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
Rambler 100 , Skippered by Ken Read (Photo by Christophe Jouany  / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth )

Rambler 100 ,Skippered by Ken Read (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth )

The first day of racing at the 2nd edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth dawned with 25 knots of tropical tradewind breeze and showers sweeping over the picturesque French island located midway down the Caribbean chain. The regatta’s fleet of maxis, racing and cruising yachts, multi-hulls and classics – 48 confirmed on race day – set off on a race course around the nearby archipelago, and met with plenty of wind and bumpy seas, especially on the islands’ exposed eastern side.

You certainly couldn’t have asked for a prettier race course, which today sent fleets on jaunts of either 16-, 22-, or 25-nautical mile jaunts.  Most intriguing was the trip around the northern tip of St. Barth and through the nearby archipelago, which in a typically French way makes one ready for a meal with names such as Ile Chevreau (baby goat), Ile Fregate (bird), Ile le Boulanger (the baker), Ile Fourchue (fork), Grouper et Petite Groupers (fish), Le Boeuf (beef), and Le Pain du Sucre (sugarloaf).

Today’s later start at 1300 did nothing to diminish the wind and sea, as the first two classes off – Maxis and Multihulls – with eleven boats, started in 22 knots and encountered two meter seas and were sent on a 25-nautical mile course. George David’s Rambler 100 with Ken Read as skipper, got away at the pin end of the starting line and lead Hugo Stenbeck on Genuine Risk up into the outer harbor to an offset turning mark. Once around, Rambler set a huge asymmetric spinnaker and was on her way for the day.

Genuine Risk (Photo by Christophe Jouany  / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth )

Genuine Risk (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth )

On the eastern, and windward, side of the island the big boats reveled in the conditions which eventually topped out above 30 knots – Genuine Risk, with their combined crew Swedish/ American crew, recorded 30 knots of boat speed surfing downwind through the islands.

Also racing in the Maxi class was the 86’ CNB sloop Spiip, owned by Robin de Jong, who is making his way westward to Tahiti with the boat. Onboard Spiip is Bruno Trouble, well known for creating and overseeing the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series (for the America’s Cup) that originated in 1983. Trouble is racing at the regatta for the first time, and he said, “Les Voiles de St. Barth reminds me a lot of the early days of the Nioulargue with boats from all over the place taking part.  Things are going to really build and it is just great, it really reminds me of the first Nioulargue!”

In the Racing Class, the crew work aboard Jim Swartz’s Vesper looked well-honed as the team traded tacks with Peter Cunningham’s Farr 60 Venomous (CAY) up the first short beat. Back on the quay, Venomous’ tactician Tony Rey recounted the day, “We had some great sailing   – St. Barth’s is such an awesome place to sail, every time you turn around an island, or a piece of land, the view just gets better and better. It’s just that the race course is a minefield because the wind twists and turns up the corners and the crevices – but it’s a fascinating place to sail! We also had the added challenge that our instruments went down, so we were guessing on our wind speed and direction, and guessing at our boat speed for part of it too, which turned us into good seat-of-the-pants sailors.”

Vesper  (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth )

Vesper (Photo by Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth )

Before scores were tabulated, though Rey suspects, “We think we were probably 2nd or 3rd, we’re pretty sure Vesper beat us handily, because downwind you just can’t stay with a boat like that.  We could have sailed better for sure, we left a few seconds on the race track, but generally we’re thrilled, it was a great day of sailing!”

In the 24-boat Racing Cruising class, the Swan 60 Fenix closely led Jereon Hin’s First 50 Black Hole (NED) after the first upwind beat. This class has a gamut of boats including two all-women entries, Annie O’Sullivan’s Diamonds Are Forever (UK), and Henneke Stegweg’s iLost (NED). As well, there are two Moorings 50.5 charter boats with two crews from Oakville, Ontario, Canada, headed up by Andre Beese and Patrick Festing. Both crews are comprised of friends and fellow Etchells sailors, who were originally headed to Antigua to race when a friend suggested they race at Les Voiles de St. Barth.

The Classics class, while low on numbers with just five boats, were high on style points with the 76’ W-class White Wings, the 80’ Fife yawl, Mariella, the 60’ dark-hulled gaff-rigged yawl Kate from St Kitt’s, and the 26’ Friendship sloop La Sirene, gracing the line.
Carlo Falcone, from Antigua, is a frequent competitor with Mariella in both classic and offshore races around the world, which he, more often than not, wins. He enjoys sailing in St. Barth because it has, he says, “more European style than other parts of the Caribbean.”

