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St Barths
2005

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St Barths Bucket: Regatta Recaps

 

2005 St Barths Bucket Recap

The 2005 St. Barths Bucket Regatta was a remarkable event, even by Bucket standards, which tend to stretch normal parameters. First, the three day format is a keeper! We trust all enjoyed the extra day on the Island. The fleet was the biggest ever by all measures; with 28 yachts registered and 25 officially sailing. With yachts ranging from 78’ to 247’, we certainly broke all tonnage records! 600 sailors participated in the event and enjoyed the hospitality put forward by the St. Barths Commune, the Capitainerie, the St. Barths Yacht Club, the Mayor’s office and the Mayor himself. The hospitality was reciprocal, with the yachts entertaining the local representatives during the open house and inviting a good number of St. Barths residents out sailing. The relationship between the Bucket participants and the St. Barths Community is healthy. Thanks all for your help in this regard.

The size of the fleet also stretched the capabilities of the Capitainerie when it came to having 24 yachts come and go within the same hour, twice a day! Although the choreography was not without foibles, the coming and going was well done on the part of the yachts and the dock personnel.

The entertainment put forward by our yacht owners was appreciated by all. The 247’ MIRABELLA V provided perhaps the most impressive location for a Skipper’s meeting in the history of yachting. The Welcome Party, sponsored by the owner of ROGUE, the Abacos Club and Spencer Rybovich Yacht Yard, was a great launching for the event.

The venue for the party reached a new pinnacle in respecting the myriad of French laws. What had been a serious construction site 24 hours before the fleet arrived, was magically transformed by Melanie Smith and associates, volunteers from St. Barths and the largesse of the St. Maarten Marine Trades Association, who donated the tents. What had been a litter of construction debris was re-created into a professionally lit stage, decorated with spinnakers, banners, two bars and a dance floor. Magic!!

Our largest fleet ever brought forward significant challenges to the Race Committee and Jim Teeters our rating Guru, because the fleet was as diverse as it was large. With 6 heavy displacement Perini Navi yachts in the same fleet as RANGER, VISIONE and the rocket ketch, SOJANA, plus the mega performance yachts, HYPERION, SCHEHERAZADE, DESTINATION and REBECCA, with a sprinkling of smaller classics, MARIELLA and WILD HORSES – and the modern classics, WHISPER, VICTORIA and the like - the rating conundrum well embodied the term. But with the application of Jim’s, increasingly accurate Bucket VPP Formula, the finishes became increasingly close as the weekend progressed, culminating Sunday when we had a large number of finishes between yachts of diverse description, with only seconds between. Jim was also able to sail aboard three, very different yachts; Perini Navi PERSEUS, the Bruce King/Hodgdon masterpiece, SCHEHERAZADE, and VICTORIA OF STRATHEARN, which gave him a first hand view of the yachts and how they are sailed relative to the overall fleet potential. Lastly, and of tremendous benefit to the Race Committee, he wore the rating target on HIS back! What a great breath of fresh air. . .

For Friday’s 24 mile course around St. Barths, the starting times varied by a full 105 minutes, with VISIONE, starting an hour and 45 minutes after the first boat with SOJANA and RANGER only slightly before. The race began with METOLIUS and FREEDOM breaking free into what appeared to be an unbreakable lead in a great light to medium air race around the Island. If there was a highlight to the day’s racing that was experienced by everyone in the fleet at one point or another, it was looking over your shoulder to see RANGER, VISIONE and SOJANA appear on the aft horizon and grow to their awesome life size – then show us their transom as they sailed through the fleet! At the end of the day they passed all but beautiful REBECCA, who dazzled us all with her remarkable speed, even without benefit of a spinnaker.

Friday night’s open house aboard the yachts, stern to at the quay was characterized by great hospitality aboard all the boats, which were open not only to the yacht’s crews – but to a number of St. Barths notables as well. The hospitality was as usual – as good as it gets, with the owner of DESTINATION FOX HARBOR importing lobster and oysters, fresh from Fox Harbor in Prince Edward Island, RANGER and ATMOSPHERE both open to all, a great party aboard FREEDOM, while VICTORIA OF STRATHEARN, WHISPER and SARIYAH and the rest of the fleet put forward their usual, magnificent hospitality. Our guests from St. Barths were particularly pleased to be included.

