2019 St Barths Bucket Regatta
The 31 years old traditional regatta took place from 21 - 24 March
The 2019 St Barths Bucket Regatta saw the sailing superyacht fraternity return to the island in force, with an impressive line up 34 competing yachts and notable icons of both the sailing and motor superyacht fleet also in attendance to spectate the action and soak up the atmosphere.
This year’s racing fleet ranged in size from the 30m Varsovie to the 60m Hetairos, and the event welcomed several newcomers; 54m Pink Gin VI, the recently-launched 56m Aquarius, 34m schooner Columbia, 40m My Song and 33m Nakupenda.
As ‘Friends of the Bucket’, the Pantaenius superyacht experts were on site throughout the week to support their owners and lend a hand packing a spinnaker or two.
Review of St Barths Bucket
The Bucket Regatta has proved once again that it is one of the absolute benchmarks for Superyacht Racing. As a long-time partner of the event and founding member of the Superyacht Racing Association, we are always happy to meet new like-minded people in addition to the familiar faces. St. Barths Bucket is also the perfect place to prove our trademark commitment: We solely provide insurance solutions developed by yachties for yachties. - Martin Baum, Managing Director Pantaenius Group
To achieve fair and competitive racing, the 34-strong fleet were split into six class categories; the Les Gazelles des Mers (the more purposefully performance-oriented yachts), the Les Elegantes des Mers, Les Mademoiselles des Mers, Les Femmes des Mers, Les Grandes Dames des Mers, and the Les Voiles Blanche – the Corinthian Spirit class for yachts seeking a less intensive competition. The top three in each class take the podium places, with the Bucket Trophy awarded to the overall winner.
As always, the racing was highly competitive and duals between boats for precious points delivered exciting results. Royal Huisman’s 56m Aquarius got off to a flying start on day one, all the more notable with this being her first regatta, but with several famous faces from the sailing world aboard, the expert crew new exactly how to get the best from her.
A solid 12 to 18 knots blew the yachts around the island on the ‘Not So Wiggly Course’ on day two, and come the end of the day, three yachts of the Grandes Dames class (Rosehearty, Perseus and Hyperion) found themselves in a three-way tie-breaker for a final first.
This course is a popular one and aboard 33m WinWin, racing in the Les Gazelles, they believed it was their best race day in the boat’s history: “The owner loves the fantastic racing and tight mark roundings,” said Captain Ryan Taylor. WinWin started third in the sequence, and promptly overtook both 33m Inoui and 34m Nilaya. “Our execution of maneuvers was very good. We made one jibe to everyone else’s four, which gave us nice time and distance on them.”
In the Corinthian Class, 50m Ohana was able to add a second victory to their week, but they had to work hard for it, only passing 52m Q after the downwind legs. Captain Mattia Dzaja commented, “We didn’t think the Corinthian Class would be so much fun and so challenging! But the owner really loves it, this class is less stressful, less expensive and it’s not such a problem if you don’t win – but we want to win the Bucket all the same!”
Social events took place each evening throughout the regatta, with a highlight for owners being the welcome reception held at Nikki Beach and for race crew and industry professionals, the Bucket Bash – with live music and a barbecue on the Gustavia dock side.
The final day of racing brought with it an almighty squall, just in time for the first race signal, but spirits were not dampened and the race for the Bucket was on. Yachts chased each other the ‘Wrong Way Around’ St Barths, in winds of 18-20 knots.
In the Gazelles class, five yachts finished within just one minute of each other – testament to the affectivity of the ORCsy rating.
Final class results saw Ohana take the win for the Corinthian non-spinnaker set, Rosehearty came first despite a strong challenge from her Perini Navi sisterships in Les Grands Dames des Mers, for the Les Femmes des Mers it was Blue Too, new-comer Aquarious took first in her class, regatta veteran Sojana won class B (Les Mademoiselles del Mers) after a string of three clear race wins, and in class A the win, and the overall Bucket title, went to the Baltic Yachts Hetairos.
“Baltic Yachts were delighted to be invited to become friends of the Bucket this year and to help support what has become a truly iconic event within the yachting calendar. The event once again combined some extraordinarily close and hard fought racing out on the water but also an opportunity for owners and guests to interact in a relaxed environment. To see five of our boats cross the line within 63 seconds of each other on the final day, and to witness Hetairos winning overall, made for a spectacular week for Baltic.” – Henry Hawkins, CEO Baltic Yachts
The St Barths Bucket, the largest superyacht regatta of its kind, retains its relaxed and non-commercial approach through the dedicated stewardship of Perini Navi, Royal Huisman, Rybovich and Vitters Shipyard, supported by 16 industry ‘Friends of the Bucket’. Pantaenius are proud, long-time supporters and will be retuning to the island of St Barths in 2020 for what will be the Bucket Regatta’s 32nd edition.