The yacht was designed by American naval architect Alfred Mylne, and built by Fife in Scotland in 1938. As Falcone says, “The beauty of this boat is the mix of the two. Mariella is well sailed and immaculately maintained, and Falcone says,  “I believe the more you use the boat the better it is. But it’s never-ending work – not buying the boat, but keeping it. They say, ‘the owners are just taking care of the boat until the next one.’” His regular crew is a mix of family and friends including his daughter Sylvia, his long-time navigator, 89-year old Henry Pepper (Marblehead, Mass), and crew from Italy, Australia and Dominica. Les Voiles de St.Barth is a way to prepare the boat for this summer’s classic yacht series in New England.

With a relatively new event, one may wonder what goes into the thinking for the course on day one. Following this morning’s skipper’s briefing, the, Les Voiles Race Committee Principal Race Officer, Jean Coadou offered some insight, “There were three main elements: the weather forecast, looking at the strength and direction of the wind around all of the islands. Also it was important with such a large fleet to avoid any boats crossing paths. And first and foremost, the enjoyment of sailing was a key factor. We try to ensure that the competitors encounter all the different points of sail, upwind, downwind and reaching. The idea is to come up with three hours of exciting racing each day; that is why the courses are around 30 miles in length for the fastest boats and 16 miles for the smaller craft.”
Key information: Les Voiles de St. Barth is being hosted from April 4 – 9 2011 by the St. Barth Yacht Club

Les Voiles de Saint Barth (Photo by Les Voiles de Saint Barth)

Les Voiles de Saint Barth (Photo by Les Voiles de Saint Barth)

 

