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