Join the St Barths Bucket Regatta for an exciting and unique sailing race! The 30th anniversary of the worldwide famous race promises – as usual – lots of festivities and admirable performances, but also this year some unprecedented novelties…
The St Barth’s Bucket Regatta has become a key event. It is an invitational regatta, open to cruising yachts whose length is 30,5 meters (100 feet) or greater. This year, the 2017 edition is a bit special: it’s the 30th anniversary of this course, for which occasion the most beautiful and the biggest sailboats meet to race around the island for 3 days.
A brief history of the Bucket Regatta
It all started in Nantucket, Massachusets, in August 1986, with the first Bucket Regatta. At a birthday celebration organized by Nelson Doubleday, owner of Mandalay, several yacht owners discussed optimal design and individual sailing prowess. The day after, with only one night of preparation, 7 sailing superyachts were racing on a 15-mile course. This improvised competition was only meant to reach some kind of unquestionable superyacht sailing bragging rights for the year, but all learned soon that the pleasure of enjoyment was the greatest prize of all. Indeed, a nearby spare bucket was enough to symbolize the coveted title, and that’s how the Bucket Regatta was named, and thus born.
Since then, the world’s premier superyacht sailing vessels, owners, crew and guests have gathered with the same mobile, and the Nantucket Bucket became more and more famous and acknoledged between 1986 and 2001. From 2002 to 2014, it was moved to Newport, Rhode Island. In 1995, for the first time, the island of St Barths hosted the Bucket Regatta, and it has been settled in March since then. Taking the opportunity of sailing with the best conditions and of gathering the most beautiful and glamorous yachts, the fleet has grown significantly, but the spirit of the event remained unchanged: maintaining the fellowship with a non-commercial aim, to keep the one and only pleasure of sailing these superyachts, as much for the crews than for the owners and the sympathizers.
For the 2017 edition, St Barts is proud to host the event for its 30th anniversary. And in its 30th year, the 2017 Bucket will offer a new and equally exciting class to owners preferring to compete without spinnakers: honoring the language of the host nation – i.e. France – this new class will be called Les Voiles Blanche (The White Sails) and will be racing under the new Corinthian Spirit Class ORCcs handicap.
This year, there will be 38 yachts racing in St Barths, 32 handicapped under the Offshore Racing Congress’ superyacht rule. There are a record 6 J Class yachts entered, which will be rated under the JCA Rule and will start first with a conventional fleet start. The non-spinnaker ‘Corinthian Spirit Class’ (Les Voiles Blanches) are an exciting initiative for superyacht racing, promising to grow in the following years. Then, a diverse fleet, featuring sloops, schooners and ketches, with LOA ranging from 30 to 88 metres, displacement ranging from 56 to 1,229 metric tons, and a speed differential from the fastest to slowest yacht in fleet of over 4 minutes per mile. The pursuit fleet will be divided into 5 classes: 1. Les Gazelles des Mers, 2. Les Élégantes des Mers, 3. Les Mademoiselles des Mers, 4. Les Grandes Dames des Mers, 5. Les Voiles Blanches.
As has been Bucket tradition, the popular pursuit racing format will be featured with a focus on class racing: the ORC will structure the start times such that each class finishes together (as opposed to the entire fleet), with classes staggered by approximately 7-10 minutes (gap will depend on courses and wind strength).
Now imagine, the island surrounded by a luxury sailing-ship fleet, celebrations on the Gustavia wharf, teams stimulated by a competitive spirit, but always in a warm and friendly mood, since at night, all crews meet to celebrate together their performance: join the crowd to support them, and wish them fair winds! More informations, program, etc., on the official website.