Entries

Yacht Name   Sail Design LOA Skipper Status

SOJANA
 GBR 115 FARR 115 Peter HARRISON /Marc FIDZGERALD  

HIGHLAND BREEZE
 888 SWAN 112 RS/GPR 112′ ALBERT KEULARTS
 
SPIIP
 FRA 8686 CNB 86 86′ ROBIN DE JONG 
 
RAMBLER 100  USA 25555   READ Ken
 
GENUINE RISK
 8390 DUBOIS/MC CONAUGHY 97′ HUGO STENBECK

ICARUS
  JONGERT 90′   
 

 
PANIC ATTACK
 750 OPEN 750 24′ JAN VANDEN EYNDE
 
TECHNOMARINE
 FRA 27917 Farr 36,7 DEREDEC Christian 
 
PUFFY
 USA 45454 Farr 45 DEMARCHELLIER Patrick
 
ANTILOPE
 GRB 1513L GRAND SOLEIL 43′ WILLEM WESTER
 
SPEEDY NEMO  SBH 26   MAGRAS Raymond

VESPER
  TP 52 54′ JAMES SWARTZ 
 
VENOMOUS
 GBR 60006 FARR DESIGN 60′ PETER CUNNINGHAM
 
MAE-LIA     MAGRAS Raphael

SOLANO  FRA 34625   

Classic
Yacht Name   Sail Design LOA Skipper Status
 
 
WHITE WINGS
 US2 W CLASS 76′ DONALD TOFIAS
 
KATE
 ES5 MYLNE 60′ Walwyn 
 
LA SIRÈNE
 3 FRIEND SHIP SLOOP R WILSON 26′ DAVID PERTEL  
 
MARIELLA
 464 YAWL/FIFE 80′ CARLO FALCONE Pre-entry
 
Racing Cruising
Yacht Name   Sail Design LOA Skipper Status
 
 
FENIX
 GBR 9660R SWAN  60′ MORITZ BURMESTER  
 
L’ESPERANCE
 123 Beneteau 45 VELASQUEZ Robert 
 
BLACK HOLE
 GER 150L FIRST 50 50′ JEROEN HIN  
 
COSTA MESA
 88 DUFOUR 425 GL 43′ REY PASCAL
 
ORMEAU
  FINOT BENETEAU 47.3 ALAIN CHARLOT 
 
MR. WALKER
 FRA 491 REQUIN 33 MELISSA RIMBAUD
 
LIL’E
 FRA 479 REQUIN 33 FOX MOWGLI
 
SUGAR CANE
  BERRET 50.5 ANDRE BEESE
 
MAE-LIA
  X-YACHT 34 MAGRAS Raphael
 
TRITON
  BERRET 50.5 PATRICK SMITH
 
SPEEDY NEMO
  DUFOUR  34′ RAYMOND MAGRAS
 
THULA
 51952 BALTIC 39 39′ MAX IMRIE  
 
TARA II
  SUN ODYSSEY 54 DS 54′ HENRY ALBERT
 
SPLENDIDO
 FRA37407 GRAND SOLEIL 40′ PHILIPPE HERVOUET
 
NIX
 IVB 612 X-YACHT 60′ NICO CORTLEVER
 
AFFINITY
 US 50007 SWAN  48′ JACK DESMOND 
 
SOLANO
 FRA 34625 LATINI 52 FELCI 52′ FREDERIC RIALLAND  
 
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
 GRB 1007L ELAN 37′ ANNIE O’SULLIVAN 
 
COYOTE 2
 GBR 9949 T FIRST 40.7 41′ KEN ACOTT 
 
iLOST
  HARMONY 42 42′ HANNEKE STEGWEG
 
SHAMROCK VII
 USA 1 J 95 31′ THOMAS MULLEN
 
WILD DEVIL ISLAND WATER WORLD
 NM 1993 KIWI 35 35′ BEN JELIC
 
TANGRA  413 REQUIN 35′ QUERE Pre-entry
 
Racing Multihull
Yacht Name   Sail Design LOA Skipper Status
 
 
PHAEDO
 399BC GUNBOAT 66′ PAUL HAND 
 
DAUPHIN TELECOM
  COULOMBEL 40′ ERICK CLEMENT 
 
BLANCA
  SEACART 30′ HERVE DE MARJOLIE
 
SPIRIT 
 GBR 565  40′ JASON GARD
 
BLUE CAT   VAN PETEGHEM 40′ CHAYER
 
CARIB CAT
CATAMARAN MY CAT 26′ CONSIDERE CLAUDE

Sojana (Photo by Christophe Jouany  / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Sojana (Photo by Christophe Launay / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

An enthusiastic Ken Read (Newport, R.I.) got the 2011 sailing season off to a resounding start on board the new Maxi Yacht Rambler 100 in the Caribbean 600. The American skipper, who leads the Puma Ocean Racing project, has just won the event, leaving his rival Leopard 3 a long way behind and in so doing also grabbing the race record. Winner of last year’s inaugural running of the Les Voiles de St. Barth as skipper of George David’s (Hartford, Conn.) 90-footRambler, Read was naturally entrusted with the helm of Rambler 100 (the former Speedboat) when David took command of it earlier this year. Very excited by Rambler 100’s performance so far, Read is looking forward to the race program that lies ahead in the coming weeks. The second edition of the Les Voiles de St. Barth is next on the schedule (April 4-9), and with a mere mention of Read’s victory at the 2010 event, he admits without hesitation that he took advantage of “the best conditions ever experienced in my whole career….”

The prospect of once again facing their main rival Leopard 3 (owned by Great Britain’s Mike Slade) at Les Voiles de St. Barth–in closely fought contests on a variety of windy courses–is something that Read and David are extremely happy about. The Americans will bring along the whole of Read’s Puma Ocean Racing team, comprised of 15 top class professional sailors that will join seven other experienced crewmen to sail the powerful carbon Maxi Yacht.

“Don’t change a thing!,” said Read about the Les Voiles des St. Barth format, which features short daytime race courses that will have Rambler 100 and Leopard 3 facing off for the first time with that type of racing. “Rambler 100 and Leopard 3 are two huge monsters,” he said, explaining that both boats are entered in the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series, which reaches its climax in June with the 2011 Transatlantic Race from Newport, Rhode Island to The Lizard (UK). “They are record-breaking boats designed for long ocean races and major offshore courses; however, for our crew, it is vital to be able to compete in inshore races like those that will be held in St. Barth. Our battle against Leopard 3 will be very demanding for the crews and fascinating to watch, as we will be alongside each other for a lot of the time and it is bound to offer a maximum level of excitement.”

