Alloy YachtsHolland Jachtbouw Perini Navi Royal Huisman Vitters Shipyard



St Barths
2006

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St Barths Bucket: Regatta Recaps

 

2006 St. Barths Bucket Recap

Skunked at the St. Barths Bucket! The trade winds shut off completely and served up three glossy calm afternoons in a row? That premise would bring long odds in Las Vegas. . . But it was exactly how the Regatta unfolded. With a stalled front north of the Islands, the wind Gods virtually took the weekend off – for all we could tell, they may have gone to ‘Vegas! The good news was that the non-existent sailing conditions could not begin to dampen spirits among the record 30 mega-yacht fleet and 700+ crew in attendance.

The Captain’s Meeting was hosted by John Williams aboard ALTITUDE, his chartered tender, which at 55 meters, easily entertained the crowd of 150. The Welcome Party, hosted by Peter de Savary, The Abaco Club and ShowBoats International Magazine, began an hour later at the newly reconstructed Quay and Gustavia Capitainerie, which once again had been transformed into a beautifully lighted and staged Bucket Central, by Melanie Smith and her resident magicians.

The party was launched with a somber moment, in tribute to our close friend, Tom Taylor, one of the Bucket Founders and an unflagging supporter of the event, who was tragically killed in an accident this winter. The Bucket Race Committee commissioned a gold plated Herreshoff saluting cannon in Tom’s honor, which we fired to formally open the Bucket Regatta, followed by a moment of silence for our missing friend. The ‘Tommy Gun” will travel to, and open all future Bucket events.

In a dying 8 knot breeze, the RC got half the fleet started on Friday’s Round the Island Race, before calling out the beach towels an hour later when the fleet all but lost steerage way in near zero wind. John Taylor and PARAISO got the picture early, notified the RC and headed first for the beach, with the rest of the fleet soon to follow. Shell Beach and Baie Columbier were fully assaulted for the afternoon by Mega Yachts and Mega Yacht games.

Friday night’s open house aboard the Yachts, as usual, was one of the high points of the weekend, with the fleet putting forward their finest fare to entertain their competitors. The food was as good as it gets, with fresh Nova Scotia lobster aboard DESTINATION FOX HARBOR, Chef Raffie Hurtado aboard ANTARA serving up epicurean creations, and the other yachts spoiling us with all manner of treats. ATLANTA maintained a truly festive atmosphere, rivaled only by WHISPER, with their disco music and psychedelic blinking bling pins to illuminate the guests. This was a many faceted, great party night.

The fleet started Saturday’s 18 mile “Wiggley Course” around the North and East of St. Barths in a relative gale of almost 9 knots of wind. The prospect of finishing a race looked good until intermittent squalls shut off the breeze like isolated iron curtains - wherein all available wind was simply going straight up into the convecting clouds. While the fleet was slow motion wrestling with several squalls, the RC shortened course to what looked like an easy finish with a very short last leg. Unfortunately, the mother-in-law of all squalls simply erased the breeze across the entire course. This gross miscarriage of nature snatched defeat from the very jaws of victory for the 48 Meter Perini Navi, ANTARA. Her crew had sailed a magnificent light air race by hitting the start and every shift masterfully. At the whim of the wind gods, she was forced to anchor just 200 yards from the finish for over an hour! No finish. No race. No justice!!

Several other yachts also sailed flawless light air races on Saturday. ZINGARO and WHISPER started on their numbers and walked right through the fleet. Along with AVALON, they were beginning to drift up on ANTARA when the clock ran out. REBECCA also kicked up her heels in the light conditions but also fell victim to the mother of squalls.

Ralph Lauren hosted a magnificent Cocktail Party for the Owners and their guests on Saturday night, at the home of David Ray, overlooking the fleet in Gustavia Harbor. Our friends at Moet & Chandon and Segeco Caribbean Distributors were kind enough to provide Champagne for the event, which certainly enhanced the flavor of the event. In sum, the hospitality and the fare were befitting the elegant surroundings – a good time was had by all. Concurrently, Holland Jachtbouw and The Yacht Report hosted a crew party at the quay, with a barbeque, open bar, music and dancing. As expected, the Owner’s party spilled over into the crew party, which kept the party rolling into the early wee hours.