SATURDAY dawned with a few cloudy heads and the prospect for a true Caribbean 15 knot sou’easter. Ratings were adjusted from the results of Friday’s race, wherein although there was reasonably close racing between the boats of like description, we felt the need to bring the fastest and slowest yachts into the hunt. We were extremely successful at moving the heavy displacement yachts into fleet contention but honestly, we over corrected the fastest yachts, pushing their start times too far back to allow them a fair chance of winning. Although Saturday’s 5 minute penalty for RANGER, VISIONE, HYPERION and SOJANA put them at the back of the pack (for which we are most apologetic), they still had close racing at their end of the pack, with only 6 minutes separating the last 7 positions in the fleet. ROGUE was the big winner for Saturday’s race, beating PERSEUS, the 50 meter Perini Navi across the line by only 7 seconds! Another close finish was between SARIYAH in 4th place, followed by the Classic Fife, MARIELLA, then ANDROMEDA LA DEA in 6th, all within 40 seconds. Saturday’s race indeed provided a good mix of close racing between yachts of all descriptions. ROGUE became the first yacht in Bucket History to gift the Race Committee with 6 bottles of chilled champagne at the end of the day. It was savored.

Saturday night, the owner’s reception aboard the 90 meter Huisman, ATHENA, was as elegant as can be – what a magnificent yacht! 150 guests were swallowed up between the beautifully articulated on-deck spaces, main salon and all the cabins between. We are all very grateful for the hospitality and for the opportunity to visit aboard this masterpiece. Moet Hennessy were kind enough to extend their sponsorship of the Bucket, to supply champagne for all aboard who were thirsty.

Sunday also dawned with promise for a good breeze, which held for the third and final race, a 20 mile romp around St. Barths, clockwise. Given a solid empirical basis from Saturday’s Race, similar wind conditions and a course only .3 mile longer with similar upwind and downwind components, the RC had an excellent opportunity to level the fleet by simply adjusting the starting times, crediting every yacht with the number of seconds per mile she was out of first place, Saturday. The end result was a group of astoundingly close finishes for such a disparate fleet. The wild card here, is that each boat was not only credited for her Saturday boatspeed – but for her Saturday screw-ups as well! Aboard VICTORIA, our Saturday race was among our worst races ever, with a number of sail set foibles and a costly downwind foul by another yacht. With that extra credit, Sunday was VICTORIA’s day in the sun. When we rounded Roches Rouges and set the downwind sails for the finish – there were seemingly no boats left out front and no contenders rapidly approaching from astern! (Having had a hand in the ratings, your correspondent was less than thrilled!) As it turned out, our apparent win had been scooped by Perini GITANA, enthusiastic Bucket participants in almost every event – and the usual guardians of the back of the fleet. Sunday, her rating credits paid off and she was back at the dock before VICTORIA even finished. Congratulations GITANA!

The finishes that followed were extremely close. FREEDOM finished third, followed by the 138’ Alloy/DuBois sloop, DESTINATION. Three minutes later, SCHEHERAZADE finished fifth, followed less than a minute later by AVALON, then GITANA S&S ONE SECOND LATER! The close finishes ran through the entire fleet, with HYPERION finishing 10th, and METOLIUS only 5 seconds later. After another 3 minutes, Perini Navi NUMBERO UNO finished 12th, half a boatlength and 20 seconds ahead of ANDROMEDA LA DEA, which was ahead of the full-race SOJANA by only 13 seconds! Even at the back of the pack, the finishes between the 90’ Holland/Pendennis BOO TOO with MARIELLA 7 seconds later, followed by the 41 meter Jongert, INFATUATION 14 seconds later, VISIONE in 20th after another 6 seconds, REBECCA in 21st place 39 seconds later, then RANGER a minute later. Right through the fleet, this was good, close racing.

The Awards Cocktail Party was sponsored by Perini Navi, the Royal Huisman Shipyard, and Moet Hennessy. The fleet was split into two classes and for lack of a more definitive division the fleet was separated by the simple designation of – one mast or two. Among the Sloops, WILD HORSES placed third, DESTINATION FOX HARBOR placed second and METOLIUS was the winner. Among the ketches, S & S GITANA was third, SARIYAH placed second and FREEDOM OF FLIGHT was the winner.

In the overall results, third place was presented to SARIYAH, and second place was won by METOLIUS. Each were presented with a crystal bucket and gifted with a magnum of Moet & Chandon, by the event sponsors, Moet Hennessy.