The Caribbean 600 represented an intermediate format for Ken Read and his crew, and it very quickly turned to the advantage of Rambler 100, which led the way from start to finish in what were typically Caribbean conditions, with strong trade winds windward of the islands and tricky currents, particularly at night. “Sailing along at 26 knots under the stars, we had some great moments aboard Rambler 100, a boat that offers a completely new dimension to racing,” concluded Read. Peter Harrison’s (Great Britain) 115-foot Farr-designed Sojana, which stood out in the Les Voiles de St. Barth last year and will be back again this year, also took part in the Caribbean 600 alongside Genuine Risk, the 90-foot Dubois design that has registered for the Les Voiles de St. Barth for the first time and may also thwart the favorites’ plans.

“In St. Barth, each day is different,” said Read. “The race committee has done an excellent job coming up with courses around the islands that are spectacular and at the same time very demanding from a tactical perspective, as they mean we have to sail at every point of sail. The Les Voiles de St. Barth is also physically very tiring, as the strong regular winds that sweep across the islands at this time of year allow us to get the most out of the boat, implying frequent sail changes with each change of tack. Technically, this is a really interesting event, which is a fantastic complement to the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series.”

Key information:

With one month to go until the start of racing, the Les Voiles de St. Barth has registered no fewer than 49 yachts, divided according to their size and class in the following five divisions:

SUPER / MAXI YACHT : A Maxi yacht refers to a prototype yacht or one that is produced in limited numbers measuring at least 69’ in length: 8 boats registered

CLASSIC: Classic Yachts or traditional boats are boats that are at least 35 years old and fit into various categories: 5 boats registered

RACING: This division brings together racing monohulls designed specifically for coastal or offshore races: 15 boats registered

RACING-CRUISING : The Racing Cruising division includes chiefly series boats, fitted out for cruising as well as for racing: 17 boats registered

RACING- MULTIHULLS: This division includes racing multihulls, be they trimarans or catamarans, with a length between 30 and 60 feet and which are very light and fast: 4 boats registered

The Les Voiles de St. Barth officially begins on Monday, April 4, 2011 with the traditional registration process and the opening of the Voiles Village, Quai du Général De Gaulle in Gustavia. At 1300 hrs (local time) the next day (Tuesday, April 5), the Race Directors, under the leadership of Luc Poupon, will signal the start of racing on some exciting and varied race courses set up according to the weather conditions. Racing continues Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with Thursday, April 7 set aside as a lay day, with a full list of festive events lined up, allowing the crews to rest and enjoy themselves along with the people of St. Barths. The closing evening on Saturday, April 9 will include the prize-giving
ceremony.

Sojana and Moneypenny (Photo by Christophe Jouany  / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Sojana and Moneypenny (Photo by Christophe Launay / Les Voiles de Saint-Barth)