Sunday dawned hopeful, with almost a dozen knots blowing in Gustavia – but it was a teaser that dropped off to a zephyr by the first start time. During an hour postponement, the RC designed a short, reaching course for the six knot prevailing breeze. Twenty four yachts started the race at their assigned pursuit racing times, whereupon the wind abruptly dropped yet again, leaving the fleet close reaching in a 3 knot breeze. This is not what you do for fun aboard a 300 ton Mega Yacht so yet again, once excused by our erstwhile Race Committee, the fleet adjourned to various beaches to enjoy the Caribbean afternoon.

The good news within a fleet of this stature is that when the wind dies, there are a myriad of enjoyable ways to spend the day. Tenders, rafts and water toys sprouted – blenders whizzed and the banter began anew. If this was the downside, then life was very good indeed. . .

The “no race” conundrum presented a head scratcher for the Race Committee. How do we present awards for non-races? This Zen kohn promulgated a spirited afternoon discourse. Do we keep the awards? Auction them? Award them for??? It quickly became apparent that the only measurable performance in this non-regatta would be found in the starts. Each yacht was assigned a specific starting time in each pursuit race and we had accurate data on the difference between the assigned and actual start times. The results were really shocking!

The most impressive starting time deltas for the entire fleet were the combined times for the 48 Meter Perini Navi Ketch, ANTARA. In a fleet that included two J Boats and a number of carbon fiber, scalding fast mega performers, ANTARA’s crew sailed their 300 ton yacht to start 4 seconds late on Saturday and 14 seconds late on Sunday, clearly closer than all others!

The second closest starters were also a great surprise. Within a fleet of mega yachts equipped with entirely automatic functions, the 1929 Classic William Fife 118’ Schooner, ALTAIR, sailed across the starting line within 14 seconds Saturday and 18 Seconds Sunday, of her assigned starting time, with no electric winches, in fact, few winches at all; 8 sails flying and a good head of speed! Another astounding performance!

The 155’ Custom Baltic/Judel Vrolijk Carbon Fibre Sloop, VISIONE, was third by the start measure, weighing in just behind ALTAIR. By far the fastest yacht in the fleet and among the very best sailed as well, VISIONE typically starts up to two hours after the first yachts in a short, 22 mile race, then romps through the fleet to finish with the winners.

The Sunday evening Awards Ceremony was hosted by the Superyacht Builders; Perini Navi Yachts, Holland Jachtbouw, The Royal Huisman Shipyard and Alloy Yachts. Again, our friends at Moet lubricated the affair with buckets of fine bubbly, which put a proper slant on the evening.

Ian Craddock, the Bucket’s Own Ed Sullivan, was the Master of Ceremonies for the Awards, which began with presentation of the Bucket awards and Medals of St. Barths, presented by Bruno Magras, the Mayor of St. Barths. Third place was awarded to VISIONE, Second place to ALTAIR and First Place was won by ANTARA.

This year, without a proper race completed, it was decided not to present the St. Barths Bucket Trophy. However, in remembrance of Tom Taylor, his name and AVALON will be inscribed on the Bucket Trophy for the year 2006.

The Wolter Huisman, Spirit of the Bucket Award was presented by Alice Huisman, to Grandma Betty, Matriarch of the Perini Navi, PERSIUS, for her absolute devotion to her family and grandchildren, and to the sheer fun of the event. She came with no expectation of winning anything, which in the Bucket view, makes her a clear winner!!!

The clear winner of this year’s Perini Trophy, for the best performing Perini Navi Yacht was ANTARA. Mrs. Milena Perini presented the beautifully crafted silver tray to Mr. And Mrs. Michael Gooch, the owners of ANTARA.

This year, Holland Jachtbouw presented the first St. Barths Bucket All Star Crew Award. Each yacht was asked to put forward their vote for the All Star Crew; those who work on a perfectly kept yacht, with a great team that have fun doing the best job possible. They couldn’t vote for themselves! When the tallies were in, ENDEAVOUR, Captain Sparky Beardall and crew were voted the 2006 Bucket All Stars! They were presented with a beautiful plaque crafted by Holland Jachtbouw, with half a Dutch wooden shoe and the All Star inscription. They were also presented with a cape for the Supercrew and star wands, with which they can perform their magic! Holland Jachtbouw, being mindful yacht builders not wanting to waste material, made sure to save the other half of the shoe for next year’s award!

