
Design : JPK 9,60
Loa: 31′
Skipper: J-L LEFEBVRE

——————————————————————————–
TRISKELL
Design : DUFOUR 45
Loa: 45′
Skipper: Jean Michel MARZIOU

——————————————————————————–
TEAM BOSTON
Design : FIRST 40,7
Loa: 40,7′
Skipper: John “Jack” WATSON

——————————————————————————–
Performance Yacht Charter-Northern Child
Design : Swan 51
Loa: 51′
Skipper: Christian REYNOLDS

——————————————————————————–
FISER
Design : B 28
Loa: 28′
Skipper: Jean-Michel FIGUERES

——————————————————————————–
Ptits Filous Lipton
Design : A 40
Loa: 40′
Skipper: Philippe CHARRET

——————————————————————————–
White Rhino Holdings
Design : Swan 56
Loa: 56 ‘
Skipper: Jack DESMOND

——————————————————————————–
SLIPPERY
Design : Reichel Pugh 37
Loa: 37 ‘
Skipper: Peter PEAKE

——————————————————————————–
MARTINIQUE PREMIERE – CREDIT MUTUEL
Design : SUNFAST 3200
Loa: 32 ‘
Skipper: Andrzej KOCHANSKI

——————————————————————————–
Kick ‘em Jenny 2
Design : MELGES 32
Loa: 32 ‘
Skipper: Ian HOPE-ROSS

——————————————————————————–
WHISTLER
Design : J-105
Loa: 35 ‘
Skipper: Peter LEWIS

——————————————————————————–
VOILES 44 CAVA
Design : POGO CLASS 40
Loa: 40 ‘
Skipper: Rodolphe SEPHO

——————————————————————————–
ORMEAU
Design : Beneteau 47
Loa: 47 ‘
Skipper: Alain CHARLOT

——————————————————————————–
BACHATELLE
Design : Swan 57
Loa: 57 ‘
Skipper: Joan Navarro Guiu

——————————————————————————–
TEAM HAN
Design : HANSE 47
Loa: 47 ‘
Skipper: Han de Bruyn Kops

——————————————————————————–
DEFIANCE
Design : MARTEN 49
Loa: 49 ‘
Skipper: Steve CUCCHIARO

——————————————————————————–

Non-Spinnaker
GIRLS for SAIL
Design : ELAN 37
Loa: 37′
Skipper: Annie O SULLIVAN

——————————————————————————–
NIX
Design : X-612
Loa: 60′
Skipper: Nico CORTLEVER

——————————————————————————–
Jaguar Island Water World
Design : J 120
Loa: 40′
Skipper: Ben JELIC

——————————————————————————–
FRENCH KISS
Design : Beneteau Sense 50
Loa :50′
Skipper: Alexandria KILMON

——————————————————————————–
ALPHA CENTAURI
Design : SWAN 57
Loa : 57′
Skipper: Bruno CHARDON

——————————————————————————–
HOTEL CALIFORNIA TOO
Design : SANTA CRUZ 70
Loa : 70′
Skipper: Stephen C SCHMIDT

——————————————————————————–
HIGH TENSION
Design : MUMM 36
Loa : 36′
Skipper: Bernie EVAN-WONG

——————————————————————————–
COSTA MESA
Design : DUFOUR 425 GL
Loa : 45′
Skipper: Pascal REY

——————————————————————————–
SHAMROCK VII
Design : J/95
Loa : 31′
Skipper: Thomas MULLEN

——————————————————————————–
L’ESPERANCE
Design : Beneteau 45 f
Loa : 45′
Skipper: Sir Robert VELASQUEZ

——————————————————————————–
VOILACTUS
Design : JEANNEAU 44
Loa: 44 ‘
Skipper: Eduardo LENTZ

——————————————————————————–
VANILLE
Design : First 300
Loa: 30 ‘
Skipper: Garth STEYN

——————————————————————————–
SPIRIT
Design : Swan 65
Loa: 65 ‘
Skipper: Alan EDWARDS

——————————————————————————–

Racing Multihull
DAUPHIN TELECOM
Design:
Loa: 50′
Skipper: Erik CLEMENT

——————————————————————————–
FILDOU
Design: F 40
Loa: 40′
Skipper: Stéphane CATTONI

——————————————————————————–
PARADOX
Design: Irens 63′ Trimaran
Loa: 63′
Skipper: Olivier VIGOUREUX

——————————————————————————–
PLAN D’ENFER
Design: Trimaran F40 Montesinos
Loa: 40′
Skipper: Bruno ESCALES

——————————————————————————–

CLASSIC
WILD HORSES
Design: W Class
Loa: 76′
Skipper: Donald TOFIAS

——————————————————————————–
The Blue Peter
Design: Alfred MYLNE
Loa: 65′
Skipper: Mathew BARKER

——————————————————————————–
SAPHAEDRA
Design: Classic wood ketch
Loa: 51′
Skipper: Jamie ENOS

——————————————————————————–
S/Y HEROINA
Design : Frers
Loa: 74′