Entries

LEOPARD 3
 GBR 1R FARR 100′ MIKE SLADE Pre-entry
 
SOJANA
 GBR 115 FARR 115 Peter HARRISON /Marc FIDZGERALD Pre-entry
 
BELLA PITA
 US 53560 TRIPP DESIGN 75′ JIM GRUNDY Pre-entry
 
HIGHLAND BREEZE
 888 SWAN 112 RS/GPR 112′ ALBERT KEULARTS Pre-entry
 
SPIIP
 FRA 8686 CNB 86 86′ ROBIN DE JONG Pre-entry
 
RAMBLER 100
   100′ GEORGE DAVID Pre-entry
 
MARAMA
   100′ GERARD NAIGEON Pre-entry
 
GENUINE RISK
 8390 DUBOIS/MC CONAUGHY 97′ HUGO STENBECK Pre-entry
 
Racing
Yacht Name   Sail Design LOA Skipper Status
 
 
REGIS GUILLEMOT.COM
 FRA 96 POGO 40 S2 40′ REGIS GUILLEMOT Pre-entry
 
PANIC ATTACK
 750 OPEN 750 24′ JAN VANDEN EYNDE Pre-entry
 
NOVUS ACRA
 GBR 150 L BENETEAU F 50 50′ TONY MACBRIDE Pre-entry
 
BLACK HOLE
  SANTA CRUZ 37 37′ J. Hin Pre-entry
 
FIFI
 FRA 2114 X55 55 G;MARTIN Pre-entry
 
LANCELOT
 FRA 25597 BENETEAU 31.7 32 SERGE MAZARIO Pre-entry
 
TECHNOMARINE
 FRA 27917 Farr 36,7 DEREDEC Christian Pre-entry
 
OCEAN WARRIOR
 SA 3625 CLASS 40 40′ LENJOHN VAN DER WEL Pre-entry
 
PUFFY
 USA 45454 Farr 45 DEMARCHELLIER Patrick Pre-entry
 
ANTILOPE
 GRB 1513L GRAND SOLEIL 43′ WILLEM WESTER Pre-entry
 
LOST HORIZON
 ANT 104 J 122 40′ JAMES DOBBS Pre-entry
 
MONNEYPENNY
  TP 52 54′ JIM SWARTZ Pre-entry
 
VENOMOUS
 GBR 60006 FARR DESIGN 60′ PETER CUNNINGHAM Pre-entry
 
SPIRIT OF JUNO
 GBR 8653 R FARR 65 65′ RORY FAULKNER Pre-entry
 
SONIC OF AYR
 GBR 370 L SANTA CRUZ 37 37 RYAN BROOKES Pre-entry
 
Classic
Yacht Name   Sail Design LOA Skipper Status
 
 
WHITE WINGS
 US2 W CLASS 76′ DAVID TOFIA Pre-entry
 
DUENDE
 10200 Herreshoff 43 43 D.Randy West Pre-entry
 
KATE
 ES5 MYLNE 60′ Walwyn Pre-entry
 
CARA MIA
 SUI 4405 SWAN  41′ PATRICK NICHOLAS Pre-entry
 
Racing Cruising
Yacht Name   Sail Design LOA Skipper Status
 
 
FENIX
 GBR 9660R SWAN  60′ MORITZ BURMESTER Pre-entry
 
L’ESPERANCE
 123 Beneteau 45 VELASQUEZ Robert Pre-entry
 
VANILLE
 16286 FIRST 300 SPIRIT 30′ PHILIPPE HERVE Pre-entry
 
COSTA MESA
 88 DUFOUR 425 GL 43′ REY PASCAL Pre-entry
 
ORMEAU
  FINOT BENETEAU 47.3 ALAIN CHARLOT Pre-entry
 
MR. WALKER
 FRA 491 REQUIN 33 MELISSA RIMBAUD Pre-entry
 
LIL’E
 FRA 479 REQUIN 33 FOX MOWGLI Pre-entry
 
BEESE
  BERRET 50.5 ANDRE BEESE Registered 
 
MAE-LIA
  X-YACHT 34 MAGRAS Raphael Pre-entry
 
FESTING
  BERRET 50.5 PATRICK SMITH Registered 
 
SPEEDY NEMO
  DUFOUR  34′ RAYMOND MAGRAS Pre-entry
 
CORBAN
 97133 SWAN 42 HARPER Daniel Pre-entry
 
TARA II
  SUN ODYSSEY 54 DS 54′ HENRY ALBERT Pre-entry
 
SPLENDIDO
 FRA37407 GRAND SOLEIL 40′ PHILIPPE HERVOUET Pre-entry
 
NIX
 IVB 612 X-YACHT 60′ NICO CORTLEVER Pre-entry
 
AFFINITY
 US 50007 SWAN  48′ JACK DESMOND Pre-entry
 
SOLANO
 FRA 34625 LATINI 52 FELCI 52′ FREDERIC RIALLAND Pre-entry
 
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
 GRB 1007L ELAN 37′ ANNIE O’SULLIVAN Pre-entry
 
COYOTE 2
 GBR 9949 T FIRST 40.7 41′ KEN ACOTT Pre-entry
 
iLOST
  HARMONY 42 42′ HANNEKE STEGWEG Pre-entry
 
SHAMROCK VII
 USA 1 J 95 31′ THOMAS MULLEN Pre-entry
 
Racing Multihull
Yacht Name   Sail Design LOA Skipper Status
 
 
PHAEDO
 399BC GUNBOAT 66′ PAUL HAND Pre-entry
 
KARIBUNI PINEL
  COULOMBEL 40′ ERICK CLEMENT Pre-entry
 
BIANCA
  SEACART 30′ HERVE DE MARJOLIE Pre-entry
 
SPIRIT 
 GBR 565  40′ JASON GARD Pre-entry

Genuine Risk At Start Of Bermuda Race (Photo by George Bekris )

Genuine Risk At Start Of Bermuda Race (Photo by George Bekris )