The Churchill Corinthian/Seamanship Award, for excellence in Seamanship and/or exemplary Corinthian spirit was an easy choice this year. Without question, the Crew aboard ANTARA demonstrated extraordinary seamanship in our one, almost race by massaging every zephyr of wind with their 300 ton mega cruising yacht in Saturday’s light air race; doing full standing float drops with their acre size spinnaker and hitting each start with precision. Great job guys! That was a phenomenal bit of sailing!

Finally, the coveted Escargot Cup, for last place in the Bucket was also without a clear winner in this year’s event. Therefore, it was claimed by the Race Committee for failing to attend services on a regular enough basis to insure a proper breeze for the event. We then realized that this created the THIRD time our Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Craddock, has won the Escargot prize!

In sum, once again, the Bucket was a ball. It is a true testament to all the sailors that traveled so far for the event, that in the absence of even a semblance of a sailing breeze for the Regatta, this group had a great time anyway! Bucket sailors are a remarkable group of fun loving folks and in truth, therein lies the magic of all Bucket Regattas.

Fair winds,
The Bucket Race Committee

Post Script:

Once again, our most sincere thanks to all of the Bucket Regatta Sponsors. This year we have been able to achieve our long-term goal to have the funding for the Bucket come from within the Marine Industry. At present, the Bucket is properly funded with the only out of industry sponsors being our friends at Ralph Lauren. We are constantly approached by mainstream companies wishing to brand their products with the Bucket, and we’re pleased to report that we’d rather have a well-run sailing industry event than to go for the big bucks. Your support has been a blessing with regard to our efforts toward minimizing any commercial flavor for the Bucket Events. Thanks all!

Ralph Lauren – Holland Jachtbouw – Perini Navi – Bank of America

Northrop and Johnson – Carnegie Abbey – Newport Shipyard –
Moet et Chandon

Churchill Yacht Partners – The Abaco Club - The Yacht Report – Rybovich

Showboats International - Royal Huisman Shipyard – Alloy Yachts -
North Sails

Doyle Sailmakers – Bartram & Brakenhoff – Marsh Insurance

Segeco Caribbean Distributors - The Hinckley Company –
Z Marine Insurance

2006 St. Barth's Bucket Fleet:

ALTAIR - 118’ Classic Fife
ANTARA - 151' Perini Navi
ATLANTA - 118' Alloy, DuBois
AVALON - 108' Alloy, Holland
BOO TOO - 92' Pendennis, Holland
DESTINATION FOX HARBOR - 130’ DuBois
ENDEAVOUR - 135' J Class, Camper Nicholson
FREEDOM OF FLIGHT - 124' Picchiotti, S & S
GHOST - 122' Vitters/Brenta
HELIOS - 122’ DuBois
MARIELLA - 79' W. Fife & Son
METOLIUS - 84' Huisman, Frers
OHANA - 142’ Perini Navi
PARAISO - 126' Alloy, Fontaine
PARSIFAL III - 178' Perini Navi
PERSEUS - 164’ Perini Navi
RANGER - 137' J Class, Danish Yachts
REBECCA - 141' Pendennis, Frers
RIPPLE - 101’ Brooke, R. Holland
ROGUE - 103' Trehard
SAPPHIRE - 105' Klaussen, Hoek
SOJANA - 115' Fast Cruising
SEAQUELL - 112’ Alloy, DuBois
SYMMETRY - 96’ Yachting Dev., Frers
UNFURLED - 112' Huisman, Frers
VICTORIA OF STRATHEARN - 132' Alloy, Langan
VISIONE - 148' Baltic, Reichel Pugh
WHISPER - 116' Holland Jachtbouw, Fontaine
WINDROSE - 152' Holland Jachtbouw, Dijkstra
ZINGARO - 112' Derecktor, S & S