The overall winner of this year’s St. Barths Bucket Regatta was the 38 meter S & S Ketch, FREEDOM. Sam Byrne and his erstwhile crew of 25 gave the stage a good structural test while being presented with the original St. Barths Bucket on which Freedom will be remembered, a crystal Bucket and a magnum of Moet & Chandon, which was fully utilized to soak down the entire crew, the Race Committee and all the remaining trophies. A great shower it was! In addition, Pascal Bony of Moet Hennessy presented a Special Edition magnum of Cognac to the winners.

There were a number of additional awards presented by the fleet and by our sponsors, all well deserved.

The Wolter Huisman Spirit of the Bucket Award was endowed this year by the Royal Huisman Shipyard, with “keeper” trophies for each of five years. This year it was an easy decision to present the award to Tom Taylor and AVALON, as they were among the originators of the very first Nantucket Bucket Regatta and have been enthusiastic supporters ever since.
The Perini Navi Cup was presented to ANDROMEDA LA DEA, for the best performance among the Perini Yachts in the fleet. This was a closely contested award for which the results changed right up to the finish of the last race.

Churchill Yacht Partners presented the Churchill Corinthian Cup, for outstanding boathandling and seamanship, to ZINGARO, aboard which they experienced a man overboard during Sunday’s spinnaker set, and affected a quick recovery. Churchill were also kind enough to gift the entire fleet with hats for all participants in the Bucket. Heartfelt thanks!

The UBS Trophy is an authentic (20 kilo) Swiss cow bell, presented each year to a yacht that makes an outstanding contribution to the event. This year we gratefully presented the UBS Trophy to the owner of RANGER, for his unflagging support for the event (results notwithstanding. . .).

The MAYOR’S TROPHY was presented by St. Barths Mayor, Bruno Magras, to the yacht that over the season has cultivated the best reciprocal relationship with the Capitainerie and the Island of St. Barths. This year’s inaugural award was presented to the owner of ATHENA and crew. In addition, Mayor Magras presented Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals of St. Barthelemy to the first, second and third place Bucket winners.

For the second year, the jeweler Diamond Genesis of St. Barths presented an elegant white gold St. Barths charm bracelet. This year, the obvious recipient was Alice Huisman, in recognition of Huisman’s interest and support of the Bucket, as well as for having created a number of the winners over the years.

Lastly, at the awards, the Bucket Race Committee presented a donation check to the St. Barths Yacht Club in the amount of €3,000, to be applied to their youth sailing program. The donation was gratefully received, further perpetuating the warm relationship between the Bucket Regatta participants and the community.

Other sponsors who were honored at the awards, for making the St. Barths Bucket possible were Alloy Yachts, UBS, Northrop and Johnson Yacht Brokerage, Marsh Insurance and Bartram and Brakenhoff. Without their generous support, the Race Committee would have been scratching their own wallets to make the event a reality. Thanks All!

And once again, in sum, the 2005 St. Barths Bucket Regatta passed the critical test. The Race Committee had a Ball!!

Fair Winds,
The Bucket Race Committee

Postscript:: We were fortunate to have some of the best marine photographers in the industry with us in St. Barths. So see a number of great photos, visit the following websites.

www.craigdavisphoto.com/bucket05-01
www.craigdavisphoto.com/bucket05-02
www.photoaction.com
www.billyblack.com

THE FLEET

ANDROMEDA LA DEA, 47M, Perini Navi
ATMOSPHERE, 53M Perini Navi
AVALON, 33M, Alloy Yachts BOO TOO, 28M, Holland/Pendennis
DESTINATION FOX HARBOR, 41M Alloy Yachts
FREEDOM OF FLIGHT, 38M S & S
GITANA, 36M Perini Navi
GITANA, 28M S & S, Camper Nicholson
HYPERION, 48M Royal Huisman
INFATUATION, 41M Jongert
LADY LAUREN, 40M Perini Navi
MARIELLA, 25M Classic Fife
METOLIUS, 26M Royal Huisman
MIRABELLA V, 75M Holland (unofficial)
NUMERO UNO, 39M Perini Navi
PERSEUS, 50M Perini Navi
RANGER, 42M J Class
REBECCA, 43M Frers/Pendennis
ROGUE, 31M
SARIYAH, 40M S & S/Sensation
SCHEHEREZADE, 48M Bruce King/Hodgdon
SOJANA, 38M Carbon Ketch
VICTORIA OF STRATHEARN, 36M Langan/Alloy
WHISPER, 36M Fontaine/Holland
WILD HORSES, 23M W Class Jachtbaou
VISIONE, 45M Custom Baltic