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
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
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
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
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.
The Bucket Race Committee
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 -
Doyle Sailmakers – Bartram & Brakenhoff
– Marsh Insurance
Segeco Caribbean Distributors - The Hinckley
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